Thank you for your service.
I hear that phrase again and again whenever I mention my time in the Navy. My facebook page is peppered with it on Veterans Day.
Frankly I’m a tad uncomfortable with that phrase. Not because I’m unpatriotic or dont think being in the Navy wasn’t a sacrifice but more because I don’t think people really understand what they are thanking me for. They just want to feel good for doing it.
A lot of time I don’t feel like the person thanking me gets it all. It was only once I was in and understood the demands of a military life that I started to get an inkling of what it meant to serve my country. As civilians we aren’t taught very well what is required of those who serve to protect the freedoms we enjoy.
That knowledge of the military is why I sometimes get annoyed with the thanks I receive. I know what it costs emotionally and timewise to serve. But then I get a thank you from a civilian I wonder if they understand that I don’t want that thanks, that lip service. What I want, is for them to show me how much they appreciate my sacrifice, every service members sacrifice, and every service members family’s sacrifice by using the freedoms we have and acting to protect them also.
Fucking vote for fucks sake!
Serve on a goddamn Jury.
Study up and Understand how our government works
Got to the local government meetings
Volunteer for a commision or local board.
You want to thank me for my service? Fucking do that! That, is what I actually sacrificed for. That’s what I gave up four years of My freedom to protect. I worked twelve on, twelve off for days on end so you would have the opportunity to make your voice mean something in this country.
If you didn’t vote, do not thank me for my service. Don’t look at me and smile and shake my hand. You should turn your head away in shame. I gave you 4 years of my life. When you use your freedom understand that it was bought with my time and all the accrued service member lives and time that came before and after me. Value it.
Voting. Is. The. Least. You. Can. Do.