Memorial Day Weekend

I feel like every Memorial Day weekend is based on sales, BBQ-ing and long weekends for people to travel and do whatever.

Recently I attended a Veterans Memorial and the elected officials that attended made a very remarkable statement. The statement, which by the way I can not recall word for word, really hit home. It surrounded around the idea that Veterans in this nation have sort of been pushed to the way side. We name our streets and plants trees for Veterans and have Veterans Day and Memorial Day and all these special dates, times and events, but all I see on social media are “Memorial Day Sale” and “Veterans Day Sale” and barbeques on sale and travel times, etc.

I hope Veterans aren’t forgotten. I hope people actually have a memorable weekend and keep those who served in their thoughts and prayers and don’t succumb to the pressures of a capitalistic weekend brought to you by Macy’s, Sears and whoever else. It’s sad that days like these are surrounded by greed.

But I digress.

I’m going to end this short blog entry with a message to a person who continues to leave comments. Or tries to. JHope@Yahoo.com, I’m sure you’ll read this and it’ll give you some sort of satisfaction that I acknowledged you. I even tried to email you but it says your email is invalid. You left a comment stating “I’m running away like a little bitch.” Yet, this is coming from a person who not only has an email specifically for trolling purposes, but won’t allow any incoming email. That to me says “coward”. I understand the internet is a fun place to go to harass people under an anonymous persona. You don’t have to take any responsibilities for the things you say and you can just disappear whenever you want.

This whole recruiting thing is in the past and forgotten about. It happened nearly ten years ago and I’ve let it all go and moved on. You seem to be thoroughly stuck on it like you want to squash some vendetta you have about the whole thing. Or maybe I’m just giving you too much credit. Who knows. I can’t even recall the First Sergeants name whom you’re speaking about; nor do I care what he’s doing or how he retired. If he retired with full benefits, good for him. Anyone who puts their time in no matter how great or poor of a leader they were, deserves such. Comparatively to the leaders in past units I served it, the ones I had in recruiting were extremely poor. When you have a Company Commander state that he hates recruiting and doesn’t want to be there, take a guess what that does to the morale. Recruiting is a tough gig all the way around. That’s all I need to say about that.

I’ve taken responsibility for the things that happened. And again, I was not kicked out of the service. I had a JAG lawyer and I signed a voluntary resignation and left the service under honorable conditions. Now I own a home, I have a good job and that’s that. If you’d like to open the lines of communication instead of hiding behind an email, I’m fine with that. You can also send me your address and we can talk face to face. I’m not hiding or running from anything.

You say you’re a Veteran, well, lets see.

Edit: JHope left another comment claiming he was in the same recruiting company I was in and insists I was “kicked out” of the Army. Yet, JHope continues to keep his emails blocked and won’t identify who he really is. He’s just “calling me out” on all my “lies” during my time in service. My time in service isn’t defined by 2 years and 8 months in recruiting but yet defined by my DD214 that says “General Discharge under Honorable Conditions”. That’s not being kicked out.

One day JHope will stop being so afraid and post his address along with allowing for emails because I have a pretty good idea who this JHope person really is.

 

Food Inc

I’ve been on this enormous health kick lately. For a few reasons; I’m getting older and I worry about heart attacks and I’d eventually, one day, like to take my shirt off in public and not be ashamed of what I look like. I know, I know. I shouldn’t be. I am who I am and God made me this way so I should just roll with it. Maybe God did make me this way but there isn’t anything wrong with trying to improve things. I.E. my weak little bird chest.

I joined the Army at 135 pounds nearly 15 years ago. I came out of basic training weighing approximately 165 pounds. I went to Iraq weighing 180 and came out weighing 205. I met up with a guy I knew from the reception unit at Fort. Riley and all we did was lift weights in Iraq. I put even more weight on during my recruiting tour and left the Army weighing 230 pounds.

Now I’m 226 and have been eating about as healthy as I’ve ever eaten in my life. I have great muscle definition and my back and shoulders have just exploded since I’ve been on the #TeamHercules workout. Here’s a small sample of what I’ve been doing in the gym:

 

 

And here’s the actual workout regime on a particular muscle group:

 

chest

 

It’s hard work. Going to the gym every day and eating healthy requires a ton of discipline and self control. There are a lot of outside influences that are constantly pulling at me to just say eff it and go to Taco Bell or something for dinner instead of coming home and doing what’s right by my body and cooking a real mea. Yeah, you can’t be lazy.

I recently watched a documentary about food. Click here to watch it.

 

It’s a little liberal so beware- but it has good information about where our food comes from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Carry

Target is now asking their customers to leave their guns at home and joining a long list of other retail stores that are doing the same thing.

Whether you agree with Target or not, there are a couple things to consider; we live in a pretty diverse world now. We aren’t so black and white anymore. We are divided, opinionated, and free thinkers. We believe in different things, we support differences and we typically aren’t always in agreement with each other. With that being said, not all customers want to walk into a Target or a Starbucks and see a bunch of gun-toting civilians walking around with assault rifles and handguns on their hips. By a legal standpoint, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Which I am in agreement with. By a society standpoint, it induces panic, creates chaos and stirs the pot.

For the record, pretty much wherever I go I carry my P95 Ruger 9mm handgun concealed under my shirt or jacket. Nobody knows I have it. That’s the point with a concealed weapon. I don’t want people to know I have it on me. And I certainly don’t go around flaunting the fact that I am armed. I served in the United States Army for ten years, I’ve fired and trained with multiple types of weapons from 9mm handguns to M16 rifles. I have had the training and I occasionally put a few rounds down range to make sure I am up to par on my shooting skills. I’m not as dedicated with my firearms as I’d like to be but I make sure they are clean and serviceable at the very least.

The big question I have for some of these open carry activists is this; what’s the point of carrying your weapons around in open carry status? To say that you can? To say you are simply exercising your rights as a U.S citizen? How about exercising a little bit of common sense and good judgment. We don’t live in a world of kitty cats and rainbows anymore. We have school shootings almost weekly in this country, we have armed subjects shooting at cops, etc. And if that’s your argument to open carry; that you’re afraid of becoming a victim, then that’s what you need to promote. Aside from that, some training (not just plinking beer cans in the woods training, either) would also suit you. Try some combatives training, maybe some close quarters urban training with your firearms, too. Walking around with a rifle strapped to your back wearing flip flops and a boonie hat through Walmart trying to get the attention of management and the local cops doesn’t help your cause.

Target, and like many other retailers that aren’t on board with the whole walking-around-the-store-with-guns, aren’t exactly taking anyone’s “rights” away, either. Private businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone. Including you. You aren’t special. Nobody cares that you’ll no longer be shopping at Target because they don’t allow assault rifles inside the store. Mind you, this is a carefully strategically thought-out statement issued by the companies regarding no more guns in the stores. They didn’t just spring up one afternoon and say, “hey, no more guns”. That’s now how it works. Of course the sales strategy is taken into consideration because they don’t want to lose business. If they knew that issuing this kind of statement would hurt the companies sales, they wouldn’t have issued it.

Your rights are important just like anyone else’s. You saying you have the right to walk around with a gun and no one can tell you differently make you look like a self-absorbed hypocrite. Target can refuse you just like you can refuse them. You don’t like their rules? Don’t shop there, right?! This is still America last time I checked.

 

We need to try to keep guns out of the hands of these morons:

 

 

Lastly, trying to gain the attention of local law enforcement makes you look utterly foolish. Why go looking for it and then complain and whine when they come after you? That’s called being childish. Law enforcement has a job to do and when they get 911 calls regarding someone “walking around with a gun” they have to respond. Like it or not, that’s what they have to do. Most people who call 911 are panicked and probably say things like, “there’s a guy walking down the street with a gun.” Most 911 calls probably don’t go something like, “Hey, I see this clean shaven American citizen with a .45 caliber handgun securely fastened to his hip while walking down the street. He looks like he is legit, probably just walking around exercising his 2nd Amendment rights but I thought you’d like to know.”

Otherwise, prepare to be owned by the cops:

 

 

 

 

(Hashtag) Seattle May Day Protests

My life is pretty simple. I live a pretty simple life. Simply put, my life is simplified to the highest degree of simple. I buy what I need, I use things until I can’t use them anymore and I am frugal with my money, my resources and my time. That’s not to say I’m some tight-wad with an agenda to force everyone to live like I do. And I certainly don’t shop at Wal-mart. I’m not THAT frugal.

To get on with my point; I watched the Seattle May Day protests. Again. I usually tune in annually to see what kind of destruction these people cause to the great city of Seattle. It’s actually an international day of protest. A lot of people are against the rioting, the protesting, the destruction of a city and the vandalism caused to peoples’ things.

Store fronts like Nike Town and Macy’s endure most of the destruction. These so-called “big chain corporations” are always under scrutiny due to their high prices, low wages ratio. I share no opinion whether I’m for or against these companies for one reason; sometimes I buy my stuff there and how hypocritical would I be if I were to dawn my black hoodie and go bash in some store front windows and then go buy some shoes from Michael Jordan?

To me, these protesters are cowards. What do they really stand for in comparison to Bradley Manning, Julian Asange and Edward Snowden. Those people are the real heroes. Those people are the ones sacrificing their lives, their families, their friends…

“How hardcore are you, Seattle May Day protester guy? How serious can we take you? You come out once a year to walk on ONE DAY, a day that is pre-determined already by the government, a day that Seattle Police are expecting you. They mark their calendars every year on this day like clock-work expecting YOU. Then tomorrow you’re back picking up your boring, mediocre nine-to-five job.

You dust off your Anonymous mask once a year and come out cursing and yelling for your 3 hours of fame.

It’s going to take a lot more than bashing in Nike Town’s store front window to show the government you’re not playing around. It’s going to take a lot more than kicking some random dudes BWM car door to show McDonalds you want $15/hr and that you’re unhappy with government greed and slave wages. It’s going to take a lot more than one day out of the year to show President Obama and his lackeys that you mean business.

I’m all for anarchism and keeping the government small and manageable and out of my life as much as possible. I see your point and it’s valid. But your means are weak and lame.

untitled

Lone Survivor

I went to see Lone Survivor the other day in the theatres. I really didn’t know what to expect and I figured it would be another typical military shoot ’em movie. Which it nearly turned out to be just that.

The movie takes place in Afghanistan where a team of Navy SEALs endures Operation Red Wings. The mission started out like any other mission in the military except it’s quickly compromised by a couple of sheep herders that stumble upon the Seals who are set up in the wood line. They argue for a few moments of what to do with them; kill them, tie them up or let them go. Ultimately, they decide to let them go and the son of the sheep herder dashes off to go alert the local Taliban fighters of what they found.

After that, it quickly escalates into an all out gun fight on the side of a mountain in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan. Marcus Luttrell is the only survivor of the mission after three of the four Navy SEALs are killed in combat.

The Navy SEALS remind me every day of what kind of people serve in our Armed Forces. They remind me every day to give 100% effort to my day and they’ve always inspired me to do my best and to never give up. I believe it takes a special human being to belong to such an elite team of fighters. If I could go back and change things throughout my military career, I think I would have pushed myself to be more like those guys.

I think the movie depicts that these guys just want to survive. They were trapped like rats on that mountain slope but they never once gave up. They continued to fight and battle even though there was no obvious light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s been nine years since I deployed to Iraq. Seeing these kinds of movies and learning about what some of these soldiers went through makes me angry. It makes me angry because I could’ve done more for my brothers during war time. I could’ve chosen a different career path and been more involved in my combat tour. I may have saved a life. I may have changed things. I may have been able to give someone else some rest or a break from countless missions that these combat soldiers notched on their belts. I hold a lot of guilt and harbor a lot of ill-feelings towards myself for not doing more.

 

 

Drug Testing America

Anyone who is anyone at one point in their life has been subjected to a piss test. I served ten years in the Army and I got so good at piss tests, I could pee on command. I could pee into that tiny little bottle with my eyes closed. True story. That’s how often soldiers are tested for drugs. Generally, you could see a pee test coming miles away. We get tested for drugs after all major four-day weekends. We get tested after block leave (vacation). We get tested after holidays, birthdays, before, during and after deployments. We get tested in the field and when we return from the field. I’ve even been tested on a normal weekend where I was woken up by my company commander beating down my door.

Enter civilian world. Every job, (except my current employer) has given me a piss test. Most of these piss tests are scheduled within 72 hours of being hired. In order to get the job, you not only have to go within the allotted time, you also have to pass the test. And most of the time, the location of these places are way across town. It’s a real pain in the ass. For the record, I’ve never failed a drug test.

Now we have people on the welfare system. No one is subjected to a drug test who receives welfare benefits. No one does. Until Florida passed a bill allowing the state to drug test welfare recipients. There’s all kinds of stipulations that follow, as well. People wanting welfare have to pay for the drug test themselves and if they pass, they get reimbursement. If they fail, they have to enter a six week program to help them get off drugs. And during that six week time, they receive no benefits. Kansas also passed a similar bill but not as deep as Florida. It follows nearly all the same guidelines. I’m not going to go into specifics about each bill and what it does and what it doesn’t do. That’s for you to research.

Here’s the deal, though. There has been a public outcry about how unconstitutional this is. First of all, I hate it when people claim shit is unconstitutional. I promise you it isn’t unconstitutional to give someone a piss test to receive a job, or welfare benefits, or unemployment or whatever. To receive employment, you must show that you can be a responsible, clean and sober individual. That’s for a job. A place where someone goes for eight hours a day to earn a paycheck. I understand that someone can pass the initial test and then go smoke a joint because they know there won’t be another drug test in their immediate future. Unless, you’re hired onto a company that drug tests if an injury happens or an accident occurs on the clock (which most companies do drug test if that happens, and if you fail, you’re held liable and most likely terminated depending on the circumstances).

I’ve had to pass many drug tests just to serve my country. If anything is unconstitutional, that should be. Fortunately, the military doesn’t want drug users and abusers in the service. And for good reason. I sure don’t want any soldier of mine operating military equipment while high or under the influence of anything. Fuck that. Just because a person is on welfare and not actively participating in any job provided by society, doesn’t mean they’re any less out of the crosshairs of a drug test. You’d like to sit around and get high and live off government money? Do it on your own fucking dime. It’s not unconstitutional anything to be drug tested if you want to receive unemployment insurance or welfare.

Unfortunately, after all this civil unrest, I read an article from the New York Times that stated tax payers from Florida really didn’t save any money from drug testing those on welfare and they also didn’t see much of a decrease in numbers from those applying. You know what, though? It’s still a very good program because it shows the states are doing something that the people want.

 

Check out my Facebook page!

Follow me on Twitter!

Check out my other blog and Facebook page!

Todays Youth

I’ve been reading a lot of opinions from older generations regarding today’s youth. I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries on “bullying” in American school systems. I suppose now is a good time to give my two cents.

Todays youth. The Xbox generation. The iPhone generation. The Entitlement generation. The whatever-you-want-to-call-it generation. Kids today have cellphones, yes. I didn’t have a cellphone when I was in my youth, and I survived just fine. So did millions of other kids. Does that mean kids today don’t need cellphones? Does that mean kids today don’t need an iPhone or an HTC Galaxy, Blackberry, Go-phone or whatever else is out on the market? Technology evolves. So do people. If I had children, I’d equipped them with the latest cellphone technology, for sure. And I’d also monitor who they call, who they text and who calls and texts them.

The Entitlement generation. I don’t know exactly where this idea of kids in todays generation think they’re entitled to everything. I don’t think that’s just kids thinking that. I think this entire country has the mindset of thinking they’re entitled to everything. And that gets passed down to kids. I’ve heard grown adults say, “I have the right to buy any car I want.” or, “I can do whatever I want, say what I want, and think what I want.” In recent years, this whole entitlement phase has grown to epic proportions. Kids generally follow in their parent’s footsteps. And when you have grown adults claiming they have the right to this and they have the right to that, it’s only natural for kids to start thinking that, too

I was bullied in high school. I’m sure just about everyone has had a bully or two in their lives. Some people even have bullies in college. Or in the work place. It’s everywhere. The fact that kids are committing suicide over bullying has really brought this stuff into light. When I was in high school, I don’t remember any news stories of kids taking their own lives due to being bullied too much. We didn’t have cops roaming our hallways, either. And no one was arrested or rung up on assault charges for fighting. That’s just how things were back then. Now kids are hauled away in police cruisers and cited for criminal charges for the things they do in school. Its ludacris! To charge a teenager with criminal charges?!

So why are kids today so sensitive? Why are they babied and coddled so much? Why do adults give the losing team of kids trophies and praise them anyway? Why do adults…?

People blame the kids? I blame the adults for being so overprotective of these kids. For not letting kids battle it out in schools. For allowing police to get involved. For running to their kids when they fall down. For the constant praise. For blaming everything on ADD. For placing every kid in America on some kind of medication at such an early age. For allowing such a capitalistic environment where both parents must work two jobs to support a small family. I blame todays adults.