pretending you’re not it…

ice tree sky

I’m almost speechless at the thought of this week. I’m glad it’s almost over. Undoubtedly, next week will just have new problems. My semester is over. It’s bittersweet. School is all I have here. I could have signed up for the winter session, but I figured I would regret not taking a break. Zach made it to where he was going. We get to talk almost every day, over the phone. The conversations are short. There is no wifi or video chatting, but there is a USO computer that takes so long to load he can’t really check his email. But it’s okay. It will be okay. Because it has to be.

This week the House of Representatives decided cutting pensions of veterans was a good idea. I made the mistake of reading the comments, and it was shocking to see how many people dislike the military and even blame them for some of our financial problems. I think people have a difficult time differentiating between the people at the top and the people at the bottom. It seems like most people have the impression that the lower level people are just sucking the country dry of everything we have. But what people fail to realize is that defense spending is so much bigger than bullets and navy seals. The Military Industrial Complex is so much bigger than the 4 branches of the military. Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly agree that defense spending is wrought with waste and abuse, but it comes from the top and not the bottom. And it’s the bottom that is first to be punished for it.

Perhaps we should have made sure to follow the Powell Doctrine from the beginning.


Richard Slotkin on Guns and Violence

Bill Moyers on the Class War

What it is to See / Reel 2013 from Jake Oleson on Vimeo.

here and there…

Week 1
hereandthere1
Tennessee and Afghanistan

It’s Giving Tuesday. I am giving to Wreaths Across America and Fisher House in memory and honor of some wonderful men.

Dying for Care, from the VA.

It is time for the Department of Veterans Affairs to start answering questions and change the way they are doing things.

Today, I’m sending all the good thoughts I can muster to Merrill Newman and his family. Hoping for his safe return, soon.

you were in and i was out…

cityscape spfld

I was watching reunion porn (military homecomings) on Nightline a few minutes ago. It made me sad because it reminded me of the things I don’t like about the military or the military community. This particular segment referenced military wives with children and pretty houses missing their spouses. Don’t get me wrong, being separated from someone you care about is difficult. And it’s even more difficult when you know your loved one is often in dangerous situations. I feel like the news would have you believe that somehow because you have children it must be more difficult or because you don’t it must be easier. But that is not the case.

What I didn’t like about the segment is that it was a reminder of being left out. Zach and I do not have children and because of that we or I get left out of a lot of things. In the military, companies have Family Readiness Groups (FRGs), which would have you believe that it is some makeshift family unit. In my experience, it has never been that. They, the FRG, often centers around children, and people with children. And I am not one of them. They also made mention of all the troops coming home and how many are left, but they forgot to talk about the ones that just left, and what they left behind.

We had roughly 5 different deployment dates. Originally, we planned that I would move home after finals and before Zach deploys. But because the date was moved up, he left early. And I am left here. Military life makes it extremely difficult to make or maintain meaningful connections, with new friends and old friends. I’ve been away from home so long now that I’ve missed too many things with my old friends to really be a part of that group anymore. And we just moved here about 5 months ago and I haven’t really met many people. I don’t have anyone. It’s too big of a project to try to move alone.

So, it’s officially Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for my family, to include Monkey, the ultimate battle buddy. I’m thankful to be in college. I’m thankful to have somewhere to live and food to eat. And I know any day we live to tell about is a good day, but I’m still sad.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Kinfolk Saturdays: Flying High from Kinfolk (kinfolk.com) on Vimeo.

Primordial —- Yellowstone / Grand Tetons from Voortex Productions on Vimeo.