Opinion: Pricey veteran neighborhood, it’s not you, it’s me

By Jason Collins

Penning this letter has been one of many hardest issues I’ve needed to do in years. It’s been a very long time coming, however the whole lot that follows comes from the center.

First let me simply say that you simply’ve been nice. After I obtained again from my third tour and was battling alcoholism, post-traumatic stress, and a messy divorce, you had been there for me with the whole lot from humorous and generally racist memes, to irreverent bumper stickers and funky gun movies.

I can’t actually place my finger on after I first realized there was an issue, however I believe it might have been one morning after I was furiously typing out a rant in opposition to some lib-tard whore who had posted an article saying we should always deal with unlawful immigrants with respect. Whereas I hadn’t truly learn the article, the hyperlink was being handed round all of the veteran social media websites and everybody was fairly fired up about it.

Then, underneath the remark of the second “Democrats are un-American communists” meme, somebody posted the writer’s hacked cellphone quantity and residential tackle.

But I used to be shocked to find I didn’t need to name and ship a hate-filled rant to a whole stranger.

So I logged off, slipped on my fight veteran-designed flip flops and DD-214 gown, and went out to the porch swing to assume. As I sat there sipping Black Rifle espresso from an “I served” mug and watched my Gadsden flag sway within the breeze, I knew one thing was severely flawed with me.

However issues solely obtained worse within the weeks that adopted. For instance, in the future a soldier from my previous platoon posted an image of his new tattoo. It was a full again portrait of certainly one of our NCOs who had been decapitated by a rocket-propelled grenade whereas standing subsequent to me throughout a gunfight.

Whereas everybody else commented with tearful “He’d love that! RIP Dawg” and “See U in Valhalla bRotHer!” all I might assume was, Jesus, that’s a horrible portrait. And Sgt. Smith at all times hated you.

What was taking place?

Then final month I used to be leaving the mall car parking zone, and thru my OEF/OIF fight veteran window decals I noticed two younger Marines house on go away beating the shit out of a 14-year-old sporting a light camouflage jacket. They had been each sporting their issued fight backpacks, tan boots, and dog-tags on the surface of their tucked-in Loss of life Earlier than Dishonor t-shirts.

With spittle flying from his acne-scarred face, the bigger one screamed “stolen valor” and kicked the younger man within the head, whereas the opposite cheered him on and shouted that his grandfather who “butt-fucked Nazis all throughout Europe” can be rolling over in his grave if he might see what the teenager was sporting.

Usually I might have pulled out my cellphone and instantly streamed the video to the Spartan Valor Freedom Watch Defenders Fb web page, however as a substitute I referred to as 911 and reported two guys assaulting a child. After that I knew issues had been close to the breaking level.

Throughout my final job interview I truly forgot to put on all three of my memorial bracelets, and some days in the past I went on a date and didn’t point out the navy or fight even as soon as.

It hurts me to say this, however I don’t even get pleasure from watching former-soldiers-turned Instagram celebrities shoot weapons within the desert anymore. And seeing a Medal of Honor recipient shill tactical gear now not makes me attain for my bank card.

I’ve even discovered myself questioning a former soldier’s means to go on cable information reveals and touch upon world strategic coverage regardless of having a single six-month deployment to Kuwait.

So look, I’m simply going to tear the Band-Help off. This isn’t working.

Please don’t try to contact me. I’ve cancelled all of my month-to-month t-shirt subscriptions and already completed my first ebook not written by a Navy SEAL. It truly wasn’t unhealthy.

I’ve determined to get away from all this. I nonetheless love you, and also you’ve given me reminiscences that may by no means get replaced, nevertheless it’s over.

However please perceive: it’s not you, it’s me.

Jason Collins is a former U.S. Military infantryman. After leaving the navy and strolling round with a chip on his shoulder, he lastly determined to cease performing like a pretentious douchebag and reintegrate into society just like the veterans of World Struggle II, Korea, and Vietnam earlier than him.