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Days like today make me glad that I didn't join the military in my youth, though I had been taken to a recruiting office before. My partner and I waited for an hour on the phone with the VA only to be told that in order for him to get an appointment scheduled he had to get registered. This means that he has to get a hold of his DD214 document just to register in order to get the mental health care that he needs. This will take a few days, which chafes me a little for both selfless and selfish reasons. There are things that I'm restricted from doing because he doesn't feel like he's in the right place mentally to handle these things, mainly fetishes that I have taken a very deep interest in. For fucks sake, the only outlet where I feel like I can satisfy my interest for now is in the tattoo and piercing world, and that's all I want to say about it. There's also the fact that some of the things he's told me concerns me greatly and I really feel like he needs some help as soon as possible, it really worries me that much. There's a side of him that I really don't like, an unhealthy side that's related to his time in the army. And in so pondering how deep this goes, it makes me reflect on how I feel about my character and what I would have become had I joined the military.
For a good portion of my life, I've always identified as something of a hippie. Yes, there's a macabre side to me that reflects gothic tendencies with dark implications, but there's also that part of my heart where my inner hippie resides. I remember one day commenting about fast fashion and how I wanted to minimize my buying of clothing while patching up the stuff I do have for as long as possible, and he told me something which effectively said "You really are a hippie!" Indeed, there are many articles of clothing I've held onto for years. I've also been vegetarian for a little while now mainly due to how I feel about the lives of other animals, and I stick with it no matter what. He supports me in the diet I've chosen, but he does try to tempt me with "special occasions" where he thinks I should make exceptions. I feel the need to stick to my convictions on this because these are things that have bothered me for months in the past, and whenever I choose to go with a idea in my life I lean into it with an all out kind of attitude. I don't like to hold back and I just give things my all, sometimes to my own detriment. In the military, hippies are looked down on and there was a time where I felt like I couldn't even mention it for fear of getting shit for it. The connotation I was always fed entailed that of someone who doesn't take care of their hygiene and doesn't want to work or be self sufficient, which is insulting to me because I don't associate hippies with these things (or at least, my own hippie character). I just like weed and music and I have some ideologies that agree with the lifestyle in other interpretations. Of course, my partner doesn't agree with these military ideas either, but he's part of a community that does have this subset of people. And that does make me self conscious, though now I'm really trying to not shy from the term whenever it's applied to me by friend or foe alike. This too is another reason I'm glad I didn't join up because I don't want to imagine myself any other way, and I just want to keep growing into the path I've chosen completely and fully.
I really hope that things change for the better, and no matter how much time it takes I'm willing to wait. I just don't want to lose sight or give up on the things I want because I will feel like a broken shell of myself, settled and outdated. And on an equal footing, I seriously hope that help comes soon because the anxiety and depression is killing me. It really hurts, and it wears down, and it drags on, and it just weighs so heavily that I fear we'll just get used to this kind of norm. There's always this implication that if you're happy that you didn't serve in the military, you're some sort of selfish piece of shit who doesn't deserve to live in America, but if this is what service can really bring into your life all for the purpose of learning how to kill and wage war, then fuck yeah I no longer have any qualms or regrets in not joining. There's a difference between wanting to defend yourself versus seeking to get into situations that demands some dark stuff from you. For once, I'm not afraid to admit my feelings on the matter, and I'm willing to die (metaphorically speaking) on the hill that my argument sits on. However, let it not be said that I don't support people in the military. I may not support war, but the people involved need to have a safety net to fall back on. This is all I'll say because I don't want to put words in individual military members' mouths regarding what they need or want, all I really wanted to talk about were the ideologies typically found in the military on the whole.
"Don't talk shit about the US military. Those men and women over there in Iraq and Afghanistan are sacrificing their lives every day for your freedom."
Arguably, the war on terror has jeopardized American civil liberties and lives far more than any assholes knocking down buildings.
I hear this line all the damn time and I don't know how people can really convince themselves that terrorists overseas are going to take away our freedom of speech if we don't kill them first.