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Posted: 5/2/2004 9:56:18 AM EST

This month marks two years in the service for me. I realize that I don't have any civilian friends, except one, who has given serious thought to joining, but is holding off to resolve some issues. My best friends are all military. Even with moves, different career paths, and deployments, we have all stuck together. I haven't had a civilian friend since highschool. I just don't relate to civilians anymore.
Any thoughts from those of you who have been serving for a while? What about those who have been out of the service for a while and had to transition back to being a civilian?

Link Posted: 5/2/2004 10:03:29 AM EST
All the time.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 10:05:30 AM EST
I still have several friends that I had in the military, but it did not take me long to adjust.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 10:07:20 AM EST
Is my hanging out on here constantly any indication of my transition from .mil to .civ?

Honestly, I still talk to my .mil friends a lot but the hardest part about having .mil friends is they are still moving all over the place so it's hard to get together with them.Thank god for the internet.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 10:14:40 AM EST
I'm not in the military yet, i swear in next fall, but i attend a Senior Military College, (its in the northeast, can you guess which one it is) I've been here for two years and i already notice that i have trouble relating to civilians, 99.9% of my friends are military, or soon to be commisioned. I also find that i can't find the camraderie or friendship that i've developed here when i go home for the summer, its just not the same, but mayby i'm wierd

Homemade sig line: Death Waits in the Dark
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 10:14:58 AM EST
I've never really fit into the civilian world, but wasn't in the service long enough to do anything at all. It's just that all the .mil friends I have are the best people I've known in my life, and I don't really want anything to do with folks that don't have the same ethic.

So, even though I am not a member, I hang out at the VFW and volunteer there. I make friends all the time, and learn a lot from people who have BTDT. I'm accepted as part of the crew, and have gotten to the point that it's the only place I feel comfortable having a drink outside of my home.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 10:15:07 AM EST
Civilians? Where?
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 10:16:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By Valkyrie:
Civilians? Where?


[Jimbo]THEY'RE COMING RIGHT AT US![/Jimbo]
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 10:36:22 AM EST
When I was in the service, I totally felt that way - and pretty much my only friends were people I served with and people who had served (not only in the military, or my branch - but in my regiment). Plus, there really wasn't time for a social life at all - any time off or leave I had I mostly spent sleeping

However, while I still define myself very much in terms of my military service, I've been able to make a new friends that have become very close since then (I guess you have to learn to make new friends when you move to the other side of the planet ). I have two really close friends in the U.S., and a lot of people that I would consider casual friends - and none of them have served. It's funny as well - since I'm now in academia - I'm actually become good friends with people I woudl have DESPISED while I was in the service. I guess I'm such a wonderful and sensitive person (liek Gandhi or the Dalai Llama) that I can see the good in many people
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 10:54:33 AM EST
Well, gee. While I was in, the people I even KNEW were mostly military. I did have some civilian friends that I only saw when we were in homeport. In the Navy, especially, it is kind of hard to be friends with anyone but military as that is all you see 99 percent of the time.

If you can't relate to civilians, maybe you have a problem.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 11:30:47 AM EST
My first 3 years in the Navy was spent for the most part with guys from my squadron.

After 3 years I got tired of the same bullshit from the same people, you can only listen to the same bullshit stories so many times so I made an effort to find civilian friends.

There are more civilian gun owners, motorcycle riders and more civilian pussy out there than is in the military.

Don't limit yourself.



Link Posted: 5/2/2004 11:52:38 AM EST
No
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 12:05:22 PM EST
Iam not even in the military and I still can't relate with civilians.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 12:14:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/2/2004 12:20:14 PM EST by CAR-10]
You need to make an effort to get out and meet more people. You've got to remember that they are the reason that you are serving or you'll become evil

Try taking some classes or volunteering in the community. Maybe it'll change your view of the world enough to relate to other people.

I forgot to mention that I was in for one term, out for three years, and now I'm back.

At first it was hard, there wasn't much interaction with anyone in my AF job. It got easier as time went by. But the whole time I was inactive I was comforted by the fact that I didn't have long to go until re-activation.

You've got to understand the most people with the same values and morals might end up in careers similar to the military. Even some military people aren't on the same page.

It'll just be like that anywhere you go.

Link Posted: 5/2/2004 12:26:15 PM EST
When I first went home I found my friends all still acting like little children.

All they did was get high and/or get drunk. I was surprised how much of a piece of shit I used to be, because that used to be my routine as well.

I usually just laugh when they say stupid shit like "aww man I gotta get up at 8 tomorrow" and shit...I mean geez, cry me a frigging river. Im probably in one of the easier places in the military and civilian life is a joke.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 1:17:28 PM EST
Many recent vets share your feelings.
Make sure you talk to someone about it. Talk to your friends, your fellow servicemembers, and your clergy (if that's your thing).
It is a symptom.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 1:48:03 PM EST
I still stay in touch with some old Army buddies but find that as a civilian most of my friends are veterans. People seek their own level and I don't see a problem.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 2:01:22 PM EST
Two years ... I have more time than that on the shitter in the Persian Gulf

I'm at the 23 year mark in my career and yeah, most of my friends are military or retired military. Living as a gypsy it's hard to put down roots so you still with the other military guys - you or they are always coming or going.

When I've been home my old friends are still working the same job, living in the same pit as before, doing the same drugs, driving the same old POS cars ... while I've been around the world more than a few times, make a good living, live the clean life - which BTW most womenz want - and have actually done something for my country other than just take up space in it and abuse the welfare system.

When I retire I'll have to stay in a military community just to feel good. Civilians are all screwed up - almost as much as them retired farts!
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 2:05:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By CAR-10:
You need to make an effort to get out and meet more people. You've got to remember that they are the reason that you are serving or you'll become evil



Not trying to take a serious tone, but when I was injured during OEF and came back all these civilians were saying "thank you" and I understood the sentiment, shook their hands, and put on a happy face.

However... I would say I served not so much for the people in this country but for the country itself, what it stands for, and the foundation and principles on which it was built. Most sheeple I meet in pub-lick I would have to say I could give a rats ass about on a personal level.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 2:17:47 PM EST
Not being able to relate to civilians is one thing. Just don't start feeling superior.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 2:21:01 PM EST
I got off active and joined the guard, and pretty much only hang out with guard friends now.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 2:25:25 PM EST
After I got back from the Cold War, people seemed to treat me different. I don't like to talk about it. I guess it hasn't been long enough...
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 2:35:32 PM EST
Uncle Sam released me in 1992 and I still don't understand the mindset or relate to civilians that have never served. Growing up in a military family and serving for 12 years, I still wish I was still in. In some ways, I still feel very, very contected to the military. Guess, I wasn't born to be a civilian, cause a hate being one sometimes.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 2:42:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By AZ-K9:
All the time.



He didn't ask "para-military" types.

Interesting that you would say that though. Clearly indicative of your not-so latent bunker mentality. This "We-They" syndrome that many cops acquire over the years. I guess having to deal with human garbage every day and then get cuffed around by land sharks, libeal jurists and unfriendly citizens might make me think the same way.

Just an observation...
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 2:46:03 PM EST


I hope my post didn't come off sounding elitist. I don't look down my nose at civilians. I just dont feel much of a connection with them. Kinda like day and night.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 3:13:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:

Originally Posted By CAR-10:
You need to make an effort to get out and meet more people. You've got to remember that they are the reason that you are serving or you'll become evil



Not trying to take a serious tone, but when I was injured during OEF and came back all these civilians were saying "thank you" and I understood the sentiment, shook their hands, and put on a happy face.

However... I would say I served not so much for the people in this country but for the country itself, what it stands for, and the foundation and principles on which it was built. Most sheeple I meet in pub-lick I would have to say I could give a rats ass about on a personal level.



By all means, take a serious tone. What you said is more along the lines of what I meant. I summed it up in an earlier thread similar to this one, however, since some features aren't working right now I can't provide a link.

But the people of this country (no matter how stupid 2/3 of them prove to be) are what keeps the idea alive.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 3:19:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By OKLAHOMA_LAWMAN:
Iam not even in the military and I still can't relate with civilians.



I can't relate to 95% of people. I can relate to no one all the time.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 7:24:46 PM EST
I was born at Murphy Army Hosp., Mass. in 1956. Spent the next 8 years living on one base or an other, until my father was medically retired. The next year I was packing my stuff and was asked "what are you doing?". Told the folks I was getting ready to transfer. We had a long talk about this and several other things.
Joined the Navy at 21 and served for 16 years as an electronics tech (with broken service), took "early out" retirement and picked up a 60% disability rating.
I miss it all the time, the travel, order, purpose, discipline, the doing of things most people never get a chance to think of much less try.
And to answer your question-yes there is a great disconnect between myself and what I view as the civilian world.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 7:26:33 PM EST
Somewhat, but I think it has more to do with the fact that most civvies are selfcentered materialistic sheeple, who care more about who won the game, or who J-Lo is balling, than freedom. That also describes many in uniform as well, though........
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 7:27:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/2/2004 7:30:58 PM EST by AZ-K9]

Originally Posted By LWilde:

Originally Posted By AZ-K9:
All the time.



He didn't ask "para-military" types.

Interesting that you would say that though. Clearly indicative of your not-so latent bunker mentality. This "We-They" syndrome that many cops acquire over the years. I guess having to deal with human garbage every day and then get cuffed around by land sharks, libeal jurists and unfriendly citizens might make me think the same way.

Just an observation...




See this (), know what it means?????

Now go sit in the corner with the hat on your head and don't come back till you can pay attention...MMMMkAY?


I'll be the first to admit there is a bunker mentality amongs cops, it's sometimes necessary.

Hell, there are several here that have problems with the police arresting people who shit in parking lots.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 7:33:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sniper_Wolfe:

Originally Posted By OKLAHOMA_LAWMAN:
Iam not even in the military and I still can't relate with civilians.



I can't relate to 95% of people. I can relate to no one all the time.



Yeah - that's a whole different problem. It's because you're smart
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 8:18:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/2/2004 8:22:46 PM EST by eaglebite]
At one point I couldn't relate. Little story...At the end of my basic training, I got my base pass and went to see this new movie called "Saving Private Ryan" at the theater. I was waiting in line with these dirtbags and they were going to see the movie with me. Well, I thought that after the movie, most people would warm up to the sacrifice that the soldiers made and still make, but NO. I was walking down the hall after the movie(I was in uniform), and all I heard from the dirtbags that went in with me and many other people was that it was all bullshit and they said that our guys deserved to die for being where they don't belong, etc. I was deeply, deeply insulted

I grew up on stories of how the vets from the wars were the best people and their sacrifice was so that I could be here today. Now I hear this garbage coming out of peoples mouths while a member of the military is walking with them out of a very patroitic movie pissed me off (This all happened during the Clinton era mind you). What was I? I was invisible, and according to Clinton policy I wasn't needed. So I felt like the rest of the country let me down as well as the vets before me. I grew to hate civilians and didn't leave the base for some time since civvies pissed me off with their ignorance towards me and my comrades in arms. I didn't talk to civilians, eat with them, look at them, or watch tv. That lasted until Bush got into office. Then I knew that something may change for us. No more neglect, no more being invisible.

Then Sept 11th happened. We were once again put into the front pages and called "heroes". Humph! Were was all that love and respect during Clintons reign, huh? Hypocrites!!!!!!!! Where were those letter from kids telling me how much they love their country befor that? Where was the flag waving on tv, and the thanks from strangers? I felt like those old feelings of resentment were coming back up when I saw how everybody got on the "support our troops in Afganistan" wagon. The military isn't a bunch of rent-a-heros to kill the boogie man, they are ALWAYS heroes. Damn civilians I calmed down after I got out of the service, but as you can tell, I will never forget being treated like a piece of shit by the average joe for being in the military.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 12:00:24 AM EST
I go over 22 years active and guard combined this summer. I have done two 4 months activations for the "War on Terror" in the last 18 months. I like what I do and where I do it. My family understands, they may not like it but they understand why I do what I do.

After ten years active, I went guard and had to get to know a few civilians. I like military and ex-military folks, they served they get to have an opinion on the military good or bad because they lived it. Most military or ex-military folks, vote, work, pay taxes, keep there crap squared away and are generally better people. All the military asks is that you try your best, if you fail and you tried your best, you have your honor. Nearly all of my friends are GI or Ex-GI.

To this day I like what I do and the folks I do it with. I think for the most part they are a better class of people than the average civilian. We live in a world where you are expected to do a good job, not lie or cheat, not abuse drugs or alcohol, respect authority, be responsible to your country, family, friends and creditors. To be in the military you have to be a better person.

When you see cowards/democrats trying to pretend to be heros, Army Rangers, Navy SEALS or "decorated war heros." You see people that envy the pride, strength and courage it takes to be in the military and in the elite units. They want the glory without the risk or effort, typical of people raised in a welfare state. They want reward without risk. Thats why they constantly belittle servicemen and women, they hate what they can never become.

When you see people like John Kerry it should make you sick. He used three self-inflicted nicks and scab picks to get three Purple Hearts, none of the wounds required anything more than Bactracin or a band-aid. I bet money he wrote the Silver Star citation himself. He got special consideration because he was rich and white. In less than 4 months, he fled the combat area like a fucking coward. He demanded a tour in DC as an aide to any Admiral. If you look at his reserve record he no doubt failed to make drills.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 12:23:32 AM EST
Born a military brat served 6 and now serve as an LEO for a better part of 10 years. I guess that a person wearing a uniform has a broader look on life an they tend to stick together because team work, comradery, trust, loyalty are key ingredients in our life. You don't find to much of that in civilian life.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 12:47:24 AM EST
Relate to civilians? Of course.

Like the Shepherd relates to his flock.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 2:52:59 AM EST
Get use to it for even out of the service for over 30 years, it's hard to relate your service experience with anyone who wasn't in the service.

If you put 30 people in a room with only two vets in the room, the two vets would end up setting by each other in short order.

Tj
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 3:55:38 AM EST

Originally Posted By AZ-K9:

Originally Posted By LWilde:

Originally Posted By AZ-K9:
All the time.



He didn't ask "para-military" types.

Interesting that you would say that though. Clearly indicative of your not-so latent bunker mentality. This "We-They" syndrome that many cops acquire over the years. I guess having to deal with human garbage every day and then get cuffed around by land sharks, libeal jurists and unfriendly citizens might make me think the same way.

Just an observation...




See this (), know what it means?????

Now go sit in the corner with the hat on your head and don't come back till you can pay attention...MMMMkAY?


I'll be the first to admit there is a bunker mentality amongs cops, it's sometimes necessary.

Hell, there are several here that have problems with the police arresting people who shit in parking lots.



Touchy...touchy! Yes, I'm well aware of what it means and I knew that going in. Just making an observation...admittedly at your expense though. No insult intended. Let not your panties get into a bunch...it will ruin your next watch.

That said...why is the "bunker mentality" necessary? I am really curious as to that.

As far as the parking lot shitter...I'd have run his ass in too.

Stay safe and catch the bad guys!
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 4:22:21 AM EST
I noticed what you are talking about the first time I came home on leave. Two years away, and my friends never left high school after graduation. ( I hit 30 years in 2007 and I'll bet they are STILL in high school) I felt like everyone had been replaced with pod people, no reality there at all. Friend after friend, I would think, "Gee. I never realized what a selfish shallow idiot (blank) is."

Spent all my time on leave with my folks (step-dad was a Korean war vet) and an E-2 marine I had met on the plane. he also was coming home for the first time and noted the same thing. We ended up spending a month together on the beach and talking to the ladies. (The only civilians worth looking at twice when you are 19 years old) From that point on we tried to schedule leave together. We had a blast for years.

I stayed close friends with that marine until he died last year at age 44. He was always welcome at our house, when he married and started kicking out kids like a rabbit his family were welcome as well. He raised 7 kids, and along with his wife did an outstanding job.

"Uncle John" now warns his 5 daughters about the dangers of GI's home on leave.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 4:31:07 AM EST
I've never been in the military, but as a cop for over 25 years I can attest to the fact that police develop this us vs them mentality, and its destructive.
Whether police or military, those "civilians" that we eschew are US, and although its easy to lose sight of that at times, in the end if one maintains this mentality it can destroy you.
I've known lots of cops, upon retirement, trying to relate to those "civilians" they've looked donw on during their careers, and finding themselves alone.
Just my perspective.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 4:50:49 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/3/2004 4:52:46 AM EST by Sukebe]
Well, it's a good thing all you "heros" look down on us so much. It will make it that much easier for you to turn your guns on us. Your "SS"mentality comes as no surprise to me. I served for 8 years in two services. They fed me that BS too. The only difference I suppose is that I have my own mind. I never lost sight of why I was serving. You see, my mother was a civilian. My brothers and sisters are civilians. My best friends are civilians. Most of the people I love are civilians. I never looked down on any of them. I never put myself above them. That's the general idea of serving your country.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 4:55:55 AM EST
Been out for 14 years, and still have a hard time with most civilians. My closest friends are all vets.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 5:26:49 AM EST


"Military types, ever feel like you no longer can relate to civilians?"
.
I am a "civilian" and I have a friend that lost a leg in Viet Nam. He does'nt look down his nose at me, we are very good friends. I think the "I can't relate to civilians" is a mentality that is new to the current generation of (limited few) enlisted folks. It's funny what a uniform does to some people. Now I think I'll go put on my pilot uniform and go grocery shopping. Huuahhh!
.

Link Posted: 5/3/2004 5:40:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By Rescueram:

I hope my post didn't come off sounding elitist. I don't look down my nose at civilians. I just dont feel much of a connection with them. Kinda like day and night.



No, you don't come off as an elitist.

After you separate from the military it will take you about (7) years to fully adjust back to civilians and civilian life.

(There's a flip side to this also. There are five of us who are all gun guys and who get together for dinner maybe twice per week. Four of us served in the military and one did not. Some nights, he as a difficult time relating to us.)



5sub
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 6:18:16 AM EST
Interestingly, while I have not served in the military, most of my friends have. Apart from Garandman, virtually all of my closer friends are active duty or have served in some capacity.

One of my good friends is due to complete his five-year enlistment in the Marines this June. He's a first-class individual and the son of a Marine.

Myself, I am the son of a Vietnam Vet. He is the best man I've ever met.

For those of you who are .mil, don't be afraid of all civvies. Sometimes you run into a dude like me that always longed (and expected) to serve, but simply followed other paths.

Now, my medical file prohibits me from serving (SS pins in the knee). The Marine recruiter said that 25 years ago it wouldn't have been a problem, as they took you if you had a pulse. Now, the services are much more picky.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 6:21:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/3/2004 6:23:23 AM EST by TomJefferson]

Originally Posted By ryann:
I've never been in the military, but as a cop for over 25 years I can attest to the fact that police develop this us vs them mentality, and its destructive.
Whether police or military, those "civilians" that we eschew are US, and although its easy to lose sight of that at times, in the end if one maintains this mentality it can destroy you.
I've known lots of cops, upon retirement, trying to relate to those "civilians" they've looked donw on during their careers, and finding themselves alone.
Just my perspective.



My friend when I was in the military it was a us against them. Wearing your uniform off base meant being called names (baby killer and war pig were the most popular), spit on, or hit in the head with a beer bottle from a moving car almost assured.

Still, I felt like someone doing my share every morning when I put that uniform back on. Kind of I'm going to help you like it or not.

Still it was something that nawed at my soul for years. I'm so happy that our soldiers today don't have to put up with that shit and will do what I can to see they don't have to.

Tj
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 6:27:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/3/2004 6:28:25 AM EST by TennVol]
After 19+ years on active duty with the USAF I have come to the conclusion most civilians have no clue what we do or why we do it.

And yes, sometimes it is very difficult for me to deal with civilians.



Link Posted: 5/3/2004 6:30:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By Rescueram:

I hope my post didn't come off sounding elitist. I don't look down my nose at civilians. I just dont feel much of a connection with them. Kinda like day and night.



I don't think anyone views you as an elitist. I'm a civilian, so by definition I'm not an expert on military life, but I shoot my mouth off anyways:

Because of the job that the military has to do, you guys need to be focused, disciplined, and you have to be able to kill on command without questioning it. These are things that the average civilian not only can't relate to, they also don't like to think about it. Plus you guys have your own "lingo', a complete seperate way of doing things (even writing the date), and you spend alot of time together, without many civilians around. This is all by design, and it helps you do what you guys sometimes get called on to do.

I wouldn't worry about it. Maybe you are one of those guys who are totally cut out for miliraty life. Maybe you just want to do your 4 years and get out. But if you only do 4 years, and 2 years after you get out you find you still can't relate to civilians, then get back in. Nothing wrong with a career in the military!

BTW...Thanks for serving!!!
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 7:04:55 AM EST
16 years of active duty. I requested a job in recruiting for exactly this reason...I felt like I was out of touch with civilians, and figured recruiting was an ideal way to re-integrate myself with regular folks before retiring. Nearest base is about 3 hrs from here, and less than 20 active duty AF stationed in the whole state, so I figured this is an ideal location to ease my way back to "regular guy" status. Well, after the last 3 yrs, I have come to realize that civvies and me don't have a whole lot in common anymore. The differences between the civilian and military worlds are pretty evident...especially if you're as 'institutionalized' as I am...hell, I'll admit it...I'm scared to death of being a civvie again because I just don't know where I'll fit in a world that doesn't have S.O.P.

Link Posted: 5/3/2004 7:25:28 AM EST

I've had to move quite a few times now. Some of the communities I've lived in were very patriotic, and people would stop say thanks to me a few times. Other communities were neutral to the military. However, my hometown was far from any military base so there wasn't much of a connection. Only one other guy that I know from my hometown even considered joining. Don't know if he ever made it through training. I always knew that I wanted to join. When I talked about it to other people their eyes would go wide and say "why do you want to do that?" They would say its a bad idea, cause of the danger and low pay. They just didn't understand. Since people in my hometown didn't understand the military there were lots of negative stereotypes. Most felt that you only join the militay if you were too dumb to do anything else. I fully understood when I signed up that I would be defending people who would not understand or appreciate the sacrafice I was making. I must admit, I have not had to face what the post vietnam guys had to face. I have never been spit on nor called baby killer. That must've been a really tough time to serve.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 8:22:50 AM EST
Dealing with civilians, I do it on an daily basis. Can they relate to people in the military No.
Do I like dealing with civilians...not really. We put a 4-wheeling event together every year,
afriend of ours thinks we are nuts and says we must have 6th sense,because it is like we can sniff
out those that are or have been military. Most civilians have no idea that if I tell you I will do something,it will get done. I also think we carry over a can do attitude and not a negative one.
TJ, I grew up with the vietnam war and maybe it is those images of what you described happening to you that I saw on the tv, or being in the Army when it was not cool to admit it, but I too go out of my way to thank any service member that is serving and I will be damned if I see any one say or do anything that is negative towards them too.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 8:29:55 AM EST
My honest question to you would be, 'did you have this feeling proir to joining, and was it even a major factor in your enlistment?'

If you can't /won't re-integrate properly, I suggest you stay in, or make a career out of it like Ermey.

Remember that you enlisted to ensure American freedoms, not to make America resemble a military school.
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