When you pass your ten-year mark in the military, you’re considered old school. The military ages you. You can be a young 30 something like me, but feel like you’re 50 sometimes. It’s the hurry up and wait life, it’s the constant moving, constant change. And when I first joined, September 11th hadn’t happened. I joined knowing that there was the chance for war, not that it was going to happen so soon. But it did, and I did my times in those sunny beaches with no water, and possibly will do it again before retiring.
But the new guys coming in… the guys and gals around my young siblings ages. Just out of high school or even college. There’s not that many years difference between us, but mentally there’s a swamp with crocodiles.
I’m in a teaching position. You know the school that the basket weavers go to after their initial military training (basic training, boot camp, the time in Hell, or whatever else you want to call it)? Yes, I teach how to weave the basket. And so I have students. Now granted I just moved and am new, so I’m only assisting, but I do interact with them. And this is the thing that gets me: within a week, we had about 5 students break down into tears/ nervous breakdowns.
Let me go back. I went through initial military training when the older guys were already complaining that it was too easy. Drill instructors/Sergeants/whatever weren’t allowed to curse at us. I found it easy. Maybe because I was a military brat from a military family. Maybe because I already knew that it was just a big game that I had to play. Nothing ever made me cry. I laughed when I got dropped and made to do push-ups. The only thing that scared me was my Drill Sergeant threatening to bring in her big dog to chase me because I kept failing my run time.
But today’s kids… and yes, I call them kids, are weak. They are big crybabies. They believe everything should be handed to them, and everything is owed. That it’s a parent’s job to let them live in their home long past the age of 18, and go into debt paying their school bills. Everything should be fair in their world. Even if they do average, they expect to be treated as if they’ve done the best. Sensitive is in, and so is the color pink for boys. Men wear murses. And tight pants. And put more gel in their hair than me. Can you tell I do NOT like the feminization of men yet? Spanking is now abuse, and can get you sent to jail. Instead, put a leash on your child like they’re a frackin pet to keep them from running away. Blame their ADHD, the teachers, what’s on TV, superstars even for why your child grows into a total absolute douche bag of fun and love. Treat bullies like they are a new thing and must be eradicated. Instead of helping your child grow by facing their fears, whether it’s a fight after school or just playing outside on a warm day with nothing but they great outdoors… teach them it’s ok to sit in their room texting with horrid English or playing video games.
My younger troops whine about being made to get up early. They whine about having extra duty. Dude, complain when you have to paint rocks or pick up trash all around base! I had a troop take a knee after only standing in formation for a ceremony about 10 minutes. That boggles my mind when I remember practicing for a whole day and more standing in formation for a ceremony that would last an hour-plus the next day. In the hot sun. With no breaks. Let’s not mention the time a guy puked from partying too much the day before right in formation. Nope, still can’t move. Ugh.
We’ve got a bunch of punks growing up.. And you are letting it happen. Heck, in fact, you ARE the problem. STOP IT! You know, having rules is not a bad thing. Tough love does not have to be a whooping with an extension cord. I’ll be good gosh darned if I let my son wear the pants in my household. Nope. I’m disgusted. Can’t even talk about it anymore. Can’t even make sense. Blech.