From deadissue.com WARNING! Naughty Language
If you really want someone to feel like a piece of dog shit for a long time, then be sure to recommend that they earn money for college and gain job experience by enlisting in the United States Army. Once they’re all contracted up and ready to ship out, a masochist’s dream world opens up to them, and no matter how dark and lonely the trip becomes, it can always get worse. Thinking that the loss of your legs and the ability to keep your mind focused long enough to order a cheeseburger at McDonald’s is the low point in your tragic life is the stupid reasoning of dog shit that thinks its special, and the essence of what I’m getting at here. Turn off your mind, panic, and work upstream - you’re still in the Army, and the Army still hates you.
To be so foolish as to assume that the actual injury and thousands of miles of transport and surgery after surgery constitute the worst of what your signature on that contract was in exchange for, is to undoubtedly be stupid enough to expect that because you’re in possession of that smart looking Purple Heart medal that you’ve been upgraded within the Army to something more consequential than the piece of dog shit you’ve been up to that point, and if the feeling you were taught to become one with as a fully capable soldier in your unit is something you consider a thing of the past, then see how you feel wheeling your broke ass down to formation in the rain, say for a year and a half or so.
You’re missing parts of your body and mind; still over in Iraq or Afghanistan somewhere, already been pissed on by people, livestock and rolled over by tires of trucks, seeing day and night looking up at whatever, wondering if their host is every coming back to pick them up.
They won’t of course, but such soulful meditation, the cutting of ties, the acceptance of what’s lost, it’s all part of making it to 30 and then 40 and hopefully past that age right there, to a veteran it’s the new 70, and Hallmark might have a clue as to whether or not the poor bastard has things worked out even then with what to say or think about that part of them still being pissed on and rolled over on the other side of the world.
It’s on the top of the to-do list, but Army dog shit hasn’t yet earned the right to feel entitled to anything besides the constant reminder of what it is and what it is worth. In the rain you sit, because you have to, on account of having no legs, but above all that is the need for the Army to further shame and humiliate and break away that will to live…smear some Kiwi all over that unauthorized gloss from being called a hero, and sit there in that chair you’ll loathe forever hearing this asshole at the front of the formation talking to you and the rest of what’s left of the sorry fuckers soaking in the phantom sensations from toes that still wiggle when thought about for a second in the rain on a 30 degree morning, still ten minutes before the asshole stops talking and the five minute trek back to the moldy walls and seclusion of hell can be returned to.
Fifteen months of this and the paperwork is lost, tied up, incomplete…and so the guy down the hall figures he can bring back the booze for me along with his own, and just like in that book Misery, I’ll dump all that chemical dust into a few cocktails and this life can finally end. Just tell anyone you can to stay away and forget about all that hero bullshit everyone in the civilian world thinks exists in the Army. Before that though, check my room and see I’m collected and buried before these rodents get to biting on me. Just don’t let me get eaten by my roommates here, and we’ll be even. Hopefully I’ll smell enough dead like the Army has made me feel alive to attract someone who’ll wheel me out of here and get me one of those nice funerals with the gunfire and bagpipes.