I never have understood why vetts want to talk about their time in the service. I've spent twenty years trying to forget my time running and gunning....
You know, I knew plenty of guys like that before I ever enlisted. Their refusal to talk at all about their experiences in the service made me think there was something very, very sinister about military service. "What did they do to you"? I would wonder.
Now that I've had my own experiences, I can understand with a lot more clarity why some choose not to speak about certain things. Hell I had the luck of not creating too much regret for myself. Since I was not a US citizen I could not go oversea's even though I voluntered to do so. So all these years later, the only thing I wished I'd done differently is change my frame of mind... not too bad on the regret scale.
Still I feel it's good to share with others who've never been in the service some of the insights that I have. Like I said before, I served this country proudly, and continue to take pride in the role I played during the war. No not everything was positive about my experience, but by and large most of what was fueling the negative aspects of the experience was the people that made up the military. There were individuals not only from all over the country, but all over the world in boot camp alone. I was born in Canada, there was a guy born in Peru in my Flight, as well as a guy born in Japan, a guy born in Germany, and a guy born in Mexico... and this is out of 50 airmen in my flight. So there are a lot of different viewpoints that come together.
For the most part I was really excited to see how well we all bonded in boot camp. But there were also some not so proud moments I lived through. But the main point I wanted to get across was that yes, I did feel that the military experience soaked me in an atmosphere of hatred, that I let myself become consumed by. But I also wanted to make sure to mention that this wasn't 100% attributed to some master plan by those who run the military... I do think there is propaganda introduced by higher ups, I witnessed that for myself... but it also has a lot to do with those of us enlisties. Our combined attitudes and outlooks are just as much of the equation.
So instead of blaming my bad experiences on Uncle Sam, I take responibility for letting the surrounding atmosphere I was exposed to penetrating my own morals and ethics. It was an important lesson for me to learn. I'm just greatful the experience wasn't any worse than it was for me personally.