Reflections of a deployed Soldier – Things We Take For Granted

I stumbled upon some old writings today, and this one caught my eye. I had originally written this when I was deployed to Bosnia and revised it while I was in Iraq. I’m sure there’s a lot that could be added to this list. What would you add?

Things We Take For Granted

What a blessing it is to be born American, in the modern age, no less. With all of our troubles and worries, never have a people had so much to be grateful for, or taken so much for granted.

Things simple:

  • water pressure
  • toilet paper
  • privacy
  • heat
  • warm food
  • hot water
  • not knowing the smell of stench
  • not having to breath burning garbage every day
  • good dentistry
  • the familiarity of your home town
  • variety of cuisine

And things profound:

  • that our children will grow up
  • that our neighbors will not be waiting to kill us
  • the sacrifice of the Soldier
  • the love of a mother
  • the bond of a comrade
  • not being stuck in the class to which you were born
  • not having to deal with the arrogance of the aristocracy
  • not fearing the day foreign troops arrive
  • not fearing the day foreign troops leave
  • being able to visit your home town
  • that our religion does not define who we are, who we can marry, and who we can be friends with
  • that our race does not define who we are, who we can marry, and who we can be friends with
  • the ability to speak your mind
  • the ability to be different without persecution
  • to have a variety of media that are not the mouthpiece of the government
  • to live in a society where most people genuinely try to be professional
  • that the media, while messed up, won’t purposefully and blatantly lie

Military Career Management and Veterans Employment

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report from March, 2012 there were 21.2 million Veterans in the US, and of those 2.6 million are Veterans of post-9/11 operations.

One of the things that has proven to be a significant obstacle for many Veterans is translating their military skills into civilian skills. No one in the civilian world cares about your duty assignments and awards. You have to translate the awards/medals into what result your drove that led to the medal. Whether it was a reduction in deadline vehicles in motorpool or an increase in report production in the SCIF, focus on the tangible results you drove, and the responsibilities you took on, especially all the “extra” responsibilities we all take on aside from our primary MOS.

I have seen some US Military members maintain LinkedIn profiles, and that is certainly a good idea. Not really as a place to track your military career, but definitely as a way to begin to build your network that will proven powerful in the future.

A recent entry in the professional social network scene is RallyPoint, and if you are currently serving it is well worth taking a look.