TIME Magazine's Latest "Greatest Generation"
Who is Coming Back from Iraq?
The most recent issue of TIME Magazine should start hitting the streets today. It features an article about the troops who have, or are, returning home from what began 10 years ago. It’s titled “The Next Great Generation.” It’s written by Joe Klein. It refers to the men and women of our armed forces that have been overseas recently. It’s timely that this article is coming out on the ten year anniversary of 9/11. Interesting, aye?
President Obama announced the withdrawal of combat troops and the end of combat operations (Black Ops not included). About 10,000 servicemembers should be home by the end of this year (2011). We got our wish. Our men and women in the armed forces are slowly starting to (or going to) come back home. Their families got their wish too? Kids rejoice! Isn’t this what everyone wanted?
The remainder are slated to return by Summer 2012. Hopefully, they’ll be here in time to watch Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter on the big screen. Yes. It’s actually a movie.
Here’s the rub. Once they get here, what can they look forward to? Here in the US, things are not so hot right now…unless you want to talk politics and economy. The rising unemployment rate seems to be the only constant. Then there is the housing market. It’s dismal. I am actually pondering buying a patch of land instead of a 3 bedroom /2 bath with a pool and ridiculous homeowner association fees. I actually want to grow my own crops and raise some chickens. It would be just like Farmville. How cool is that? Wonder if I can start a movement?
What are my orders, sir? Objectives?
What is the next mission? Many have to transition back to living in America and civilian life. Their boots may be here, but their thoughts might not ever leave the battlefield. Wherever “there” is for them: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc., they will undoubtedly begin the difficult transition.
Maybe they need their next mission to be a worthwhile one, it just might not come from their CO. It needs to be challenging but attainable. They require self-generated orders and targets, I suppose, because that is how they perform best. I can’t really speak first hand about this because I was never there, nor in the military. They might have a higher calling that may not have crossed their minds. It’s more than just point-and-shoot. They need to lead a generation of young men and women, civilians, a nation.
A Good Start
To for those soldiers coming back, here is a thought: start your own business. You might not have start-up capital or a business plan, but don’t let that stop you. Look at Team Rubicon for example. They took their skills and put them to good use. Those Rubicons are kicking ass and making a difference. They even buddied-up with some of their own. That has to help ease the trauma and adjustment, I figure? This is not medical advice, just common sense. Get help here.
These guys and gals are not only soldiers, they are entrepreneurs and fast becoming a shining example of how to help others. Volunteer spirit is still alive and as said in the movie Jerry Maguire, “it’s stronger than Oak.”
The TIME article
I can’t wait to read Joe Klein’s TIME article. It could have probably seen it online, but I am waiting to have the old-school paper rag in my hands. I still like paper and the smell of ink. Reading from a book or magazine feels more personal to me. I think it has to do with my touching things with my hands. Call me Old School. My name is Javier and I am a magazine-lover.
My point is this, Go Start Something Big or Small or Whatever! Even if you score a job, you inherit 12 other people’s responsibilities and daily tasks. Forget that! I have been there and done that. It’s merciless. I’d rather be cleaning chicken sh*t from my own backyard. At least I’d have some fresh eggs to show for it. This advice is not only for our vets, it’s for you too!
<< Warning >> The rest of this is a long-winded rant about the state of our union. I summarized this above just in case I am losing your attention. But, if you continue reading, you might get offended or fired-up. It could also spontaneously make you spring into action.
Senators, Representatives and Governmentalistas. Lend us your ears.
Some politicos cry and holler about small business being the backbone of our economy. Call their bluff! Let’s see what happens. I just saw The Social Network and one of my favorite lines is “Harvard undergraduates believe that inventing a job is better than finding a job.” This lesson is quite profound and you just got it free-of-charge.
Me, myself and my website
I am practicing what I preach. I have made it my objective to help vets, their spouses and any other person who’ll give me 3 minutes to pitch. Start or grow a business. Read these SBA findings which show how important small business is to America.
I am not Tony Robbins, nor am I a get-rich-quick-advocate. I say do what you do for your boss, CO, and President, but for yourself. Do it for your kids. Do it for your peace of mind. We can be a greater nation in the process. I’d rather see a like-minded group of professionals who choose to work together, than corporate slavery which is hurting our morale, family life and the name “United” States of America. Medical benefits aren’t what they used to be either, so they are the defacto good excuse.
What fires me up when I feel down
For the last 8 years, I put up with a dead-end job. I suffer(ed) migraines and asthma attacks. I take every pill I can get just to be able to show up (barely) on time. For what? All I accomplished was to earn more work and less recognition. Does this sound familiar? That was horrible. But, as a people, If sh*t hits the fan, we have always managed to come out on top, and smelling of Eternity for Men.
I was not born wealthy and I have a crappy net worth. I might not leave my kids a pile of fishes when I eventually “expire,” but I think I’d rather leave them a couple fishing boats and the knowledge to use them while I am still above-ground. If they can catch them but not sell them, they could always eat them. With this in mind, I recently casted my net and went solo. Let’s see how this goes. So far, so good.
Join me and let’s reclaim our country’s spirit. I will not just sit by and keep mortgaging our future to any country with more dollars and petroleum than us. Let the DC-types figure about policy like in the New York Times. I’ll keep doing what I know how to do for myself and anybody willing to give me some projects. I will also help others do the very same. Having your own business is my New American Dream.
I am tired of hearing people gripe about Washington and government. They have their own problems to deal with. We elected them…sort of. How many of them are there? How many of us are there? That’s a great amount of issues to resolve for such a small group.
Look into the Mirror
We are the ones that have to figure this mess out. We are the ones who have to care for our families. Let’s show just how capable a professional, tech, creative nation we still are. So let’s start doing for us. Slap a sign on your pick-up truck. Put up a website. Build something. Go to a local nursery, buy an orange tree and plant it. Whatever you do, just stop listening to others tell you how you are “lucky to still have a job.” Most jobs suck nowadays. Why live life cowering and hiding from the human resources person who might call you into their office to talk about “something.”
Our troops give me courage. They were over there setting up communities; teaching a foreign population how to build their societies and defend it. Many of them were dodging bullets and avoiding explosives EVERYDAY. I can’t wait to hear the stories of what they bring back. What’s the worst that could happen? Sleeping on your in-laws floor because your kids got the bedroom. Let’s put things in perspective. Some of our soldiers didn’t make it back alive.
The knowledge, the experiences from our troops in the Middle East will be profound. I know that many new ideas and organizations will spring up from them. I want to join forces with them. I want to help them. It’s not a question of greatness, it’s a question of how great they are and will be.
Start something. This is a wake-up call. It’s not just for veterans. They say one of the best moments to start a business is during a down economy. Is this “down” enough for you?