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Old 07-19-2013, 11:52 PM
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Name's Doug. Well, ID says it's "Douglas Lanegan" but it always felt too big for me, I'm not that old, after all. Besides, I got sick of all the official stuff back in the military. I think people are just too afraid of each other, know what I'm saying? Yeah, that's a strange thing to hear from an ex-soldier but it seems like all these "Mr", "Sergeant" and "Sir" are made so that people can stay strangers. Not that I have many friends, but you don't call your friends Mr. Lanegan, now do you? My woman says I need to find a hobby, and then I'll find friends. The funny part is, during the war I was searching for the wounded on the battlefield, so it would be much easier to find friends first, provided they still breathe. When I say that she gets angry, says "the war is over". Well, yeah, it kinda is.
No one likes veterans nowadays, it seems. Can't blame 'em, after all it was just another world war America dragged itself into. I could have been on my family's farm in California right now if US just turned a blind eye - Northern Union didn't threaten us, after all. Well, they did try to conquer Europe but what's in it for us? Still, I got conscripted. I didn't try to dodge, mind you, even though I was scared shitless - there, on the other side of the world, the whole Europe was in flames but staying back while others are gunned down would have been dishonest. I'd hate myself for that. Then, father told me there are many people in the military who don't even have to shoot their guns, and in a way, he was right.
However, being shot at proved unavoidable, especially when we were sent to suppress riots in the west three month after the war. Well, not the riots, rather their consequences - thousands of armed civilians looting ruined cities and robbing each other. Support guys like me had even more job - we had to recover both wounded soldiers and civilians who opposed them.
Surprisingly, the war helped me meet my woman. We got acquainted at the Labor Exchange - the war left many people unemployed, including my woman. Well, guess I could say "girlfriend" but she insists that I call her that way. Says that "girlfriend" sounds childish and "we aren't kids anymore". Like I said, I'm fed up with this "official" bullshit but it's quite hard to call her something stupid like "GF", she has more willpower than everyone in my former unit combined. Mom tried to teach me to respect women but this one lady actually earned my respect. Plus she's right, we ain't no kids anymore.
It seems weird. This war was a nightmare... yet at least back there I had a purpose. I was useful, being not the best shot but not afraid to take a bullet either. With my experience in support I thought I could work in ambulance but they kept giving me that look, along the lines "you are a filthy butcher and not welcome near people in trouble". Everybody thinks all veterans are heartless hired killers. Sometimes I even think they're right - after all, I've already messed a couple of guys up just for giving me that look I mentioned.
Then my woman reminds me that "the war is over" and sends me back to the labor exchange. She now works as a freelance translator, me, I have to find something more serious. I ain't no kid anymore, neither am I a heartless hired killer. That would make things easier.

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Old 06-12-2014, 06:47 PM
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Hey Doug,
pleasure to meet you.

How long have you been out of the service?
How long were you in Europe?
Were you wounded while you were serving? Did you earn any medals?

You seem to be bitter towards your fellow Americans for the way they treat you, but deeply patriotic and loyal to your fellow soldiers. Does this feel like a contradiction to you? If so, how do you handle those conflicting emotions?
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