Veteran Shaming needs to End

The title of this post probably invokes a memory of a Vietnam Veteran returning home from the horrors of death, chaos, and war only to be spat on and called a “baby-killer.” This is not the type of Veteran shaming I’m referring to. I’m referring to the act of Veterans shaming civilians for their life choices. I must admit I have been a perpetrator of this very act and it needs to end immediately. This is an act I will not condone when committed by myself or my fellow veterans at a time when this nation does not need another reason to find cause for division.

I hear it time and time again. These civilians don’t understand. They’re soft. They have no idea how good they have it. I can’t believe what a bunch of weak excuses for human beings they all are. To quote Marcus Aurelius, “Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be, be one.” This act of veteran shaming is a side effect of veteran entitlement and is generally echoed by a comment of “don’t thank me for my service.” I for one am sick and tired of seeing veterans carrying themselves in such a way just because they have taken their uniform off and put on their “I served” ball cap.

Moreover, I would argue this very sense of entitlement so common in so many of my veteran brothers and sisters is the very reason for our extremely high veteran suicide rate and our inability to re-integrate into the society we left behind. Here are some hard words I think a lot of Veterans need to hear.

You Still Owe This Nation Everything you have

Yes you served your time. You sacrificed by missing holidays, birthdays, family gatherings, the birth of your first born, the funerals of friends, the lists go on and on. You spent nights on watch. You stood on the wall and beat back the wolves from the door. Thank you, genuinely. You are the best this nation has to offer and It brings a tear to my eye to know what amazing human beings you are. The greatest human beings I have ever known carried an M-240 Bravo, a SMAW, and know what it a big deal it is to have first round effects on target in an adjust fire mission.

I looked mothers and daughters in the eye before I deployed with their sons and fathers and watched them cry. I watched years of my family’s lives through the screen of a phone or computer. What was I given return? The undying appreciation of a grateful nation. I have not been to a weekend BBQ, diner, or community gathering in the past two and a half years without someone thanking me for my service. My entire Master’s degree was paid for by the tax dollars of these same civilians. They paid me a livable wage while I was on active duty. They still buy me dinners and they still shake my hand. They share their stories with me.

If you are a veteran who has taken off the uniform and think that your responsibility to this country is over you are sorely mistaken, my friend. Your new mission has just begun. Take five minutes to realize the number of benefits this country has created for you out of the guilt they have for forgetting about our brothers who served in Vietnam. Those benefits are enough to make you wonder if you should put your hand back up and volunteer for another four years.

You Have a New Mission, Set the Example

If you accept the statement that our nation’s veterans are the best we have to offer. If you agree the benefits we are provided are overwhelmingly abundant, then you know it’s time to pay the nation back once again. Your new mission is to re-integrate into this society. Come back and bring the lessons you learned to your neighbors, family, and friends. There is a massive benefit to the military separate of closing with and destroying the enemy that no one talks about. Our nation’s military makes better citizens.

Very rarely do I meet the veteran who doesn’t tell me he or she is a Veteran. If they don’t do it by the way they carry themselves they eventually tell me. Why? Well, because they’re so damn proud of what they have accomplished in the military. I’m proud of them too. They adopted a code of conduct and a set of core values. They lived by an honor code and they held themselves to a higher standard. It’s time to share that with the world through our actions.

Your job is to volunteer in your community, put in the long hours at work, grab a hammer and help your neighbor. I used to tell my platoon all of the time that our nation’s citizens view us as knights in shining armor. They do, I believe that. It’s why their children come up to us and thank us. It’s why the opposite sex is attracted to us. We are the proverbial protector of the gate. Now I will tell you the same thing I told my Marines after positing that argument. Don’t you for one damn minute ruin that reputation for me or for any other individual who had the balls to wear this uniform.

As Dakota Meyer said, “I got to wear the away jersey for America, Thank you for letting me do that.” This is the attitude we can and must approach our fellow citizens with. If we don’t we are doomed to forever see ourselves as outsiders. We are doomed to separate ourselves from these people who love us and look up to us. We are doomed to a lonely state of affairs.

I know This is Difficult

I’m not saying that this is easy. Easy was living a life in the military. Easy was knowing where to go and what to do. It was knowing that 90% of the individuals you worked with on a daily basis also carried themselves to a higher standard. I think a part of our frustration with civilians as veterans is the anger we feel when we realize that some of them, have never been held to a higher standard. Maybe you can be the first to do so by tactfully addressing their lack of standards. Veterans are so quick to shame the citizens of this nation on social media or in private discussions with fellow Veterans.

Perhaps the response should be to have that difficult conversation with our neighbor, friend, or total stranger. After all your trained in how to deal with interpersonal violence aren’t you? Weren’t you expected to correct your fellow warrior for violating our honor code? I know one of the worst things a leader can do is fail to correct an action that should not be condoned. Why does that stop when we leave the military?

I’m not saying Veteran’s need to become the police of chivalry and appropriate conduct. I am saying that if we’re really upset about the conduct of our fellow citizens we need to do something proactive about it. Act the way you expect others to act. Tell someone you don’t know that you don’t approve of what they’re doing. Remind your co-worker how important integrity is to you and ask that they maintain that same sense of integrity when dealing with you. Pull over for the person with the flat tire. Thank the police officer who’s probably scared shitless to do his or her job.

Believe It Or Not Love is The Answer

If you’re not a religious person that is fine. You can still learn a lesson from the word’s Jesus spoke to his father on the cross. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). He said that about people who nailed him to a cross and watched him die. How does a man find the strength to do that? Well as many times as I have read scripture I tend to always find a single underlying answer. Love. I would charge you to ask yourself, right here, right now, “why did you you sign up to join the military in the first place?”

Yeah, I know the answers on the surface because they’re my answers too. I wanted to look awesome in that uniform. I wanted to slay dragons. I wanted people to respect me. I wanted to respect myself. I wanted to know if I had what it took to do so. Now let’s all take a minute to go deeper. Why did you join your nation’s military? Even if it actually was other things on the surface like pay, a place to live, the beginning of a career we all have a deeper reason for joining. After all, there are much easier ways to get paid, find shelter, and start a career.

You joined because deep down you love this country and its citizens. You love them to a fault. Love does not judge, it does not differentiate, it is unconditional. Yes, my fellow citizens let me down from time to time. Deep down, I love them with my entire heart. That very love is why I get so frustrated with them from time to time. At the same time, I know that there is something special about the American spirit. I know that because I have seen it in my brothers and sisters in uniform. Long before they put on the Multicam or the MARPAT, they were just a citizen. Long after they serve they will be just that. A citizen. Woe to the man who underestimates a citizen of the greatest nation on earth, he will pay for his lack of respect.

About the Author

John McCarthy is the founder of the Post Modern Patriot blog and the host of our podcast. He is a former Marine Infantry Officer, Husband, father, and son. He is obsessed with individual performance in the realms of health, wealth, relationships, and the intersection of all three. He strives to share that with the world so that he can empower others to live boldly. Let’s leave a legacy!!!

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Tough Talk Book Club: Beyond Order by Jordan Peterson

Today’s episode is a different spin from our usual Tough talk Episodes. Isaac and I are releasing our first Book Club episode. In today’s episode, we discuss Jordan Peterson’s book, “Beyond Order, 12 more rules for life.” We break down the significance of Jordan Peterson to us and touch on our thoughts from his first book. If you’re interested in maxims to live your life by, and rules that make other decisions easier to make, this is the episode for you. A few highlights from today’s episode include the perils of abdicating responsibility, doing things your future self will be proud of, and when to confront people instead of ignoring problems that fester.

Links From Today’s Show

Purchase Beyond Order Here

Can’t Hurt Me

12 Rules for life

Peterson defending his stance against Hallucinogens on The Tim Ferris Show

Jordan Peterson and the Red Skull

A great reminder for disciplining yourself

Identifying Triggers in your own life

MOUT

An Interview with one of the best Olympic Weightlifting coaches in the world

The data based diet solution based on science and mindset

Good Luck Filling That Hole

What About Chaos?

Brought to you by, “Pain and Suffering”

In all seriousness. If you want to support the podcast you can do so by clicking here. Purchasing one of these American-made, hand-crafted plaques supports my podcast and a fellow Marine and Master Carpenter from Keimpiece Carpentry. I try to remind people all of the time that suffering is a prerequisite for joy and this isn’t just some meathead comment. The Dhalai Lhama said that. Purchase this reminder of the benefit of hard work, and perseverance to place on your wall in your office or gym. All proceeds go directly to the marketing and production of the Postmodern Patriot Podcast.

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EP 81: Experimenting, Leadership, Flow, & Emotion with Andy Cohen, PHD

On today’s episode of the podcast, I interview Andy Cohen, PhD. Andy is a Managing Partner at August Max Leadership. He is a student and Professor of Organizational leadership. He is also an Executive Coach, a consultant with expertise in Leadership Development, Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, Teams, and Social Networks. Andy and I discuss a wide array of topics not the least of which is leadership. I hope enjoy the wealth of knowledge Andy provides in this interview as much as I do.

His resume includes 30 years in top-tier strategy consulting, Fortune 500 consumer finance, coaching, and top-rated business school level teaching and research. He has a bachelors in Applied Math and Economics and Philosophy from Brown, a Masters of Science in Management from Wharton, and a PH. D in Management and Organizational Behavior, and Leadership from Wharton. He did not cut his teeth as an educator though, his business experience includes work at firms like Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) and Capital One.

Links from Today’s Show

A book on Flow

A Book on GRIT

Porter on Strategy

Ron Heifetz “Step on the balcony”

An interview with the Owner of Super Coffee

Book of Joy

Andy on Linkedin

Human Resource Management For Dummies

Brought to you by, “Pain and Suffering”

In all seriousness. If you want to support the podcast you can do so by clicking here. Purchasing one of these American-made, hand-crafted plaques supports my podcast and a fellow Marine and Master Carpenter from Keimpiece Carpentry. I try to remind people all of the time that suffering is a prerequisite for joy and this isn’t just some meathead comment. The Dhalai Lhama said that. Purchase this reminder of the benefit of hard work, and perseverance to place on your wall in your office or gym. All proceeds go directly to the marketing and production of the Postmodern Patriot Podcast.

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TT12: The Thorny Police Conversation Part II

On Todays episode of the podcast Isaac and I go into a deeper discussion of the root causes of police issues in our country. We discuss theories about policing, and ways an individual should respond to the police when they are approached. We close out the discussion with a measured response to the “defund the police” concept that is gaining momentum in this country. Tune in for another riveting episode from two really awesome vet-bros.

Brought to you by, “Pain and Suffering”

In all seriousness. If you want to support the podcast you can do so by clicking here. Purchasing one of these American-made, hand-crafted plaques supports my podcast and a fellow Marine and Master Carpenter from Keimpiece Carpentry. I try to remind people all of the time that suffering is a prerequisite for joy and this isn’t just some meathead comment. The Dhalai Lhama said that. Purchase this reminder of the benefit of hard work, and perseverance to place on your wall in your office or gym. All proceeds go directly to the marketing and production of the Postmodern Patriot Podcast.

Links From Today’s Episode

Last Week‘s Episode

On Combat

Snow Shoveling Shooting Episode

The Political Leadership Gap

Good Luck Filling that Hole

Patriot Picks

Buy your wooden plank to support the show

Nomad land

Talking with strangers

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TT11: The Thorny Police Conversation Part 1

On today’s episode Isaac and I discuss I discuss potentially the most tough topic we’ve ever brought up on the show. The thorny issue of police in America. Part 1 of this episode lays a balanced framework for a lot of the issues that Isaac and I personally have with police. We then go into the fact that a lot of our nation’s citizens are not giving police officers benefit of the doubt in the situations they find themselves in. As we begin discussing the “abolish the police” narrative we decide to pause things for further discussion next week.

Brought to you by “Pain and Suffering”

In all seriousness. If you want to support the podcast you can do so by clicking here. Purchasing one of these American-made, hand-crafted plaques supports my podcast and a fellow Marine and Master Carpenter from Keimpiece Carpentry. I try to remind people all of the time that suffering is a prerequisite for joy and this isn’t just some meathead comment. The Dhalai Lhama said that. Purchase this reminder of the benefit of hard work, and perseverance to place on your wall in your office or gym. All proceeds go directly to the marketing and production of the Postmodern Patriot Podcast.

Links From Today’s Episode

Last Weeks Episode on Enabling Leaders

On Combat

Snow Shoveling Shooting Episode

The Political Leadership Gap

Good Luck Filling that Hole

Patriot Picks

Buy your wooden plank to support the show

Talking With Strangers by Malcolm Gladwelll – Johns Pick

Mental Models- Isaac’s Pick

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Was Pat Tillman SuperMan?

“Man, supposing you and I, escaping this battle, would be able to live on forever, ageless, immortal, so neither would I myself go on fighting in the foremost nor would I urge you into the fighting where men win glory. But now, seeing that the spirits of death stand close about us in their thousands, no man can turn aside nor escape them, let us go on and win glory for ourselves, or yield it to others.”

Homer, The Iliad

Many young men in my generation owe Pat Tillman for igniting our desire to join the military. He set the example as a high-profile individual who signed up to join his nation’s military during a time of war. A lot of people view Tillman as a hero. I think they do so because at face value he turned down a 3.6 million-dollar contract in the NFL to join the Army in response to the attacks on 9/11.

Jon Krakauer does a great job of breaking down all of the reasons why Pat Tillman can and should continue to be seen as a hero for all of us in his book, “Where Men Win Glory.” These reasons go far deeper than just turning down money to serve his country. Throughout the book, Krakauer introduces Friedrich Nietzche’s concept of the “ubermensch.” He draws parallels between Tillman and this theory of the Ubermensch. Which begs the question. What is the Ubermensch?

To understand the concept of the Ubermensch we must understand Nietzche. Disclaimer: no one understands Nietzche. Here is a very brief description of Nietzche’s philosophy to explain this concept for the purposes of this post. If you want to learn more, buy this book. Nietzche puts forth the argument that we as a society have killed God. As I like to put it, we have chosen to worship science. In doing so we as a people are destined to lose our moral compass. Or as Jordan Peterson would put it, we have a massive gap we must fill in the absence of God. Nietzche’s solution. The Ubermensch.

Neitzche’s Ubermensche or superman has the following core characteristics.

  • He is Psychologically Strong
  • He is not concerned with religion or “other worldliness”
  • He creates his own morality for himself and lives by his own moral code and dominates his reality
  • His presence on earth is the solution to the death of God.

Tillman was obviously psychologically strong. His theories on religion were well balances and he could often be found reading about creation stories from all major religions. He followed his own moral code and the presence of men like him makes up for the lack of faith and society’s lack of participation in important social institutions.

As a Christian Man, I struggle with Neitzche’s concepts surrounding the unwillingness to appreciate the moral code religion provides for us. Yet, I would argue that Tillman fits Neitzche’s definition of the Super Man or Over Man. He chose to forge his own path and lived a life that many young men could strive for, fail to replicate, and still be proud of the outcome. It would be audacious to claim that Tillman’s presence replaces the void filled by a lack of faith in our society. Yet, I am proud to know he was a citizen of this nation. I look up to the man as a model for all of us. I am thankful that he has elevated what is the minimum standard for us all.


Post Script

I have heard individuals talk about Tillman’s fratricide and misconduct related to reporting of his death as though it takes away from his story. It does not because Tillman’s story is of a man who chose to push himself to the highest standards possible regardless of what was expected of him. Our ending does not define us or our story. The life we lived on this earth is what defines us.


Support Postmodern Patriot With The Purchase of This Plaque

In all seriousness. If you want to support the blog you can do so by clicking here. Purchasing one of these American-made, hand-crafted plaques supports my podcast/blog and a fellow Marine and Master Carpenter from Keimpiece Carpentry. I try to remind people all of the time that suffering is a prerequisite for joy and this isn’t just some meathead comment. The Dhalai Lhama said that. Purchase this reminder of the benefit of hard work, and perseverance to place on your wall in your office or gym. All proceeds go directly to the marketing and production of the Postmodern Patriot Podcast.

About the Author

John McCarthy is the founder of the Post Modern Patriot blog and the host of our podcast. He is a former Marine Infantry Officer, Husband, father, and son. He is obsessed with individual performance in the realms of health, wealth, relationships, and the intersection of all three. He strives to share that with the world so that he can empower others to live boldly. Let’s leave a legacy!!!

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TT10: being a Leadership Enabler

On today’s episode of Tough Talk, Isaac and I discuss a concept that doesn’t get enough attention in self-help and improvement these days. Being a Good Follower. It may not be the most appealing of topics but it is an extremely important one. What do you do to be a good follower so that you can increase the effectiveness of your team or your organization? These are important concepts to consider in a time when many of us fall into the narcissistic belief that just because we can be in charge, we should always be in charge. It’s ok to take a backseat and still be extremely effective.

Brought to you by “Pain and Suffering”

In all seriousness. If you want to support the podcast you can do so by clicking here. Purchasing one of these American-made, hand-crafted plaques supports my podcast and a fellow Marine and Master Carpenter from Keimpiece Carpentry. I try to remind people all of the time that suffering is a prerequisite for joy and this isn’t just some meathead comment. The Dhalai Lhama said that. Purchase this reminder of the benefit of hard work, and perseverance to place on your wall in your office or gym. All proceeds go directly to the marketing and production of the Postmodern Patriot Podcast.

Links From Today’s Episode

The Book of Joy

Snow Shoveling Shooting Episode

The Political Leadership Gap

Good Luck Filling that Hole

Patriot Picks

Buy your wooden plank to support the show

The Hydration Shake: Mentioned in this post

Same Harris Episode 246

Good Luck Filling That Hole

I recently heard Jordan Peterson discuss a major issue with my generation. Many millennials do not believe it is necessary to get married in order to affirm their relationship with another being. What was Peterson’s response to this issue? He pointed out that you should make a vow to the person you hope to spend the rest of your life with, you should mark it with beautiful ceremony in front of those you care about. Finally he said, if you don’t want to include God in that ceremony that is your business but good luck filling that hole.

This is not an atheist shaming post. It’s a millennial shaming post. One of the founders of social theory points out that the world is broken up into the sacred and the profane. That the sacred is what unites, binds, and inspires. Furthermore, he points out that there is a “collective effervescence” in the thoughts or actions of society from time to time. Or in other words, there is an opportunity for a group or community to come together, unite, bind, and inspire in order to create something beautiful. This is what ceremony and ritual are made of.

At the same time, we have an extremely profane mindset that has eradicated opportunities to participate in collective effervescence across the world. This profane mindset is a consequence of a postmodern society. The more technology and comfort increase the baseline for the standard of living, the more we are able to sever ties with society. We retreat into hollow caves of social media and separate ourselves from the world blaming busy schedules or worse the threat of disease. When that very thing we need most is to reach out and share a moment of beauty with the rest of our species.

My generation and our parent’s generation have created holes all over. We have turned so far away from participating in ritual and submitting to conformity that it has begun to eradicate the fabric of our lives. We dig ourselves deeper and deeper into isolation blaming others for the outcome when we’re left standing with a massive gap in our lives that needs filling. Even worse, some of us become completely consumed by that gap. We are absorbed by the whole and the process of digging that hole has separated us from any chance at rescue.

We all have holes, gaps, and weak points. We can attempt to fill them on our own but we find the attempt to do so a much easier feat with the assistance of others. Finding it easier makes us more willing to entertain the thought. Surround yourself with people you can depend on to help you fill the holes in your life. Remind yourself that you turn away sacred rituals and willingness to participate in groups and organizations at your own peril.

About the Author

John McCarthy is the founder of the Post Modern Patriot blog and the host of our podcast. He is a former Marine Infantry Officer, Husband, father, and son. He is obsessed with individual performance in the realms of health, wealth, relationships, and the intersection of all three. He strives to share that with the world so that he can empower others to live boldly. Let’s leave a legacy!!!

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EP 80: Make Yourself Vulnerable To Make Others Stronger With Jim Decicco

On Today’s episode of the Podcast Jim DeCicco and I discuss how the CEO of a healthy caffeinated beverage company pushed himself to burnout. We talked about what he does to overcome that. We also take a minute to drop the tough guy facade and point out that it’s important to do things like practice gratitude, prioritize your own needs, and give yourself and your buddies some much-needed love. Check out an episode that is just as awesome to listen to as it was to record.

Brought to you by “Pain and Suffering”

In all seriousness. If you want to support the podcast you can do so by clicking here. Purchasing one of these American-made, hand-crafted plaques supports my podcast and a fellow Marine and Master Carpenter from Keimpiece Carpentry. I try to remind people all of the time that suffering is a prerequisite for joy and this isn’t just some meathead comment. The Dhalai Lhama said that. Purchase this reminder of the benefit of hard work, and perseverance to place on your wall in your office or gym. All proceeds go directly to the marketing and production of the Postmodern Patriot Podcast.

Links From Today’s Show

Jim’s six pack ab Photo-shoots

The Book of Joy

Ben Greenfield

Super Coffee

Meat Eater

A similar Episode:Tough Talk, Attacking Adversity

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TT9: Attacking Adversity

On Today’s episode of Tough Talk Isaac and I discuss the strategies we have developed for facing adversity. I’m really happy to help people kick their Monday off with this discussion that every one can benefit from. We discuss finding your own heroes, recognizing previous achievement, taking accountability and my favorite, recognizing that Through Pain and Suffering Comes Spirit and Discipline.

Buy A Flag from Allegiance Flag Supply

I am proud to announce that I have partnered with Allegiance Flag Supply a company selling American Flags made in America by American seamstresses, with 100% American materials. Did I say American enough times? I am setting a goal with AFS, to see an American-made, American Flag in front of every home. From now on, My listeners, followers, and blog readers who buy $45 dollars or more worth of goods from Allegiance Flag Supply will receive a free hat pictured below. Just use the offer code POSTMODERN at checkout. For me this is about spreading the message to honor Old Glory again. Let’s do so in the best way possible, by flying it high and for as far as the eye can see.

Links From Today’s Show

Buy Your TPSCSD Plaque here

Man’s Search For Meaning

Super Coffee

Jack Kerouac and the Klondike

Nietzche Book

Patriot Picks

1000 True Fans by Kevin Rose

A Place beyond the pines

Stay tuned for my episode with Jim Decicco

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