If you're currently in an ROTC program, I suggest that you take a good, hard, look at this, so as to remember exactly where you stand in the eyes of veterans and the military as a whole. I'm also going to say that what you are about to read does not directly reflect the views of veterans in college as a whole, but a decent majority of them.
First, a little bit about myself: I served in the army infantry, was in Afghanistan, and have my CIB. I'm currently a student at a respected university in Chicago working towards a degree in Special Education. Second, a little bit about how veterans feel. College is not easy for veterans. It's one of the most frustrating experiences between dealing with staff and faculty who seem to not give a flying fuck about us, to not being able to fit in with peers because we're not able to relate to them.
America really doesn't give a shit about veterans, which explains why 22 of us kill themselves a day and some of us have a fucking hell of a time obtaining our benefits that we're entitled to. Now, on to the main point of this post. A few days ago, I was walking to one of my classes in the usual crowd of students when I found myself walking behind and ROTC cadet.
She happened to be missing the nametape on her PC. I'm not an asshole, because when I was a new private, I once forgot my nametape on my PC, was "corrected", and never forgot it again. I know how it feels to get smoked for hours on end and the embarrassment that comes with it not that she would've gotten anything but a slap on the wrist nowadays. I calmly approached her side, and said, "Excuse me, but did you know your nametape isn't on your PC?
I responded with, "I'm a veteran and just looking out for you to make sure you don't get chewed out". She then proceeded to roll her eyes, take out her cellphone, and walk away.
This is the future of our military. Some of you give a shit about what you're doing and understand to a degree what you're getting yourselves in to. You understand the responsibility that falls upon your shoulders and some of you strive with that pressure.
To this day, I remain in close relationships with some officers I deployed with. But I don't know how you do it. I don't know how you can wake up every Tuesday and Thursday, put on a uniform that you did not earn, with a combat patch that you did not earn, a flag you do not defend, and walk out the door like you mean a shit.
Fuck your airborne and air assault badge. Students slap you on the back and thank you "for your service" in between classes and you gladly accept it. If it were up to me, you fucking assholes would walk around with decent shoes, khakis, and a fucking polo that says "Army" on it.
You might think, "Well shit, I'm not the girl who blew you off when you tried to correct her. So why are you mad at me? Honestly, I wish there was a stronger word than "hate" to describe my disdain towards you. It's because you wear a uniform that buddies of mine died in doing something worth a shit.
But for some reason, you have the privilege of wearing it. They bled out, some apologizing for doing so, while your fucking privileged, sorry, asses were watching Sunday Night Football and getting drunk with your friends. They were doing their fucking job, which is more than you will ever be able to say.
You wear a combat patch you did not earn and never will earn because the war is over and you are not going anywhere. Those of you who decide to go with a combat job will never know what it's like to be a real soldier. This is not mentioning all of the bullshit you're going to deal with when your joe's inevitably fuck up in garrison as well. And don't think that once you get your fucking commission that people respect you.
When you show up at your unit, everyone fucking hates you because of that butter bar on your chest. People hate you more than a new private. For some reason, you make a hell of a lot more than enlisted because you have a degree, which doesn't mean fucking shit to anyone but you.
A lot of you somehow slip through the cracks and get a commission. I had a lieutenant who was ROTC who didn't know how to read a map, let alone locate our position on one.
You haven't proved that you actually know what the fuck your doing and your capabilities to lead soldiers. You've been fucking around in college while doing PT 2 times a week which does not impress any of the enlisted.
Remember, a lot of your fucking stupid ass braniac decisions have gotten people killed. You are no different than a kid who dresses up as a soldier for Halloween. Again, if it were up to me, every officer should have to be enlisted before becoming an officer. Because none of you are able to see things from the perspective of an enlisted soldier. Most of you just don't get it. I sincerely hope that ROTC cadets come across this post.
I hope you stop walking around campus with your chests puffed out because remember, fuck you, you haven't done a thing. You're not a soldier at any point during your 4 years at school. You're not a soldier until you've been accepted by your unit. Know where you stand and remember that the uniform you wear and get compliments for, you haven't done fucking shit for.