So, the current band is going well. We’re playing lots of gigs, getting paid decent, we’re all getting along, etc. We just played two gigs this weekend, a festival for St. Patrick’s Day and then some bar we’d never been to before (and probably never will book again). The reason for it is … well, it doesn’t really matter. That’s not really the point of this entry. What I’m getting at, is that if there is anything I strongly despise more than anything, it’s fake veterans.
As a working band, we wish to keep working, and what that means is, is that when we are out playing gigs, we have to talk to people in between sets.
Well, we don’t have to … but building an actual following includes branching out beyond our immediate circles of friends and co-workers. Your friends and family may love you, but they’re not going to go out to bar after bar after bar after weekend after weekend to come support your band. Actual friends may come out every now and again, but to build a true supportive fan base (I think, anyway), you need to speak with strangers who are already at the shows and tap into their circles of friends.
Anyway, I’m getting off-topic again. The point of this post isn’t to give away my thoughts on marketing a working band and how to build a fan base and get more gigs; the point of this posting, once again, is to express my hatred towards fake veterans.
We played that not-so great bar Saturday night and there was this old man who seemed to be quite fond of the style of songs we were playing. He had an old-school kinda shuffle to him; I could tell he was a bit older. After our first set, I said hello to him, and almost immediately, he introduced himself as a Marine.
“Oh, cool … Semper Fi,” I said as I shook his hand. He got really pumped up then, asking if I, too, am a Marine.
“No, sir … Army,” I replied.
And we spoke a little bit more, et cetera, got a drink, got ready for the next set. I could tell he was a quite a bit older as he was weathered and just filthy dirty, probably even homeless. I’m not judging, either – I sometimes buy new fans / friends a beer when we’re out playing, especially other veterans. And I don’t know exactly why some people become homeless, but I do know that we do not live in a land of equal opportunity and sometimes people just have a string of bad luck where one thing leads to another.
Anyway, he continued to get down and shuffle through our second set, and afterwards, I made some standard-issue veteran small talk.
“So, what was your MOS?” I asked him.
He looked at me kinda perplexed.
“Your M-O-S,” I clarified.
“Recon,” he says.
“Oh, okay … recon!” I said, “but what were your MOS numbers?”
“Listen, I kill people,” he says.
“Right, I get that …” I said, “but every MOS has a job code … a nomenclature of sorts. Yours had to have been Oh-Three-something … what was it?”
And then he got indignant and started laying it on me about Vietnam and Laos and the killing fields and when you see all them dead bodies, it fucks with you. He mentioned working with the SEALS and how they were all kicking ass and taking names, first ones in, last ones out, etc., and asked if I wanted to see him demonstrate his ability to kill. He was a little guy, and he even wanted to compare the size of his fist to me (his fist was, oddly, slightly larger than mine).
That won’t be necessary,” I said. “What years did you serve in Vietnam?”
“1970,” he says.
And then he told me he is 62 years old and how he joined when he was 17. He asked me how old I am (37) and talking a little inter-branch trash, etc., saying how they used to call all the Army troops “legs.”
“Yeah, some of us are legs, sure, but that is a term typically used for non-airborne, like me … so yes, I am a leg … but a RED leg, ha ha, because I was in the artillery.” I had enough by this point and excused myself.
Simple math, to me, is 2017 minus 62 equals 1955 plus 17 equals 1972, so being that means he would have been 15 years old in 1970 and he couldn’t even tell me what his MOS numbers were, he was just a liar.
Liars just make my brain short circuit, and if there is anything I can’t stand, it’s people who lie about military service. I know it’s all bullshit – I’d like to think a good percentage of veterans see war for what it is as well.
What he said that is really in-line with what other fake veterans say is the part about being in a special operations-type unit. No one lies and says they were a radio operator, or a supply clerk, or a mechanic; they all lie about being Marine Recon Scout Sniper Green Beret Special Forces Airborne Ranger-qualified SEALs. And then when asked about MOS numbers, things that real veterans have beat into their brains, they get flustered and talk about all the dead bodies and killing fields and other special operation type troops that they were partnered up with. Another consistent theme amongst the liars, too, is how they all joined when they were 17 years old as if that’s some sort of noble feat.
Now, I recognize that a good percentage of veterans are actually brainwashed into thinking that they are defending America and our way of life, but truth be told, if I felt like that’s what we were doing in Iraq, I wouldn’t have chosen to get out of the Army after two enlistments. Instead, all I felt like we were doing was making a bunch of rich, powerful elitist families even richer and more powerful on a global scale.
*I have written more extensively on why – if interested, I’d suggest finding my entry on Colin Kaepernick.