|CW3 Chris Ochoa (L) and the Author, Kirkuk, Iraq, 2007|
Chris just pinned my SFC (E-7) rockers on.
Chris and I served together several time over the years, including Berlin, Germany.
We at Mental Aikido extend a very grateful and heartfelt Thank You to our nation's veterans, especially those who deployed to hostile conditions and stood in harm's way to defend our Republic and promote liberty around the globe.
The three of us who contribute here are all veterans.
Melissa is a former Texas National Guard Military Intelligence Soldier. She graduated from the Intelligence Center of Excellence at Fort Huachuca, AZ, in 2007. In 2008 she was nominated to attend Officers' Candidate School. While attending that school, she was injured, which resulted in a medical discharge in 2009. Since, she has tried a few times to re-enter the military. Her only regret is that her injury prevented her from further uniformed service. She hopes to use her other professional skills to help veterans and active military, though. (She's a mental health professional).
Jared is a veteran. He served 17 years in the US Army until a degenerating injury lead to a medical discharge. Jared served with 1st Group, US Army Special Forces. Later, he entered the Military Intelligence field and served in many hostile environments including two deployments to Iraq. Like Melissa, Jared is pursuing a psychology degree so he may help his fellow veterans as well as active service members.
I am a veterans and US Army retiree. My record speaks for itself. I've deployed all over the world and seen combat in many cesspools including Iraq and Kosovo. I've also done many humanitarian relief missions. Our military does not just do "war". We also protect those "fighting the peace".
One thing we all have in common is we don't like ass-kissers. The best thanks you can show us is to respect and honor other veterans. The best way is to show support and gratitude to veterans. We don't seek freebies or empty-giveaway-gimmicks. We'd rather you gave words of encouragement to a veteran using her GI Bill to earn a degree in hopes of building a new career. We'd rather HR personnel and hiring authorities actually granted "veterans' preference" instead of using the information as a disqualifying criteria for a job interview.
Yes, we know many companies and businesses actually do that. It's deplorable. The veterans seeking employment aren't the lazy sacks seeking handouts and free crap. They want the opportunity to earn an honest wage. Real veterans do not want handouts. They just want to do a job. We relish a mission. Give them one. Let them do it. Compensate them accordingly.
Each year, I write something for Veterans' Day.
Fellow veteran (and friend) Kurt Schlichter posted a great column over at Town Hall magazine. It is a great read and echoes much of what I have said over the years.
In 2011, not long after I retired from military service, I posted what I felt was a long-overdue rant. Included in that article is a transcript from a speech I was supposed to deliver in 2010.
Last year's article showcased a great man, one whose story should serve as an example and role-model. Read about my salute to SFC Chris Edwards. If you make a disparaging comment regarding his current good looks, you are proving yourself a cowardly, basement-dwelling waste of protein and oxygen.
Tonight, at 10 Eastern, 9 Central, 7 Pacific, I will be joining Allan Bourdias on his radio show. Tune in here. I'm sure he'll have a podcast in case you miss the live show.
Have a wonderful and meaningful Veterans' Day.