Friday, June 11, 2010

Gotta Say.... I'm pretty pissed

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 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.
Weigh in.


jenn said...


thank you for sharing this.
nothing outrages me more than to hear ppl talk 'smack' about the military.
i'm gonna go check out leftface.

Sara said...

Well said! That article and the responses to it made me shake with anger. Its one thing to bitch about deployment. But when someone dies? That's a whole different ball game.

Expat Girl said...

Thank you for writing this. I share every sentiment that you said and I can't stand it when I feel scared to comment on things like this for fear that I will get told that I chose this life.

Erin said...

Aside from it being a military, you are right it is about human decency. What if it wasn't a military family, what if it was a normal family accompanying their loved one home. They probably wouldn't have helped either. How can you treat a person who is grieving with no compassion.

Jessica @ {Mis}Adventures of an Army Wife said...

Wow. I'm left (almost) speechless and that's rare for me! I wish people would realize that what allows them to sit nice and secure on a plane or what allows them to post such rude remarks is the life that this Marine sacrificed. The entire plane full of people should be ashamed of themselves - as should all of those posters.

jamie said...

I still cant get over the fact that some people dont realize how much our troops and their families go threw so they can make stupid comments like that. Thank you for sharing this.

PTSD, A Caregiver's Perspective said...

I don't know where to begin.... these people need to come stay with me and my disabled OIF veteran husband for a week and live with his flashbacks, nightmares, zoning out, impaired cognition from his brain injury, depression, anxiety, insomnia, emotional numbness, startle response, extreme hypervigilance... and on and effing on.

Scatterbrain said...

I read it over at Leftface too. Absolutely infuriating. I am still beyond words. Glad there are ladies like you and Tucker who can put it into fitting words.

Left you something over at my blog :)

Shannon said...

What an AWESOME post!! Could not agree more..thanks for posting this!

Erin said...

I completely agree, as I'm sure you know... I don't think any of us military wives wouldn't.

How outrageous! My husband serves so that jerks like that don't have to. He is willing to die for their freedom of speech and their right to be A-holes. They should take that into consideration before they open their big mouths.

How sad that so few people volunteered to leave their seats. It just goes to show how under appreciated out military is.

Mrs. Tass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

Amen and HUA from this AF wife! I'm also a new follower and have you linked up on my page!

Blessing said...

Wow, I had no idea this was even happening! It sucks that people dont empathize with military families and what we go through. I just embarked on this journey and I am scared that the whole world will blame me for allowing my husband join, that they wont offer to give me their sits if something happens to him. That my husband will keep his own end of the bargain to serve and protect, but they will not keep their end - to support.

This is absurd!

I am a new army wife...husband is off to Basic Training and then Officer Candidate School. So glad to have mil spouse blog like yours to keep me busy when i'm home alone with the baby. Now following you! And added you to my military resources tab too! You should join in on the Military Spouse Spotlight I just started, its real fun. Check it out at Musings Of An Army Wife