06 January 2006

I am not a Soldier.

I am not a Soldier. I never have been. I have always wanted to be. Many of my friends are Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and some have even gone Air Force. I was prevented from fighting for this country due to Ritalin, something I was too young to protest at the age of seven, when it was prescribed to me. When I enlisted to the Corps I was happy. I knew where my life was going. Then they "discovered" I took Ritalin. I say "discovered" because I never hid it, and they never asked, but on a final look through they found it and at the time it was an automatic disqualifier. They black balled me. I left the recruiters office in anger, I went to the Army recruiter, he told me no, Air Force, same thing, the goddamned coast guard wouldn't take me. I wanted to serve my country and they wouldn't let me. I was hurt, I was angry, I was devastated. I had spent the better part of the previous 6 years gearing my life towards being a career military man. A Marine.

Well, I’m coming up on my 27th birthday. I’m 6'3" 350lbs and have accomplished nothing. I need to lose 100 lbs and find some direction. I have been wallowing in this self pity and doubt for far too long. I don't know if I’m more afraid of success or of having my dreams stripped away again, so instead I don't dream. I’m not sure which is worse, not trying to succeed, or not having dreams to reach. All I know is that I have wasted too much time living in the past. Too much time thinking about how much more direction my life would be if I were a Marine. I’d have direction. I’d have a purpose.

Personally, I deal well with death. It’s inevitable. I don't mourn death as it happens to us all. We’re not getting out of here alive. I actually celebrate death. Most everyone I know has lived a good life. Been mostly happy. Done things they've never thought they could do. So why would you mourn that? You should celebrate it. Cherish it. Relish it.

I am not a crier. I couldn't tell you the last time I cried. Not because I’m macho, but mostly because I’m dead inside. However there are two things that give me chills, and choke me up. The first and foremost is the national anthem. It could be sung horribly, or played out of tune on a Casio synthesizer, it doesn't matter. The meaning is still there. I cannot talk after hearing it, without a moment to clear my throat and relax. My old color guard commander knew this. In JROTC he would wait an extra second after "order colors", to call "order arms". He also knew that as I was the guard of the American flag, and therefore in the lead, I was pretty much walking blind for the first few seconds till my eyes dried up. This is an involuntary response. I have no control. I am not a Soldier. I am not a Marine.

The second thing that gets me is anyone who wears a uniform of the armed forces being buried. Military funerals are the all about respect. And that's what gets me. It’s not the death of this person who has so outwardly devoted their life so I can get fat and drunk; it's the respect we owe to that person. The respect they only seem to get in death. Respect they earned. In blood. In hardship.

I am not a Soldier. I am not a Marine, and I am not a sailor. I wish I were standing beside those who are, as one of them, paying my debt to this country the only way I can think to. Unfortunately at the tender age of 26 I have been rendered medically unable to serve. They wouldn't even take me in a draft. So to those of you brave enough to serve, those of you strong enough to fight, I thank you. From the deepest recesses, thank you. Your work means more than anything else I can think of. Thank you.

Hooah.
Oorah.

Carry on.

14 comments:

Scooter said...

Wow. That has to the most honest, decent, and endearing thing that I have ever witnessed from you. Hopefully it will encourage those soldiers that read this blog.

You are a good man.

Rolligun said...

First up that was a hell of a post! Way to dig in and speak of so many things personal. It says a lot of good about you.

I admire your passion and respect for this country and the people who live in it.

Thank you for your support! It is infinately appreciated by thousands of those who serve, everyday.

You don't have to be a part of the military to protect your country. That is only one venue. I would have to believe that someone with your commitment and enthusiasm would serve as a tremendous assest in the right position. It's a matter of finding that role...the eternal fullfillment will follow.

joe said...

Word.

Laura Beth said...

I have to give credit to a nice post here. I haven't heard that much feeling out of you in a long time. Unless it's just me and you talking... Anything you want help with, let me know. When it comes to reaching goals, sometimes it's easier to do it with another person. Hell, we live close enough, let's go jogging and shit. I'm totally up for it. I'm in the same spot as you in a sense.

Drunken Chud said...

rolli- i hope to god you're right. and again, thank you for your service.

laura- yes, let's get in shape. not sure about the jogging thing, i need something slightly impacting for the knees since i have no insurance and can't get my injections.

scooter- try not to let it get out.

meghansdiscontent said...

That was so touching.
And for the FIRST time, I'm not being sarcastic in the slightest.
You are a wonderful person, babe.

Chairborne Stranger said...

wow, that shit rocked man! i give you a lot of credit for putting all of that out there. you're a helluva guy, DC. it sounds like you're on the right track to getting where you are going. keep up the good blogging and the comments crack me up.

this soldier salutes you anyway.

Kristin said...

Sweetie, the only reason I haven't said anything is because I don't know what to say. You did such a good job of it.

Couldn't be prouder if I knew you.

Laurie (aka buggy) said...

Chud!!!! I hope I don't sound like a corny Care Bear, but seriously that was so touching and truthful of you. I feel like I know you better now than before, just from all that you said in that one post. You're a great guy, and don't beat yourself up for anything. I'm sorry that they won't let you do what you want to do and be in the army. BUT, most of the time that's not the way it is with goals and dreams. The fact that you had to be on something was something you couldn't help or change, BUT you found another way to be successful. You run your own business, right? That's far more than I've ever done. You deserve far more credit than you give yourself, in my opinion. You say you've dwelled too much on the past but it seems you realize that and from doing so you can move on and NOT dwell on it anymore, right? That bugs me that you say "...I don't dream" because of what you wanted to do was stripped away from you before. You deserve to be angry and upset about it or whatever else you feel, but don't let it stop you from doing other things. I hope I don't sound like a preacher. I genuinely genuinely genuinely don't want you to feel like that. You said you wanted to lose weight - that IS a REALISTIC goal that can happen and no one can say you can't have that goal. Like I said, most things are possible and unfortunately you had someone say "no" to you about something you had no choice over. Anyway it seems to me you DO have direction and purpose if you know what you want, and you know where you've been and how to move on from it, and you are currently doing your thing in real estate. You're such a great guy.

Laurie (aka buggy) said...

I just read Rolli's comment and I think you should look into that. He's right, you know. If you feel completely unfulfilled doing ANYTHING else, maybe you can keep doing what you're doing and also play a different role in fighting for the country.

Drunken Chud said...

wow, thank you all for your heartfelt comments. i promise i will not make posts like these a habit. i just, well, as kristin put it in here blog, had a case of the mean reds. kristin, rolli, chair, laurie, meghan, joe, lala, scooter, thank you.

pk said...

Great post!

woodstock said...

i just gotta say that this post was one of the most heartfelt and honest things i've ever had the honor to read. i also agree with rolli... can u say "rob dorton for president"? give it a thought... anyway, if you need any help with that losing weight thing, i can show you a few things that arent taxing on the knees...

woodstock

Jacques Roux said...

ooo-RAH!!! I am the son of, brother to and best friends with Marines. Four in all. But I too was prevented from joining the Corps because of a birth defect. My eyes were bad. So I can empathize. But hang in there, my man. You'll find direction.