My Advice: An Open Letter to Gary Stein

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Recently by Joel Poindexter: Please Reconsider: An Open Letter to Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar

     

Let me be the first to say, congratulations, Mr. Stein! One of the best things that could ever happen to you was made official Wednesday. After you violated the Pentagon's rules banning free speech (itself a violation of the 1st Amendment protections to the same) the Marine Corps unceremoniously discharged you.

I know nothing of your military experience, whether you witnessed personally the horrors of war. My hope is that you did not. In either case, you will no longer have to participate in the Pentagon's ruthless and immoral wars. You will never again be used as a pawn to enrich the political class and their cronies in the Military-Industrial-Complex. And never again will you be sent to kill other people's children, paid with dirty money, all the while treated with contempt by the politicians, officers and senior leadership that sent you.

I also know nothing of your life's ambitions; I can only assume that because you stayed in beyond your first enlistment that you planned on making a career out of the Marines. If that is the case, I imagine you're not as thrilled as I am that you won't be reporting for duty tomorrow morning. While you may have enjoyed your job in the Marines at least slightly more than I endured my life in the Army, being free from the clutches of the sociopathic warrior class will do wonders for your mental and emotional health. All that stuff they told you about being a hero, answering a call to defend your country, being better than the sorry civilians who refused to join, it was all lies.

They tell everyone who joins that they're heroes. It continues throughout your time in the gang. It's all part of the conditioning process to make you believe that you're doing something worthy of admiration and reverence. My guess is that you know many Marines who don't exactly fit the description of "hero." You probably witnessed plenty of acts which, were they performed anywhere but within the ranks of the military, would be reason to bring criminal charges against the perpetrator.

You're not a hero. Neither was I. We were thugs with guns who, when ordered to invade another country who posed no threat to us we willingly went. We participated in an unjust war of aggression. I am deeply regretful for having done that, and I hope you too will realize that participating in large-scale murder is not heroism. Refusing to go is heroic.

From my own experience I know the reality is that your life in the military was little more than a semi-voluntary indentured servitude. You were subjected to all matter of verbal abuse and likely suffered physical abuse at the hands of your fellow Marines and immediate supervisors. Had you been a female member of the armed forces there would have been a good chance of you being sexually assaulted, since one in three women report being molested or raped. Even males aren't exempt from that torture.

You likely carved your identity out of your military "service." You were a Marine first. You had decided to join an organization out of a desire to be "part of something bigger than yourself," or whichever line the recruiters tried to dupe our generation of Marines with. Had I stayed in I would be approaching my tenth year. Thankfully, I left before then.

When I was transitioning out they told me I would miss life in the military. That was a lie, too, of course. My response was that any job where they're required to tell you not to kill yourself every three months isn't worth it. That people don't listen and commit suicide at increasing rates is tragic. It's no wonder they do though, in light of all they're put through. So many hundreds of thousands suffer from brain injuries and post-traumatic stress from serial deployments. Countless numbers of service members and veterans are prescribed heavy doses of psychiatric drugs. I trust you're not among them.

What you now have to look forward to is a fulfilling life in the productive class of society. As a government employee all you ever did was consume what someone else was forced to provide. You contributed nothing of economic value and relied only on the hard work and entrepreneurship of others to fund your lifestyle. You may have not even thought of this, it wasn't until the last year of my time that I realized what a parasite I was. Now you can move on and get a real job.

Something else you might find encouraging about life outside of the bureaucratic mess of government is that people in the real economy can get fired. Having never been in the Marines I can't accurately judge the caliber of their ranks. But at least within the Army there were a number of soldiers who, had they been employed by someone forced by economic laws to earn a profit, wouldn't last through lunch.

As someone who chose to reenlist I'm assuming you were never stop-lossed, that is you never had your enlistment extended for more than a year like mine was. That's another great thing: you can leave when you want, and your former employer won't have you arrested for quitting.

So, now that you're out, many opportunities lie ahead. Enjoy your freedom. Find a fulfilling and productive job. Discourage everyone you know from joining any branch of the military, for any reason. Tell anyone who will listen of the realities and barbarism of war.

Sincerely, Joel Poindexter

Joel Poindexter [send him mail] is a student at Johnson County Community College working toward a degree in economics. He lives near Kansas City with his wife and daughter. See his blog.

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