One Reason I’m Opposed to World War 3

As much as I would hate it, it almost seems inevitable that there will be a World War 3, given the egos and irrationality possessed by both presidents of North Korea and the United States of America, and when this happens, it will likely affect me in a very negative way. I have always been opposed to war, but when I turned eighteen, against my beliefs I registered for the selective service, not because I feel the need to defend my country, but rather because it’s the law, and I would much rather take my chances on the slim possibility that a draft is implemented rather than behind bars where my proclivity for sarcasm and eye rolling would likely turn me into the prison punching bag. So at eighteen years old I did what was required of me by law, and I thought that I would never have to think about it again, but then eight years later I started working at Fedex and my chances of getting drafted doubled.

Back when I first registered for the selective service I had a different last name than I do now, so when I began working at Fedex and had to prove that I had in fact registered, I procured all of the necessary paperwork to show that I had changed my name and was still the same person, already registered. I signed some papers and waited in an uncomfortable chair while someone behind a desk typed relentlessly on her keyboard and before I knew it she handed me a paper saying that I had been registered for the selective service, for the second time, which means now if a draft does happen, my social security number is in the system twice, seemingly making it twice as likely that I get selected, and for those of you that know me at all, it is abundantly clear that I’m not at all suited for war.

Can you imagine someone like me on the battlefield defending our country? I have a great respect for the men and women who do that, but I would make a terrible soldier. Let’s just set aside the fact that I’m out of shape, my infinite fears would render me completely useless on the battlefield. When I worked at a grocery store and my job included blowing up balloons for children I would break out in a heavy sweat and start to feel dizzy as I inflated the balloons, afraid that the balloon would pop. When I go to NBA basketball games I wait outside the arena, outside of earshot of the fireworks that go off before the game because I’m terrified of loud noises. Now imagine me surrounded by gunfire, dropping my weapon to the ground, freeing both hands so that I can use them for the more pressing task of covering my ears in hopes of stifling the loud sounds all around me. With the ceaseless shots all around me, chances are I would be willing to take a bullet just to make it stop, so clearly being drafted would not be beneficial to me or the well being of our country. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that because clearly I’m not cut out to be a soldier.

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Army/Navy Game: Who Cares?

Good morning and happy Saturday everyone. For all you football fans out there, allow me to reintroduce you to the sun. It has been rising on the weekends, you just couldn’t see it from your man cave. I know today is tough for a lot of people, a Saturday without real football, a day you thought would never get here; like on the first day of a vacation where it seems like you have all the time in the world and suddenly you look up and it’s time to get back to reality. Sure, there is the pit stop at the world’s largest pickle factory on the way home, but it really doesn’t feel like part of your vacation. That is what the Army/Navy game is today, a mediocre last ditch effort to preserve the magic that is Saturday in college football. Now before you go and Colin Kaepernick me, and rush to judgements about how disloyal I am to the military, take a moment to be honest with yourself. Unless you went to one of those schools, are thinking about going to one of those schools, or served in one of those two branches of the military, I don’t think you really care about the game today.

When is the last time you ever sat through an entire Army/Navy game? I have nothing against these two schools, or the military, but people pretending to get excited for this game is absolutely ridiculous. I know spending time with your kids is one of the most mind numbingly boring ways you can choose to spend your day, but if you suck it up, you will score major points with the spouse, and you can get back to college football next week with the start of bowl season. And if we’re being completely honest, mind numbingly boring is a step up from what today’s football game will be anyway. If you’re lying to yourself and pretending to care about this game, I have a simple request for you; please take this lie detector test. It’s a one question test, very simple that should require minimal effort if deep down this game means something to you. Name three players on the field today, and no, honor and integrity don’t count, despite what the jerseys may say. Just name three and I’ll gladly eat a heaping plate of crow for dinner.

The only thing surrounding this game that might provide any entertainment is the fact that president elect, Donald Trump will be in attendance, and we all know what a penchant he has for emotionally tweeting things that are oftentimes idiotic. You can believe that I’ll be keeping an eye on my twitter timeline today to see if he completely offends an entire branch of the military. “In line five minutes to get hot dog. More like cold dog! Sad! Hope they are quicker in battle!” That is just one of the many possibilities we could see coming from twitter handle, @realDonaldTrump over the course of the game this afternoon. Whether you think the game is worth watching or not, I think we can all agree that it is truly a magnificent time we live in, one where we can openly mock the president and he sees it directly on his phone. If one day I should disappear without a trace, you know where to begin your search, that is if you want me back in the first place.

That Awkward Moment

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A few weeks ago at work there was a customer standing in line staring intently at my arm, which given that I have multiple tattoos on each, isn’t that uncommon. I figure she was either trying to read one or decipher the meaning, or she was ranting in her head about how America and traditional values were being desecrated by my generation, you know with our tattoos and punk rock. When it came time for her to order she looked at me and pointed at one of the tattoos on my right arm. It’s an anchor that my wife and I both got on our honeymoon (extremely classy I know) with our initials on it and our wedding date under it. Seeing as the woman pointed at that one I figured she wanted the story, the meaning behind the date and the initials, but before I could tell her about it she started smiling and turned her phone case towards me, to reveal anchors on the back. Great, we both like anchors? I smiled, nodded, and tried to match her excitement, which was tough because she was really, really, happy. Then things took a weird turn.

The woman scrolled through her phone for a minute before showing me a picture of a tombstone. It too, had an anchor on it. She told me it was her son and that he had died fighting in the Navy. Trying my best to say the right thing I told her how sorry I was for her loss and that’s when she began to cry. I have nothing against crying, it’s a good thing that is necessary sometimes but in that situation I had no idea what to do. When she finally calmed herself down she told me how lucky I was to have made it back, then reached across the counter and gave me one of those high fives where you grab the hand and pull the other person into a hug. As this was happening I began to comprehend the situation; this woman thought I was in the navy and we share some special bond because her son, the one that died, was also in the navy. She thanked me for my service, paid for her coffee and left, and I haven’t seen her since.

It all happened so fast and by the time I realized what was going on, I felt like things had gone too far for me to clarify at that point that I got my anchor tattoo for like a hundred bucks in Orange Beach, Alabama, not for choosing to sacrifice my life for the country, like her heroic son. I think just going with the lie in this case was the best option, especially given her emotional instability at that point. What good could come from telling a crying woman that thinks you share a special bond with her son, that you in fact do not? Generally honesty is the way to go, and I didn’t tell a lie here, but I did let her believe her own assumptions she’d made about me, and I think that was the right thing to do. I appreciate all past and present US military personnel and the sacrifices they make, and I’m sure their parents are good people, but I’m kind of hoping I don’t see this mother again, because if I do I might be compelled to tell her the truth, and nothing good will come of that.

The Problem with Veteran’s Day

veteran

In case you didn’t know what today was, like a lot of people, it’s veterans day, a day where we celebrate the brave men and women who served in the US military. It’s important to remember the sacrifices that others made to give us the freedom we are able to enjoy, and it’s great to dedicate a whole day to our veterans, but unfortunately changes need to be made to the holiday because as it is right now, it’s kind of a joke. This is a day where we should wake up thinking about our veterans and the sacrifices they made, but I would venture to guess that a lot of people don’t even realize that there’s anything special about today. I didn’t even know about the significance of today until I was at the library yesterday afternoon and noticed the sign on the door that said they would closed tomorrow in observance of veterans day.

I find it somewhat troubling that Labor Day is much more widely recognized and anticipated, and the day set aside to thank our nation’s veterans falls by the wayside and isn’t really remembered unless you don’t have to go to work that day. Remember all the people who got upset about Colin Kaepernick not standing up for the national anthem and called him a myriad of names, not holding back their racist remarks, all because in your eyes his actions were disrespectful to those who fought to protect the flag, our VETERANS. Maybe you should take some of your displaced anger and get upset about a true injustice to our soldiers, which is the handling of their holiday.

If it’s not bad enough that Veteran’s day isn’t worthy enough to be treated even like a minor holiday like Labor Day, the thank you that our military personnel are given by the community is somewhat laughable. Many restaurant chains across the country are offering free or discounted meals to active or former members of the military. Gee, thanks Ruby Tuesday, it’s so worth risking my life for this free appetizer up to ten dollars. Not to mention that the freebies and discounts, for the most part is only for the person with the military ID, so sorry kids, looks like daddy is eating alone tonight. There is always the option to pay for the meals of your wife and kids but that just kind of seems like these restaurants are taking advantage of a holiday to bring in customers that may not eat there in the first place by offering a free meal to them with the catch that they’ll have to spend thirty bucks to feed their family.

I don’t own a business, but I feel like we could do a little bit better in thanking our military. Maybe we could feed the whole family, or give them something substantial like a new car or a vacation. Wouldn’t it be cool if everyone donated a little bit of money throughout the year, whatever could be afforded and then on veterans day the money was divided, and everyone who served in the military was given a check for that amount? It might not be a life changing sum of money but I guarantee you it would be worth than Cracker Barrel’s generous offering of double chocolate fudge coca-cola cake, and it would be something personal, a thank you gift contributed by everyone, not just restaurant chains who are exploiting the holiday. I realize that today, veterans day, isn’t nearly as important to us as it should be, let’s try to make today special for those who risked their lives and made huge sacrifices to that we could continue to live free. If nothing else, tell a veteran “thank you.” Step out of your comfort zone and thank a complete stranger for their service, and I guarantee that will mean so much more to them than the complimentary sausage biscuit offered up by Krystal.