I’ve been chewing on this post, I, Veteran by Adam Glass on and off all day. Though I can’t imagine he intended this, I was bawling by the fourth paragraph and didn’t stop for a long, long time. If rough language offends you for some reason you might want to skip it because he doesn’t mince words. On the other hand, his passionate and razor-sharp narration lays bare his heart and offers poignant insight as to what life for some of our service men and women is like. Besides, you can’t really describe experiences like his without it.
My life as a veteran was pretty far from his: I was in linguistics, not law enforcement. I was surrounded by mostly egg-heads, spooks and good-natured smart asses, not wretched human detritus, criminals and thugs. I suffered little trouble and enjoyed a lot of camaraderie, as well as some very interesting, non-life threatening work. We were in between wars, and I lived in an urban setting about as far from the front line as you can get. I’ve never been anywhere near a theater of war. Holy hell, in my early 20′s I was a walking disaster. I shudder to think how I would have fared in that environment.
One of my Army buddies and I were talking about how odd we feel whenever someone thanks us for our service on Veteran’s Day. I know I took an oath, made some sacrifices, but still. Okay I’ve tried to finish this paragraph like six times now and everything I’ve written just sounds lame. Go read Adam’s post.
And to all our service men and women, past, present and future, I offer my heartfelt gratitude to you and think about you a lot. Not just today either.