In a time where everyone gets butthurt about absolutely anything, wants to be the victim and the pimp in every situation, and pretends to embody acceptance when they clearly don’t understand the word, I am reminded of my brothers in the USMC. We came from all over this country and even from others. We came from all types of backgrounds, families and economic situations. Each platoon, each company and each battalion had more diversity than an LA music festival.
Looking at the social climate today, one might think this would be recipe for disaster, but we actually got along. In fact, it was one of the factors that brought us together. Were we always nice and polite to each other? Absolutely not. We fucked with each other constantly, but guess what, at the end of the day we all cracked a beer together and got along. No one fucking cared! Everyone was “the bitch.” You weren’t special, or singled out because your skin was a different color, or because you believed in a different religion. You got messed with because you skylined yourself, (for the civilians, that means you fucked up and drew the attention of your superiors) or because everyone gets messed with!
We made jokes about race and religion all the time, because its often hilarious. We all fall into our own stereotypes from time to time and if you don’t find it funny, you probably take yourself way too seriously. We had white country bumpkins, black guys, hispanic guys, asian guys, muslim, jewish, christian, atheist and we fucked with EVERYONE.
The difference? We all developed thick skin, which our population needs desperately. There is this crazy idea that words can’t actually hurt you unless you let them. Weird I know, but I’m sure I heard some celebrity say it one time so you know its legit and cool. We never said things with the intent to inflict pain and any that did, if ever, were immediately corrected, not by command, but by the rest of us. We understood that it was that individual that was wrong, not his whole ethnic heritage, or religion. We also knew that it was said out of ignorance and fear. It only happened in the beginning and that was because they hadn’t been through anything with us.
The biggest difference and the reason we openly fucked with each other’s race and religion with no lost love is because once the suffering started, every single one of us did all we could to make the suffering less for the guys next to us. None of us gave a flying F— what color, or religion you were. If you fall, the rest of us were there to pick you up. There wasn’t one guy in my platoon that I wouldn’t take a bullet for and I’d bet my life he’d do the same for me.
Why? Because we all bleed the same, we all feel pain the same, we all experience joy and we all need love. You, or I are no more special than anyone else; we are all the same. Maybe, if we remember that, this “us vs them” mentality would go away. Then its just “me vs me” or “you vs you”…kinda stupid when you think about it like that, right?
Im not saying that there aren’t ignorant assholes out there. What I’m trying to say is that an equally despicable reaction to terrible behavior simply creates more of the same.
So, to summarize, stop being assholes and toughen up. If thats not enough, Ill leave you with some wise words of wisdom bestowed upon me in a time of confusion and despair-
“Im Brittany, bitch.”
“Sweet. Thanks Gunny…”
Thank you to my brothers and sisters in the military, for all you do and have done, but also, for acknowledging that we all look different and not giving a F—.
(Oh, and before I have to deal with the comments, this picture is our Sniper Platoon. The process to be welcomed into this small family was grueling and didn’t stop once you made it, but no one was ever chosen, or denied based on anything other than merit and and a willingness to learn)