by The Usual Suspect
(Quite obviously not directed toward the readers. The people who warrant this post are the same people that will never read it. Let the worms have them.)
To my ungrateful generation,
This world is full of people who demand respect without earning it. That's a commodity that I can no longer afford to give away freely. If I haven't earned someone's respect by now, then I never will, and that's fine. The more I think about it, the more I realize that you have NOT earned mine. Thought you had it for free? I can't believe you're still alive when some of the best men I'll ever know died in someone else's country. As far as I'm concerned, this ain't your land anymore. We earn our keep. You'll always be below me now, not because of what you haven't done, but because of how you conduct yourself despite what you have not done. Don't dare try to cheapen what we go through. Come experience it for yourself.
Roll the dice, take a chance card. Spin the wheel, sit for a spell and let the Russian Roulette begin. Let's do some time in the meat grinder together, THEN you can open your mouth. Until then, you're cattle with an inflated ego and unfounded opinions. Empty, vapid, soulless byproducts of bad TV and shitty rap music.
See the beauty of several 240Bravos lighting up the night with red tracers, some snapping off and bouncing off the ground and high into the sky until they burn out.
Feel the sigh of relief every time you pass a car and it doesn't explode.
Attend a military funeral of someone who isn't old enough to drink.
Make the choice between life and death. Know what its like to spare a life without that person ever knowing. No gratitude, no humility.
Witness true suffering. Smell the third world. Feel the filth on your skin. Know the huge flies on a first name basis.
Learn how different gunfire sounds when its directed at you. Experience mortal fear. Feel blast waves rush through your body and wring your intestines and throw you to the ground. Know what it's like to wonder if you're dead for a couple seconds.
Let someone change your priorities for you. Let someone completely alter your perspective on life. Walk among the people that you're going to "help" (but only as long as coalition forces caused any injuries, otherwise go see an Iraqi doctor, sorry about your baby with severe respiratory problems, the Captain says we can't do anything for him.)
I will not be made to feel weird by my own people and my own generation. I'm not going to hide in my own skin. I'm a combat veteran, that's who I am now. I'm going to size you up without thinking about it. Nothing personal. My instincts need to do a threat assessment. You're wrong if you think I can't relate to you. It's YOU that can't relate to us.
You're the one that missed out, you didn't want to be part of the action, and that's fine. Maybe you were smarter than I was at the time. But really, I think you're just too self involved.
I will not go out of my way to accomodate your ignorance. I won't spare your feelings and I don't care what makes your stomach turn. I don't care if you like me. I don't care about you at all. Until you show me otherwise, you're just a suckling pig, ripe for the slaughter, and thank your lucky stars Uncle Sam hasn't come calling yet.
I want you to at least man up and say, "I don't care about what anyone in uniform has done for this country." Your actions already say it, just be honest. I can respect the balls it takes to admit something like that. But you won't. You're going to be the same pitiful, impotent malcontent your entire life, except someday sooner than you expect, you're going to be old. If you're lucky. Tomorrow you might be dead. Or the next day. Regardless, it's guaranteed, you're going to die, buddy. You're fucked. Days are numbered. Borrowed time. I take comfort in that. Nature will run its course and flush you without a second thought.
You want my respect? Walk with me in hell. My family, our readers, and the few remaining friends I have, they already do.