We Are Veterans Every Day Of The Year

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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.

JUST A COMMON SOLDIER

(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.

I Have A Message For One Person

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But y’all can read it just as well. I’m not going to yank out my soap box but I am going to say my fucking piece while it is fresh on my mind. Earlier today I was at the mall to get a new pair of shoes. It has been 8 years since I bought the shoes I’m retiring because I buy shit that lasts and I take care of them. Anyway, when it was my turn in line the young lady rang up my total, I pulled out my VA card and cash, then asked her what my new total was. Before she could do anything I hear screaming from behind me from this woman yelling at the clerk telling her that I didn’t deserve the fucking military discount that this baby killer was begging for like a dog wanting fucking scraps. I’ve been called many derogatory names in many different languages in my life but this bitch was seriously pissed off at me. At first I was thrown by her words, after a quick breath I turned to her with this, my favorite movie quote.

“As a military member, I have more responsibility here than you could possibly fathom. And that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. I know deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you don’t want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a person who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it. I prefer you said THANK YOU, and went on your way”.

She, of course, stood there with her fucking piehole wide open, at a loss for words I assume, she didn’t have a clue what I just told her. I am not a person who raises his voice or hand to a woman, and in a calm voice I asked if there was going to be anymore stupid fucking shit spilling over her lips. While I stared into her lifeless eyes for a few moments she turned to her five young children and told them they were going to a different store, one that doesn’t support murderers and baby killers. I’m not an emotional man, but when I turned to the clerk I had tears in my eyes, she touched a nerve that I couldn’t control. Wanting to continue my purchase I handed the clerk my cash, she closed it in my hand and said she will not except my money. She voided the transaction and then I watched her as she bagged my box with the shoes just before she handed it to me. She turned her head, I watched her wipe tears away, and she tells me thank you, some of us will always appreciate your sacrifices to our country, we love each and every one of you, we really do.

What do you say? How do you say it? She came around the counter and gave me the most sincere hug I have felt in a long time. I left there smiling, not because I was given shoes, but for the first time ever in person, a perfect stranger openly admitted that she appreciated our military and our services to our nation. That rarely happens in our society and I got to be a part of it, I will remember this day for a long, long time.

Something Serious I Wish To Say

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For the most part people do not visit The Sting Of The Scorpion blog because it is a serious place to visit. Because the tempo around here usually focuses on the humor in life and my sarcasm towards it all. That’s just where this blog is, it started there and has continued to evolve in that direction for the most part. However, there are days such as today that remind me I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t first have a past. A past, you ask? Well, yes, every single person has someone they used to be. I’m one of the lucky ones, I’m one of the people who survived his military service, and I, not unlike thousands, are no different in our outer appearance than the next person. Meaning? If you were not informed I am an Air Force veteran who was involved in Desert Storm or The Liberation of Kuwait then you could never tell by merely looking at me. Involvement? I built and serviced munitions (bombs and bullets) while on both tours, as well as my normal peacetime job. Now you know something new about me personally. One might also see the DV handicap license plates on my vehicles (disabled veteran) when I am out in public.

What does all of this matter anyway, right? I had two separate encounters today, one in the real world and one here in cyberspace, where, someone who doesn’t “know” me thanked me for my service. The first time today, I was getting out of my vehicle at Walmart and a woman and her 11 y/o son were walking by. She stopped and waited for me at the rear of my H1, she extended her hand to shake mine while she began thanking me for my service to our country. If that was not enough for me to have to hold back tears, I see below me, her young son giving me a full on military style salute. This entire encounter moved me, when she and her son moved on I had to take a minute to collect myself, and that included the wiping of some tears. She said something that haunts me a bit though. She asked if I have DV plates why I was parked so deep in the parking lot and not in the clearly open spaces at the front. Why? Why indeed. Then she mentioned that she sees people parking in handicap who clearly don’t need to be, she says this as she is looking at my scarred and abused right knee and leg. I never had the chance to tell her that I walk these distances because it is added exercise I get to help with my diabetes, which is why I walk.

My second encounter happens today also, but here in cyberspace. I’m not going mention her name or anything like that here because our conversations are private. I know she knows I am talking about her, what she doesn’t know is that for a second time in a single day I found myself wiping a tear from my eyes. Which is rough in its own because I wear contacts. I’m very gracious for the thank yous and the well wishes, but it made me think, how once again, I am one of the lucky ones in my own eyes. My point here, is simple and complicated, I have never met her I’m person, yet I really feel she understands what it means to be a veteran. We have exchanged some of our background and when she speaks of her experiences with veterans I can really relate as I think she can also relate to me. Over time I have begun to have a true fondness for her. Don’t tell her though, she might think I’m cyberstalking her or something which is not the case. I just wanted her to know I appreciate how she has touched the lives of many veterans, and she has helped me and touched my life as well. Thank you H.

I think I will close this out now before I choose not to post it altogether. Blogging truly is the cheapest form of therapy there is out there. The top picture was borrowed from the internet. The bottom picture is indeed my own personal right knee. As one can see, I have had a few surgeries involving my service related injury, the last being a knee replacement a few years ago. Which, as fate would have it, is failing, hence my current dealings with the VA, in fact, the saga will continue tomorrow as I have an appointment with a VA orthopedic specialist. Yes, that is Tigger’s head. No, you may not ask me about it. Btw, that picture was taken a few hours ago, so yea, its pretty current.

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What Are The Seven Deadly Sins?

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  • PRIDE is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity. Your punishment in Hell will be: You’ll be broken on the wheel. Associated symbols: Pride is linked with the horse and the color violet.
  • ENVY is the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation. Your punishment in Hell will be: You’ll be put in freezing water. Associated symbols: Envy is linked with the dog and the color green.
  • GLUTTONY is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires. Your punishment in Hell will be: You’ll be force-fed rats, toads, and snakes. Associated symbols: Gluttony is linked with the pig and the color orange.
  • LUST is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body. Your punishment in Hell will be: You’ll be smothered in fire and brimstone. Associated symbols: Lust is linked with the cow and the color blue.
  • ANGER is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath. Your punishment in Hell will be: You’ll be dismembered alive. Associated symbols: Anger is linked with the bear and the color red.
  • GREED is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness. Your punishment in Hell will be: You’ll be boiled alive in oil. Associated symbols: Greed is linked with the frog and the color yellow.
  • SLOTH is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work. Your punishment in Hell will be: You’ll be thrown into snake pits. Associated symbols: Sloth is linked with the goat and the color light blue.

The seven deadly sins are the sins to which we as humans are most susceptible because of our fallen human nature. They are the tendencies that cause us to commit all other sins.  They are called “deadly” because, if we engage in them willingly, they deprive us of sanctifying grace, the life of God in our souls. The Seven Deadly Sins have been in existence since man’s exile from paradise. Ever since the days of Adam of Eve, we encounter seven deadly sins. These seven deadly sins make a definite borderline between what is good and what is bad. All stories in Bible mention each of these sins which result in death and Hell. These stories educate and instruct followers about man’s tendency to sin. Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed and Sloth are the major sins. These sins represent the opposition to the seven major virtues, which each person should possess from the point of view of Christianity. They are accordingly opposed to the seven primary virtues of Humility, Love, Faith, Self-Control, Kindness, Generosity, and Zeal.

So, my big question will be is it possible for any man, woman, or child to live their life to the fullest without Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed and Sloth. I may not agree with the Bible but I do know this little tidbit, based on the writings found inside it, and that is that the sinister places described within are very descriptive, very colorful, and very ruthless. Again, as it is written, Christians are forced to fear being alive and just living their lives. Doesn’t seem like a fair way to live one’s life if you ask me. Can y’all imagine if the authors of the New Testament were around today? Could y’all imagine the horror movies they would be capable of writing? My own observations of the Bible are like this, IT is full of drama, horror, death, doom, “sin”, adventure, and fantasy. I repeated get told not to take the Bible literally because it isn’t written literally. Final question, then I’m done. If I’m not to take the Bible as literal does this mean it’s not a biography, that it’s not historical, and not factual? Seems to be the case, therefore, in my eyes, it remains some of the best fictional writing known to mankind.

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