Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Walk With Me In Hell

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.


Mark said...

This was an excellent post.

Pattie Matheson said...

Felt that one in my soul.

FOX3 said...


Brandon Friedman said...

Nicely done. I'm printing this out.

Kelsey said...

That was brilliant. Well said! You should post this everywhere, so as many people as possible are forced to see it and get at least some sort of understanding, if incomplete and hazy at best. Our generation continually surprises me by their apathy and disinterest in anything outside their own living room. Forty years ago we would have been activists protesting the smallest injustice, now we're couch potatoes who don't even notice them. Go figure.

Skeeter said...

Being a navy brat myself, I've been following your blog since discovering it. I have a lot of friends and family currently serving, and this hit home. Thank you all for being out there on the front line, this brings at least an idea of what its like back home.

KathyB said...

You carry it well. Beautifully done. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Suspect, thank-you for talking. It's hard stuff to articulate. I think I appreciate the work that goes into it. Some very bright people from my generation weren't able to do that. It's taken me 35 years to hear this stuff...
I am convinced this stuff will ease up in your mind. I know it has for me... and you're working at it; you're examining it.
It will level out and you will be stronger, smarter, and happier.
Hang in there, babe. You're not going to run out of friends. z

The Constitutional Insurgent said...

Fuck me...that was good..and refreshing.

I'm going to link to it on my blog if you don't mind.

Thank you for posting that.

Anonymous said...

heart stopping, just heart stopping.
take very good care,

Anonymous said...

Very angry tonight.

Army Sergeant said...

Suspect, fucking yeah on people.

I tried telling someone this weekend, how I felt about a kid who had died. They were older than me. They said, yeah, some people I knew from my workplace are dead now too. Like it compares. Like someone dying peaceably in their bed in their seventies or eighties is in any way comparable to a 21 year old kid with a closed casket funeral who left another kid behind him that will never know his father.

It's not just our generation, anyway, is what I wanted to say.

bigD said...

Hi Ryan,
So many thoughts and feelings. Can't put together much of anything coherent, so I'll just hit 'em out there to you like fungos during batting practice.

Why do people assume they know what it is like to walk in another man's shoes?
Sometimes people are stupid and insensitive.
It makes me angry to know that there are real assholes out there that would prompt this post.

It makes me sad to know even just a part of what you have experienced in combat.
It makes me sad to know that you have lost buddies and so many mothers have lost sons.

Your writing is always poignant and thought provoking.
And yet, whenever I see a post from you, I am happy.
Your words are powerful and your voice is strong.
I am honored to know you, even if it is only as a reader.

I wish I could give you a great big hug.
I will walk with you in hell anytime, day or night.

God(s) bless you Ryan. You will always rock my socks.

bigD said...

P.S. - That song is some serious shit. Party on Wayne.

11whiskey said...

great post.

louisa said...

You talk.
You write.
We listen.......

Shari said...

Reading your words articulates what so many must be feeling, but can't quite find the words to say. Please know that although no one can ever completely understand your experiences without being there, there are people who care about you and are happy to walk with you anywhere... even in hell. The ones that don't want to walk with you? They can rot in hell...

Jean said...

Those vacant-brained people disgust more than you. Any rarely firing synapses are working hard to cover their shame of themselves. The outer shell cannot hide their ignorance, ineptitude, greed or sorry-ass attempt at a lazy life.
No one needs to damn them to hell.
They will find the way and wonder why.

NUGHT said...

the only things that bother us are the things we let bother us.

I go home on leave and its like a different place. Friends and family are all different. It's not the same as it was before i joined the army. They all ask the same questions, and really there is no answer. I can try to articulate my experiences all I want but at the end of the day they can't truely know what it's like without experiencing it. I read your post and i can connect with it. I know exactly what you mean by spareing someones life without them knowing it, or how shock waves feel going thru your body. I know what it feels like when you drive by a car that for some reason has just stuck out in your mind as dangerous only to have nothing happen. I know the "am I dead" feeling, and how it feels and sounds when bullets are being shot directly at me. I know all of this first hand. But those who haven't experienced it can't really understand it on the same level as we can. They can say they do and they can say that they now have a more profound connection with it because they have read what it's like, but reading about bombs and bullets can't compare to being blown up or shot at.

the youth of our generation doesnt get it and they really don't care that much. There care extends as far as there curiousity, but after that, they forget all about it and continue on with whatever they have deemed important in their lives. They can act smug and tough and like they're big shit and i can't be mad at that. That was me before i joined and maybe it was you. It's my civilain friends and family and everyone else who has been over there.

I guess what i'm tring to say is that I don't let it bother me because i know it's just the way things go. Had went to starbucks instead of the recruiter that day back in 2004 then you would be writing about me right now and how i don't appreiate what you've done. I see that so I accept it.

WALK IN HELL WITH ME..... I have and would again suspect. That's what makes us better then them.


Army LT Keith 1966 said...

Bravo...shear fucking bravo...

You know, that is EXACTLY why I came back in this shit at 43 yrs old (The Army)...
I still have something to give and even though the 'machine' pisses me off...a lot...I dont want to sit and listen to all my self absorbed co-workers and friends whine about not getting a close parking spot...or that they are too cold, or too hot...blah blah yatta STFU!!!

I got your back man...excellent post...


Anonymous said...

Nught, I really liked your comment! And I'm a pacifist... z

Nixon said...

Another fine post as always.

Anonymous said...

Nught is wearing the big boy pants today.

lorraine said...

Love you Suspect - no matter what. Even in your pain you reached out to me with kind words when I needed it. Will carry that to my grave. Thank you so much for opening the eyes of all who read you. Take care and keep it up. lorraine

Sgt. Jarhead said...

Going to have to link to this on my blog. Thanks for saying what I feel.

Anonymous said...

Remember, everyone has their own cross to carry.

Pattie Matheson said...

BZ Keith!

I doubt there are many like you.

"...I dont want to sit and listen to all my self absorbed co-workers and friends whine about not getting a close parking spot...or that they are too cold, or too hot...blah blah yatta STTFU!!!"

Ditto! Most of my peers/neighbors are retired. We were the Vietnam generation but when I tried to organize a group to send packages to Iraq only one other person expressed interest. One. But ask who wants to go golfing or go over to the casino to play the slots and you'll have lots of takers. Pisses me off.


theotherryan said...

Great Post, Having somewhat similar experiences I feel where you are coming from. I will have to keep track of this blog.

Fox said...

Hi SM. Agreed, our generation is a joke filled with punchlines of self-entitlement and utter stupidity. However, all you need is the select few who don't prescribe, and if this is what its like to walk in Hell, I can think of many worse places to be and people to be in them with.

(ps, KathyB I would love to talk at you some time. Do you KNOW how many hours I have had to spend listening to DevilDriver thanks to you?? :P)

Anonymous said...

Vets always carry a heavier load than the rest of society.

Anonymous said...

Waaah. I've read your blog from start to finish. I'm not going to go back to check, but wasn't this war ongoing when you volunteered for the US Army? What did you think this war was/is about? What is this WWII all over again? You kept the terrorists from attacking us here? You made Iraq a better place? You spread democracy? You saved the world?

I volunteered for the Navy in the 70's. No war. My luck.

You think you earned my respect, please. You think I need yours? If you think you were saving democracy by joining or fighting the terrorists to save the US you should know better by now.

You joined to further yourself. Earn money for college. It's one way to do it. Quit bitching about the fouled up paperwork, it's part of life whether you're in the Army or not. Deal with it.

People live in hell every day. Yours just happens to have been in Iraq. BFD.

13 Stoploss said...

Anon 12:19,

Don't confuse the writers. I joined for college money, and I don't remember Suspect, the author of THIS post, but NOT the whole blog, saying the same. His reasons are entirely different. The whole backlog of his 3 OTHER blogs before joining this one get into that. But you probably haven't read those. You didn't even notice that this blog has two different authors...

When I joined, the war was not going on. When Suspect joined, it was. -I- am the resident whiner, Suspect simply tells it like it is.

Also, for the last 5 hours, no one has spent more than 8 minutes reading this blog (that was you). Maybe you're a repeat visitor, and first time poster. In that case, you may have spent more time reading, but I doubt it. Chances are, you came here, referred by a different blog, such as "Fobbits Need Ice Cream (Two)," at perhaps 12:15:46pm, and lasting for 8 minutes and 40 seconds before clicking on the "post a comment" link. I could be wrong, but I don't think so. I think that shit about you reading this whole blog is a bold faced lie. If you had read more of Suspects posts, you probably would have trolled here more often.

So, since you missed the point, please re-read this post. It is written for you. It is written because of you, and your comment here further proves the point Suspect made. And lastly, thank you for your service, regardless of who it benefitted.

Anonymous said...


I remembered just after hitting the send button that US was not whining about the paperwork, but it was you. I figured it didn't matter. To answer a few of your observations.

I know you and suspect are both authers in this blog. I've got four of them bookmarked. I've spent a lot of time reading all of them. Stoploss and a Wakeup, Iraq the Prugatorium and The Unlikely Soldier. Bold face lie? No. I've read them all.

I like what is written for the most part, but since I'm not the writer you two are it is more difficult to get my point across.

US wants us to respect him because he has been to hell and back. Well guess what he is not alone. People have been to hell and back since the beginning of time. Get over yourself. You had it bad, seen some shit, want what is due. Get in line like everyone else. You want to talk to someone who gets it, someone who cares, someone who would help, fine. You find me in that line.

And yes, I've posted before.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:19/1:55,

Pretty sure Suspect's not demanding your respect or anyone else's, based on that first full paragraph. I'm also pretty sure that his initial non-respect wasn't directed at you, based on the fact that you signed up and played the game of Russian Roulette. And I kind of thought that part of the idea of the blog, in addition to blowing off sentiments that might be toxic elsewhere, was that he's talking to anyone who gets it, anyone who cares, anyone who would help, though he often addresses the people who don't get it.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, of course, Suspect. Thanks for spilling to us and risking all kinds of responses.

The Usual Suspect said...

Stop complaining? Hi, I'm Suspect. I don't believe we've met.

kathy.bryan1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sgt. Jarhead said...

It is so easy to comment from a position of anonymity. You don’t really have to put anything on the line. Either, one has their own blog, but you prefers to comment as “anonymous” so they won’t have to deal with people of differing opinions commenting on what you write, or they don’t publish a blog at all, which means they get their kicks from trolling other people’s writing without ever having to put their true thoughts, emotions, and beliefs out there for others to read.

I deal with this on my blog occasionally as well. I find it humorous when people cast stones with a mask on. It shows how cowardly they truly are.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sgt. Jarhead,

So, you don't believe in posting anonymously and Jarhead is your actual last name. How is this different from anonymous?

Time to take your slinky and leave the grid. Which book have you memorized.

13 Stoploss said...


The difference is that you can now view his profile, troll his own blog, and directly contact him by email.

Anonymous said...

13 SL,

There is no difference. What you say is true, but those sentiments are not borne out in his own post. He also comments anonymously. I could contact him (or you) and leave my email address, but after reading through his blog I'll wait.

Sgt. Jarhead said...

The point I was making, is that you dont even have your own blog. Or, if you do, you dont post comments that link to it. So you get the best of both worlds. You get to bash people's beliefs without ever having to really say anything of meaning. You would rather tell other people how you think they are wrong, than write your own blog to show people what you think is right.

Typical Troll. Hey, I have a great idea! Why dont you start your own blog under the name "Anonymous Troll." Then, when you show your ass on someone's blog, at least you will give people the common courtisey of being able to link back to what you write and so they can give you the same treatment. Just make sure you enable comments!

The Usual Suspect said...

He's given enough information for you to decide whether or not he's someone that you want to spend time interacting with. We know that:

1) He volunteered for the Navy in the 70s

2) He "didn't get a war"

3) Iraq is a BFD. (Big Fuckin' Deal).

I don't blame him for being pissy though. I took a tour of an old Navy ship in Bremerton, Washington before I left for good. Checked out where the Navy cats lived for months and months on end. Fuck that, I'd rather sleep on Hajji's rooftop. It's where all the BFD goes down anyway, I hear.

Oh, and I don't think he's trying to troll. Trolling anything written by me is like pissing in an ocean of piss.

Anonymous said...


I'll give you a 33% grade in reading comprehension. I said No war. My luck. Not saying that I wanted one, saying you and 13SL were unlucky enough to have one. I didn't say that Iraq was a BFD, I said everyone has their own hell. Yours is Iraq. BFD. It doesn't matter which hell is yours, what matters is that you have a hell to deal with.


NUGHT said...


your insinuation that everyone’s Hell is equal to each others is erroneously charged. That’s where your animosity seems to be festering from.... from what I can tell.

I also picked up on the "I missed out on my war vibe". You may not have meant to come off that way, but that's what I gathered even before reading US recent comment.

you down play the hell of war and you come off with a smug fuck you and what you've done attitude. You’re bitter..... about what, I don’t know. you comment with a miserable outlook..... so maybe your miserable, and this dialogue is your company.

membrain said...

"Trolling anything written by me is like pissing in an ocean of piss."

You can still make me laugh like the deranged. Thanks.

Can't remember what my comment was going to be to this post Suspect, until troll popped in.

Doesn't matter now. Nught, good comments. Beers for all the Iraq vets all around.


im glad that someone else feels exactly the same way i do!