Hi everybody! You know, I need to catch you all up on what's going on in my life right now so I will call this "BullDog's Fun Time"!
As most of you probably know, I am in the embryonic stages of building a 1975 Harley Sportster. Well, to let you in on a little secret, I have never built a Harley motor before so I have tons of questions and practically noone whom I can ask for enlightenment. Soooo, I did a lot of internet searching and I came across a forum called XL Forum. XL is the designation Harley gave their Sportster line.
Well, I went and registered for the forum and started searching the various threads in the hopes of finding some good technical advice. Lo and Behold, I found it! Well to make a long story short the forum requires you to PAY $25 a year in order to access certain threads or post pictures and I said to hell with that...but that's not I am writing this post. No, this post is to relay to you what I considered to be a fairly arrogant and rude thread in that forum.
See, every forum I go to has at least one area for military veterans and I put my service dates, ships, deployments and whatever else in that thread to share with other vets the stories only we know to be true and can sound outrageous to civilians. So, one of the threads I came across was written by a reservist, he didn't reveal which service he was in the reserve with...what he DID do was ask this question, "Am I the only one fed up with people thanking me for my service?" He talked about how he was in the reserves and whenever a stranger walked up to him and said "Thank you for your service..." he wanted to tell them "...if you're so thankful, why didn't you raise your right hand and serve?"
If you are upset at this, I don't blame you. Before I left the forum for good, I refuse to pay for the privilege of gaining information I can get for free elsewhere, I did my best to convey my feelings for his attitude. First, let me say this, whenever people find out I am a veteran, they always walk up to me and offer a handshake with a "Thank you for your service" and it does not bother me one bit. It does embarrass me somewhat, however, and this is why.
I enlisted in the US Navy in 1987 in the hopes of serving my country and getting an education unmatched by any university in the world. To be honest, the thought of not enlisting never really crossed my mind...I just assumed that was what I was supposed to do. See, my Great Great Great Grandfather was a Civil War Veteran, my Great Grandfather was a WWI Veteran, my Grandpa was a WWII Veteran and my father is a Vietnam Veteran...so I just defaulted to military service. Now, during my service I deployed to some precarious spots on this big blue orb...I am extremely lucky that I escaped with all my limbs intact and just minor aches and pains every now and then.
The point of this is, I never ever thought I deserved a hero's welcome or expressions of gratitude from complete strangers...I thought I was just doing my job. Being in the Navy was my career; fighting wars and deploying to far off places was my job. That doesn't mean I don't like it when strangers walk up and thank me but it does make me a little embarrassed. I hope you can understand my point. I know fellow veterans and my close veteran friends will understand my point. I truly hope the veteran in that forum begins to understand that point.
The American people are appreciative that we took up the mantel of military service...we should be grateful for their appreciation...I know I am.