Personally, I do not know. I am always scared. I am afraid of everything.
I was a pistol and rifle instructor in the Marine Corps because I was afraid of guns. It has not lessened my fear. I am personally terrified of guns.
I earned my certification it on my 21st birthday.
I did a ton of cool stuff.
I am still afraid of guns.
Guns and all weapons of war and mass war terrify me to no end.
What scares me most is perfection.
I expect things to go bad all the time. I am always afraid. If things went right all the time, I would be terrified of how abruptly bad they can go.
Anyway, I was a 6482 Meteorological and Oceanographic Analyst and Forecaster.
It wasn’t my first time outside of the house, so I was pretty used to going HAM in a career field where the best of the best served. Physically, the best bc Marines; even the fattest Marines are in better shape than the average (insert branch). mentally, one of the best of the Marine Corps.
We were 490 total Marine Corps-wide – entire rank/corporate office structure.
Just in case it doesn’t translate to college or corporate bitch speak.
I have worked at several Fortune 500 companies including banking, Disney, tech, and automotive places of employment. I enlisted after moving my entire childhood.
When I was a kid, we moved to a new home about every 10 months, and to a new state every 2-3 years until I was 16. I attended 5 elementary schools and 3 different high schools. I was not a military brat. The first time I almost died, I was five. I got strangled by a teenager high on drugs at a local park in North Bergen, NJ 1995. My mom chased the guy home, or so she says. I just just remember getting choked. Blacking out and waking up to my sister screaming and crying. That was the first time I knew I was alive. I have been jumped; almost lost my eyes in a fight once because of some guidos in Nutley, NJ. I got stabbed in the hand at a house party in Palm Springs when I was enlisted. I worked with the Filipino Air Force and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force… among other things.
I am 32. Luckily, no kids. No major regrets out of convenience, dogma, fear, insecurity, or laziness. I’ve just been hit so hard so many times that I don’t give a shit anymore.
I am not sure what makes me believe I am secure.
I only know when I don’t feel it.
The last time I felt insecure or not safe, I was drunk at a house party and, in an attempt to impress me, a friend tried to show me their child can shoot/aim.
The gun had the safety off and was loaded.
We were goofing off.
We all knew better. Every adult in the room knew how to shoot. I was the only certified expert.
Anyway, (friend’s) child tried to hold the firearm up and aim it in display of their knowledge.
After a few seconds, they stepped forward, announcing the weapon was too heavy.
As the child regained their footing, they flailed the weapon at my face and torso from about a foot away.
We were in a small room. I was standing by the door. (Friend) stood at the door frame with a beer. And, (Friend) sat in a chair behind (who’s) child, near a gun rack. (Friend) could have shot down a small town, maybe a poorly trained unit forced to impose martial law, alone.
It was November 29, 2016, FFXV came out earlier that day. I was near one of the great lakes, visiting a friend before he left the US. I was also near the end of my MBA program.
It was the fourth time outside the military that someone aimed a firearm at me; the first time a child held a weapon around me though.
Something about kids holding guns while I am drunk among other drunk adults sort of spooks me out.
Not like shivery spooky, but more like, “Oh damn. This isn’t good. Fuck.”
Anyway, (friend)’s kid’s hands trembled as they tried to be brave and hold the gun up, and steady. They showed me they can aim by pointing the barrel at my face. (Child)’s hand trembled. All noise stopped. I smiled and slowly pushed (child’s) firearm downward and to my left. (Friend) was on my right standing in the door frame. I am not sure if I was aware of that at the time or not. I am not certain if it was drunk instincts.
I have trusted intoxicated me with my life many times. Drunk me and I have read Kant, played Fallout, platinumed Dark Souls, ran miles, ran PFTs, ran CFTs, meandered through Japan (Hiroshima, Iwakuni, Tokyo, Kobe, Naha, Gate 2), South Korea (Mujuk, Pohang), the Philippines (Angeles City), All over Manhattan, Newark, LA, San Fran, Oakland, Miami, South Beach, South Miami, Laguna Hills, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Twentynine Palms, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Biloxi, Mobile, New Orleans, Pensacola, and Santa Ana. I am ethnically ambiguous and lived all over the US: NJ, AZ, MS, SC, CA, PA, and FL. Not as a military brat. Just moved often. Like every 10 months to a new home/house. Every other year until I was 16, to a new state.
My first strip club experience was at the “Lucky Horse Shoe” in Biloxi, Mississippi. The stripper had a c-section. She was tall and overweight with hairy legs. Her son was playing with his toys as she danced on stage and the bartender (her cousin) provided my friends and me with alcohol.
The debauchery got out of hand at times. I got chewed out by a One Star Air Force General for not finishing an 18oz Steak ordered. Two of my good friends were present and never let me live it down.
I got chewed out by my Captain in 29 Palms for getting caught underage drinking. He said one of the military wives saw me drinking with friends off base. I immediately fessed up to it, “Hey, they saw me. I did it. I know I did it. Sorry. No real excuses. I just wanted to get hammered.”
I have been insulted by super high-ranking brass on separate operations for trivial things — not wearing a cover/cap/helmet “correctly” or “at the right/wrong time,” or general misc stuff.
I whistleblew on an immediate supervisor during an investigation into my office during my time at my last duty station.
It exposed a nebulous web of misconduct in which the supervisors in my office were trying to undermine the office manager to remove him from his role/billet.
They were attempting to make him, and the entire office, look bad on paper.
I had just gotten surgery and was in constant pain, and unable to use my dominant arm.
Also while that was going on, my “gay” roommate tried to have a 3 some with my friend’s wife and me, while we were drunk and my friend was deployed. He thought I was down for some reason.
I called him out. I even yelled, “You can’t be fucking women. You are gay! If you fuck men and women, you’re an opportunist just trying to bust a nut.”
The dude twisted it into an anti-gay thing; then spread a rumor about fucking me. A friend told me that several people believed it.
I was hurt and insulted. I wasn’t there anymore, so it didn’t matter though. Just more so upset that people who never talked to me or asked me things believe other people about who I am. Really strange.
Anyway, I don’t usually ever feel powerless.
I feel hollow, empty, and ready to: run, shake my head, or giggle, because I am usually just awe-struck at how things play out.
Personally, I care about jack shit. I watched someone getting carjacked and shrugged because I didn’t want to get involved. I skipped my grandfather’s funeral. I never broke up with my high school ex. I just ran.
When my grandpa killed my step-grandma, I enlisted and ran away to the Marine Corps.
By then, I was a walking husk. I didn’t care. My friend shot someone in his house because I was being stupid. I messed up so badly. No military, collegiate, or business pursuit or achievement/screw-up even measures up. I have tried them all. I still can’t shake it off my soul. My parents grew up in the worst conditions possible and always pursued better. In a sense, I feel like I forever failed them.