Thursday, January 19, 2006


Well, I have officially made it a week of being back from the desert. Most of my freinds from over there are probably home or on their way at this point too. A thought crossed my mind quite a bit during this week, whenever someone realized that I had just gotten back from Qatar.

"America Supports You."

I know this one is going to ruffle some feathers...

While I was there I recieved so much support from friends and family, and from a multitude of complete strangers via this blog that I was practically overwhelmed. Overhwelmed enough that I felt that I needed to return the favor to other milbloggers once I got home (I am). So, I was expecting (not demanding, wanting, or feeling it was required) the same amount fo support once I got on that plane and headed east.


Nada. Zilch. Zero.

The pilot of the plane that took us home said "Welcome to the United States" when we landed (to much appluase). The hotel staff in Norfolk, although not entirely rude, never said a word--even though they knew what the 140 of us with desert uniforms were there for. The taxi driver (little punk blasting rap music the whole way to the airport--more fodder to feed my "what's coming in the next generation" fire) specifically asked if I was with that group, and again said nothing. The airline folks had to have my situation explained to them 50 times while I tried to get on a standby flight to get home before midnight. Nothing. And since I've been home, unless they are directly related or are good friends of mine, I haven't heard a word. Even the commercials on TV (the ones that they show on AFN overseas 50 times a day) have stopped.

I'm not, in the least bit, complaining. I'm just surprised. I'm rapidly figuring out that all of those polls about "Do You Support the War?" should have a fourth answer in addition to "Yes," "No," and "Undecided." There should be an option to say "I really don't care either way." Because that's what, in the week I've been back, I've been seeing. There's not much of a defeatist regime here, but there's not much of a Victory regime either. There's a vast country of people that are so wrapped up in their daily lives that they seem to have forgotten completely that men and women are dying over there. Thank God in Heaven that's not the feeling that we get overseas. I expected to come back to a country split down the middle over this, and what I found was a whole lot of apathy. Or lack of understanding.

The people who come on here and read this stuff are awesome. Even the ones that don't support what's going on--because at least they have the juevos to stand for something and voice their opinion of it (flawed as it may be). It's the ones that don't, that sit there with their iPod's blaring as they walk down the street oblivious, that scare me the most.


  1. Although I haven't deployed since '96 (Qatar), I can understand what you're saying. I have been randomly thanked here and there over the last couple of years. I once showed my mil ID to get an airline ticket and the lady said thanks for your service, Lt. I was kind of embarrassed, since I support now instead of fight. My mother's husband just got back from Iraq with a really bad arm injury. I went to a mall with him to buy something and nobody thanked him. It was sad.

  2. You know, I've wondered if this was happening. I travel alot for work, and every time I'm in an airport, I see guys just like you, either headed out, or headed home. I don't want to intrude on their lives, but on the other hand, i've been trying to do small, anonymous things for them just to say thanks. I hope it isn't seen as weird or intrusive when it happens, I just think that the work y'all do over there is deserving of recognition.

    And, i'm glad you felt supported in the blogosphere. I sometimes think people who blog *care* more than the rest of America.

  3. I was never "deployed" but spent 2 years in Germany. I _think_ I can understand what you are saying, so maybe I'll give it a try and you let me know if this sorta rings true ...

    Being in Germany and not speaking the language very well, I became focused on my military-based relationships. The bond was strong and we all knew what we had to do. No one, outside my parents and family and my then girl friend understood or cared. Most of my friends lost interest after the first year.

    I was "on fire" for my country, everyone else was, complacent.

    When I got off World Airways at Charleston AFB, all was still military. I caught a hop to Norfolk NAS and then took a cab to the civilian terminal. Now, there's a side story here 'cause I got "detained" for not declaring a weapon (the bone-head scanned my gun case like it was a GEE-TAR! what a "maroon", as Bugs Bunny likes to say). The police officers came running in to the termainal, guns drawn, yelling, "Where's the undetected 2-17?!"

    To which, I replied, "over here" ... the double takes those guys made were AWESOME! One was ex-Marine and the other ex-USAF SP (not LE, law enforcement, but Security Police. there was a difference then). They just filled out the paperwork, called the FBI (they had to do that 'cause the maroon pushed the WRONG alarm button which signals the FBI - dopes!), then RUSHED ME OVER, lights and sirens, to the other terminal so I could catch a different flight. My bags hit the belt to go under with no tags - the baggage check guy said he'd take care of it - but I quickly gave him $10 and he JUMPED on the belt and followed them down to tag my bags! (my bags made it all the way home, YEAH!)

    I got a police hold on the flight and a police escort to the gate. Now, THAT, is service! But, they were ex-Military. No one else cared. It was all quiet on the US Front.

    That is, until I hit Newark (EWR) airport.

    Protesters, nut cases, and a few people listening to the drivel handed out by the protesters. They were using old 60s terms, "baby killer", "murderers", all that crap. One guy started spouting about some lame-*#% excuse for knowledge about US Military power. I'd had enough, gave him some choice words, a little lesson in military history, straightened out his foreign policy stupidity, and walked off. I'd been up 38 hours, it was bad ... :)

    This was in 1984. Uh-huh, "Big Brother" days ...

    I think everyone is complacent. And, I think that the people that DO CARE are sometimes quiet because the ones that HATE US and what we stand for are more militant. I think the nice people are quiet and a little afraid of the loud, obnoxious, militant types.

    I just wish they would be less afraid, and more like the guy that wasn't gonna take my $10 until I FORCED it on him - just jump on the belt and BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION!!!

    sorry, I rambled ... i should get my own blog ... :)


    We're out there. Some are just a little louder than others, ya know?