It's Time To End The Veteran War On Independence Day


Remember the guy in your platoon who was a total scumbag? The one who used to steal from other people and always make up shitty excuses for his failures? Well, that guy eventually became a veteran and his general scumbag disposition never changed. To make matters worse, he returned to a society that worships veterans blindly, where he now has the luxury of masking his scumbaggedness by pulling the “vet card” whenever anybody questions why he sucks so much.

This is when the veteran community needs to intervene and police itself, as we saw last year when Captain Combat Veteran famously beat the hell out of some dude for cutting him off on the highway and chalked it up to his combat-induced post-traumatic stress disorder. Fortunately, his former first sergeant jumped in to explain to people on the internet —  many of whom had rushed blindly to Cpt. Combat Veteran’s defense — that our tormented American hero had, in fact, never been in combat.

We need more of that. If a person is being a dick, they’re being a dick. Their veteran status is irrelevant and those who make it an issue are part of the problem.

Jack Mandaville before taking on the alien mothership.

The “support our troops no matter what” mentality permeates all facets of our society, and is especially prevalent on Independence Day. It is on that day, in recent years, that we’ve witnessed the emergence of one of the most egregious notions to ever plague this beautiful country: The expectation that Americans are supposed to refrain from celebrating the birth of our nation because some veteran put a sign in his yard that looks like this:

Shooting fireworks on the 4th of July is as American as baseball, apple pie, and unwinnable wars. Yet these vet-flakes (veterans who are also snowflakes, because the two are not mutually exclusive) are making the declaration that, because they’re so special, their neighbors need to change their behavior for them. It’s not just insulting to those neighbors; it’s insulting to the overwhelming majority of veterans out there who aren’t self-involved babies, because — understandably — any person with no military background who sees something like that is going to assume we’re all cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Nothing says, “I’m an asshole” like telling hard-working Americans they can’t celebrate the very same freedoms that everyone credits you with fighting for.  Look, it’s okay if you’re not comfortable with fireworks, but keep it to yourself. That’s like an alcoholic showing up to a wedding and asking everyone not to do the one thing everyone loves doing most at weddings, which is get fucking drunk.

Jack Mandaville in basic training.

Of course, the vast majority of veterans would never dream of sticking one of those bullshit signs in their yard. To them I say, have a fun and happy Fourth of July! Enjoy all the booze, food, fellowship, and loud bangs you can handle. As for those who’d rather reign with an iron fist from their thrones of self-pity, here is a list of things you can do this Independence Day instead of ruin it for your neighbors. Also, fuck you for your service.

  • Drive out to a quiet area and enjoy some solitude.
  • Put on some headphones, crank up your favorite tunes, and do some chores around the house.
  • Build a soundproof toolshed, watch veteran-yelling-at-a-camera-in-parked-car YouTube videos to remind yourself how much of a badass you are, get drunk, and pass out in a puddle of your own tears.
  • Start one of the 22,456,938 veteran suicide prevention charities that are pending 501c status.
  • Start a Kickstarter campaign for your vet-owned apparel and coffee company that’s totally going to be different than the others.
  • Masturbate.
  • Call your mother.
  • Call your mother while you’re masturbating.
Chief Master Sgt. Jason Morehouse. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The command chief of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, was removed from his position last month after his chain of command received evidence he disrespected his subordinates.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

The "suck it up and drive on" mentality permeated our years in the U.S. military and often led us to delay getting both physical and mental health care. As veterans, we now understand that engaging in effective care enables us not just to survive but to thrive. Crucially, the path to mental wellness, like any serious journey, isn't accomplished in a day — and just because you need additional or recurring mental health care doesn't mean your initial treatment failed.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called on the security alliance's allies to maintain and strengthen their "unity," saying the organization is "the only guarantor of European and transatlantic security."

Stoltenberg told reporters on November 19 that NATO "has only grown stronger over the last 70 years" despite "differences" among the allies on issues such as trade, climate, the Iran nuclear deal, and the situation in northeastern Syria.

He was speaking at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on the eve of a NATO foreign ministers meeting aimed at finalizing preparations for next month's summit in London.

Read More Show Less
An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington, June 15, 2005. (Reuters/Jason Reed JIR/CN)

WASHINGTON — More than $35 million of the roughly $400 million in aid to Ukraine that President Donald Trump delayed, sparking the impeachment inquiry, has not been released to the country, according to a Pentagon spending document obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

Instead, the defense funding for Ukraine remains in U.S. accounts, according to the document. It's not clear why the money hasn't been released, and members of Congress are demanding answers.

Read More Show Less
Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

The admiral in charge of Navy special operators will decide whether to revoke the tridents for Eddie Gallagher and other SEALs involved in the Navy's failed attempt to prosecute Gallagher for murder, a defense official said Tuesday.

The New York Times' David Philipps first reported on Tuesday that the Navy could revoke the SEAL tridents for Gallagher as well as his former platoon commander Lt. Jacob Portier and two other SEALs: Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch and Lt. Thomas MacNeil.

The four SEALs will soon receive a letter that they have to appear before a board that will consider whether their tridents should be revoked, a defense official told Task & Purpose on condition of anonymity.

Read More Show Less