RTFU

The Veteran’s Guide to College: Part II

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Updated: August 12, 2013
students

 By Mr. Twisted

Now that we’ve had an introduction to higher learning for returning veterans, it’s time to go a little deeper and look at the awesome levels of douchey-ness that one encounters on a typical college campus. After all, the hardest part of secondary education isn’t the tests and essays – it’s the willpower it will take to keep yourself from giving Spartan-kicks to the chest of half the people you meet.

The Hippie:

I’m getting this one out of the way first simply because, for those of you who haven’t attended college yet, you’re under the mistaken impression that “hippies” will be the hardest to deal with. You may think that the guy who is talking about all the “baby killers” over in Iraq and Afghanistan and how the murderous tyrannical United States of America is oppressive will make you want to refresh your rear-naked choke skills, but in reality, you’re wrong. This guy is actually quite entertaining.

The reality is they are pure comedy – kind of the court jester of the college classroom. At some level I don’t even think they take themselves seriously. While everyone else is debating things like war and politics, the hippie will inadvertently bring levity to a discussion by throwing out wickedly-intelligent anecdotes like “bro, the reason all people in the world are so angry is because they aren’t, like, in touch with the fifth dimension and the pyramid within their soul, bro.” I don’t care who you are, that’s some funny shit and in no way can be taken seriously. Laugh at this person, pat them on the head, and thank them for being just like a movie character.

The Cute Girl in a Rush:

In almost every class there will be a girl that comes in late to class, but will make sure every person there knows she has arrived and why it wasn’t on time. The look from the teacher that should inspire a student to sit down and shut up will only prompt this girl to loudly sigh and state how sorry she is for being late and proceed to give multiple reasons why; none of which are interesting or matter to anyone except her – and to the guy who is unlucky enough to fall for it.

Avoid this girl like the plague. She will suck the very life from your soul because, though she will pretend to be interested, she will only be waiting for an opportunity to share more of her drama and suck you into the whirlwind of ex-boyfriends, late rent, and car accidents that is her life. Break contact and reengage with another target.

The Agenda:

While this person can be female or male, it has been my experience that they are almost always women (feel free to add your story in the comment section). They are the person who, at every possible point in any given class, will figure out a way to work their agenda into the curriculum. I don’t care if the lecture is on George Washington’s leadership, they will manage to fire off a comment about how oil is driving the leadership of the country to oppress poor, indigenous cultures around the globe and kill baby seals. They read just enough to be dangerous but not enough to understand how wrong they are. There is no need to engage this one directly. Use indirect fire – offer up a question that you know will get “the agenda” to froth at the mouth and go on a rant. Then sit back and use it for study time while they drone on about “the man.” This is where having a laptop comes in really, really handy.

The Nerd:

You’re not in high school anymore; this guy can be of great assistance to you. Act accordingly and use your judgment, however, because he can also monopolize your time by asking you about how many wizard points you racked up in combat and how he would have joined if it weren’t for his asthma, acid reflux, lactose intolerance, peanut allergies, sinusitis, dyspepsia, polio, leptospirosis, tuberculosis, diphtheria, and Brazilian hemorrhagic fever.

The Other Veteran:

I was in one of my classes for over three weeks when I heard a barely-audible curse from the guy sitting right next to me after the professor made some comment about that “war for oil” going on. After looking at him for a minute or two, I finally just said “who were you with?”

“Infantry. 101st.You?”

Out of a class of over 50 people, we had managed to sit right next to each other. Not a single other vet in the whole class besides the two of us. I wouldn’t think so much of it, but something very similar happened in three of my classes – another fellow infantryman and one a Marine. We manage to find each other without even knowing and, believe me, it makes a huge difference. Finding others who have even a remotely similar background to you will help make the adjustment to college life much easier. No, they won’t be in every class, but when they are it will bring huge smiles and keep you from punching holes in the walls when the professor starts talking about how the military is just a tool of the industrialist, corporate machine known as the United States of America.

And that is a subject to be covered in the next chapter – the professors: how to pass their class without assaulting the objective that is their pulpit of nonsense.

Comments

comments

39 Comments

  1. Jon

    April 16, 2012 at 2:20 am

    About the professors, my brother was about to go to war for the first time and it was right when finals were. So I go to each one and ask if it would be alright to take the finals early and go see my brother off to war, seeing as how it could be the very last time I ever see him and all… And out of all my teachers the only one that said no is this big, fat, idiot, psychology teacher Mrs. McDuffee. She says,”Maybe, and it’s a huge maybe, because I have a schedule to keep, and you’re lucky he’s deploying because if he was coming back or just on leave it would be a definite no.” She had this big fat shit eating grin that pissed me off so bad I didn’t even know what to do. Luckily, he got to come see us before he left a few days later.

  2. Robbiek3/187

    April 16, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Love it, love it, love it. I personally never went to college but I do have a son who is a sophomore in college and a daughter who is a junior in high school who we are on her college search with her. I have already forwarded this to my son.
    This past week we were on the campus of Gettysburg College and everyone you named was there…and then some.
    The Top Two incidents were the chalk writing on the Administration building wall “Fuck Seal Team 6″ and the sex ed pamphlet in the freshman dorm called “Don’t Be a Dummy, Cum on her Tummy”. Delightful, huh?
    Yes I thought so too. The other big one was how Gettysburg refuses credit transfers from ROTC because of the military’s draconian rule to not allow transgenders to serve openly. Gettysburg got written off quick as you can say “pot smoking peace pansy”.

  3. Colt

    April 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I am back in school after 24 years of service, it is a real adjustment and I just want light up a few of these “students” or put a boot in their ass. I am here to learn and these piss ants are trying to figure out how to get out of class or look and sound cool talking about nothing important based on all of their experience…you know kind of like getting a new Lt. that thinks they know everything. It has taken some adjusting to get over the lack of respect and discipline a lot of these “give me give me” society kids have, sometimes I just want to find their Dad and smack him around. Professors is a different world and look forward to hearing what you have to say, most of mine seem to respect me and one said about me “he isn’t older, he is chronologically enhanced.” I do feel in some classes they tend to ask me about life experiences more then the others.

    • Ret SGT

      April 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      Same thing happened to me in both of the college experiences. I was very lucky on the first at Ohio State; I kept running into Profs who had served.
      As to the kids with opinions not grounded in reality; just think of them as Ensigns or 2LT’s that need to be somewhat gently brought into adulthood and responsibility. I mean, come on, if I can take hundred’s of Homicidally Inclined 18 year olds and turn them into disiplined young men, I can do the saame for the kids around me.

  4. Black

    April 16, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I sat down for my first Arabic class a couple years ago. The guy sitting next to me saw one of my many, many tattoos, an arrow with an “S” over it. He smiled, looked at me and said “Sniper, right?” I said “Yeah, and you.” His response was “Marine Corps scout-sniper, Fallujah.” “Army sniper, Ramadi and few others.” We became fast friends after that.

    Looking the way I do (beard, long, greasy hair, tattoos) nobody else in the class knew I was military. One day I walked in and one of the ROTC kids (an annoying group you didn’t mention) was talking to my Marine buddy about “The Hurt Locker”. I told him that I thought the movie sucked and “Avatar” should have gotten the Oscar. This 18 year old douche turned to me and said in his most insulting tone:

    “Whatever. I’d rather hear what someone who has actually been there thought about it.”

    My buddy smiled and said “Dude, Black spent three years in Iraq, he knows more about it than I do.”

    “Yeah, but…. but you were a sniper.”

    “Shit, so was he. And he’s probably better than me since he never got injured. That means I fucked up and was spotted.”

    The ROTC kid shut his mouth and slinked away, thoroughly embarassed.

    • Ben Rothman

      April 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      Bravo. Well done.
      Fortunately, most of the ROTC kids at my school are actually prior enlisted, even if it is just in the National Guard. They have at least been to Basic and know enough to keep their mouths shut when the vets are talking. Some even try to learn a thing or two. It gives me (a crusty old combat medic and Sergeant) some hope for the officer corps.

    • DerBärJuden11B

      August 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      I initially started out in ROTC and concluded that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t, in good conscience, try and lead people without ever having been where they were. Honestly, they need to get rid of this,”Butter Bar for a Bachelor’s” set up and require everyone to start as an E-1 and if you wan to become an officer, earn it.

  5. Kyle

    April 16, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Dealt with a “Cute Girl in a Rush” on Thursday in my Algebra class that I wanted to kill. Luckily, she rarely shows up for class. So she’s maybe 15min late and the conversation is as follows.

    Teacher “I’m glad you decided to show up, I was going to drop you from the class.”
    Cute Girl “You were just going to drop me, why?”
    Teacher “Missed class again, no notice, I would’ve sent you an e-mail before hand”
    Cute Girl “I’d hope you’d give me that courtesy.”
    Me “Like you gave her the curtsey of showing up on time?”
    Cute Girl *not so cute glare

    It pissed me off to no end that she’s basically blaming the teacher for her almost getting dropped for lack of attendance. There’s another vet in my class, though he’s probably 25 years my senior, that shared a smile over this.

  6. Tina

    April 16, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Other than the ROTC puds missing, there are also the so called “Feminists”, that don’t actually want to fight or earn their rights to be seen as equals, but rather rest on the laurels of women that had. There was a “neo-hippie” woman that actually stated she would run to Canada if a female draft was ever introduced, she openly admitted it during a discussion (had experienced this one in a sociology class), which then got the other Vet in the back of the room to point out what a hypocrite she was at that point. Also, in the same discussion is the “uninformed older woman” that 1. put more value on her daughters life than her sons by saying she would make her daughter go to Canada. When I pointed out the imbalance of value she denied it completely until I made it clear her son had already signed up for a draft since he was 19…but she hadn’t moved him to Canada. And 2. Stated under her breath, “I don’t think women should be in the military anyways.” I almost ripped out her jugular for that comment (my lip actually curled in a snarl) and made her repeat it loud enough for everyone in the room to hear. I was in uniform at the time and the room was in complete silence. I think they were trying to figure out if i was going to kill her or not. Then I informed her about women in the military and how we aren’t just “princesses” playing Army, but how we have in fact worked for our pay and have done a shit ton for the female rights movement just by wanting to be in jobs that were normally carried by men. How I could shoot expert with my 9 mil, but prefer the SAW because it causes more damage if necessary. And how grateful I was to have her be the one I am defending (this was obviously dripping in sarcasm). I was shaking at that point and had to be excused from the room, the other Vet came with me and talked me down, which probably saved me from jail time at that point…hahaha!

    • Tactical Tom

      April 19, 2012 at 2:04 am

      Are you single? I think I’ve found the love of my life!
      All I need to know is how fast can you field strip that SAW?

    • Marla

      April 23, 2012 at 2:17 am

      Yeah, those feminists are funny creatures. Over the years, I’ve discovered it stings them more to simply tell them to not hold another woman back from a job she’s too weak to handle. In any population there are sheepdogs and there are sheep, some of us aren’t meant to be sheep.

  7. Kevin

    April 17, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Great article. I couldn’t have said it better myself. While you highlighted some good points, you did not talk about the annoying veteran. The one that spent four months in Kuwait and thinks he knows about being in the suck. He will often be the guy that says “I have been over there and I think the war is wrong blah blah blah.” The other annoying vet is the one that talks about his black ops missions where he was repelling from a helo with a KABAR in his teeth while firing two SAW’s from the hip. You can recognize this guy by what he’s wearing, usually a PT jacket, boonie, and desert jungle boots. If you ask the right questions you can expose these people. If not, just do as I do and avoid them altogether. The rule of thumb that I use is if the the dude is wearing more military issued gear than he had to when he was actually active, take the things he said with a grain of salt.

  8. Mr. Twisted

    April 17, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Duly noted on not including a few characters. I didn’t want to make the piece too long, so I figured I would add in the ones that everyone has seen and leave it at that.

    Thanks to all for the feedback. Just let me know what else you want to hear about.

    • Shiftee

      January 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      This is 100% accurate. I’m in law school, literally sitting in Constitutional law at the moment. I found this year old article while sitting back and using my laptop to ignore the “Agenda” rant on a subject she hijacked from the “hippie”, while sitting with 2 guys from the 82nd and our favorite “nerd”. The “cute girl in a rush” is nonexistent here, from your description its self explanatory why they seldom make it past undergrad.

      Interesting side note that may explain some of the gravitation between veterans. Before every new class comes into our school we take a MBTI personality test to accompany a required leadership course taken throughout our stay. The first day of said leadership course, the Professor asked us all to stand and then proceeded to arrange us according to our results. Now, I’ve always thought these things are bullshit, but somehow when all was said and done every veteran in our incoming class was standing within 5 feet of one another. From Navy eod to Army infantry, officers and enlisted…all answered the questions on that test nearly the same.

  9. Jake

    April 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

    My Philosophy/Ethics class drives me nuts! The first week of class my teacher asked the class, “how come our troops can torture terrorists with waterboarding but the terrorists can’t torture us?”. In one of the books I have to read it has a story about PVT. Ross McGinnis and my teacher asked us, “so what did he get out of jumping on a grenade?” Trying to explain selfless service or any of the other Army Values to this knob washer just makes me want to pluck his eyes out and then rip the spools out of his ears so I have something to put his eyes on so they don’t roll off my bookshelf.

    • Ret SGT

      April 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      ROFLMAO.
      Lord do I love a soldier who attended all the bullshit sessions on how to talk to civilians. You made my day.

    • Rich Johns

      May 3, 2012 at 7:02 am

      THANKS, Jake. I laughed my ass off.
      Best part of my day, so far.
      Pissed off my socialogy Prof by saying that his 140 dollar book was too expensive and we didn’t really USE it in the class.
      Heading home in five days to see the youngest, a daughter, graduate from college.
      Been over here in Iraq as a contractor for nine years, helping my kids protect themselves from monster education debt.
      Brought back memories of my Community College days.
      Thanks again,
      Regards,
      Rich J.

  10. Mike

    April 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I graduated from The Citadel in ’98. While you do not have to go into the service about half of the school does, and you live the military lifestyle while there. Thank God, I missed out on the dushebags that have been decribed here. For you vets that have to endure, God bless you!! Even though they deserve it, try not to rip there heads off and shit down their throats

    • Robert

      August 12, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      Mike! Nice to see a fellow El Cid guy on here. Hotel 02. Just started grad school at the University of Virginia as their only veteran student in my program…I hate my life almost as much as I hate SMIs!

  11. Instinct

    April 24, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I went to grad school in San Francisco at an art college (Academy of Art University). There is nothing that can set more students and teacher to foaming at the mouth than wearing your Ranger Up T-shirt to class. The ones that got the best reactions were “Freedom isn’t Free” and “Marines have the best commercials”

    I was Navy, but since I had a lot of buddies in the Corps, I wore that one for them :D

    The best thing was that I met some other vets while I was there and we would hit a bar just up the street before our Wed. class – have a couple beers (or scotch), smoke some cigars outside and BS about shit we had seen or put up with. First time we did that and went to class my instructor damn near had a heart attack that we showed up to class smelling of alcohol an smoke.

    Damn, I’m glad to be done with grad school. So much BS for so little return.

  12. Kevin Valentin (Rakkasan's)

    June 8, 2012 at 11:07 am

    There are others you will run into as well some good some bad some just annoying.

    The Wanna Be

    These are almost always guys that find out you were in the military and will annoy you with really stupid questions and if you are within 200 yards from him he will some how seek you out.

    The Inquisitor

    These are also the Wanna Be but these are usually people you meet at parties that are for the most part harmless and really want to know what the military is all about. Unfortunately you get the stupid douchbag Inquisitor that always walks up when you are talking to someone else (usually a girl or your fellow Vet) and ask “THE QUESTION” So did you kill anyone? or How many people did you kill? I just look at these people and shake my head and go somewhere else. My buddy one night was not so nice about someone asking him and he told the guy to shut his F*&*ing mouth and leave well he didn’t so my buddy did it for him.

    MY ALL TIME FAVORITE I MET IN COLLEGE!!!!

    The awe struck college CoEd that either works in the VA counselors office or the one in class that finds out you were in the military. They come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and freakinesses (if thats even a word. Advice on these young ladies is HAVE FUN!!!

  13. Steve Malbasa

    October 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Another interesting part is when YOU are the teacher — I now teach school, in a county youth detention center (that is, jail), so I don’t think too many of my students will serve. Maybe some of the ones who are picked up for truancy or something similarly harmless, I am told that there have been a few before my time who traded polyester orange for BDUs (it was a while ago), or naval dungarees.

    I view my situation on what I have to offer as an opportunity to (A) piss off my more liberal peers, only one of which has served, and (B)put service to your country in the best light, as opposed as to thinking that it is something only “others” do. Again, I hope a few of my drug addicts and screwups will enlist, or at least stay out of county and/ or state prison when they are 18-20.

    Some will occasionally ask me if I ever killed anyone. My response, when I first started in education, was a pretty good chewing to the young man or woman, but I realized I am dealing with kids who mean no malice with that question. I now tell them “That is for me to know and for you never to find out.” Sadly, no one has ever asked if I have ever SAVED a life, I guess they don’t have that perspective.

    Going back in January for a second bachelor’s, in physics (let’s just say education is weird, but sue me, I like school), it ought to be interesting. When I went for my teaching license, I had a lot of respect from the profs, actually, a lot like the above poster who had one bust his chops for his age. That guy was younger than me. I had a laugh about it.

  14. Edward

    August 12, 2013 at 10:25 am

    It’s true, The Other Veteran is usually close by. Heck, I was three weeks back from Iraq and was ETSed and in class. Finding myself sitting next to Ranger Up’s own Tommy Batboy really helped. Since then we’ve founded a veterans RSO that keeps about a companies worth of veterans entertained, connected, and supported.

    • Mr. Twisted

      August 12, 2013 at 11:41 am

      Ha!

      That is outstanding.

  15. John

    August 12, 2013 at 10:45 am

    You’re correct except mine wasnt college. I had a Marine Gunny in my fire academy class. We just piss and moaned about the DBs in our class. Felt good.

  16. Matt

    August 12, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I was fortunate through my undergrad to have a lot of professors with fathers who were war vets and or veterans. Latch on to them if you are fortunate to have one. They may not understand but they have seen the struggles and do their best to help. I had a professor for my undergrad and now my masters program who even deployed to Afghanistan. They will go the extra mile to help you out. The students mentioned above, all true. Sit back and watch the shit show unfold when all of these people open their mouths.

    • DrMe

      August 12, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      Thanks, Matt. You know what, a lot of professors do try. It’s very discouraging to be tagged as a stupid, liberal, hippie, scumbag, military-hater. Sure, there are some–and they are more common in certain classes–but a lot of us respect that you have served. We also appreciate the perspective you bring to class and we definitely appreciate that you want to be there.

      Any chance you want to change your major to Finance and be in my classes?

  17. TheShopster

    August 12, 2013 at 11:16 am

    As a Cadet, I’m curious (though not surprised) by the distaste most vets have with the ROTC crowd. Any specific insights ya’ll mind sharing about what we do that is offensive, and ways to avoid it? Being in ROTC is a quasi-Twilight Zone between being a civilian (we do wear the uniform and occasionally get to attend the Hooah schools) and a veteran (we’re clearly not), so interacting with those who are can be challenging.

    • leftoftheboom

      August 12, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      You ask an honest question and this is my best honest answer. When you put on the uniform, the college mindset needs to stop. Cadets are outside everything and that is not your fault. You are not an officer nor are you enlisted. But there are things that you can do to Learn and most that tick me off do so because the uniform is just another outfit they happen to be wearing that day.

      The seriousness with which you display to the choice you made is what determines how well you are going to be received by those who will one day be under your command. Think about it.

      You might be seen now, as a cadet, acting like a waste of air in front of troops. Then you put on bars and are now that same junior Soldier’s boss.

      Commitment starts early. Respect earlier still.

    • ET1(SS) Princess

      August 12, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      I have to agree with LOTB. When you get your butter bars and show up at your first command you have to understand completely that you know absolutely nothing. You need to own that nothingness like a million dollars.

      Don’t pretend you or act like you know what your doing. You will have 3rd and 2nd classes (Navy ranks) that have been in for years and already know how everything works and now they must teach you to do your job. It gets old. Quick.

      The worst are officers that show up, feel disrespected about something someone said or did, and then try to pull rank. You will immediately be labeled as a target. Then when your ass is on the line in front of the Skipper or CO and he’s fuming out his ears, you will need your NCO’s to bail your ass out and they wont because your a dick.

      If you didn’t immediately go up to the 1st SGT or Chief (Navy rank) and say “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing and I have been in the military for 30 seconds – Please teach me so I’m not a dumbass and get someone killed” then you are ****ing up at light speed.

      Earn the respect of the men who are going to work for you. It goes miles in the long run. And I’m not sure about the other branches, but in the Navy, you still don’t know dick until you put on Full-Bird Lieutenant (Navy rank O-3).

    • Doc

      August 12, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      To reiterate what ET1(SS) Princess said; do NOT be that asshat butterbar to show up and treat the enlisted like idiots. Remember that you are pretty much a Private that makes a lot more money and gets saluted. Ask your senior E-4s and up if you don’t know something because if you just fake it, or even worse treat your subordinates like they don’t know the job that they’ve been doing longer than you, they will not only let you find out the hard way that you are wrong but will in fact point the finger at you when someone of higher rank asks what in the hell happened. As a cadet, treat the veterans you encounter with respect. Don’t ask them questions like “Have you killed anyone?” or tell them how your third cousin twice removed was a SEAL in an attempt to somehow convince them that you know something about serving. Don’t be afraid to ask for their advice and soak up as much info as you can so as to help make you a more effective leader when you earn your commission.

      Best of luck to you

  18. Dirty17

    August 12, 2013 at 11:17 am

    I just graduated from a HBCU and was in ROTC there. I took a class there called “War and Politics” and funny thing is that out of the 30 students 18 were Vets, Active, Reserve and in ROTC; only problem was the professor who was an extreme liberal who gave us shit about being affiliated with the military.

    Long story short we used the buddy system and took the same classes or have at least have 4 to 5 in a single class, and used us(ROTC Cadets) as scouts to find decent or good professors and classes. And since we started doing that 2yrs ago all have stayed 3.5 or higher.

    Just though Id share that for others to use.

  19. Jaye Lynn

    August 12, 2013 at 11:33 am

    See, I’m the young lady that thanks God for the veterans in the class room cause you guys actually bother to learn and know how to get crap done. And if anyone above in the article is pissing me off, i know they’re just as pissed. Makes for awesome conversations after class. Over half of my team mates are veterans, and we’re always in more then one class (and on teams in those classes). Our teams rock- and I owe it 100% to them.

    Oh, not to mention its always a bonus when break time from projects consists of talking about needing to modify your AR 15, favorite guns and accessories, and Call of Duty vrs Halo. And if they happen to know what Ranger Up is its even better.

  20. Trevor

    August 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    The late girl one is so true. Avoid this particular type of succubae.

  21. Bryan

    August 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I guess I am the only one who has constantly run into the veterans that go out of their way to throw it into the faces of other students and teachers, thus driving more dislike of other veterans.
    That being said, I have deeply offended multiple hippies with my RU Douchbagistan shirt.

  22. CRiggs

    August 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I had an instructor from Lebanon who taught Middle Eastern Culture. I was in class with a future Navy pilot who asked a question. The professor responded with “Please do not drop bombs on the people of Lebanon.” Completely off topic… I felt bad when I started laughing hysterically.

  23. Ruby

    August 13, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Good advice here.

    My two cents: Attend a school with a fair number of non-traditional students. These are older people who’ve been around long enough to have experienced some hardships – raising a family, earning a living the hard way, and/or overcoming a serious illness or just bad life choices. Seek these people out. Form study groups with them if you can – they’ll be trying to adjust to academics after years away from it too. You will benefit from studying with them. And you will actually find it easier to connect with the 55 year old lady who just had her first grandchild than you will with all the 20 year olds. And on that note, I do recommend compassion/empathy. The 20 year olds just showed up for life – they have a ton to learn, and they will experience their fair share of hardship soon enough. They just don’t know it yet. They may act like, well ignorant and cocky 20 year olds around you, because they are in fact 20, but your presence and example will make an impression. Probably more than many of the textbooks and professors. So be patient.

  24. Some of us care

    August 14, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I love these sort of articles as a civilian. Some of us do care, and go out of our way to befriend veterans–not out of any sense of living vicariously through their deeds and adventures, but to honestly befriend them. The few of us out there that are like this generally come from a family that has veterans in it, and when they’re my age, most of those veterans are Vietnam era. We were brought up with parents telling us how shitty it was when they or their brother/cousin/uncle came home and got spat on and screamed at. And our folks made damned sure we’d have the sincere gratitude for those of y’all that put yourself out there in harm’s way on our behalf.

    One thing I have found as a civilian that so many fail to notice is how reliable veterans are. That’s why when any of them ask for help, I’m the first one to say yes. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve helped move people in/out (or their exes’ shit in/out) of a place, or been side-by-side under a sink or vehicle helping any way I could. I also do my best not to ask anything in return. But when I do, I know who I can count on.

    Some of my friends went to war and came home whole. Others didn’t. For some of us, we’ll do whatever we can to help them transition back and be there to share a beer, or a story, or just sit on the couch and watch the game. Because we actually do care, and the civilians described in the article piss us off as well. They’re the ones that make it that much tougher for y’all to reacclimate and to trust that some of us are here as friends, nothing more and nothing less.

  25. trav

    August 15, 2013 at 7:58 am

    In my philosophy class, there was a young guy who just got back from his deployment and was starting school, he organized study groups for us because the class was so difficult (total hippy professor too) a ten person class and he helped (at least me) so much getting the concepts- the veterans may often help us young dumb 20 somethings out unwittingly :)

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