I’ve gotten a lot of questions from people about what it’s like being in the Army. There’s an air of mystery and lore around what being a uniformed service member is like. In college, for example, I had to spend every Fall semester telling dozens of curious students that I had not, in fact, gone to basic training, nor was I an expert marksmen. I also wasn’t Jason Bourne in the flesh, capable of using any and everything as a lethal weapon. I was just a student who had learned some fun stuff, but more really boring stuff. (By my senior year, I was completely okay with letting them think I was a Green Beret-Ninja hybrid who could kill them with a paper plate since that meant fewer questions).
Being a vet (soldier, sailor, airmen, marine, or coastie) is difficult to explain. The best illustration I can come up with is that being in the military is like having a roommate who follows you everywhere, and does some weird things at weird times. Oh, and that roommate lives in your thoughts, and not actually in a spare bedroom.
I’ve named my roommate ‘Joe’.