My name is Brett. I am a veteran.
I am standing on top of Crowder’s Mountain North Carolina on the morning after the Republican National Convention. I watched the convention on TV with my three children, My son and my two daughters.
I heard an angry man call on America to go fight a war with Iran, North Korea and Bathist’s terrorists in Syria and Iraq that some call ISIS or ISIL.
He claimed there would be a “fast defeat”.
We currently have about 18k troops deployed into war zones around the world as of 45 days ago, last May.
This angry man got a whole lot of other people angry and fired up about the ‘nuclear threat’ from Iran. Now, he wants to go to war with the same country.
Going to war means US Troops, US lives. This angry man has never fought in a war. He avoided going to war when a war was raging. He got kicked out of school and was sent to military school by his rich father, where he had to be physically restrained from trying to throw a cadet out of a window.
Soldiers do not assault their fellow soldiers. I guess he missed that lesson.
During the last 15 years, only 1% of the population signed up to fight in the wars that a much larger percentage of Americans chose to follow through with.
If you are a Trump supporter, I challenge you to put your money where your vote will be an enlist to join in the military. I do not want to hear any excuse about your age. I do not want to hear any excuse about your lack of physical ability. I do not want to hear any excuse about your past service to this country. I do not want to hear any excuse about the good work or service you are doing anywhere else.
If you are voting for Trump, you are voting to go to war. You are voting to send your fellow Americans to war. I challenge you to show some integrity and put your own life on the line. I challenge you to not act like a coward and start a war you won’t fight in. I challenge you to not start a war and send other people to fight that war for you and send their kids too.
If you are old enough to start a war, then you are old enough to fight in that war.
It is your responsibility. I challenge you to rise above your fears and pay for your choices.
My oldest daughter is almost 14. She will be old enough to register for Selective service within 3 years of Trump’s first term in office. My oldest son is already registered.
I not only registered myself, but I enlisted in the military when I was 17 during the build up to the Persian Gulf War when it was obvious we would go to war.
I served my country.
I do not think our country needs to go back to war. I do not think a war with Iran or North Korea will serve any purpose.
I do think that the terrorists in Syria and Iraq want the US to come and fight them.
I do not believe in giving terrorists what they want. Fuck doing what the terrorists want us to do.
Those are my opinions.
If you start a war with a bunch of people, I expect you to fight in it.
The days of Americans starting wars and having other Americans fight for them needs to come to an end. If you can start a war, you can fight in it.
This goes for every member of Congress and every politician at every level. If you want to start a war, you should put your life on the line to pay the price. You should be ready to be deployed to the front lines, even if you are only capable of filling and stacking sand bags to protect people more capable.
I have been participating in a challenge to raise awareness for the unacceptably high levels of veterans committing suicide every day. I have participated in this challenge for 42 days and during that time, about 924 veterans have committed suicide.
The United States of America has a long long history of screwing over the veterans of this country. It was true of the veterans of the Revolutionary War. It was true of the Veteran’s of the Civil War. It was true of the Veteran’s of WWI, including my own great grandfather. He was a first generation German immigrant who along with his older brother went back to their homeland to fight German troops. My great grandfather was gassed in that war but survived. He returned home with serious health problems. The VA helped him die.
Our history of taking care of Veterans is abysmal.
Even during WWII most of the country did not fight. We sent our youngest citizens to do the majority of the fighting.
In Vietnam, we sent the youngest of the young. When they returned, we treated them like they were lower than dog shit.
During our most recent wars, we celebrated our troops as they marched through the airports, but as soon as they left the military that dog shit treatment returned.
You know it. We all know it. Our veterans were treated terribly. We created those veterans by pushing for the brave and the poorest people to join our military and fight for us while the rest of the country stayed home and benefited from the run up of our economy powering the war machine.
Many of these soldiers came home wounded in body and mind and now get little support for their bodies and less support for their mental wounds.
In the last two weeks, two veterans have gone on shooting rampages targeting our police officers.
They have been disowned as veterans.
We created these men. We taught them how to fight and to shoot and how to arm themselves. We treated them like dog shit by not taking care of these veterans after they left the military and our police officers paid the price. Our nation is now splitting along racial lines because people want to frame this as a black vs white problem.
We have racial issues.
Those shootings were veterans problems.
The party that nominated the angry man that gave his speech last night. They blocked pay raises for veterans. They blocked benefits for veterans. They voted to create more and more veterans at every opportunity without providing funding to take care of them afterwards.
They preyed upon the poor with their recruiting techniques and protected their supporters.
That has to stop.
If you want war, its time for you to join a well regulated militia and put your own neck on the line. I do not care if you are 18 or 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 or 89.
If you want to vote for war, you can get your ass out there and take orders and fight when told to do so.
We do not utilize the draft these days. That is something that is an executive order away from being changed.
Selective service is the process of requiring every single American, male and female now, of registering to be drafted should it be needed.
The angry man last night could be the person that gets to make that decision on january 20.
My son and daughter are brave and they are not out of shape nor lazy. My daughter won the pull up competition at her middle school.
She hiked up this mountain and is gazing from a rock into the distance and into her future as I write these words.
She is capable of fighting.
We are not rich. We are the opposite of rich. My children are looking dead ahead into the cross hairs of the draft.
They are both very smart and destined for college.
College and the deferments from enlistment during Vietnam are not the same. Back then if you were smart, you could work part time and pay your way through college.
That is not as much of a possibility these days.
My son starts college this fall.
If he can come up with $57k for the first year of tuition. he has earned $21k in scholarships and grants. You can do the math on his personal budget deficit.
He may in the future need to take semesters off to raise money. In any of those breaks, he would be in the cross hairs of the draft.
Maybe you weren’t paying attention, but in 2009 the Republican led Congress voted to change the Student Loan laws.
These laws are now predatory and help fuel students and parents to take out extremely large levels of debt to pay for their children’s education.
I admit. I was not paying attention. I did not notice these particular laws.
I was in the midst of losing a house to an illegal foreclosure at the time after paying on an empty house that I could not sell for over two years.
I was distracted.
I am not distracted now.
My son and my daughter they can choose for themselves what they will or will not do with their lives.
You can as well. But if you choose war, then you need to take responsibility for your choice because my children and my family, we’ve fought in every war this country has served up. In fact, my children’s 13th great grandfather was literally the ship’s carpenter on the Mayflower and the first guy, literally off the boat to step on Plymouth Rock.
We are not going to carry war mongering people that cower behind angry politicians any longer.
You need to fight your own wars when you choose them from here on out.
Follow Up Thoughts…
For the most part, Trump never said anything of substance at all. Various fact checkers have analyzed the same speech and found about 130 words of actual plan or substance. That is about 1 minute of a 90 minute speech.
I know better than to watch news, but I have never missed a convention yet. I feel it is my responsibility as a citizen to make up my mind with first hand insights.
I knew trump was extremely negative already. I knew that he was divisive. I knew that he selected one of the most divisive governors in the country(because better governors turned him down.)
Still, his negativity hit me at a core level. It took me back to times when I was in the military when some people were not carrying their fair share. Some had cause and some did not.
It reminded me of all of those people that are quick to thank soldiers for their service and then vote for politicians that sabotage veterans benefits or pick politicians that turn around and hire contractors at 2-5 times the salary to do the same work the soldiers were doing before.
It made me angry and in this article I vented. It was my reaction and feeling at the time. I own it and am responsible for what I wrote. I share it to share my truth. I am not bottling these emotions up to let them fester. I am airing them out, clearing my mind and finding my inner peace.
I thank you for following me on this journey. I hope you find peace as well.