I'm just not sure where this leaves us.

Saturday, November 21, 2009
It was recently suggested to me, rather upsettingly, that I might have some "mixed feelings" about Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter of recent note. This was meant to say that I might be sympathetic to the man and condone his actions. I'm still not sure why this accusation was flung at me, but I believe my accuser thinks that my liberal political tendencies cause me to be sympathetic to an (allegedly, by the way) hostile view towards my own country; that I had been "brainwashed" by my cultural circumstances, growing up in California and spending some time in the ultra-liberal Bay Area.

Before I move on, I would like to note that growing up in California, I lived in a Libertarian household and had little exposure to anything other than conservative media. I had no reason to question these ideals and I didn't. Later on living near San Fransisco, I had very naive nationalistic ideas as a young private marching to the sounds of the post-9/11 war drums. Paradoxically, it was in a church in the Great Republic of Texas that I first recognized the credibility of Liberal ideals, and it is only now, living in the NY 23rd congressional district, known for regularly running Conservative party candidates and not having elected a Democrat in twenty years before 2009, that I have begun enunciating any liberal thoughts I might have had. If anything, I have been "reverse-brainwashed." I'm doing it all wrong.

Socrates commanded, "Know thyself."

Sunday, November 15, 2009
One thing I like about writing the Soldier-Citizen-Sapien blog is the opportunity to explore these three named and nested identities as an exercise in formalizing my thoughts. Ultimately, I hope the work I do here begins to shape an ethic that I can refer to, and that others can as well.

Now I'm talking about ethics, and I'm talking about identities, and tonight I'm talking about nature. Human nature. When I say the word "Sapien" I am referring to the human identity. It is the broadest of the three that I work with here at S.C.S.

Tonight I'm going to explore the identity of human nature and some ethical implications. There will be some references to the giants who have done a bulk of the intellectual heavy lifting in this arena, but I think I've stumbled upon something extra that I want to point out.

Who signed me up for this?

Friday, November 6, 2009
A few years ago I lived with a large and variable group of roommates totalling between two and twelve people, all of whom are now lifelong friends. It sounds silly to have twelve roommates, I know, but that's the nature of the military sometimes-very little private space.

Anyway, the nature of the boys I lived with being what it was, we spent a whole lot of time trecking around the Big Sur coastal mountain region just south of Carmel, California. It was a fun little group to be a part of. Lots of hiking and backpacking and other outdoor activities. It was always neat to be a part of such a neat social clique.

My friends and I did everything together. That's another thing about being in the military. You are usually on the same exact schedule as everybody else. We went to classes together, ate together, slept together, showered together, got haircuts together...we did everything together.

It was always fun...until it wasn't anymore.

By way of introduction...

Monday, November 2, 2009
Currently, the beginning of several essays are scrawled on the pages of my spiral bound notebook. I had the fortune to visit Justin and his family a few weeks ago. It was a chance to renew old friendships and reminisce. I was blessed with the opportunity to serve in the military with a group of exceptional individuals(Justin being one of them.)

I have been grasping for an outlet to the jumble of thoughts and inner dialogue for sometime now. Justin has offered the opportunity to contribute to this project as a co-contributor. I am excited to see where this goes. I mostly look forward to the interaction and development of ideas this forum can facilitate. I anticipate a rocky start as my voice here develops. I hope to contribute as regularly as school, work, and family allow.

Having fulfilled my commitment as a soldier, with multiple overseas tours of duty, I now approach a new life as a civilian. My point of view is tinted with the lessons and experiences of a military veteran. Concepts such as duty, self-sacrifice, and service take on deeper meaning after actual application. I believe in the ideas expressed by the Soldier-Citizen-Sapien ethic.