Prepare yourselves people.
(just a friendly, heads-up)
Anyone else follow Leftface?
Well, obviously now you know I do. The last few days the ladies over there have been pretty fired up. I definitely don't blame them. You see, back on the 4th LAW authored a post about the reprehensible conduct that took place on a US Airways flight leaving Washington's Reagan Int'l Airport (back in March). The readers digest version of what took place goes like this: 6 members of a fallen Marine's family were in Dover welcoming their Marine's body back to the US. They traveled from Dover to DC in order to fly with the remains back to their home. The reprehensible part: The airline asked for volunteers to get off the flight. 3 people volunteered. It wasn't until 30 mins and a tearful plea from a crew member that 3 other individuals were motivated to give up their seat. Let's think on that for a moment. 30 minutes.... seriously? What is wrong with people? If you would like to read the entire story (it's a good read... but, sad obviously) you can find it on the Washington Times.
Anyway, the ladies from LeftFace are up-in-arms today (and the last few days) due to some of the comments they've received since the 4 June story. I'm sure these won't come as any surprise, all of these shitty comments are things we've all heard before; "Suck it up." "There are those who “have greatest disdain” for the “special attention” being paid to anyone in the current military, especially the National Guard." and my personal fav "Quit Whining, you chose to be where you are." Like I said, I think we've all heard these things before (or something similar).
I really think in regards to the Washington Times story about Lance Cpl. Justin Wilson's family, this isn't about entitlement, special attention or receiving a free ride. It's about human decency. It's about this young (24 years old) Marine who gave his life for this country. It's about the 99% of Americans that don't serve and their concern (or lack thereof), respect (or lack thereof) and appreciation (or lack thereof) for our service members, their sacrifices and their families. Not to say that everyone without military affiliation just doesn't get it (or doesn't respect the military)... after all 3 people did jump up and offer their seats on the US Airways flight... and the 3 stragglers that eventually followed suit. I'm right there with you LAW it's reprehensible! It's unacceptable! I can only speak for myself but I would have JUMPED out of my seat and gladly (without hesitation) given it up for this, or any other of the 5517 according to icasualties.org families that have endured the same loss.
I think its time for the 99% to stop bitchin' about our bitchin'. I'm pretty sure EVERYONE chose to be where they are in their lives (in one way or the other), and I'm pretty sure that EVERYONE chooses to bitch about their lives at some point also. Traffic sucks. It's hot. It's cold. It's raining. I hate my job. I don't get paid enough. I want free health care. I can't afford my health care premiums/co-pays. My kids are rotten. My husband/wife/boy-/girlfriend and I are having problems. We have too much debt. Times are tough.
I have to quote Tucker (from LeftFace) "Of course, we volunteered for this, yes, we chose this life. BUT. That is the point. We did what no one wanted to do. We stood up and said, WE will bear this burden for you. We said its okay for you to stay home in your safe and cozy subdivision with your picket fence and American Dream, we’ll do annual deployments, sustain a marriage over the phone, run a household alone, miss holidays, miss births, cram in weddings on R&R, all while living in fear of a dark sedan, a knock on the door and a future as a Gold Star family." Our choice makes us different than you. I wish people would acknowledge the actually choice. The choice I made and more so the choice my husband made. Making the choice is the most honorable and selfless part in all of this. Have the courage and intestinal fortitude to choose this life and the risks is deserving, and warranted of everyone else' respect. Even silently. I (personally) don't need the "thank you for your service" 's. It's nice but really doesn't go that far when I'm sure at some point a stranger said the same thing to LCpl. Wilson's
wife widow... but when she needed the support the yellow ribbon magnet on your car indicates you have it took too long for you to stand and offer it. Is too long semantics? Not at all. Not under these conditions.
I feel I have to expand on the fact that we (the spouse and the service member) chose to be where we are; doing what we do. There are some military and milspouses alike, that say they absolutely didn't chose this. There's a possibility for those who signed up prior to 2001 didn't know rucking up, kicking down doors, standing guard in a middle-eastern desert would be their reality. It's entirely possible, even probable they joined for the GI Bill. All the same. It's been 9 years people. Our military began Operation Enduring Freedom 7 Oct 2001, and Operation Iraqi Freedom began 20 Mar 2003. I'd say the standard enlistment lasts 4 years but we all know they own you for 8. Do the math. Anyone still in the military NOW has chosen to be there since these wars began. Which means, the service member, and spouse alike knew what they were getting themselves into. Deployments, training, reintegration, PTSD, et cetera and so forth. None of us are victims of a war we may or may not agree with.
It's simply apart of our reality. Everyday.
It's one of those aspects that speaks to the honor and bravery of the choice we made and continue to make.
You know, that choice that keeps 99% safe and sound at night, comfortable in their beds.
I prefer you count your blessings and quit bitching about my God given right to bitch about my life. I don't impose on your bitching.
Just my take.