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Assumptions

October 30, 2013

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Assumptions 

Most people make certain assumptions when they learn I was in the Army.

Most of these assumptions are completely and totally false.

“Dude, don’t mess with her. She was in the Army and can kick your ass.”

Thank you for assuming I’m a good fighter, but I’m not. Actually, I lost all but one of the Combatives matches I was placed in. This assumption has gotten me into some trouble with people challenging me to fights when, in reality, I really don’t like fighting–or even confrontation. While in the Army, I was made fun of for not wanting to fight. In one instance, I was even slotted to fight Cortez as a joke. Cortez was my height, but she was a former bodybuilder, an occupation I will never have. She was most famous for her side-arm locks, an intricate move that forces her opponent to either tap out or possibly have their shoulder/elbow dislocated. Yay for me. Now, I might be a horrid fighter, but I make one solid vow before a match: to do as much damage as possible before I go down. I don’t think I did any damage to Cortez, but I made her work hard for her win, lasting longer than anyone else had. So, no, not everyone that was in the Army can fight, so stop assuming.

“Hey, what kind of gun was that?”

I don’t know. Being in the Army means that, yes, I fired guns, which we referred to as “weapons.” However, this does not mean I know what every single weapon is. So, stop asking me while we watch TV. You made me miss an awesome explosion.

“Have you, like, ever shot someone?”

Although I was a Police Officer, I only drew my weapon once. It wasn’t exciting, I wasn’t shot at, and I didn’t shoot at anyone. Actually, the reason I pulled my gun was because of an unlocked building that I had to clear with my partner. We found the guards asleep after clearing the building and decided to scare them senseless instead  of shoot them despite our urge to, an urge that I am having right now since you asked this stupid question.

“What was Iraq like?”

I have no idea. Why? Because I haven’t been there. Not everyone that was in the Army has deployed. Trust me, I wanted to, but I wasn’t able to. So, no, I don’t have any awesome or gruesome stories to entertain you with.

“Hey there, how you doin’?”

Perhaps the most offensive assumption is that I’m easy. And by easy I mean exactly what you think I mean. Most men have this strange idea that women in the military are promiscuous. Now, some women are, but please don’t stereotype me in with them. I’m all for people exercising the right to do what they want with their bodies, but don’t think you’re gonna get laid simply because I wore combat boots. Because you might find said boot in an uncomfortable place.

I know I may sound crass or mean in my responses, but I don’t mean to be. Usually, I get one of these statements when someone learns I was in the Army. But, once in awhile, I get a different response. Sometimes, I get a simple thank you or an honest, intelligent question about my service. Yes, the “thank you for serving” is always a bit uncomfortable, but I prefer it to being hit on or asked a stupid question. However, it’s the people that ask an intelligent question that I covet. They aren’t there just to be entertained with a bloody story about a battle or challenge me to arm wrestle. They sincerely and honestly want to understand. So, if you really want to know what it was like for me in the Army, don’t ask me one of the above, come up with a genuine question or the answer to the “have you ever shot someone” question might change from a simple “no” to “no, but I’m thinking about it.”

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