So some topics are just plain hard to talk about without hurting feelings and breaking hearts…When it comes to the topic of over glorified medal winners I have absolutely no problem calling you out. The best way to call someone out without saying their name (and completely demeaning them to the public) is by mentioning the topic and then the first person to complain or get angered by what you have to say usually has a guilt complex. (It already happened once…hmm….)
Seeing people with guilt complexes is fun. If you feel guilty for doing something wrong yet no one calls you out to your face about it, it just starts to bother you more and more until eventually you get over paranoid. Of course over paranoia leads to many more psychological things and then eventually…schizophrenia…at least I hope not. Please note the subdued sarcasm.
I have had the distinct honor and pleasure of serving with some hero’s. It is easy to pick out hero’s in the Infantry, especially where I come from. Some of these guys have been severely wounded with shrapnel lodged in the worst possible places, yet they don’t utter a peep (or tweet) about themselves and their injuries. They suffer in quiet, they don’t broadcast their heroism, they humbly walk by the glory hounds and the prideful medal winners without saying a word. I am not here to talk about hero’s today I will devote a much better blog post to their cause. I am here to talk about those despicable glory hounds who gallivant openly through our sacred streets.
In my profession there are many kinds of injuries out there, both visible and non-visible. One of the hardest of these injuries to see is TBI (traumatic brain injury.) It is both a visible and non-visible injury depending on how bad you get it. To those of you that don’t know me I am completely un-qualified to medically assess anyone with this injury, so the following is all well-founded speculation… I would like to point out to you un-knowledgeable few that the initial and follow on TBI tests that are done can be faked. Or maybe a better way of putting it is that if the individual does not have visible signs of TBI whether through the sensor in the helmet or a CAT scan, it is entirely possible to fake symptoms…note to reader: faking symptoms for this is just like your kid faking a cold to get out of school…impossible to really know if the individual is faking unless he or she admits it.
I see a problem with this mostly because the Army has seen fit to award even the lightest cases of TBI with the purple heart. So basically some hard-core chap that is a double amputee gets the same purple heart that a mentally deranged faker gets for TBI. Once again this only applies to those TBI injuries that are not real…you know who you are…The rest of you guys are just as real a hero as the guy that gets his leg blown off. This flows right into the last comment I have to say about injury fakers and that is this: Explain to me how guys who get blown up and and are severely injured do not use social media to broadcast their aches and pains, when in reality it is their right to say what they will, but you the fakers out there decide to tell the whole media world about how bad you hurt…
The problems stated above catapults right into the next segment which is fake war stories. You gotta love these cats… It is like a one man game of telephone where the story changes every time… One of the broadest examples of these my old platoon can vouch for. One of the other platoons…who shall remain nameless due to the guilt complex theory…was on a patrol south of our COP when they were attacked in the open…obviously the next thing to do is return fire and seek cover…well there wasn’t cover so run they did (bravely I might add)…to this day I can not get an accurate distance in meters…but the biggest distance I heard was 3,500 meters, which is almost 2 miles…sorry bro that just aint true…you did not run 2 miles full speed…(Alex Brooks I think you recall the story I mean…) Other examples are not quite as clear in my muddled brain but an old work colleague of mine used to tell privates all kinds of stories about our previous deployment and I would just sit there and shake my head. Of course once he left I would re-tell the story in the un-glorified, and true version.
If you do something that is story worthy, well then by all means bro, tell the damn story. If you did not do anything please for the love of guns and the sake of the real hero’s out there stop trying to be Garrison Keillor and shut the hell up. Nobody likes a fake story, its hollowness just demeans the real cool stories out there…Better yet, save those fake stories for when you are your daughters girl scout leader and you can tell it around their indoor camp fires… Because everyone knows that they don’t actually go camping…
Honor, courage, and pride are three of the things that make a combat soldier the hero that he is supposed to be. We don’t talk big, brag, and make our wounds public knowledge. We hide those things and keep the strong quiet outer shell that really makes us the resilient warriors that are so famous world wide.
“Honor the fallen, salute the brave, defend the weak, and resist the urge to make yourself bigger and better than you really are.”
note to reader: Garrison Keillor is a World renowned story teller, author, and public radio host of “A Prairie Home Companion.”