I mean what else is he going to do?
The post 9/11 generation of veterans is a truly interesting one, different than any others in American history. More than ever, veterans are returning to the civilian world to do absolutely anything they can to avoid truly integrating back into the culture they left behind. Instead, they start their own veteran-centric brands and sell copious amounts of tee shirts with distressed lettering and moto designs while reveling in the expansive veteran social media community. I don’t necessarily exclude myself from this generalization, as I write my comic strip about the military I left years ago.
Still, I think about this a lot. I wasn’t alive for the wars of the past, but I think about the lifestyles of the veterans of old. The guys that fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, didn’t have the echo chamber of social media to get lost in. I like to think that veterans before us had an easier time, but then I look at the tribulations of returning Vietnam veterans and their shameful mistreatment by American society upon their return home.
My stepfather was one of them, who died of a heroin overdose when I was 13 years old. I suppose at the time I didn’t fully understand the concept of his veteran status in relation to his drug addiction. As I got older and obviously involved in the military space, it gave me a chance to reflect on this, which honestly just brought me more sorrow than anything. This is the man that taught me how to tie my shoes and ride a bike, and was sadly left behind in the end to succumb to his own demons.
I often wonder how healthy all of these “veteranisms” are. To be prescribed to a set of definitions based on your veteran status is a reality of today, and it is not perpetuated by the civilian world as much as reinforced by its own members. To be a veteran is to be understood as I have illustrated it in this caricature. One look at my third panel “President Obama” and you immediately recognize him. This is a fun punchline, but underscores what I believe to be potentially a serious problem in the veteran community.
On a lighter note, I love this joke, it’s unfortunate that the comments on Facebook for this post are going to be a bunch of idiotic rants about him being a Muslim or something. Unfortunately when it comes to political figures, people are largely incapable of being impartial. Terminal Lance is apolitical, and this comic is no different. Simply making a joke about or mentioning the literal President of the United States does not constitute political favoritism or entering the ring of political commentary.
I also want to remind you all that I’m still looking for writers! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re an active duty Marine that wants to tell some funny shit. Stay tuned…