Forget about posterity. Writing is about here and now. Some of my friends would take issue with what I’m about to say, but writing is, or can be, a form of therapy.
We began, 22 miles, from Bridgeport Connecticut and kayaked across the Long Island Sound. The wind against my face, the sights and sounds of ducks dancing and fishes doing the moon walk across the green, blue, and black of the water was not only breath taking but also calmed my PTSD symptoms.
Three Asian ladies
with bent and twisted frames
youth long gone
gathering bottles and cans
from the streets of NYC,
a scene that transports me
back in time
to the tangled maze of rivers and
vast rice paddies along the delta
Military spouses often have to find creative careers. Or rather, creative ways to reinvent and keep their careers thriving throughout a lifetime of moves.
In the military, when someone outranks you, you keep your mouth shut and you keep working. Even when it means losing your lunch.
Yes, World War II vets had it hard, but they also had it easy compared to most, if not all, generations to come before or after. Sure, their war was long and tough, but their homecoming was, and still is, unmatched. A popular war, or more like a war with a clear purpose and victory, will do that, but in many ways, World War II veterans are the beneficiaries of failure.
I'm not saying life would be better without the military, I'm saying it would be easier.
Our recent move has been particularly hard because we went from being close to a military community to living in a civilian population. We have no access to any military services or to military spouses who can relate to what I am going through. But I found acknowledging the feeling of loss as a great start and an opportunity for me to focus on finding a way to get over this “grief”.
...we have an example of history repeating itself—or at least rhyming. No, not the history that Trump and his ilk espouse. That one is full of ignorance, even if it’s an ignorance that, one assumes, helps them sleep. It’s a history so filled with lies that one has to assume, as the saying goes, that they want to be doomed to repeat it.
Ultimately, it's not up to the soldier as to how much stuff they're assigned.
This is a question I'm often asked. What part is the hardest about being married to a military man? For whatever reason – probably curiosity – people ask, thinking they can better understand the armed forces (or maybe just me) by hearing my answer.
the latest craze
it's all the rage
from network news
to the front page.
I've been very vocal lately about the recent race riots in Virginia. I am vehemently opposed to the Battle Flag of Northern Virginia, and a bit conflicted with my chain-of-command, mostly with the Commander-in-Chief. For those that have asked why, I recite here:
It wasn’t so much that, but rather the book itself spoke of hidden currents in Europe. It exposed the lie that during WWII it was only the Germans who had carried out race-based atrocities and any non-German collaborators were long dealt with, when this was not the case. In France and elsewhere there was a collective guilt that had not been properly dealt with. It’s amazing how some people can voice something already in your mind—something that hadn’t yet been formulated into a thought—and almost rearrange your worldview.
My favorite movie is Good Will Hunting. I saw it for the first time shortly after the movie was released in January of 1998. I was 16 years old and found myself enjoying everything about the movie; pretty soon I was able to quote whole scenes much to the delight (and shortly annoyance) of my friends and family.
In April, I visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. It was not my first visit, and I’m sure it will not be the last one. I visited with a group of fellow writers, and we took the subway down. Even though I live in the Bronx, I had not taken the subway in quite some time, a year or more. I simply had no need. Where I was living at the time, driving became more important than using the subway.
Where am I now? I am twenty-four years old, in a nonsensical Balkan country, wondering, what’s next? In the upcoming months, I’ll be with my girlfriend on some beach in South America, getting ready to come back to the states and then moving into an average sized apartment with her, only to go to a butt-fuck Middle Eastern country again to make a little bit of cash.
Recently a friend of mine took his own life and joined the ever growing number of veterans who take their lives daily. I wrote this in his remembrance, due to the fact I’ve been so down on life and constantly have thought of my own personal battles and thinking about taking my own life because of what I’ve perceived as failures and shortcomings.
In January 2006, ABC reporter Bob Woodruff found himself in the wrong place and time in the Middle East. He was reporting from the hatch of an armored vehicle when a 125mm shell, also known as an IED, exploded. Mr. Woodruff and his cameraman were filming when it happened, which is quite possibly why they were attacked. Their bodies were sticking out of the vehicle like a sore thumb, which made for an easy target.
As a society, we have placed a premium on education. It is seen as transformative, able to elevate people out of difficult circumstances, and the catalyst for improvement in both individuals and communities. Today, in the United States, education is a fundamental quality-of-life issue. But the ways in which our culture discusses education are highly limited.
As a child I used to believe in just wars, trusting my elders and being able to isolate evil people in the world. All part of my miseducation, I suppose. I’ve come a long way and now look back at this time as an odd dream. I think back in anger at all that was fed to me through school and elsewhere. This is not to say that I am simply some malcontent.
Perhaps I was shipwrecked, philosophically speaking, but I managed to take in the glorious north with its iced hills shimmering under the low and golden light. On the hike back out I realized that I hadn’t had my heart in the hike. I was hit with a harsh sense of loneliness and nihilism, which the desolate Arctic air only exacerbated. I longed to see my friends back in Denali and to have a few beers, though this time I wouldn’t have any stories to share.
There is much talk about the veteran civilian divide. Indeed, there is plenty separating those from Sparta and those from Babylon—to butcher a pair of historical metaphors—but as a writer, I know there’s plenty they have in common, and one thing in particular: their reaction to writers, negative, as it were.
After being accused of sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman while on temporary assignment in Virginia Beach, Petty Officer First Class Gregory Kyle Seerden, 31, of Missouri, had his cell phone confiscated by the he Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Iraq was the prime mover. Sure, my ex kicked my ass, and boot camp also put my butt into gear. But Iraq was the tipping point. It’s what politicized me. So much so that I have changed my legal middle name
When I left the Army, I confused physical courage with some of the greatest aspects of this country—or humanity, for that matter. I think many veterans share this sentiment, as it’s part of the culture we’ve given so much to.
If a man says he is going to kill himself, we have a straightforward piece of information to work with. If a man is at risk for a fatal disease, like a heart attack or lung cancer, and refuses to change his behavior, how should we consider that?
Adulting is hard. If you have lived on this earth at least forty years or more and engaged in the hopes and failures of this world, you know this. You also know that it takes unexpected kindnesses to make the super hard days tolerable and the next day “get-up-able”. Community is key.
Veteran privilege. This a phrase that invokes a broad range of reaction depending on who the audience is. From bland nonchalance to foaming mouth religious fervor, the American public’s feelings about veteran privilege runs a gamut of emotions. Does veteran privilege exist? Some people would reason that yes; given the advantages veterans have in obtaining government employment, the almost automatic respect veterans are given, and the retail discounts that many corporations are generous enough to offer military warriors, veteran privilege exists in many forms.
Sometime in early ebruary I first came across the phrase " veteran privilege" in a comment on a Blog Entry -- the location of which now escapes me. I was immediately taken aback because I related it to the current references to the phrase, "white privilege," which apparently means that just being white as opposed to anything else confers, in and of itself, and regardless of any other factors, privilege.