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What Do You Tell People?

Active Military
Active Military
May 3, 2019
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When it comes to your time in the military, what do you tell people that have a genuine interest in what it's like for educational purposes? Whether it's junior high/high schoolers or peers who may want to enlist...not your everyday average "Oh what'd you do in the military?" people, but genuine people interested in how the whole thing shakes out, what do you tell them?I've seen it happen a lot where veterans are asked to speak at schools or their buddy who hasn't quite found their stride wants more information and asks for advice. Are you blatantly honest? Do you tell the good the bad and the ugly as unbiased as you can and try to paint a realistic picture? Do you sugar coat it and let them find out for themselves? Or do you tell them that it was a gigantic pain in the ass all the time?Now, I'm not going to talk about the super gory stuff with a bunch of elementary school kids, but on some level I feel like a high school student is close enough to adulthood that they should get the whole truth with little to no bias. What is the whole truth? For me, it's that my time was altogether great, sad and shitty at the same time. I tell folks all the time when asked what I thought of my service and I'll tell them the same old line that I'd heard from those who went before me, "I never had so much fun being absolutely miserable." And that's true. I've never had so much fun being miserable.To what degree though...what was "fun", what was "miserable"?What was fun was the barracks parties where we literally defied the science of how much tolerance the human body could have to alcohol. What was fun, was sitting behind our hooch in Iraq by a fire doing the old smokin' and jokin' bit. What was miserable? More than a few good men, good husbands, good fathers, good friends, brothers even, were maimed or killed. What was miserable was seeing someone you knew was a bad guy and due to the strange circumstances and the "law of war", you couldn't shoot the mfer. What was fun, was coming back home after being through all of that and realizing that we have it really f***in' good over here in comparison. What was miserable was seeing the family of your brother in arms have to move on without them...So ladies and gents, what do you tell people? Are you an open book to a fault or do you hold back depending on who is genuinely asking?I alternate back and forth. Some days I'm extremely proud of what my battalion and I did (3/7 NO SHIT). Other days I'm extremely mad that we as a nation managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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