the things that really matter regardless of whose military you serve in

large_flag_of_turkeyIt must be my week for writing about the military even if it is not mine. I seem to be drawn to people who are in some way connected to the military whether they have served themselves or their parents have. Apparently this does not exclude international military.  In case you’re wondering that is the Turkish flag.  About two years ago I met a young man who was getting through school just like me, played college football (and actually managed to get me interested in it which is more than I can say for the people at the school I actually attended)has a younger sister, a dog who has recently had puppies and is leaving to join the military next month.  If you couldn’t guess from the picture of the flag he is also Turkish.  He tells me all the time that you will be just fine and that I worry too much, that he is not going to die on me but I still worry anyway.  I don’t make friends to easily and so one I do those people are extra important to me.  Since knowing my friend I have become increasingly upset with my country’s seemingly automatic fear of those who appear Middle Eastern.  I once told this friend that I have seen people treat me almost worse than they would treat his dog because of my disability.  He told me not to worry about it because he was fairly certain those people weren’t human anyway.  He has never once treated me as anything less than equal because of my disability which is more than I can say for some Americans I know.  As much as the fact that we are pretty much halfway across the world from each other will allow and therefore in different time zones etc.we try to keep track of each other’s lives (he has talked to my mom, I remembered to tell his dad happy birthday, and somehow most of his football team ended up knowing who I was), in short we are two people holding together a friendship in spite of a lot of things, the least of which is actually a language barrier.  Incidentally I only know one word of Turkish other than his first name and that’s his dog’s name, his English is much better then my Turkish thank goodness, though I fully intend to learn.  Yes there are people who believe that they were instructed by God to blow themselves and other people to pieces but assuming that every person who looks similar to those people who believe that wishes to do so would have been like saying that every blond haired and blue-eyed person alive in the 1940s was part of Hitler’s Third Reich, which is to say completely ridiculous.  They say the generation my friend and I are part of will view the world in a way that the generations before us hasn’t and it will change everything for the generations that come after us.  All in all I think that is a good thing but whenever I pass by a cemetery, civilian or military or even see see pictures of them, I have to shake my head and sigh.  Why did this change that’s coming takes so long?  After all we are all human no matter whose uniform we (or our sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, fathers, husbands, wives, sisters and cousins) wear.


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