By Paul Davis
We Are The Mighty
Every well-worn U.S. veteran has certain and unique characteristics. Some of them are unsavory reminders of services rendered, while others are just plain peculiar.
The life of a veteran is varied and uncommon to the layman and so are many of the conditions that follow.
So, you might be a veteran if:
6. Your joints are freakin’ shot!
When you joined the military, you were a superb physical specimen able to run, jump, and generally be amazing without any real issue or ailment. Fast-forward to ETS. You are now a decorated veteran complete with tons of experiences and stories that can’t be bought.
Also, you’re fully equipped with a soundtrack of destroyed cartilage and worn joints to accompany the constant, but slight pain running through your knees, ankles, shoulders, and back… You’re welcome.
When getting old gets real. (20th Century Fox)
5. You’ve got an ex-spouse… or two
American divorce is a regular occurrence. About half of every couple that says, “I do,” will ultimately say, “F*ck you, I’m out!” That’s just America. Now, take a couple of red-blooded Americans and throw them into the military environment.
The tempo alone makes marriage more challenging — and that doesn’t even account for the personal changes that both parties go through as they transverse their military careers and life.
Actual footage of a man trying to understand a woman.
4. You get dressed on a double-time
Being able to go from sleeping to full battle rattle in quick fashion is a skill that many veterans are forced to develop. As we transition, this ability becomes useful for other reasons: We can get fully dressed and out the door in a few minutes, with the right motivation.
This is first developed in basic training and honed over a few years of duty.
It becomes perfect when, inevitably, we find ourselves waking up 20-minutes before needing to be somewhere that’s a 17-minute drive away. It is but one of the many superpowers we leave service with.
Right after a veteran gets the text, “I’m on the way.” (Image via GIPHY)
3. You know the many uses of “Vitamin M”
Vitamin M (or Motrin) is the catchall medicine for active duty members. Have a headache? Have some Vitamin M. Twisted ankle? Take two. Swollen knees? Take a few. Broken leg? Take an 800mg and remember R.I.C.E.
Veterans take these bad boys like freakin’ tic-tacs and keep pushing onward. Put on your big boy pants, the mission must go on.
2. You hate most military movies/TV Shows
This isn’t because you hate the military. Oh, quite the contrary; you love the military and are extremely proud of your service.
What you do hate: All the fallacies in so much of this programming. Nothing on TV disturbs me more than seeing some actor wearing a service uniform looking like a bag of soggy bread.
Any servicemember that made it through Basic/Boot can spot these misplaced nametapes, incorrect ribbons, jacked up covers, etc. It’s an easy fix, though: Hire a vet!
That face you make when Pearl Harbor plays on TV. (Image via GIPHY)
1. Being late is f*cking terrifying
We all know the saying, “If you’re on time, you’re late!” This mantra is driven into us throughout our service, so much so that even now, years after separating from service, I still feel like there’s a sergeant waiting to chew my ass if I’m late.
Extenuating circumstances notwithstanding, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a veteran who is willingly late to anything.
In the event that we are late, or even just running late, it nags and eats at us internally — sometimes causing a headache, which we treat with Vitamin M.
Veteran showing up at 1401 for a 1400 appointment. (Image via GIPHY)