Saturday, August 20, 2011

Your right to be an ASSHAT

Moving to England has had it's ups and downs, and it's definitely been an eye opener for me. What I notice most is both the huge amount of support for American troops, and the insane amount of cruelty when it comes to those same troops. Let me explain...

My husband serves in the United States Air Force. I am a Navy veteran. So when it comes to military life, we're not noobs. We both made a choice, individually at first, then as a family to serve our country, and we do it without regret. We've received care packages from people that we only know through the internet, just because they want to show their support in some small way. Those care packages always make the days a little brighter. We get told thank you on occasion from other internet friends for our sacrifices. It's those little things that mean the world to us when times are tough. Those are the things that remind us of why we chose to defend our country.

Then there's the other side of things, the heart breaking side, which will probably be more focused on in this particular rant.

There are the asshats that bemoan the military, the war, and have even gone so far as to picket funerals of soldiers who have died in combat. WTF?

The thing that sucks, is that we can't really get mad. We are over here, away from all of our family, trying to learn to make new friends, in a new home, new country, new culture, serving our country so that people like this have the FREEDOM to be the dick heads that they are.

I cringe when someone says that war isn't necessary. Do you really think that we send our husbands, our children's fathers out to combat; hoping, praying, wishing that he will make it home, just to play games? Do you really think we sleep countless nights alone for something that could be resolved with a game of Tiddly Winks and some Oreos?

 I hate this war just as much as anyone else. I've pulled bodies out of the rubble on September 11, 2001. I still can't stand the smell of burnt hair or skin. It lingers in the back of my mind, and launches an assault on my thoughts and emotions when I do have to smell it. I remember the bodies being pulled out, I remember the screams, the cries for help, the raspy voices begging for someone to dig them out from under their concrete coffins. And I remember America crying out for justice, for retaliation, and yes, even for revenge. I remember kissing my kids goodbye and wondering if it would be the last time that I would ever see them, since we were told to have our affairs in order, we probably wouldn't make it back alive.

I spent 159 days on an aircraft carrier with 6000 other people with no port calls, no breaks, just war. I remember what it was like with a clarity that I wish would cease to exist. I went without sleep, without the luxuries of phones calls home, internet privileges, hell, I did it without the luxury of hot water most days. I didn't do it to be mean or to hurt people. I did it because our country was attacked, and someone needed to stand up for our citizens.

I kiss my husband goodnight every night, and watch him walk out the door, with no certainty that he's returning. He can leave at any moment to go out there and defend our country, to defend our freedoms. I'd love nothing more than to have his boots safely tucked under my bed at night. Hell, I'd give my right arm to have him IN my bed at night. Instead, he's out defending some jerks' right to talk crap about the military.

The absolute worse thing though, is seeing these soldiers funerals picketed. I don't care what religious affiliation you choose to have, or what ideals and beliefs you want to spout off at the mouth about. But leave the funerals alone. The dead soldier can't hear you. However, his family can. The family who has already sat there, looking out the window, watching the uniformed officers walking up to their homes. The family that knew what would be said before the first knock was even delivered. The family who sacrificed their time with loved ones so that you could have the freedoms that you so enjoy. THAT family is the one listening to you picket the funeral. That coffin holds someone's child. Possibly someone's husband, father, brother, sister, wife, and even mother. Those are human beings being laid to rest, and they can't even get that.

Have these picketers stopped to think that if they pulled that crap in another country, they would be fined, stoned, possibly even killed?  No. They haven't. They take their civil liberties for granted without ever stopping to think that the reason they have them is because a SOLDIER gave his life to defend their right to be free to speak their minds. They don't think about it, because that would mean that maybe war isn't all fun and games. Maybe, just maybe, people are fighting because our country needs us. If you hate the country so damned much, feel free to leave. Feel free to move somewhere else. Somewhere that doesn't let you get away with things that you take for granted in the States.

I can't stand this war. I can't stand sleeping alone at night. I hate the fact that almost all of my friends live in my computer, because I've moved around too much in my life to ever plant my roots anywhere. However, I will support my soldiers no matter the cost to myself. I will kiss my husband goodbye every night, and I will continue to tell him to stay safe. And if the time ever comes where I'm the one receiving the knock at my door, telling me that his boots will no longer be getting left in the living room for me to trip over, well, all I can say is that at that point, Fuck your right to Freedom of Speech. I'll be exercising my right to kick your ass.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Putting on my big girl panties

Well, it's been 8 months since we uprooted everything we've known in our lives and moved to a new country. This have definitely been different than we expected. Up until just a few short weeks ago, it's been miserable and I've wanted nothing more than to leave this place and go home.
The entire move has been a nightmare. Fighting with TMO, the passport office, dealing with homelessness for awhile because we cleared base housing when they told us too, but couldn't leave when we were supposed to. The kids being in 3 different schools in one school year. The change in weather, and yes, even a change in culture. I went from having a very active social life to having no social life at all. I was starved for adult interaction, but hated calling anyone back home because all I ever did was bitch and complain about how pathetic my life was. I was making excuses for my behavior, I was justifying my temper tantrum, and I can see that now.
But somewhere, somehow, through all the tears, the whining, the frustrations, something finally clicked in my scattered brain, and I remembered why we are here.
We didn't move here expecting unicorns and rainbows. We didn't save for years and years and dream of living here our entire lives. We came here because my husband serves his country. We came here because his country told us to. This is where we are needed, and this is where we will stay until our tour of duty is up. We came here because that's what you do when you join the military. You make sacrifices.
Is this really a sacrifice though? I mean, for crying out loud, I live in ENGLAND! Sure, the weather sucks, and they can't tell a cookie from a biscuit, but is it really as bad as I've made it out to be? Maybe, but then again, maybe not.
We have opportunities here that we wouldn't have had in the States. We can travel, and for really cheap too. I can go to London anytime I want to. I was able to help out with the riot cleanup (Which I gotta say, was kind of devastating). I can introduce my British friends to the wonders of American cooking. (The food here is very bland). I can wear dresses with jeans and not get more than a glance my way. I can color my hair any funky color I want to, and it's considered normal.
I have a brand new start in life. No one here truly knows me yet. They've only seen the medicated me. The one who couldn't adjust to her surroundings. The one who wanted to give up and go home.
Well, I'm off my meds now. I'd rather be a little off the wall and unbalanced than to be that miserable depressed whiny ass brat that I been for the past 8 months.
I've decided that going home isn't an option. Being miserable for 4 years isn't either. So I'm going to make the best out of the time that we have here. I don't know for sure what I'm going to be doing yet. I'm still kind of floundering around with that. But who cares? I can do ANYTHING I want to. I can completely reinvent myself if I want. Cause let's be honest, I seriously doubt a single one of my real life friends will be bothering to come and visit. So there's nothing holding me back. There's nothing stopping me from being the person I've always felt that I had to suppress.
So watch out England. My husband may be over here to help you defend your country, and to defend our own, but I'm here to raise some hell!!
And btw, they are COOKIES. Biscuits are what you serve with gravy. And tea is meant to be cold and sweet, not hot and milky.
I've got my big girl panties on now. No more tantrums for me. This is the life I chose when I said "I Do", and damn it, I'm gonna do it, and I'm gonna do it with a huge smile on my face!