We Are Veterans Every Day Of The Year


Every once in a while there is something that rubs me the wrong fucking way and typically I try to keep my big mouth shut because my words fall on deaf ears. I, and all veterans of our United States military, are veterans every single day of the year. There is not a special day like 11 November that we are magically a veteran, we are veterans whether you fucking celebrate or not. We are not fucking tokens to be polished up and displayed for your annual appreciation, we are people, we are veterans, and we are here every single fucking day of the year. I spent the latter part of this morning reading emails, Facebook posts, Tweets, Google+ posts, and texts because I was out earlier, as I am every Wednesday, spending time with my veteran friends who go otherwise unnoticed. They have been discarded at one point or another by family and friends, nobody even wants to be in their lives any longer. I’ve been visiting every Wednesday without fail for 16 years because I want to be a part of their lives. I have met many wonderful men and women who proudly served our Nation’s military. They are a group who are homeless, or jobless, or bent, or broken, or in need, or all of the above, but they are also human beings who get treated like the scum of the Earth. My question to you is why? Unfortunately I cannot be anything more than a friend to any of them. Unfortunately all I have to offer is kindness and my time. Unfortunately my smiles, hugs, and words are never enough.

On this day, 11 November 2015, a young man I spent allot of time getting to know was not at our meeting place. Early this morning he was stabbed and killed while sleeping outside under a bridge. Why? We will never fucking know. What I do know is that people celebrate only those whom they come into contact with, free meals here and there, discounts at this place or that place, partial proceeds donated to one organization or another today only, and taking the time to thank a veteran for his/her service and commitment when we show our faces. I’m not the person who you’ll see enjoying a free meal, I’m not the person you’ll see buying a new car, I’m not the person you’ll see at the big sales today, I’m not the person you’ll see getting a free haircut today, you won’t see me today because I, like all of our veterans, are veterans every day of the year.

I don’t know how you teach your children or how you were taught, but my children are taught that veterans are human beings all year long, not just on a day of remembrance, not just on other holidays, we are here every day. I’m one of the lucky ones, I have a loving, understanding family, I have a job, I have a roof over our heads, and I try to live a normal life. I know many veterans who do not, who struggle every day to survive mentally, spiritually, and physically, they no longer know the peace I feel. We are a growing number that most don’t remember until Veterans Day, but we are always here.

In closing I would like to say that I’m a proud veteran who does not regret his service to his country. I will ask all of y’all to remember that we will still exist tomorrow, the next day, and forever. All I want is kindness and a smile for myself and all veterans, show us we mean something all the time because so many veterans don’t have friends and families in their lives. I will leave y’all with this very moving poem. As a sidenote, I do not have express permission to display this poem and can only hope that nobody minds it’s presentation on my blog, it’s one of my favorite veterans poem.


(A Soldier Died Today)

by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

He was getting  old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,

And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,

In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.

And tho’ sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,

All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.

But we’ll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,

And the world’s a little poorer, for a soldier died today.

He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,

For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.

Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,

And the world won’t note his passing, though a soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,

While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,

But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land

A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,

Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

A politician’s stipend and the style in which he lives

Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.

While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,

Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.

It’s so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,

That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know

It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,

Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,

Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?

Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend

His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?

He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,

But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier’s part

Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

The Tides Of Misfortune Have Turned


When I was laid off back in February of this year it really stressed me out. I had probably one if the biggest “oh fuck” moments I think I ever had. I was in shock really, immediately my reaction was that I couldn’t go home with this information, I didn’t want to face my wife with my new employment status, it seemed to be an impossible feat with me imagining a very bad outcome. Panic set in, my palms began to sweat, I felt as if someone just pulled the plug on my only life support. My wife and I only talked about those fears last night after dinner, more than eight months later. According to my wife, she could see that I was “down”, not myself anymore, and she thought it was time to have a heart to heart conversation, just the two of us. For the most part, what I have talked about here on this blog has been a close mirror to the amount I have spoke with her. Why? I think I feared being judged by the one person it would hurt the most from, my wife. But, we talked, allot, for many hours, about many things, to include still looking for a job, our savings, paying the bills, money, and the fact that I needed to stretch $111.64 for groceries for the next two weeks. Yea, you read that right. Looking at the checking account is depressing for me, we bleed money, yet we are just paying bills, putting gas in the vehicles, and buying groceries.

Its odd, but looking for a job exhausts my energy each day, collectively I spend 10 hours a day in my efforts, usually for nothing to show for it. At this point I was at my end already, in fact last week I started, in person and online, putting in applications at local fast food places, restaurants, and even at Walmart. Desperation has set in, now I didn’t care to be picky, just pay me whatever to do whatever. Desperation sucks a big dick. In the darkness I was experiencing I received a phone call which the person inquired a reasonable amount of information from me. It led to a very informal impromptu meeting. It was an interview without being an interview. He gave me a great deal to think about, this was something very unexpected by me, and I spent the better part of this weekend dwelling on if that was it or would I get a call. It was a nerve racking weekend. I had to come here, repeatedly, to post to blow off steam, to relax my brain, and to get my mind on other less stressful things. On Sunday I made it unintentionally hard on my dad as we did a drive to Van, dropped a trailer full of stuff off and then turned right around to come back. I drove half assed oblivious to everything, including cars, the shitty weather, and of course the conversation he tried to strike up here and there. I was there physically but my mind was looking for a job, wondering about money, and who was paying for the gas. I’m worried, I can’t help it.

This morning I woke up after a shitty nights sleep and said fuck it, I’m taking the day off. I don’t want to screw with jobs or people today, I’m tired and I really don’t care. But, and this is an enormous but, while out running errands with my daughter, I got a call while I waited for her to get done with her college counseling interview. Her first semester “how are things going” type of interview. The phone call was an invitation to come have a second talk with the person I spoke with last week. This time it was to be a more serious talk. So, when we were done running errands, I took my daughter home, and headed for the meeting. The short story is I was very happy with the meeting, and later this week I will tell y’all why. I like to let the eggs actually hatch before counting them. Tonight, my wife will talk again, after we eat what I hope will be one of our last ramen noodle dinners. Ever been torn between excitement and fear? Its a sucky emotion as well. Its like being dead, watching your life go on but you are not participating, which I haven’t really, or at least I don’t think so. I will miss being Mr Mom I think, but having a great job will better suit me, and it will definitely help financially.

Anxiety is a bitch as well, but I have a feeling the next couple of days will fly by. I read a post on a fellow bloggers blog this morning about failure, how we treat failure, and how we are judged first by our failures before anything else. It made me remember that without failure we cannot know our success and that more often than not we don’t see the positives of having to start over sometimes. This morning I woke up feeling lifeless and only a spectator, this afternoon I see hope in my own recovery. At least now I can see beyond my own toe tag.