You bet your sweet Green Beret I am! Today is Veterans Day (well actually yesterday), a day when we salute these great men and women for serving this country and keeping our freedom…well…free. One veteran in particular has a very special place in my life – my father.
Growing up in a military family, I observed a very prominent characteristic in my father. This trait is also exhibited by many seasoned veterans as well:
No Bull Sh*t.
I can’t speak for all veterans, but my father has no time for it. Say what you mean, get your job done, watch your ass, and quit bitching. Not a bad code to live by.
Recently, a local newspaper interviewed my father about his experiences in the military, the Vietnam War, the National Guard, and later, his time at the Pentagon. I had the honor of pleasantly eavesdropping in on the conversation. When asked about his return from his tour of duty in Vietnam, my father said he could not understand why people got so upset about little things. He saw people die in front of him. How could he have the patience to listen to people complain about the small annoyances of life? It’s not that he doesn’t care about people, he does. But why all the bullcrap?
It got me thinking – if more people lived their lives to the beat of this no BS code, what would our world look like today? Let’s take a peak:
1) The Kardashians would not have their own show. I think we can all agree the world would immediately be a better place.
2) Unemployment would disappear. Everyone would have a job. They might not like it, but TS, sometimes you have to swab the decks and clean a toilette with a toothbrush because you are the low man on the totem pole.
3) No more bad hair days. You wouldn’t have any hair to worry about.
4) Sh*t would get done. Everyone would be up at 0600 hours. Period.
5) We wouldn’t have to participate in ridiculous Richard Simmons work out videos. The military is always running in platoons. You’d be fit as a fiddle.
6) Lindsey Lohan would be in jail. Only civilians would put up with her BS.
7) Football quarterbacks would never get sacked. You don’t leave your man unprotected.
8) The abolition of hoarding. Military personnel have a toothbrush and a blanket. That’s it. No need to collect all the People magazines from 1984 – present.
9) No more As Seen on TV ads for those “Stompees” slippers. That footwear is ridiculous.
10) Random Facebook of, “Buying Cantelopes!” would come to an end. No time for that type of BS. We’d be too busy building homes for Habitat for Humanity.
11) We’d do away with cat posters and calendars. Why? What purpose do they serve?
While the above are ridiculous thoughts, we do need to cut the sh*t America – myself included. Do we really need to complain that much? It seems like a slap in the face to those working day and night for this country. Coming off an election that was strife with social media insults and the massive “You’re wrong, I’m right!” attacks we could use a little solidarity. It felt just like a foreign war, but it was a domestic social media war, and did we really feel all that much better in the end?
I can’t imagine what it is like to come under fire. I hope I never do. I have no idea what it is like to drag some men from your unit to safety, while others do not make it. I hope I never have to make that choice. What does it feel like to lock the horrific details of combat into the corner of your psyche just so you can survive the banality of everyday life of paying bills, taking out the trash, and watching bad TV? I never want to know. To leave loved ones behind for extremely long periods of time, missing birthdays, anniversaries, births? That seems like a hell all unto itself.
Yet men and women of this great nation do it every day so bozos like me can wait in lines at Starbucks and Target, complain about gas prices, and eat too much at Del Taco. They do it so we can practice our respective religions without persecution, we can freely go to school and learn, we can have an opinion and write goofy blogs like this one. They do it so we can keep our freedom and protect us from threats, both foreign and domestic. That’s the big stuff. The rest is just small stuff.
So for today, just stop the BS. Don’t complain. Go to the parade. Wear a yellow ribbon. Hug a veteran (but be careful, some are really old). Say thank you to those who have served for this country, for us. That’s what I’ll be doing.