The one thing I acquired in the Marine Corps that has followed me into the civilian world is the emotion of anger. The smallest things make me uncomfortable and upset. For example, when people complain about the smallest, meaningless things. Examples of these are stolen valor, people who complain and bring out their emotions (drama), being rude, ignorance, etc. I become aware of my anger when my friends tell me to relax or calm down — or if I call out people for their actions. Many Americans don’t even pay attention to the news, nor do they have a clue what’s going on around the world. I believe our generation has contributed to the decline of America, which used to be the world’s greatest country.
For stolen valor, I have more frustration over a veteran than a civilian who lies about their service. When they tell lies to gain attention, I lose all respect for them. I believe they know what they are doing because of the path they take when they request their job to their recruiter. There is zero tolerance to lie about your job or be ashamed; you chose what you want to do. On the civilian side, I’m disappointed they would say things like that to get recognition and benefits. Many people don’t understand the hardships in certain situations that military members are in and certain freedoms that are taken away.
I was taught from my seniors to never use the military as a way to get attention for your own benefit; be humble for what you have done. I get steamed when people complain about their life in the military or certain situations. In all honesty, it sucks, but it’s not that bad. There is no reason for a veteran to complain vigorously and not be proud of what he has been able to do in the military. The real men who had the most hardship are WW2, Korean, Vietnam and other past American war vets. They didn’t have the benefits we have today, or the medical attention we get, or the technology we have to communicate with our family. Our new generation has failed at being grateful.
A friend of mine I went to high school with was discharged 8 months before me. He told me something relevant that I remember to this day. He said to me that he understood how I felt, the feeling that everyone pisses you off, how they complain, crave, do ,say, no matter who they are. He said that they won’t understand what we went through. Those words have stayed with me since I joined UWSP; this is why I can’t help but be quiet in class. I have blown up with rage over alcohol a couple of times since starting school, which isn’t a good remedy or excuse. I have, however, been learning how to control it. My friend has failed himself from his own anger by consuming alcohol consistently and spending his paycheck and valuable time on these vices. Unfortunately, he isn’t the only one.
In order to control this anger, I realized that I have to find certain things that keep my mind off this emotion. Examples of these can be the music I listen to, as well as playing video games, building model kits, and boxing, sex, drinking, going out to the range, and working out. I sometime have to make myself laugh as a stress reliever. My greatest stress relievers assist me every day from losing it on someone I always have the urge to fight. Once you have controlled this anger, you can keep this emotion out of your daily life and enjoy every possible moment.
If I could give advice to my generation of military members to cope with anger and outburst, I would have them look at themselves in the mirror. When they look at themselves, they should have the urgency to look past who they are, let go of the ignorance, learn to relax, and take everything as it is. Concentrate on the next part of your life, whether it’s a certain job, school, whatever it is. Life is too important to be angry; it is all right to be angry every once in a while, but don’t binge it. Learn to correct others in the most humble way possible; make them think they won’t change but will understand. Like I said, I have had friends who have made mistakes and continue to make them by using drugs or alcohol as a dependent to get through it and put the blame on. I encourage if you do have problems to actually see and get help.
In the end, we as veterans make our futures and have full responsibilities to not let our own emotions overwhelm us. In a way I am somewhat grateful to be angry; it does open my eyes and made me open-minded. It also influenced me to break barriers and gave me confidence in what I do to achieve goals in life. Anger has shaped me; this is who I am, and I am not ashamed to be the person I am today.