Do you want to know why it feels so good to be a veteran, and why “it” is so addictive?
It’s because often times, you feel like you are at the center of the world. That feeling of being the “decisive operation” goes into overdrive while deployed, but even when you are just sitting at home, watching the news, it’s easy to get lost in yourself because you are a small part of this much bigger thing that gets a whole lot of attention.
Look at this past week’s big news stories. All of them are in the military sphere. Front page news:
On Tuesday, President Obama announced the troop numbers for Afghanistan post-2014, ending speculation over what would happen when this year came to a close.
On Wednesday, the President laid out his foreign policy agenda at West Point, which has serious implications for the men and women who serve to execute it.
On Thursday, the military portion of the internet exploded in response to comments made by Gwyneth Paltrow in which she compared receiving nasty internet comments to war (my response here).
On Friday, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, General (R) Eric Shinseki resigned after mounting criticism concerning recent VA scandals.
Then yesterday, it was announced that SGT Bowe Bergdahl, the only remaining prisoner of war from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was released in exchange for prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay.
All of these stories generated lots of hot air and conversation. Fodder for the media and blogging-heads (myself included). Sitting on the couch and tuning to the evening news, story after story is related to MY WORLD.
How can that not be addictive? All of these stories ruled the day, and in each of them, only a tiny number of Americans can actually say they are somehow involved or can relate to them.
It’s exciting. And I think that “center of attention” feeling is what makes getting out and transitioning to being “normal” so damn hard.
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