Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Life with civilian feather-heads

Maj. Crispin J. Burke is a U.S. Army officer and Iraq combat veteran. Now home, he avoids telling people that he's in the military because, well, "I'm sick of the questions," he says. If he reveals his career choice, Burke finds himself quickly slobbered with hero-worship praise or whispered pity that he's suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. To other peckerwoods, I mean, civilians, entering the military is like being condemned to the Gulag. Burke wrote: "I once visited my old high school and revealed that I had just been commissioned as a lieutenant in the Army. One woman gasped, covering her mouth, "How much longer do you have left?'"

But mostly it's the dumb questions of late ("Dude, how many Iraqis did you kill?") that gets to Major Burke. To wit:
"My friend's cousin Steve is in the Army or the Navy or something like that. Do you know him?" (Sorry, missed the [memo] that designated one day as "Everyone in the Armed Forces gets together and introduces themselves day.")

"Is war really like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3?" (Never played COD:MW3. But rest assured, this video game is about as hard-hitting and realistic as it gets.)

"There are girls in the Army? When did they start letting girls in the Army?" (You'd be surprised at how often this one comes up.)

"What's Iraq like?" (Do you want metrics? I seem to have forgotten my Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides.)
Frightening, isn't it?

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