I heard a commercial on the radio about an open forum to discuss if whether or not 4th of July firework displays should be toned down out of respect for veterans who are jumpy. I wasn’t able to listen to the show, yet I do not think that the fireworks should be toned down. Rather than spending energy on this part, perhaps we as a society should address our veterans as members of our community… as being ‘within’ our community and not outside normal society. I must say that it isn’t only veterans that are affected by in/out group dynamics and that other individuals, by identifying themselves with a group or the like find themselves burdenend by expectations/exceptions and viewpoints. Veterans is one of a few groups that I belong to that experience this.
I get off topic.
On the t.v. I noticed that there was a news special (KATU?) on how fireworks are noisy and lound and might cause strain on the happiness of…. pets. Pets? Really? What about mention of lots of veterans out there who go to nightclubs for the loud noise and escape the booms and bangs, or who drink themselves into numbness (me last year) or who put on headphones and loud music? Lets not talk about this on the t.v…. too divisive. You can be labled as a liberal or anti-war or unAmerican if you talk about this.
Bullshit. Because I am not for war does not mean I will not fight one beside my comrades. Because I question government policy does not make me unAmerican.
I noted yesterday that as I walked to the truck, cooler loaded and on my way to meetup with friends for a party, that I did not freak out when hearing fireworks around me. I met them at work, got the address, and we all drove to the house. As I drove down Scholl’s Ferry Road, it was now dark and I liked the sight of fireworks in the sky. Then a LOUD firecracker (like a cherry bomb or something) went off at what seemed like the sidewalk as I drove by at 30 miles an hour.
FUCK! FUCK YOU MOTHERFUCKERIAMGOINGTOFUCKYOUUP!
That was not… I say again… NOT cool. My rig was never hit by an IED in Iraq… but one missed me one night and scared the shit out of me. I’ve rolled over plenty of other IEDs and IED heavy routes as well. Pucker factor is pretty damn high.
As I turned onto Barrows Street and winded through an open area the air was thick with smoke and the smell of burning fireworks. Pops and bangs all around me. Another IED went off nearby and I yelled more curses. My adrenaline was pushed up and I was chewing the hell out of a straw in my mouth. When I got to the house I cursed at fireworks across the street as I pulled the cooler out of my truck and walked to the apartment.
Inside… straight shot of bourbon and some beer. After a while I was fine and went outside and we shot off fireworks. It is like seing a snake. If I see it and know its coming, no big deal. But when it surprises me… I jump.
But all in all, except for that drive down an imagined IED alley, this 4th of July was not nearly as bad as last year. My emotions were, for the most part, much more calm than last year, and I was able to have normal social interaction with others.