A New Long March Contest: How Did You Find Work With Meaning After The Military?

The Long March
U.S. Marine Corps/Gunnery Sgt. T. T. Parish

I was struck by the response to this essay yesterday, especially on Twitter. Lots of comments agreeing that it was difficult to find work as meaningful as military service, how long it took and so on. One guy rather sadly posted that he never had found that meaning since leaving the military.


So I decided there is a good readers’ contest to do here. If you are one of those who found work with meaning—or took an alternate route, like volunteering or something—write one paragraph about it. Try to briefly address these questions: What work did you find, how did you find it, how long did it take to find, and why does it have meaning for you?

Who knows, you might even help out a fellow vet struggling a bit with the post-military transition.

Please send to me using the little e-mail clicker over on the left of the Long March homepage, near the postage stamp foto of me. Or if you are feeling lazy, post it in the comments. Winner gets a signed copy of my meaningful book on Churchill and Orwell.

Casperassets.rbl.ms

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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A soldier plugs his ears during a live fire mission at Yakima Training Center. Photo: Capt. Leslie Reed/U.S. Army

A Texas veteran is suing the company he says knowingly produced and sold defective earplugs which were issued to the U.S. military, leading him and many others to develop hearing problems, including tinnitus.

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File photo: Navy SEALs in Mosul (Photo: CNN/screenshot)

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — A Navy SEAL officer accused of failing to properly report alleged war crimes carried out by one of his men was arraigned on Tuesday in San Diego.

After being informed of his rights, Lt. Jacob Portier did not enter a plea or choose whether he'd ask for a jury or bench trial, since his civilian attorney has raised questions over a protective order in the case.

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An AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopter lands during a combined arms demonstration as part of South Carolina National Guard Air & Ground Expo 2009 at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Oct. 10, 2009. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Roberto Di Giovine)

Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email james@taskandpurpose.com with your story.

"Nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns and missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."

While this Patrick Stewart quote may be from an R-rated movie about a talking teddy bear, it's remarkably accurate. After all, the old warhorse has been kicking ass since it was first adopted by the U.S. Army in the 1980s. Designed to get into trouble fast and put it down even faster, the AH-64 Apache usually comes bristling with ordnance, from an M230 chain gun firing 30mm rounds to Hellfire missiles and rockets.

In the words of Tyler Merritt "it's basically a fucking flying tank."

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Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale (U.S. Army photo)

The Pentagon has identified a Green Beret who was killed on Tuesday by enemy small arms fire in southern Afghanistan as Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale.

Beale was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He was killed during combat operations in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.

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