Okay, so today was Memorial Day. My boss sent us an email last Friday with several “cartoons” depicting how Americans have forgotten the true meaning behind the holiday, what with all the cooking out, plans, traveling and family that are involved. None of them were meant to be comical, just ironic, and sadly, terribly accurate. My thoughts?

I never have, do not and will not show any interest in joining the military. I don’t think it’s always a bad thing, as it’s a good place to go, especially if you’re just out of high school and you’re not sure what you want to do with your life, you’re single or you simply need “straightening out” (which in my family’s case doesn’t always happen…). For me, personally, though, it’s a terrible concept, terrible idea, and is something I’m pretty fiercely against. I don’t think that fighting makes a country “great” or “strong,” nor do I think that the military is “cool” in any way like it is portrayed in the media, especially before every movie I’ve gone to see in the theaters in the last 10 years. Fox News can show their Three Doors Down driven Army commercials and show people getting college degrees and being regarded as heroes, but like it or not, and pardon my french, the military fucks a lot of people up. It was heart breaking sharing a room with a vet from Iraq in Raleigh a couple of winters ago, seeing how he couldn’t function without the aid of some sort of narcotic, often had trouble sleeping and would have to change his sheets every night because they were soaked in sweat.

War is a terrible thing. And while I realize that war isn’t the only thing our military is good for, it is what is portrayed to America’s children in a glamorous manner and has been since the first idea of propaganda came about. I cannot support this and never will. You will never see an American flag flying at my house. Is it because I’m not “patriotic?” Well, yes, but mostly it’s because I hate the pride that comes with being one. I hate the thought of calling someone a hero because they did what they were told. They’re taking advantage of the youth and showing them how “cool” killing is and I will never be a part of it.

This house flies no flags. They represent borders, boundaries and separation between people and ideas. They encourage prejudice and create pride. None of which I will stand for. If you’re a vet and are reading this or your family / friends are, I thank you for what you’ve done, I just hope you realize there’s a better way.

To lighten the mood, here are some old photos:

Enjoy today’s haiku:

Tonight, I fired
up the grill for the first time
We now have great meat!

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