When I was in Afghanistan, I reveled in my service. I honestly loved it. Aside from the horror and loss I experienced, there are many fond memories of my three deployments. I never questioned why we were there, after all I was already in the Army when the planes struck the towers. This was what we all joined for. To defend the United States. Since that first deployment though, the love began to wane. The fondness for the camaraderie faded. A desire to go home and find a new meaning grew in me. I had no plan though. Only a desire, so I kept at it. I continued to serve though as an instructor. I retired there and went on to try to leave the service behind.
In 2014 before I retired, I experienced something I never expected. I lived in a middle class neighborhood, the worst thing to ever happen was kids being kids walking to the technical college. Then coming home from work one day I saw most of my street taped off and police cars everywhere. I was genuinely worried. Watching the news later that night I learned my neighbor called the cops because some vandals were messing with cars in the neighborhood, and the cops showed up and knocked on his door. He opened the door with his pistol, saw the cops and did not point it at them, but it was too late, and they both fired their weapons and killed him in his doorway. He was a retired Sergeant Major who spent all of his adult life in service to this nation. Both cops were cleared and were back on the street almost immediately. He got “Ryan Whitaker'ed”, but because he struggled with substance abuse, as many veterans do after years of war, nothing would come of it, and he would be smeared.
Since then I have read many books, listened to many speakers, I still have no idea what the fuck is going on. I now despise my government. I actively abhor it. No one is working in our best interest to advance the blessings of liberty, and they are all getting richer. They fight on camera, but when they think no one is looking, they high five each other. The American people even within small towns such as the one I just left are split down the middle ideologically. The cops in Lawton, Oklahoma are as bad as any big city. They answer more calls per capita than their counterparts in big cities as Lawton certainly has its characters. This has led to the average cop in Lawton seeking deference in all actions to feel safe. I did have one decent interaction with the cops though, but I suspect my wife filming and me holding my hands in the air the whole time had something to do with it. It’s sad.
So what do I do? I just go to work, come home and browse minds and gardening blogs when I’m not playing 20 questions with my youngest and learning to be a gardener and chicken dad. I’m enacting my plan to become completely independent on my small spot that’s mine. It takes time, money, resources and immense planning but the plan is on schedule. What then? Do I watch as the country crumbles? In many ways I want it. I’m not sure it’s fixable. The idea we can self correct at this point seems silly. It would take an immense will of conscience and teamwork on part of every citizen in the country that it seems impossible, and very well may be. Maybe the States finally have enough and quit deferring to the federal government and we end up with state cops and NG fighting alphabet agencies. That would be catastrophic and so many would die. Urban fighting is not like what you see in the movies, and the innocent bear the highest cost. It’s also highly unlikely.
I’m lost. I know many are too. It makes us vulnerable to manipulation. I fight it. I ask myself would I be this mad if things didn’t seem so bleak. I suspect I would not. That scares me because things don’t seem to be looking up. Taxes are going up, spending is going up, troops are shifting to new battle zones and the media is basically silent about it. The government keeps doing what it has become good at, and we are just the fuel that powers the machine. I’m tired of riding this monstrosity. I want to get off.