Veterans on Dealing with People, By Dominic MancusoBillie Jackson
In one of my previous blogs I made the argument that one of the biggest issues transitioning Veterans experience, but really all Veterans regardless of how long they have been out, is a lack of empathy for civilians and all around apathy for when they complain about “their problems”. While at first we try to show understanding, because we know this is how “normal, society driven/controlled” people do it. But when it is just constant bickering, and it seems they are complaining just for the sake to complain, our thread of restraint is slowly being cut with little resistance. For me and those like me (My Fellow Veterans) this is a daily annoyance!
I consistently find myself surrounded by people whose life experiences go from their parent’s basement, to college, to an internship, to a well-paying job. They have never worked a labor-intensive job, hell, most have never even worked in food service… I am told hardship is all relative, which is true to a point; But why do those who have had a massive exposure to the worst that humanity has to offer be forced to deal with those who have been “relatively” coddled their entire lives? This is the question we Veterans often ask ourselves… why do we have to deal with these people? Why do we have to be the ones to “reintegrate” with this society that has a rising dependent mentality when we learned to be self-sufficient? The simple truth is this: We will never connect with them on that primal level that we were forced to become accustomed to while we were in the military; so why are we trying to? Is it because that is what society wants us to do? They wanted us to be sheep-dogs and protect the heard from the wolves. When we can no longer do the work of the sheep dog they want us to just hang up our weapons and rejoin the heard as if nothing happened.
We will always be the sheep-dog. Never will we be one of the sheep. That blind, sheep like mentality we all once had, will never come back… no matter how many drugs you give us, no matter how many “programs” you put us through, we chose to remain a member of the American Warrior Class; and though we may have hung up our uniform, we will always belong to that micro-group of people willing to do violence on those who wish to do violence on people who are unable or unwilling to defend themselves.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke.
As long as there is a single Veteran or Warrior alive, evil will never triumph. We as Veterans need to be ok with this, and realize no matter how hard the sheep may push for us to put the wool coat back on, we never fully will. This back a fourth is something that has plagued me for some time… about two years ago I wrote the following Poem to put into words the hypocrisy of how Americans view and treat its military and veterans.
Beware the Weasel, Dog.
When the wolf attacks, the lamb will send the dog.
When the dog defeats the wolf, the sheep will celebrate the dog.
The sheep will praise the dog, thank it for dirtying its claws.
The sheep will love the dog, rejoice in its great triumph.
When the dog wants to no longer fight, the sheep will commemorate it.
They will bless the dog, credit it with a storied past.
When the dog trims down its claws, a lamb will assist cutters in hand.
The sheep will warm to the dog, wishing it the best of luck.
When a lamb has not a wolf to fret, it will introduce the weasel.
The sheep will listen to the weasel, enticed to hear of its fabricated affairs.
When all ears are on the weasel, it will be hard at work underfoot.
The sheep will be blinded to the weasel, believing all of its silver claims.
When the weasel refers to the dog, it will be commenting on its claws.
The sheep will begin to fear the dog, wondering if it truly trimmed them down.
When the dog is dissocialized, it will humbly serve its segregation.
The sheep are entranced, golden is every word of the weasel.
When the wolf returns, the weasel will flee for its own hide.
The sheep will be shocked, incomprehensible is the abandonment.
When the flock begins to lessen, the dog will ready itself.
The sheep will ask of the lamb, tell the dog to use its claws.
When the dog is called, it will have its claws sharpened.
When the dog is called, its attacks will be swift.
When the dog is called, it will swallow the betrayal.
When the wolf attacks, the lamb will send the dog.
Now do not get me wrong, I am not blaming the American people for their ignorance. I am blaming the Government for keeping Americas War for the Greater Middle East out of the American household, for the most-part… This is what created the deep divide between the military (and military families) to the rest of the American people. The American People were never asked to really sacrifice anything of their day-to-day life so these last 15 years of conflict are easy for them to ignore… But you better believe if they had to give up one-minuscule-comfort they would be in outrage… From the military service member’s standpoint, we are sacrificing everything for the nation while 99% of Americans are reaping the rewards, without any kind of loss, work, or sacrifice on their end.
This lack of sacrifice, by any means, is where that divide is anchored. It is that lack of anything given to the last 15 years of conflict that has Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans unable to connect with their fellow American. My argument, it is ok to not fully connect. It is ok to stand apart. Own it; and turn your experience into something that can benefit you and those you care for. Veterans are here for each other, and through each other we will thrive!