Yesterday was Veteran's Day. My facebook feed was showing all kinds of "Support Our Troops" memes and messages and it got me to thinking: "I wonder how many Americans don't know someone who has served." Almost a reverse of six degrees of separation. Obviously, everyone who knows me, knows someone who is in the military. I'm friends with a lot of current and former servicemembers so I know their friends know someone who has served. But, when you get down to the numbers, we are really a very small population.
I looked up some of the numbers for military personnel. There are just over 1 million serving in Guard, Reserve, and Active Duty for all services. There are 19.6 million veterans (i.e. no longer serving); 9.3 million of which are age 65 or older; and 1.6 million (of the 19.6M) are female. The population of the United States is more than 316 million. At least according to the last census. That probably doesn't count all the folks that have entered the US in the past four years so let's make that an even 320 million. So that means that less than half a percent of the United States population is serving its country. Half a percent. Not 5.0%. 0.5%...less than that. And that nearly 20 million? Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? It equates to 6% of the country's population. Not even 10% of this country knows what it means to directly serve and "write the blank check."
Let's do some comparing now. In 1945, somewhere between 12 and 16 million served in the United States military. Now, you can say that they had to but a vast majority felt compelled to serve. Do you know what the country's population was in 1945? I had to look it up (like all the other numbers here). 140 million. Which means that anywhere from 8.5% to 11.4% served their country and families were bigger then so the ripple effect was that much larger.
The real unfortunate thing is that I can't, in good conscience, recommend someone join right now. I worry for where this country is going and for the use that the members of the United States military are being put to.
Learn a trade. Take up carpentry or become an auto mechanic. At least you'll have better control over your future.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Feeling a bit melancholy this evening. Probably because I've got an opportunity to slow down a bit and not be in fast forward during my days off in order to get everything done before I have to be at work again in three days. I had a glass of wine—my first in nearly a month—and, man! did it hit hard and fast. I guess that’s what happens when you give up grains and sugar for a month. One glass of Riesling and you’re done.
Anyhow, I've noticed that there is one fella at work that I’m attracted to. Not that I can do anything about that. I try to stick to the policy of not shitting where you eat as I've gotten older—shat where I ate when I was younger and it bit me in the ass—and it’s done me well...so far. Not to say I wouldn't consider dating this fella if he expressed an interest but why add MORE stress to my workplace. My job as an expediter does that well enough.
Been occasionally having the pity party for myself due to being single but mainly because I just have no social life in general.
12 hour shifts suck. 3-2-2 schedules on 12 hour shifts suck. Working with a bunch of folks that I can’t really become friends with sucks. Working with 95% men sucks. Only because they can’t really relate and I can’t really relate and the folks that are my age have a thousand kids or are married and nobody is available to just get together and just go see a movie or go shoot some pool or do whatever. I don't want to talk about their kids. I don’t want to talk about their exes. I don’t want to talk about my cats. I just want to get together, forget about work, and shoot the shit, while having a good time. Rant, rant, rant.
Okay, new topic. Ever look at a really ugly person who is dating someone and think: how did they find someone to date them? I mean, I know I've got my flaws but damn! Is my personality that bad that nobody would want to be around me? That it wouldn't compensate for whatever conventional beauty I don’t have? You know...someone may not be gorgeous but you don’t notice because they’re super funny or super nice or whatever. I mean, I’m totally human. I have my flaws. I’m not gorgeous but I’m not such a epic monster of a personality that nobody would want to date me. Maybe it’s the work schedule. Damn, I need to retire! I need a regular schedule. I need to not have rules about who I can and cannot date. If I want to date, get nekid with the 25 year old down the way, why not? 18 more months. They board for E-7 now. I’m not making it. My career has been too all over the place to make Master. I think I can look forward to just retiring in 18 months. I don’t think I’ll really have to make that big decision of “Do I stay or do I go?” 18 more months.
Time for another glass or Riesling. Peace out, all.