the title comes from something i’ve had to say more than once in san antonio…
…you see, the city has several large military bases and as a result a large military population. shit, my family helped start it – my grandfather was a licensed obgyn during WWII and had time left on his hitch when the war ended, so they shipped him down to brooks army hospital to deliver the start of the baby boomer generation which is how dad’s side of the family ended up in texas.
while my grandfather proudly served in what could arguably be called america’s last “just” war, and my dad served in ‘nam (not by choice – he had flunked out of u.t. and circumvented the draft by signing up for the navy on saturday, his draft notice for the army came that monday) but i never had any inclination to do so. and my generation (at least it appeared) would get to go in and out free and clear of war and conflict and just get college paid for and shit…but then came desert storm. never mind that now.
meanwhile mother nature stepped in and kind of forced my hand where my current hair style was concerned. sure, i could be rocking that oh-so-cool “sides and back and ventilated top” look but…no. not me. and i’ve liked camo shit since junior high…it’s comfy, easy to work into outfits (gayest thing i’ll say all day) and hides dirty paw prints from when budnik thinks i’m an extension of the couch. that being said, between the shaved head, the camo, and the fact i keep myself relatively in shape it’s not uncommon for people to offer me the discounts many businesses offer former and current military which i politely decline, usually dismissing it with the title of this bit as my reply. so far only one particularly sensitive counter person at a ruby’s bbq has thought i was being a dick by saying it.
you schlep smoked carnage for a living…get over yourself.
i recently learned about an abhorrent thing called “stolen valor” which is where a person like myself, who gets mixed up for a veteran plays it off to get all the attention and “thank you for your service” comments and discounts and shit. that is sooooooooooo fucked up. but it’s funny when it’s thrust upon you:
i got this in the mail yesterday. big fuck-all package, complete with a ring sizer so i could order this “limited edition symbol of my valor” and “centerpiece to a distinguished warrior’s handshake” and shit…after all, as the insert says, i’ve “earned it” so i should “wear it with pride”.
but i didn’t earn shit. let alone a cheap ($149) gold-plated ring.
i’ve been “selected”? i think i qualify as one of the “proud patriots”, maybe? i guess? how the fuck do they know i’ve got a shaved head and i’m typing this in camo pants? i don’t think this is nearly as exclusive as it’s made out to be, furthered by…
my eligibility is “pre-approved”. awesome. based on what? military experience? distinguished valor? i have none of that…so i think i’ll pass. way to research your shit, danbury mint…
*it should be mentioned my legal first name is ‘michael’ just so the pics make more sense