How to torture a military member and a libertarian…

I had some great experiences in the military. I met some wonderful people and have seen some beautiful places. I had entered with a mindset of a “patriotic son”; something of a concept that you would see spoke about on FoxNews. In three short news; I became a libertarian minded skeptic of nearly everything that I had done.

(1) Drug war: I made a small dent but the military isn’t your panacea.

We chased after drug boats. We tried to seize cocaine. We circled around in large swaths of the ocean with equipment not designed to find those sleek speedboats. But the ugliest thing I learned was that our society doesn’t do the easiest things to prevent drugs from inundating our communities. They instead throw money at the military and the police to do ineffectively what they themselves should be doing.

(2) Someone else is benefitting from our hard work.

We spent months/years of our lives in service of our country, living outside of America’s standard life of ease. We toiled in the dark. We toiled under adverse conditions. I am not bitter because I agreed to a blanket set of contractual conditions. I received pay for the work. I received other conditions in exchange. But the bitterness came later when I “read and learned”. I saw that food service and “ship chandlers” were the beneficiaries of the work when they were rewarded with tax payer money.

(I note the Fat Leonard scandal below).

Paying the Price: The Hidden Cost of the ‘Fat Leonard’ Investigation

I also mention that a myriad of “fat backs” enjoy defense contracts with juicy over runs with little to no accountability. This runs the gamut from shipyard operations to heavy equipment to what ever supplies that are needed. You know the drill.

The biggest kicker is that the vast majority of defense contractors didn’t know how to deal with military people. I noticed this at hiring events, speaking with contractors when I was trying to get connections, or even at professional events. (I even had a engineer get rude with me when I tried to learn more about his trade. Yes, Asperger’s jokes aside, he lacked any tact in dealing with Navy personnel and he stuck out like a sore thumb making his job even more difficult).

I left the military puzzled and feeling like it made more sense to work at Pizza Hut for four years with a short internship serving a defense contractor. An empty headed college kid seems to be a better fit than someone that has actually been in an actual adverse position like the military.

(3) All news media uses military stories to make money without showing the aftermath:

It didn’t matter if it was Pat Tillman, Jessica Lynch, Chris Kyle, or any other military member of notoriety that was seen in the news. I got physically sick when I noticed the truth: These people were being used for their stories. It was either propaganda spin or something that would sell “copy”. I felt like these people were used by the media without eliminating the “jazz element”. Everyone loves the military until they have to deal with them directly. We love the money and the glam but we neglect the fact that they are real people when the lights dim.

(4) I felt more inclined to defend my interests and my shipmates more than the nations’:

I honestly started to feel like I let down many people. I wasted time and money when I flunked out of electronics school. I skated and milked the clock when it came to certifications/qualifications. My original purpose left when I had my original contract voided. I was in a survivor mode, waiting out the remaining years. I did my best to have done what was asked of me but I felt like honesty and enthusiasm wasn’t rewarded. I was promoted when I omitted and did the bare minimum. I earned a check to take care of me. I didn’t want to shoot at Colombians if I had to. I only wanted to defend my shipmates wellbeing and my check. I didn’t get blinded my patriotism and the Roger Ramjet mentality.

I felt like I was tortured when I started seeing through a lens of facts and logic. I wasn’t the conservative adventurer my church knew. I became the tortured libertarian that the world didn’t want to know.

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8 Responses to How to torture a military member and a libertarian…

  1. The military, and domestic politics, turned me into a Libertarian as well. Probably most of all…my deployments to Iraq. It takes every bit of will power not to punch anyone who says somebody who died in Iraq….died “protecting our freedom/country/way of life”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ame says:

      It takes every bit of will power not to punch anyone who says somebody who died in Iraq….died “protecting our freedom/country/way of life”.

      i’m very much outside the military, so i don’t understand what everything means or what is always appropriate and not appropriate. if it wouldn’t offend you or be inappropriate in any way, would you mind explaining this further? as a military outsider, i’ve always viewed anyone who dies in service as one who dies protecting our freedom and country. from your comment, i am very naive and misinformed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not inappropriate or offensive at all. Im happy to respond….but ask for your patience…so that I can post whem I have enough time to put my thoughts in order. I’m currently in Iraq (again), so time can be a luxury.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ame says:

        Thank you … and absolutely. No hurry at all – i’ll get notification whenever you have opportunity to comment. This is way down on the list of important things to spend your free time on right now 🙂

        Thank you for your service.

        Please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you or your family.

        Like

      • So with respect to my previous post, it has become rote to almost deify a fallen Soldier* as dying in the service to a greater good. Now, you can make the larger, but more intangible argument….that once one raises his/her hand, swears the oath and dons the uniform…..their sacrifice was indeed not only in the service to the nation, but also for the ideals of freedom and honor that come with it.

        However, we have largely not battled an opponent who actually represented a threat to our national security since around 2002. This excludes the ongoing [mostly special operations & air strikes against al Qaeda and ISIS], but speaks more generally to the larger component of the armed forces on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq/Syria. The Taliban represent no threat to anyone outside the borders of Afghanistan; ISIS in Iraq and Syria could maybe…possibly be a threat to the homeland, some years from now if the global community completely acquiesced and allowed it to happen.

        But in the case of Iraq, our more dangerous foe is part and parcel of the Iraqi Security Forces – the Iranian backed Shi’a Militia Groups. they too have been responsible for U.S. casualties even since the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom…yet we don’t even have authorities to target them in return. Additionally, we are propping up a host government that will clearly side with Iran should hostilities break out between Tehran and Washington.

        In Afghanistan, we are supporting a host government that is so rife with corruption and malaise, that it controls very little outside of the major urban areas [such as they are] and the ring road that connects them.

        So…in a real, tangible respect….in my opinion anyway….one who falls in service in either of these locations, hasn’t given his/her life for the freedom of our homeland….but rather has been a waste. A needless loss.

        I won’t speculate on the beneficiaries of why and where we’re deployed in various parts of the world, but make no mistake….people are getting rich from it. I’m a retired Soldier, now a military Contractor…and to be fair…I’m making money from the endeavor. I choose to serve still, because in my capacity I can help eliminate “terrorists”…but more importantly, I can try to keep my Brothers and Sisters alive.

        Apologies for the long winded rant. I hope that it clarified my feeling somewhat.

        *Soldier -I refer generally to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ame says:

        no apologies necessary. yes, it does explain.

        i can’t imagine how exasperating that must be.

        in some realm, though, does it bring comfort to families, parents, spouses, children, to believe the lie? give purpose to the senseless loss? idk. just pondering as a mother and wife how, if it were my husband or child, i might need something more to hold onto than he was killed due to the senseless greed of too many.

        Like

      • Agreed. No family wants to view their loved ones lives as being wasted…..but then we keep finding ourselves in the same predicaments….because nothing ever changes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ame says:

    These people were being used for their stories. It was either propaganda spin or something that would sell “copy”.

    i’ve been told i would make a really good journalist. i’m really good at getting people to talk to me and tell me things they’d not normally tell others. but my integrity and moral values won’t let me. there would be very, very few stories i would believe would benefit and not hurt in any way once told.

    thank you for your service.

    i’m sorry what you did was not valued in the ways it should have been.

    it’s hard, i think, to find much value in any job anymore. i think God knew this would happen in the world, hence why He tells us to work as unto Him alone; it gives what we do value.

    Like

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