Our Heroes in a Broken Society

November 12, 2018

Man on man. I don’t even know where to start. People these days are on a whole other level. I grew up in the 90’s. When the internet was not in the hands of every individual. Back when you learned from books, others around you, and the scars on your body. Back when you had to figure some shit out on your own. Back when only first, second, and third got a metal. Back when you failed a grade, you had to repeat it, which I did. Back when people had respect for themselves and others around them. Now of days, it is all about who can be offended the most. Who voices their opinion the loudest, setting aside all respect and education. Instead of asking for clarification, they jump to the complete opposite side of the universe to come up with their own ideas. They come at you with such hostility, anger, and are just downright rude.

See I posted this single photo with a caption:

Untitled photo

Thank you to all my heroes

Those who stepped forward

Those who I’ve always looked up to

Those who ask for nothing in return

And sadly, those 22 we lose each and every day

Be thankful, kind, and respectful to our men and women in uniform.

I took this photo months ago, with a tear running down my face, and sat on it for this exact day. Veterans Day. The day we honor our heroes dead and alive. To all of those outstanding individuals that set aside everything and fought for us. We don't have to fully agree with why they at war, it is not their/our call, but we DO need to be there for our troops stateside and abroad. Most just think they go to war and are supposed to come back “normal”. How on earth is that even possible?! Spend a night around a campfire, without saying a word, and just listen to their stories. The scenarios they faced everyday is overwhelming to hear. Some of my favorite people in the world are military personal. I know some of them very well, but even I would never be able to put myself fully into their shoes to grasp what the fuck they went through. So many come back lost. Not lost because they don't know where they are. Lost because society pushes them aside. So many are treated as if they are a broken toy or a torn shirt. Most come back physically and mentally beating to a pulp. Waking up throughout the night screaming. Sitting in a restaurant with their back to wall, ready for anything. Struggling to meet the basic needs of life. Trying to avoid their triggers at all costs because they know what can happen when switch to “autopilot”. Having to jump through countless hoops, just to have a follow up appointment for their blown out ankle, fractured back, or limb lost. So many have mentioned how they have to put on a “mask” just to function and fit into society.

It’s amazing how good society is at ignoring these things. We think if something is out of sight it can be out of mind. It seems like so many are scared to just stop, listen, and attempt to put themselves into someone else's shoes, for even a split moment. We are great at jumping to conclusions without researching. Society loves looking down upon mental illnesses, which I think is asinine. Some of the worst things in the world you will never see, because they get swept under the carpet. In hopes, the “problem” will just go away. It won’t. I know this because I used to wear my own mask for years.

We need to open our arms, give our wonderful men and women a hug, and simply say, “everything is going to be ok”. You will be amazed what a simple hug can achieve. We need companies and society to step up and take care of our heroes, instead of trying to nickel and dime them. To openly talk and understand where they are coming from. To give a welcoming hand, not to do it for them but to assist them back on their feet.

See I posted that photo on a closed photography group on Facebook. A group I thought was open minded. A group I have seen countless half/full naked people on. A group with photos of people on train tracks, at the edges of cliffs, in cemeteries, and the list goes on and on. Oh a group that is flooded with people wearing the flag as a swimsuit, shirt, or shorts around 4th of July. What do they do with that article of clothing after the 4th? Throw it away, maybe? Of course, no one has an issue with all of those disrespectful and reckless photos because it has their “cute” kid in the photo or whatever. But when I posted our torn flag being responsibly and respectfully dispose of, I got a whirlwind of mixed emotions. I would never let a flag touch the ground or throw it in the trash.

Given, I knew I would get an emotional response out of some people. Hell I cried taking the photo, thinking about all the men and women we have lost, just so I can stand in my backyard free. I knew some would “freak out”. BUT I saw that as an opportunity to educate them. About proper ways to handle a flag. Along with talking about the 22 people that commit suicide each and everyday that fought to protect your right to voice your opinion. The 22 people society cased out, each and everyday. But also all the men and women that fought and are still fighting to this day. The ones still here with us. The ones you can still shake their hand, give them a hug, and thank them for their service. The ones you can still show your love and support. The post started off that way, but quickly escalated. Again, those who voice their bullshit opinion the loudest get heard. Resulting in the page removing my photo, without contacting me, asking for clarification, nothing. Just delete. So I took that as my opportunity to leave the page altogether. It blows my mind how people can get so worked up on something they know nothing about. Some person probably was scrolling through social media brain dead, sees something, gets upset, and attacks the other individual, which the page owner took their side!?! Truly, amazing how many people just go through life with a blind eye. Don’t take time to properly learn about something, yet make damn sure we know their opinion. This is why society is so broken these days.