The other day my friend informed me that there was a possibility of a freelance journalist coming up to talk to my buddies and I. This gentleman has been wanting to write a piece on military personnel for some time now but never knew what direction to take his work into. After talking to my friend, she recommended talking to the young Soldiers who have been thrown into situations much bigger and deeper than most would expect. She recommended he write about the Combat Medic. 

When she explained this opportunity to me she make a few very valid and provocative remarks that opened up a long buried well inside of me. She commented on all of my Troops and what they have accomplished. My track runs right beside theirs in a very similar fashion. At a very young age we are crammed with the knowledge of weathered and trained professionals. We are thrown into war with the expectations to perform and accomplish. We are expected to act with confidence under extreme conditions. We are put into situations that "normal people" would never dream of attempting. And when it is all said and done, we are expected to fit right in when we get home. Our friends and family are expecting their sons and daughters and friends to come home to their normal daily routine and life. 

It's not that easy.

At what point in life is it "normal" or "common" that you lose a friend, watch someone die, live a scene from a disaster movie, breathe life into someone's lungs, stop severe hemmhoraging, clean up limbs, stay awake for 36 hours at a time, carry beaten and battered people to an awaiting helocopter, fear an attack while you try to help? At what point is it ok to accept this as your reality? Most of us have done all this and more before the age of 25. Most people you know will never do any of this. Most people you know have never even thought of this as a possibility in their lives. Maybe even you haven't thought of this as a normal day or a normal job. 

And this is why this piece will be written. No one in the civilian world expects these things to happen. No one understands what kind of an effect it can have on a kid. They brush it off and try not to pay any attention to it because war for them is out of site, out of mind. Can you tell me what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan? Can you tell me who said it was ok to kill US civilians? Can you tell me what happened in New York City? Now, can you tell me who won the last American Idol? Can you tell me what is going on in Grey's Anatomy? Fuck you. Go read a book. Better yet, go find a Soldier and shake their hand. I saw a homeless guy asking for money. Instead, I gave him some food. As soon as I did he said "So, you're a hippie killer, huh?" 

That is what is wrong with a majority of clueless civilians. That is what kills me. That is what burns me up. The underestimation and complete lack of understanding and knowledge. The assumption that all military personnel are these evil people with no humanity is the most disturbing thought to me. 

I don't want glory. I don't want gain. I don't have my own agenda in mind. I want understanding. I want expression. I want someone with no military knowledge to begin to see what not only the Combat Medic, but every Soldier goes through. I want people to start thinking about how we can better support our young men and women who serve our country rather than sitting on the couch watching the Simpsons and eating pork rhinds.