Friday, April 04, 2014

Men Behaving Badly

First of all, I want to extend my deepest, most heartfelt sympathies to those harmed and murdered by the creep at Ft. Hood a couple of days ago. I wish I had a perfect way to phrase how heartbroken these incidents make me and that I know that my feelings of sadness are but a fraction of how those personally touched by the event feel, but this is the best I can do.

My good buddy Wyatt recently posted on the subject, and his post says a bunch of stuff I agree with, but in particular I want to focus on the last two paragraphs. Go read it; I’ll wait.

Regarding animosity toward police from those in the military… This is definitely “a thing”. I speak as a veteran of the Army and specifically of the MP corps. Let me put it this way: if “cops = pigs”, then “MPs = pig shit”. It’s not simply that there are a lot of wannabe thugs in the army – there are, of course – it’s that there’s a distortion of the feelings of camaraderie and brotherhood that one gets in the military going on. I hate to call out one MOS, so I will reduce it to saying “combat arms jobs”. Male-only world, with very few exceptions (I don’t have numbers, but there are likely still fewer than a dozen females, who are basically guinea pigs in these MOSs). These are the guys who truly do see the most combat action, and experience the worst that war has to offer. I’m not denying that at all, so before any fellas get their pretty blue panties in a twist, I know that they get the worst of the shit.

What many of them don’t get, though, is that the crap they face on deployment is just the “raw” version of life as a LEO. They think their service makes them special snowflakes, because they risked their lives. Law enforcement, firefighters, EMS – all first responders – do this all the time. Every day. Year in, year out. Their wives and kids live with the anxiety continuously, sometimes for decades. Does a combat deployment somehow give one a pass to drive drunk, beat the spouse, and assault others? It seems some misguided folks think it does. They’ve been in the shit, so why should some MP (a mere combat-support job!) or cop (a CIVILIAN!) trip them up with silly things like laws? It’s like the famous actress drunkenly smarting off “Don’t you know who I am?”

These are guys who are told they’re heroes for their job, and think it gets them off the hook for bad behavior, or makes them superior humans.

These mo-fo’s are mistaken. They don’t like that they haven’t got the monopoly on the shit in modern conflicts. They don’t even grasp that LEOs face dangerous people and situations, where the potential threat is someone in their own community, not a skulking terrorist or compound of known hostiles that is awaiting an assault. They are special, heroic, they are just one experiment away from superhero status! You have no right to apply your POG/crunchy/civilian BS to them!

Don’t get me wrong, though- all of these folks definitely have done something respectable (joining, deploying, turning up for formation) and possibly heroic even, but they’re not unique and they’re not honoring themselves, their service, or this nation by being punks.

At this point I could offer some second-hand anecdotes. I was lucky enough to never actually have to detain a fellow soldier when I was doing patrol work. But those stories aren’t mine. I am likely waaaay more burned up hearing Sgt. Bones’ accounts of these dumbasses than he is; he’s a singularly composed individual and a damn good cop. (I am honored to know a few of those.)

Apologies if I used more lingo than necessary. I’m happy to clarify any needlessly obscure acronyms.

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