Imagine my surprise this weekend when I found myself sitting around a table drinking with a group of people who could have only been made more diverse if we had a transvestite sitting with us. A more eclectic group probably couldn't have been found in Philadelphia that night.
Let me back this story up for a second. Last weekend I was in Philadelphia for a wedding. Now I'll continue with the story.
From a Senior VP at Goldman Sachs to a physical therapist to a mill worker, to even a woman who had been on The Bachelor, we were all toasting one another, slamming down shots, singing, and generally being so loud that finally the Loews Hotel manager had to come in and let us know that not all of the guest in the restaurant were enjoying our night of debauchery as much as we were.
By the way, kudos to the staff for taking care of us. Also Bank and Bourbon, the restaurant inside of the Loews Hotel, is phenomenal. They have a great "secret drink" that tastes like green tea and punches like moonshine. But I digress.
Upon waking up the next morning, I decided to head down to Beiler's Bakery to grab an old fashioned blueberry donut and a coffee.
Honestly, I probably should be writing a food review of Philly.
While munching on my donut I started watching people walk back and forth. I couldn't help but people watch. It's usually during these times that I start to think back upon prior events and things that have been said. Good and bad, I mule things over in my mind. I think about what I could have said, what I could have done, what I will do if I'm ever in a similar situation again.
During our night of debauchery, one of my fellow comrades-in-drinking turned to me and asked (upon finding out that I was a veteran), "Why would you ever do that?" I looked at him, smiled, and said "It seemed like a good idea at the time". The table erupted into laughter and the night continued into the wee hours of the morning. I was saved from having to validate my decision.
The reality is, as conflicted as I am about everything that I have done in life, enlisting when I was 17 still seems like a good idea to me.
The funny thing that I have found since having gotten out of the military is that for the most part, my service to the nation is never questioned, it is the decision that I made to enlist in the military that is questioned. My decision confuses people. It's at odds with their views on how the world should work. To them, to much of America, and even with some members within our veteran military community, my decision is confusing, because all of them can't understand why I enlisted.
Children of the 1% aren't supposed to join the military and they are especially not supposed to enlist as Privates (that's right a mother slamming E-1).
Stay tuned for the second part of this article “FORTUNE-ate Sons Aren’t Supposed To Serve”.