Rough Men

If you don’t follow, or at least read, The Family Alpha you are missing out.  Hunter Drew has some good things to say that many men today need to hear.  This Post from June 7th, struck a cord with me.  Go read it and tell me if it doesn’t stir something in you.

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Hunter has done something most men lack the motivation to do.  Maybe not motivation, more accurately the balls to do.  After serving in the Navy previously, he has enlisted in the Army National Guard as an Infantry Officer.  Hunter describes something missing from his life that he had as member of the armed forces.  A mission.

There are many men who meander through life with no real mission, or worse making their wives their mission.  However, some of us, particularly those who served in the military or as a first responder, feel lost when we leave behind our mission.  When I was closing in on retirement from law enforcement last year, it was a mixed bag of relief that the stress and political BS plagued by most departments nowadays was over and scared to death of not finding anything to provide the rush and mission that the job provides.  I have found both to be true.

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The day before I walked out the door I volunteered for a particularly dangerous assignment as the point of contact in an arrest of a violent offender.  As I sat, waiting to do my part, I was wondering what the Fuck was I thinking and how am I going to leave this job.  How can I live a life without real danger, purpose, mission.  I took a picture of myself that morning (yes a selfie.. I know…) decked out in gear I seldom wore as an undercover officer.  To this day I look at that picture at times and remember that day, that feeling of adrenaline rush, fear and purpose all bundled together.  It was the end of my partner and I’s long term (several year) investigation resulting in federal drug and human trafficking charges, and it was going to be my last arrest as I walked out the door.  It all sounded great, until the last day came and the mission was over.

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Now I admire people who find their mission in business or some other arena.  I, as of today, have not found my mission in such venues.  I can’t find the satisfaction you get helping a victim of child abuse, elderly abuse, human trafficking, heroin dealers.  Generally you get no appreciation from your victims.  With the latter cases they often hate you… at first…  Even if you never get any appreciation from them, knowing you ended a shit bags reign of misery infliction was satisfaction enough.

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So here I am, feeling adrift without a real direction, no real purpose.  Oh I have a job, but it lacks something.  No rush, no sense of accomplishment.  I just can’t get into it.

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So when I read Hunter’s post about how he is handling his search for a mission, I felt I had to give him kudos (not that he needs anything from me).  I feel like I could have written much of what he is feeling.  A little different path and circumstances, but very similar spots we find ourselves in.

I’m not sure where I will end up, but I need to scratch this itch somehow.  I have to find a purpose.  I have to identify my “WHY.”  I am not ready to quit just yet.  I still have some fuel in the tank.  I’ve had friends (who haven’t walked where we have) who say “just be glad you made it out alive and enjoy it.”  They mean well, but they cannot understand that once you have looked down the barrel of a gun on a dark roadside, alone, at 3am, and fought your way out, that having Panera pastries delivered by a vendor in the break room just doesn’t do it for you…

Hats off to you Hunter, and all those like you, who have the balls to walk the walk.

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2 thoughts on “Rough Men

  1. Pingback: Rough Men – by a Retired Police Officer | All Things Bright and Beautiful

  2. Ah that us old men who lived life without purpose could find it so easily. If I could join the National Guard at my age I most certainly would, as my son has joined the Marines and I can say only that I feel both pride and regret at his decision. Pride that he would sacrifice his time and body to serve his country, pride that he, at least for the next several years, has purpose and a goal. Regret that I did not do the same in my youth. Now, old and nearly broken what am I to do? I cannot join the military, as my knees are now much more damaged than they were before, so much so that it prevents me from being able to stay in shape, as every type of activity lends to the pain. I had thought perhaps to find purpose with the church, but have even had trouble there. What then can an old man do?

    If only we could be like the old men in tales no longer told, standing at the forefront of battle, sword in hand, shield at the ready, capable of dying a warriors death in honor because we choose to and it is expected of us, rather than sitting at a computer, punching away at keys whilst our muscles deteriorate.

    I need to get out more.

    Liked by 2 people

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