Archive for November, 2014

November 14, 2014

Am I really getting blasted by a fellow American for saying Happy Veterans Day on Facebook?

This past Tuesday, I updated my status to say: “Home of the free, because of the brave. Thank you to every past, present, anTyler Shay commentd future US Veteran. God Bless you!”

Apparently it offended a person I went to grade school with, a Facebook Friend. Not because of the mention of my God or religion, but because he does not believe that Veterans deserve to be honored. I’m flabbergasted.

This blog is not intended to be a forum for debate, controversy or argument. But I promised my readers I will always write words that speak true to my heart. And I literally may not sleep again until I get this off my chest. I’m not writing in response to the words or message that this person is interrogating me, but rather because now more than ever I feel my obligation and responsibility to stand up and support Veterans and the United States – and my freedom of speech.

The comment he wrote on my status was enough to offend me and those very close to me that have or are currently serving our country. While my status did not ask anyone’s opinion or provoke any sort of discussion, he felt the need to write his judgment on my status. I wanted to stand up for my Military friends, or even those I’m friends with who have family or friends serving our country. I responded to his comment with my beliefs, and asked him not to respond any further.

Tyler Shay

Yet he did. And again, I did not provide any response to him further interrogating me. Then I received this lengthy private message that left me at a loss for words. His beliefs are his, and my beliefs are mine. While I am not taking his viewpoints personally, I wish he would have simply made his own status that of his own philosophies, leaving me out of it, and not inserting his own opinion on my status that clearly was going to offend me. I certainly wish he would have respected my request to stop pestering me.  Am I really the only person on his Facebook feed that said Happy Veterans Day?

He really is barking up the wrong tree. Many of you wouldn’t know, but I have always had a strong calling to join the military. I have no real reason, family tie or personal connection to the Armed Forces, yet somehow I have felt this way shortly after immigrating to the US.  I came very close to joining the Coast Guard after college, but during my indecisiveness I was given an opportunity to move to San Francisco instead. I think about it all the time, still to this day questioning that perhaps I am meant to take that path. Now more than ever, that fire is reignited in my soul. (Sorry Mom … maybe just the Reserves!?)

I recognize that America is not perfect, but I’ve lived in a country that at the time had real corruption, crime, lack of opportunity, and no real line of defense.  I also recognize that humans everywhere are sinners, greedy, selfish and some even twisted.  I’m confused about this person’s argument and desire to have no military at all, calling all veterans pawns? I’m confused about this person’s comment that I don’t deserve an abundant life, unless every single person in the world has an abundant life. I believe we can be grateful for an abundant life while also doing what we can to serve those in need. We will have to agree to disagree I suppose.

Mostly, however, I’m offended that because I chose to thank Veterans on their national holiday – all of a sudden means I’m ignorant and selfish and don’t deserve freedom of speech.. or to wear clothes from Banana Republic?

So, to be loud and clear: I will continue to support the brave men and women who defend our country. That doesn’t mean I am a ‘war lover’, or ‘bully’ or ‘insensitive to the rest of the world’. I pray that war will end, I really do.  I will continue to travel the world and learn other cultures, loving and serving people the best I can.

I believe America is a great country to live in; while not perfect, I do not take living here for granted. I am proud to have gained citizenship in 2003.

God Bless our troops, and God Bless America.

Today I may need help to remember to just, love life.