Sunday, July 22, 2012

Counting down the hours...

I eat alone. I’m not complaining. It gives me time to think. Thinking of course, leads to ranting…

So. I am all for Israel’s “do your mandatory service, get free college” concept. They have a great military and some pretty awesome brains as well. Good system. However. Being somewhat older than the “norm,” I am constantly appalled at the ignorance and immaturity in the US military. Granted, that’s what happens when you take in a bunch of fresh-faced 18-to-20 year olds and turn them loose amongst themselves to be self-governed. But I still can’t believe the utter lack of common sense and common courtesy… things we take for granted; they’re not as “common” as those of us who DO have them would think.

I do not regret going to college first. I wish I hadn’t waited so long after college to enlist. I also wish I had gone straight to the officer program; or that I had gone to a school with ROTC. But I always rebelled against the military, I never would have thought I would be in my own shoes today. I suppose if I had been more open minded, I could have planned for the possibilities. But anyways. My point is, I am a lot wiser and developed because I waited. I made my mistakes. I made my choices. I got out on my own and tried to LIVE. Which is more than I can say for some of the other 20-somethings I know through the military [okay, at least one exception comes to mind there]. Seriously, I know people who are a mere two or three years younger than me who are talking about buying their first car. Like, first car ever. I bought my first car when I was 17, for $300, after working at a video store for the summer.

Sigh. I guess it’s just too much to ask for from some people. For them to chew with their mouth shut, to hold the door for others, to give way if someone’s carrying something down the hall, to keep their voices down to a dull roar, to not loiter for the sake of loitering. Or to even know what the word “loitering” means.

I remember when my step-brother graduated from Marine bootcamp down in Pendleton. Sadly he wasn’t able to see that journey through, but the Marines sure do a total re-education kind of thing. He said at dinner that night that he could point out all the civilians in the crowd because they ate with their elbows on the table, shoveling food in their faces, didn’t remove their hats at the table, didn’t use napkins, etc. He also pointed out that he could tell I was raised by someone in the military, just by my table manners. I very much wish we had gone through the same kind of thing. That alone would save me some heartache.

My apologies, theoretical internet audience. Being around large quantities of people, especially those who don’t respect anyone, makes me irritable and long winded. I hope someone somewhere could get something out of all this… if it makes just one person do something to brighten another’s day [or at least lessen the shittiness], then I have succeeded at something.

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