Service Members Share What They Learned About Society After Their Tour Of Duty
It takes a peculiar kind of person to be a service member, either enlisting in the military or choosing to serve as a member of the police force. You lay your life down on the line to make sure others get the chance to live theirs. Sometimes, seeing that side of society can change you.
Reddit user, u/sleafordbods, wanted to know:
Police and military members of Reddit, what is something you realized about society as a result of your service that you didn't notice before?
Just A Couple Of Quickies
Most people are not suited to authority. The more they have, the more they abuse it. Both genders.
Most people aren't that smart, and the dumber they are, the dumber they think smart people are.
Men are cruel. Women are wicked.
Groupthink is real, is everywhere, and is dangerous.
What? The Government's Wasteful?Giphy
The government truly is staggeringly wasteful. I mean just truly wasteful on a scale that boggles the mind.
I'm certain we could field a more capable military with half the annual money ($350B instead of $700B) if we didn't just thrown the money away on redundant hardware that is manufactured and exists solely to provide jobs in specific congressional districts, inefficient logistics, gas and oil, etc.
You Say Only What You Have To Say
"Thank you for your service" and my response "Thank you for your support" is really just an obligated, scripted back and forth that usually means nothing to either party.
I know there's no ill intent meant by it, but I feel like 90% of the time, people say it when they feel like they have to, not because they feel genuine gratitude.
I hope that doesn't make it sound like I think I deserve gratitude just on account of being a glorified government employee, but I can definitely tell the difference between someone who genuinely believes I somehow keep them safe, and someone who is saying because they think they have to, and I wish those people felt comfortable not saying anything at all
Things Are More Complicated Than They Appear
That everyone has preconceived notions about the military, good or bad, and any information given to the contrary goes in one ear and out the other.
Also applies to just about everything else. People don't like to give any additional thought to an idea once they have settled on it as their personal belief. TBH thinking about it bums me out a lot.
"The Military" is a huge organization and a supreme example of the American melting-pot, with people from literally all walks of life and all ideologies, and making any generalizations about service members beyond "they are all human" is pointless.
Kind Of A Tactless Way To Say It, But, Okay
If you're good at your job, great! You'll get to do someone else's job too. When things need to get done, regardless of who's responsibility something is, the tasks will fall to the people who can do them- the high performers. So you end up with all of these high performers who get burnt out because they're doing their job and picking up all of the slack that falls on their shoulders.
In the military especially, it's frustrating when these high performers who carry most of the load are compensated and treated the same as their peers who don't add as much value- the military is many things, but a meritocracy it is not.
Many from this top group leave the military to pursue something where their disproportionate contribution is rewarded. You then end up with the leftover group of people from the middle of the pack, who were never really high performers, finding themselves in leadership positions. Through attrition of the actual best, the middle rises, simply because they end up being the best of who's left after the high performers leave.
Just Asking Questions Can Get You In Trouble
There's a lot of grey between the black and white of following orders.
"Our worst day is some people's paradise."
How well we have it. Visiting other countries puts your "struggles" into perspective.
Our worst day is some peoples paradise
They Will Take Anyone. Any. One.
The ridiculous amount of stupid people that exist, and how low the bar actually is to join the military.
It's Not As Bad As It Seems
That people freak out about wars about to break out, despite not being in the military.
Like, you think Iran is [going] to be world war 3 and you work at starbucks.
Calm down karen.
Things Don't Trickle Down
People who have less give more and people who have more give less and take away from the people who have less..
You'd Be Surprised How Much Nothing We Do
When I was in [military] in Germany when it was still mandatory: Nothing.
We were just doing pointless stuff all day. Like laying around in the forest for no reason.
Caring Is A Good Thing
Comradery doesn't exist in most civilian jobs. Lucky for me, I now work with mostly ex-military people. Folks who have never known what it means, to have a bond with coworkers, are the worst people to work with, IMO.
Some of them are the typical corporate minded, back-stabbing, kiss-ups, and are the bane of comeradery in the workplace, especially once they get promoted to management. Knowing what it means to have that bond...it really opens your eyes to the types of insecure, and uncaring co-workers that exist out there.
If you are one of these personalities(which is likely when you have never had comrades), I want you to know, that giving-a-sh-t about people you work with, is a 'good' thing.
Doesn't Matter The Rank. You're All The Same.
Everyone has an opinion about military members and it is imperative that you agree with them about it.
I've been called a war hero, a baby murderer and everything in between.
I'm a f*cking 14p we don't do anything to warrant either reaction.
Having A Uniform Doesn't Make You A Good Guy
There is good and bad people in almost every group of people. For instance some of the worst people I met were in the military.
Some of the people on the other side weren't evil, they just didn't want foreigners conquering (liberating we say) their country.
Being A Criminal Doesn't Mean You're A Bad Guy
Just because someone commits a crime and you have to arrest them doesn't mean they're a bad person. Most of the people I have arrested or given citations to are cooperative and polite. The majority of these individuals understand that they made a mistake and that they now have to accept the responsibility.
Respect will get you respect. Treat people fairly and regardless of the situation, they will 9/10 times treat you fairly back.RindgeTinge17
Don't Know What You NeedGiphy
Being on deployment overseas made me appreciate signs and announcements in English. Being in Dubai or India and not getting lost because of the English signage is something one wouldn't think important until they're lost and need to make it back to ship on time.
So now when someone complains about seeing signs in Spanish or French in America I'm more prone to calling them out on their bullsh-t.
You Know The Real Deets
If your security clearance is high enough, the evening news makes no sense.
Everyone Has The Same Potential
The only sign of being a good person is being a good person.
People like to say "oh, that person has x trait, he's a good person". None of those traits pan out.
Religion, education, money, status, race, politics, electability, sexuality....I met plenty of straight-up aholes in every iteration of every category there is. Nearly every iteration of every category also had strongly good people in it. There was virtually no correlation.
Not Everyone Is A Saint
Before Army: "Everyone in military service is a hero. F-cking extinguish anyone who thinks otherwise."
After Army: "I've been wrong... for a very long time."
If you're a service member, what do you wish other non-service people knew about your job? Share it with us!
The internet is so fascinating.
Thanks to YouTube and TikTok, so many hours can be spent lost in the world of video.
You pick a simple topic or name to check, and then it's tomorrow... and you've binged every army family reunion story.
And so much time to waste, depending on your keystroke choices.
Redditor imboredaa wanted to discuss all the ways so many of us get lost watching things on the internet, so they asked:
"What are some of the craziest/strangest rabbit holes you’ve ever been down?"
I constantly get lost on talent show audition rabbit holes.
And I am proud!
RestoredSerial Killer Chainsaw GIF by Rise RecordsGiphy
"YouTube videos of old chainsaw restorations. No idea why, but I guess that’s why it’s a rabbit hole. I don’t even own a chainsaw or have a need for one."
"I really enjoy going on a city’s Craigslist, then to 'rooms/shared' (or whatever it is for finding a room mate) and then typing words like 'warning' or 'beware' in the search to see what kind of horror show nightmare room mate scenarios people have decided to write about... it's usually some juicy headline like 'warning!!!'"
"Do NOT rent from this woman!!!! She is a PSYCHO!!….'"
"And after reading it, it’s always a guess to decide who is the actual crazy person, the landlord or tenant. Could be a bitter ex, tenant, or a scam, or whatever. But it’s an easy way to dive quick into some weird corners of the internet that are filled with drama."
After the Ice
"I spent a bunch of time about 12 years or so ago reading about all the details of the Titanic, how it sunk, what happened as it was sinking, who died, who survived. I got into the life stories of the people who died, and what became of the people who survived. And then I very nearly bought a piece of carpet from the Titanic."
"Andrée's Arctic balloon expedition"
"Dumb, then numb, a** thought he could fly a balloon to the North Pole. They had cyanide capsules and all, in case they crashed and were about to freeze to death. Or get eaten by a polar bear during a three month night. He and his assistants somehow managed to do both."
"Plot twist: Andree, the worst captain of all time, noticed the balloon was leaking the night before they were about to leave, pumped it up a bit, and said 'f**k it that'll do.' It did not do."
"An Uncle John's Bathroom Reader. Started with 1 and ended up with a 20+ collection."
"Uncle John's Bathroom Readers are so addictive."
Toilet time can be knowledge time.
Living Sky HighCity In The Sky Vfx GIF by PBSGiphy
"Turning old planes into houses! About 10 years ago I found a company that would do it for you. The wings were decks and the plane was mounted to a pedestal that allowed it to be rotate with the sun!"
"Mega tsunamis. Thousand foot walls of water moving at hundreds of mph? It happens more than you would think. The Azore-Gibraltar fault will cause one one day. There evidence they happened a few times in the Pacific. It doesn't take a meteor to happen, it could be an underwater landslide (Doggerland), or a large section of a volcanic island shearing off and falling into the ocean (Oahu). Doggerland is another rabbit hole that is worth googling."
Hitting the Keys
"Mechanical keyboards. I wanted to buy one, so I started researching and watching videos of reviews. I went deeper and deeper, seeing special cables, obscure companies, the tons of switches, etc etc."
"I stopped when a Youtuber I watched made a video asking her viewers and discord users to stop bullying and harassing her for using some kind of switches or keycaps. I bought my keyboard and never went back to that crazy fandom."
In the Sky
"I worked in administration at an aviation academy for a few years and decided I’d start listening to aviation podcasts since I didn’t know much about it. I came across a plane crash podcast that talks about crashes in history and how it improved the safety of flying."
"I was fascinated by it, and found myself gradually needing to know more and listening to more of the same type of podcasts, watching videos, and listening to black box recordings. It was eerie but interesting at the time. Now, I regret it tremendously because since then I’ve developed horrible anxiety when flying."
The Big Questionssteve harvey lol GIF by TV Land ClassicGiphy
"Spent a lot of time in the 'quantum consciousness' rabbit hole. I had just deconstructed from religion and wanted answers about life, death, and reality. It was long before I made peace with not knowing. I spent around a year obsessed with quantum experiments, psychedelics, and the general philosophy of consciousness."
Lives (and chores) can be put on serious hold when you find a juicy enough topic to research!
Well, what rabbit holes have you gotten lost in? Let us know in the comments below.
People Describe The Most F**ked Up Thing They've Ever Seen That Still Haunts Them
CW: Graphic imagery and accidents.
No one leaves this life without scars.
We witness so many awful things on a daily basis.
How could we not be followed by it all?
Messed up things are just part of the deal of living I guess.
One minute you're walking along on a bright sunny day, then boom, you're a witness to a murder.
Or some such craziness.
That's why I stay home a lot.
Redditor Who_Did_You_Expect1 wanted to hear about the things from our memories that still haunt our nightmares, so they asked:
"What's the most f--ked up thing you saw that still haunts you to this day?"
Living through peril is unimaginable. I've been luckier than most.
TragicSad Best Friends GIF by Lisa VertudachesGiphy
"I watched cancer kill my baby brother. He was in grade school when I was in college. 25 years, and I still see it in my dreams."
Ay Dios mio, Dios mio!
"When I was about 8, my sister and I were walking with my mom to a bus stop to see my grandma in Mexico city. There was a lady on a bike crossing the intersection that we had just crossed ourselves but she didn't stop in time to the next one and didn't look both ways, she didn't have time to stop her bike. All I remember is the lady making the beginning of a scream as a white old muscle car ran over her (bike and all) at a high speed."
" remember the sound it made as it broke everywhere. My mother took her sweater off as she screamed and covered both my sister's and my head from looking, but it was too late. I remember looking at my sister with tears in her eyes, and I was too shocked to react or comprehend what I had just seen happened. A lot of people immediately surrounded the place, and the driver came out of his car and held his head with his hands after seeing the lady on the pavement."
"I didn't look at the lady anymore. I remember hearing people screaming in shock. My mother told my dad later as she cried. I remember hearing her wake up screaming for weeks after this saying: ay Dios mio, Dios mio! Still makes my heart race when I think about it."
"I was a news photographer for a while in the 90’s. I got called out to an accident. A high school girl ran into the back of a semi. As I was shooting, I noticed her wallet was on the ground. It had a plastic picture holder and the wind was flipping back and forth. I saw her prom pictures and shots of her with her family."
"I quit being a news photographer shortly after. I never forgot that day, and it still haunts me."
"I saw the aftermath rather than the actual event. A woman was walking home from the grocery store late at night. She crossed the road without using the crosswalks and got hit by an SUV. The two images cemented in my mind are of her, embedded in the windshield, and the driver of the car standing a little ways down the street vomiting. I've never seen someone look so utterly broken as the way the driver looked. I can't imagine what he was going through."
EverydaySad Rabbit GIF by Muffin & NutsGiphy
"When I was 16 I was in a car wreck with my best friend since 3rd grade. I pulled him from the car with a broken shoulder while he was bloody, lifeless, limp. He died within the hour, not long after the ambulance got us. It’s been 18 years and I still think about it every single day."
I couldn't imagine living with that.
I also couldn't move...
"Coming to after getting hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian. Was face down, all I could see was blood soaked road and thought 'f**k, that doesn't look good.' I also couldn't move. The last thing I remember seeing before that was the grill of the vehicle. I still get jumpy when I catch a vehicles grill out of the corner of my eye and I'm not expecting it to be there."
"I'd seen a lot of accidents prior to that, but something about it being my own blood hit different."
"And yes, I had the right of way and was crossing in the proper place, at the proper time. Driver plain a** wasn't paying attention. It was daylight to boot, so no reason they couldn't see me."
"I was volunteering with my k9 working with NYC emergency services and chief Patell during 911 WTC attacks. We were in the middle of where the twin towers used to stand The thick gray dust, horrible smell of burnt things and dead people was all around but when the dogs started to find bodies and body parts it really freaked me out and I will forever live with this reality that seems like a bad dream."
MissingConfused Wile E Coyote GIF by Looney TunesGiphy
"A family of four that had burned in a plane crash. I used to do a woodland search and rescue, and we saw a lot of wild crap, but I still have dreams about what I saw when we went to look for a missing plane."
Goodness life is dark sometimes.
Do you have any similar experiences? Let us know in the comments below.
People Break Down Obvious Signs To Tell If You Have Sexual Tension With Someone
Let's just be honest: the dating scene can be rough, especially when you're not sure if that person likes you back or not.
Some people, however, are very comfortable with their dating histories and believe there's a certain "cheat code" to confirming if someone is interested.
But for those of us who have always been bad at flirting and consider ourselves "oblivious" to other people's advances and compliments, maybe there could be some hope for us after all with these tips.
Redditor Independent_Slide932 asked:
"What are signs that there's sexual tension between you and someone?"
Their Undivided Attention
"It's serious eye contact for me, like when they would rather admire you than look anywhere else. It just makes it so obvious."
"For me, it's not just the eye contact itself, but when the eye contact is made, the two of you are in your own little world. There’s communication happening in that eye contact that you aren’t having with other people."
The Thrill of the 'Chase'
"To answer the actual question OP asked, it’s finding reasons for eye contact."
"It’s 'accidentally' making physical contact. It’s always ending up sitting next to each other in a group."
"It’s a tingly tight feeling in your guts."
"It’s a beautiful pain to experience. It’s almost more fun than actually 'getting' the other person."
Literal Physical Attraction
"Angling. Always feeling like your center of gravity is shifting towards them."
Interested or Not?
"There's a regular who comes into my work who makes serious serious 'seductive' eye contact with me and has a smile that looks flirty."
"But he's also hot as f**k. He's just incredibly attractive. So like, just because it's making me turn to jelly doesn't mean it's anything other than just being friendly and having a regular smile to him."
It is, Indeed, ...Tense
"It's that awkward, 'I want to f**k this person, and I'm pretty sure this person wants to f**k me, but I'm not sure enough about it to actually make a move.'"
"That's sexual tension."
"It can manifest in a lot of ways. Usually, sexual tension develops when two people are attracted to somewhat attracted to each other. The funny part is, sometimes they aren't even fully conscious of it, or want to acknowledge it."
"That is where the tension lies. There is a reason why both are not participating in healthily acknowledging attraction for each other. It can look like tense awkwardness, constant fighting, overt flirtatiousness without any progression, and even consciously ignoring/avoiding the other person."
"It's a shared gaze that at once leaves you both relaxed and on edge. It's like being old friends with a stranger."
"It's like an inside joke that isn't funny, it's sexy. I mean, it could be funny or sexy, but you see what I mean, it's a common understanding."
"It's like, 'You've got a secret, and I know it, and I've got a secret, and you know it, and the secret is the same thing, and we both know it, and it's so f**king delicious that we both know that without discussing it. The secret is nothing and everything, it's the knowing and sharing and the edging that is wonderful."
"It is something that is involuntary, but also once you've experienced it (enough), you can put yourself in that mode, make eye contact with a sexy stranger, and they may respond positively. It won't be as good as spontaneous mutual attraction, but you can put the signals out, 'Hey, I dig you, are you interested?'"
"Some people that you have that intense mutual attraction for aren't the right one(s) for you, except that they are the right ones to practice making that connection with. The person who is perfect for you might be someone who grows into the right emotional responses... and that's true of you, for them, as well."
"And lastly, you can choose to ignore both the mutual and asserted versions; the right relationship choices are both an emotional and intellectual decision, don't rely on one exclusively."
A List of Obvious Signals
"Reading signals is tough, I’m glad I don’t have to date these days."
"But some legit signals I’ve learned, in no particular order:"
"Prolonged or suggestive eye contact."
"Body positioning mirrors yours or stands closer than typical in your culture."
"Playing with hair when you interact."
"Light unconscious brushing up against or touching."
"If seated, leaning forward towards you frequently and/or touching you hand in a friendly way."
"Flushed or light blushing when they interact with you but not others."
"Excessive awkwardness that isn’t the case with them around other people. Especially if they straight up start babbling like a loon."
"Awkward silences you could cut with a knife but they still keep seeking you out."
When Someone Gets It Wrong
"It’s hard to explain. Basically, it’s a nervous, delicious breathless feeling when they are close to you. You both go out of your way to stand just a little bit closer to each other."
"The sad thing is, some people think they 'feel' this with someone just because the other person is being friendly and misread signals. I once had a guy insist that we had sexual tension simply because I twisted my hair."
"He told me that twisting my hair was a 'mating signal.'"
"I told him that I had been twisting my hair has been a nervous habit of mine since I was a toddler, but of course, he wanted to believe I was interested and insisted that I must secretly want him."
Obvious to Other People First
"When other people pick up on it."
Responding to Looks
"When they suddenly look and hold eye contact and then look away. (Low)"
"When they look and notice you're looking then they run their hand through their hair. (Medium)"
"When they notice you looking and suddenly gently bite their lip looking away. (High)"
"When they notice you’re looking and do something to draw attention to their body either stretch and reveal skin or adjust an intimate part of their clothing. (Extreme)"
"Each of the above will make you get butterflies as you know that she knows AND that she knows that you know."
Trying to Keep the Conversation Going
"When there's a lull in the conversation, and eye contact is maintained while you both are trying to figure out what to say next."
Looking But Not Looking
"Catching glances, by either party. The kind where they’re looking at you and don’t think you’ll look up or at them. Then suddenly the ceiling is really interesting to them when you make eye contact."
The Classic Note Trick
"When they hand you a piece of paper that says:"
"'Do you think that there is sexual tension between us?'"
"'[ ] Yes or [ ] No'"
While we'd all love for the dating scene and general flirting to be straight-forward, simple, and stress-free, this thread serves as a reminder that it comes easily for some while being a puzzle for others.
At the end of the day, if you're interested in someone, the easiest thing to do, though it's terrifying, might be to ask them.
Anyone with any amount of dating experience knows at least a few things that they love in a relationship and a few things they find unsavory.
Just like discovering our boundaries and what qualifies as a relationship deal breaker, most of us generally have a few rules that we tend to live by in every relationship, whether it's romantic, platonic, or professional.
Curious to learn some rules to live by, Redditor aytmamatov_musa asked:
"What relationship rule have you memorized forever?"
Actions Speak Louder than Words
"I can't remember the exact wording, but something to the effect of: Pay more attention to how invested your partner is in the relationship, not how much they say they are."
Know Who Holds the Power
"I remember when I first realized that the person who has the most control in a relationship (especially ending it) is the person that cares about the relationship the least."
"When I thought of all the relationships that I had been in (not just sexual) and how one person decided sometimes months ahead of time that the relationship was over, I remember how oblivious the other person was when it ended."
"By the way, this can also be applied to employment relationships as well."
Don't Fight for Someone's Attention
"If someone does not want to hear you, there is no way you can phrase anything to make them listen."
"This applies to all types of relationships, but I learned it from trying so hard to have a healthy relationship with my mother. Then when I left at 25, she responded by filing a missing person's report, hiring a PI (Personal Investigator), harassing my friends, and hacking my email and bank accounts to monitor my activity."
"This also ties into: abusers see you taking away their ability to abuse you, as an egregious theft of their rightful property."
Be a United Front
"Problems aren’t You vs Me. They’re Us vs The Problem."
No Codependent Relationships Here
"You cannot help someone who does not want to be helped."
Be Honest About Your Feelings
"Listen to how you describe your partner to friends, or how you think at the moment how you're describing your partner to them. That will tell you a lot about how you feel about them."
"If you're nervous about introducing them, listen to why. If you're apologizing for their actions, pausing to reframe positive ways to speak about them, or ignoring the red flags, then listen to that instinct. If you're constantly talking about the problems or hiding them, pay attention to why."
"I remember being in one relationship and having those feelings of, 'Should I introduce her to the family, when I talk to others about her, I'm exhausted from some argument, etc.'"
"I remember another relationship, thinking, 'Oh, I would love her to meet the family, she'd get along with everyone's kids, my friends would love her, I just had this great moment with her, and I wanted to tell people about it, I enjoy talking about her.'"
"When you experience that difference (and you have the wisdom and experience to know you're not being deluded by things like abuse or newness or getting caught up in a big fire that's going to burn out fast), it tells you so much."
Be Mindful of Reciprocation
"Something a friend of mine once told me was, 'Always ask yourself if this relationship isn't taking more from you than it is giving you.'"
"It saved me a lot of heartbreak."
"If they don’t respect your boundaries while dating, they won’t respect them in marriage."
Cheaters Gonna Cheat
"My best mate got with a woman who cheated on her then-boyfriend to be with him. Then my mate and she stayed together for four years, but she ended up cheating on him with another guy that she is now dating."
"I warned him in the beginning and advised him not to get into a relationship with her to start with. If she can do it with one guy, she can do it with another."
"His argument was that her then-boyfriend was not good enough for her which was why she is cheating on him. But what he failed to realize was that no one is the best in the world, and if she decides that he isn’t good enough for her in the future, then she will cheat on him too. And that is exactly what happened."
Acknowledge Red Flags
"Red flags look like normal flags when wearing rose-colored glasses."
Common Interests Aren't Everything
"Having a lot in common doesn’t equal a good relationship. It’s just a decent starting foundation."
Don't Go to Bedroom Angry - Or Do?
"I wouldn't say forever, yet, but since becoming a wife, I have learned that it's okay to sleep off a fight. Don't have to 'resolve' everything right then and there. Give each other space to let steam off and talk in the morning."
Be Loved for Who You Are
"Do not change your personality if you don't want to... I didn't realize until the breakup, that my ex did not like me, just the idea of what I could be..."
Know the Difference
"When an argument comes out of nowhere, ask 'Are you yelling at me, or to me?'"
"It's helped with a lot of arguments. Sometimes we just need a backboard to scream at, and nine out of ten times, that backboard is your significant other."
"A lot of arguments get bad just because they don't know you are releasing anger, which is healthy in the right way."
Some of these seem pretty simple, but they can make a huge impact in a relationship, if not also to the trajectory and health of a person's life. By understanding our own worth and how it's valued by others, we gave give ourselves a much happier ever after than we might have otherwise settled for.