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Hot to respond to utter ignorance?

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  • Hot to respond to utter ignorance?

    I think the title describes how I feel. My friends and family have been informed of me possibly joining the Guard and that if enlisted I will be going to infantry, and while most of them support me and served as my reference during the application process, some have been having less than positive reactions and I have been trying to shrug it off, but I am starting to get frustrated at their ignorance and I wanted to know how some of you deal with similar scenarios?
    I mean, some people treated me as I will be some sort of "killer"; others bring up the typical "you'll be sent to war and die", or "I will laugh my butt off when they send you to war", or "you will be back in a body bag". Some others treated me like I am getting into something without knowing why I am doing it.
    I tried to reason with most of them by telling them that I won't be a "killer", that I won't be going to war any time soon and if that happens, well I will deal with it when it happens, and that I have legitimate reasons to join, read I want to serve and I want to help those in need, whether here at home or abroad.
    I honestly do not want to listen to it; I do not need to hear how I am gonna be "killed" and leave my wife and daughters alone; or how I am gonna be some sort of glorified assassin. The way I see it is, if you cannot support me or say something positive about it just shut it. And anyone who knows me well I would have no issues telling all these people to "F" off and go to "heck", but some of these are serious relationships and I want to keep it civilized, namely my mother in law and good friends I have had for years. Last week I told my mom in law "I do not want to hear it and I won't talk about it, I know why I am joining" and she just kept on about how she is gonna laugh when "they" send me to Afghanistan. REALLY?! Wow!
    Like I said... I would have no problem telling them to go to heck... but I cannot go through life kicking people out just because they tell me something stupid. Maybe I just need to drop everything I am doing, look staright into their eyes and tell them in a very secure voice "I won't talk about it, and I won't listen to it unless you have something positive to say". Opinions, anyone?

  • #2
    Re: Hot to respond to utter ignorance?

    I told someone yesterday that I am trying to join the ARNG. His response was, "why would you want to do that, so you can learn to kill people?" I wanted to tell him to go f himself but instead I stayed calm and explained to him my reasons and he had no more stupid comments. Now I know this can't be done with everyone. Some people are just ignorant about what the military is about. It is unfortunate but it is something you will always face. You will have some people who praise you and thank you for serving and others who want to do nothing but knock you down. I don't think there is one right response but for those that are in your life for a long time - like your mother in law - maybe you should sit down with them, tell them your reasons and that you don't appreciate the negative comments and you would like them to stop. And, if they aren't going to support you and your decision then to please not talk about it. As for the less important people, just ignore them and their ignorance. I know it is difficult to do sometimes but some people are just not worth the breath to try and explain yourself! You will always face these people. But, then you have people like my mom who walks up to total strangers in uniform - at the airport, in the store - and shakes their hand and thanks them for their service.
    Best of luck to you!!!
    Last edited by robinpugs06; August 3rd, 2012, 08:27 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Hot to respond to utter ignorance?

      If you let those comments phase you now as a recruit; its because you haven't experienced it enough to just smile. I been doing this for 22 years and I get more praise from families and friends on FB all of the time. I have had celebrities send me care packages and people to offer to buy me meals (in when I denied, it was already paid for). You get that one person that is bitter and possibly even served but that will happen in all walks of life. Drive on.

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      • #4
        Re: Hot to respond to utter ignorance?

        I have a bumper sticker on my truck that sums up the way i feel about this it states " If you dont stand behind our troops I dare you to stand in front of them."

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        • #5
          Re: Hot to respond to utter ignorance?

          I have no idea what lack of support y'all speak of. We don't have such a thing down in this here Texas.

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          • #6
            Re: Hot to respond to utter ignorance?

            Originally posted by MIEngineer View Post
            I have a bumper sticker on my truck that sums up the way i feel about this it states " If you dont stand behind our troops I dare you to stand in front of them."

            Do you happen to live in Indiana? I seen a truck with that sticker yesterday in Avon, Indiana.

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            • #7
              Re: Hot to respond to utter ignorance?

              Originally posted by DragonSoldier View Post
              Do you happen to live in Indiana? I seen a truck with that sticker yesterday in Avon, Indiana.
              nope MI I bought one for my buddy in my unit when I got mine

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              • #8
                Re: Hot to respond to utter ignorance?

                I fully understand how you feel. Just 3 days ago I trusted my boss with my decision to re-enlist. I was told for the next 45 min how I'd become a "baby killer", how I'd be a "robot", how I'd lose all my identity, etc. It was extrodinarily unappreciated.

                I've had "close" people do this to me for years about my love for the military. Like you I wanted to keep these people as they were parents/grandparents, close friends etc. I wanted to just agree to disagree and move on. Sadly I've not been able to that and have indeed basically walked away from those relationships based on my love of the military for myself. You see, the military is a huge part of my life, you can't hate the military and still care for me. I tried that for years. In the end, I've chosen to be true to me and to make the military my family. It makes me happier. I'm not saying you have to cut your loved ones off, but for me I had to just to have my own freedom. Hope this helps.

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                • #9
                  Re: Hot to respond to utter ignorance?

                  I've had some similar reactions...you know, the "you know you can be deployed right?", "What?! Why would you join the military?", "That's so pathetic." I'm pretty good at having little or no emotion because in the end I don't need to explain why I choose to serve. I know that I have a daughter whose future depends on us and likewise to others. It's a commitment that most Americans will not make. That alone sets us apart from the rest. Be proud and not let negative remarks from close minded fools discourage you. Decrepit ideology and ignorance will be the death of them...I'd rather take a bullet.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Hot to respond to utter ignorance?

                    "I'd rather take the bullet".

                    Wow, I thought that was so profound. I've thought about this very thing for the past week. Honestly, if I had to choose between being in a civilian community where people lived a half life, and condemned each other and maybe get hit by a bus...or live my military dream, push myself, have true friends, make a lasting, real difference in my life and the lives of others and maybe lose my life for it?...I'll take the bullet any day of the week!!

                    Thank you for your confidence and comments. They really helped.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Hot to respond to utter ignorance?

                      Just remember that people are entitled to their opinions; even if they contrast with ours. I respect Ron Kovic and John Kerry as Vietnam Vets who changed their views about our country's interest in the Vietnam War. That is why we serve is to protect those freedoms.

                      After a few combat ops, you may feel different. Who knows. I am not the same person that joined almost 30 years ago.

                      Go see the movie (rent it if you haven't seen it yet) and give us your views about the film. I am curious.

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8NR6n1nRMI
                      Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; August 12th, 2012, 12:09 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Hot to respond to utter ignorance?

                        Look what you have to remember is you aren't dealing with reasonable people or people of a rational mind at all. I would be willing to bet that a good number of their brain cells have been destroyed by years of exposure to aspartame and fluoride. Just ignore them and they will fade away.

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