My Generation and Memorial Day


I won't go into the intimate details of my life and whats an undercurrent of my current frustrations, but I am awake and angry right now. No surprise there given the current state of my nation and that of the world and all! However, I'm going to delve deeply into other matters that have disturbed me for some time since my transition from the military, and especially haunt me on Memorial Day and Veterans Day every year now.
My generation isn't known for its heroes, its courage, its bravery, or patriotism for that matter. I understand this quite well, as I'm an odd creature in my generation that never really fully fit in or walked the same paths as well over 99% of my generation. We are known in some circles as the 'Dot Com Generation', or some such; better known for our addiction to all sorts of multi-media digital technologies and a aloofness to reality. I understand the viewpoint on this as I can tell you I'm not terribly impressed with my generation either in most respects. Yet whenever older folks start griping about how we are the doom of our world, I get angry with them despite how much I agree with them.
Forever in my mind and heart now is the year I spent in Iraq (and being where and what I was in the military, it was split into a couple six to seven month chunks instead of continuous...). I was with the people of my generation, the maybe 1% or less who stood up when I did (or shortly before and shortly after) who raised our right hands and joined the military. Some will scoff at those who joined when I did in the year 2000 or earlier as only being motivated by the GI Bill or a healthy enlistment bonus and tuition assistance, there is a case for this however most folks who did join for that purpose soon found new purpose in 9/11/01 or immediately sought a way out weeding them from the ranks rather quickly. Those that joined after knew what they were walking into, and if they didn't they were morons or are lying to you.
Forever in my mind now are the sacrifices made by men and women of my generation, the 1% or less who were with me and who are still serving to this day. Forever in my mind are the faces of men and women never saw past 30, and in the case of my career field (USAF 1C4X1), not even 25. Forever in my mind are the 'kids' with missing limbs, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Post Traumatic Stress and gave it all they had and were blessed with the ability to live and come back home.
So all you 40+ olds who on a daily basis knock my generation, you'll have to forgive me when I get mad when you do it to my face, I try to understand your point of view as I see it clearly, but I can't get the faces of my brothers and sisters out of my skull, nor the memories of leaving everything behind to fight a war. Perhaps instead of knocking my generation, you should see that in many ways we are a reflection of our mothers and fathers, there are those of us who have taken that to mean we should put on our combat boots and take up a rifle just like them.

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