The closer I get to getting out, the more I find myself thinking about why I'm getting out. And what I'll do if they call me back.
The way I look at getting out, it's like choosing NOT to bet on a fresh hand at the table. Like swallowing your pride, standing up and walking away from the table, ego bruised, cutting the losses and just walking. Just praying that the pit boss doesn't walk up behind me and give me one of those taps on the shoulder to let me know that I owe them more.
Nah, don't think I could do it again. Not after experiencing first-hand how restrained we are. Powerless. Armed to the teeth but tied up with red tape. Blindfolded, one arm tied behind the back. Lit cigarette dangling out of the mouth, waiting for the firing squad or the big angry bull. Blind and paranoid and expected to smile and wave and win over strangers that don't give a fuck about you, doing the bidding of powerful men who also don't give a fuck about you.
We fight someone else's fight...why don't these decision makers just have good ol' fashion duels?
I think about it plenty. I have a metric fuckton of respect for the people that choose to stay in. Not me though. I don't want to roll the dice anymore. Russian roulette for combat pay, and nowadays the odds aren't so bad, right? I don't care if it's for million dollar paychecks, because if it's you that ends up on the wrong end of the revolver, no amount of money is going to help you.
"We'll see you in six months," they say. They love to say that lately. And don't forget to mention the economy. Make us afraid to live outside the army. I'll choose a trash fire before I take another crack at this gig. No hard feelings, I'm just done. Rather not spin the wheel again and hit Bankrupt, Pat. No Deal. This is a good place to stop, Regis.
I'm not going to be a memory while the rest of the world rots anyway. Call me selfish, call me a coward, tell me I have no heart, whatever. But no one is going to put words in my mouth at my funeral, saying that I believed in the cause. If I were to be killed in another deployment, I wouldn't have any inspiring things to impart on everyone else, that's the shit that higher ups make up to try to make it all seem better, seem like there was some sort of purpose.
Everything happens for a reason, but sometimes the reason isn't that good, sometimes it doesn't make any sense at all. But all of this is going to continue anyway, and more people will die. Why would I choose to be a part of it? I didn't listen just like the new guys don't listen. You touch the plate after the waiter tells you it's hot, that kind of thing. Learn the hard way. Got it, got it WELL. I'm not even taking a political stance or harboring desires to soapbox my opinions to cause some sort of change. Just a personal decision.
That's it for me, dealer. I'm out.