Why Everyone Needs To See "Thank You For Your Service"

Why Everyone Needs To See "Thank You For Your Service"

A humbling experience for American civilians.
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"Thank You For Your Service" may be considered a biographical drama, but it is nothing short of a true story.

Disclaimer: this article contains spoilers.

Miles Teller plays the role of Army Staff Sgt. Adam Schumann who is finally reunited with his family in Kansas after three tours in Iraq. The film opens up with the homecoming of Schuman and two other soldiers, Tausolo Aieti (played by Beulah Koale) and Will Waller (played by Joe Cole).

Each one of these stories brings so much to light for civilians. There are plenty of long-term effects that come with military duty, one of which Americans associate the most with military veterans: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

What does having PTSD really mean? How do civilians recognize the symptoms? How do we respond to them?

The sound of a pen clicking, the knock on a door, or in this movie's case, the hushed whir of voices and echos in a mall food court-- all possible triggers to a physical tantrum. However, what we may not consider are the other consequences veterans face, many of which are personified by Tausolo Aieti and Will Waller.

After spending the plane ride bragging about his excitement for his future wedding, Waller arrives home from his tour to find his house, bank accounts, and life completely drained. His significant other left with no explanation, took everything and refused a number of his calls.

Schumann tried his best to keep Waller going by providing him with not only a house, but a home, yet Waller still shot himself in the head at the front desk of the bank where his ex-girlfriend worked after being refused an explanation. His suicide leaves everyone wondering if there was more that could have been done to prevent it.

Is fighting a war to protect your home worth it if you have no home to return to? Was there a way out for Waller? Is there a way out for other veterans in the same situation?

Tausolo Aieti was convinced from the very beginning that the military saved his life. From a civilian standpoint, this leads many to believe Aieti was mixed up with the wrong crowd and headed down a very dark path in life. Joining the service gives people like him a purpose. It provides discipline and financial security.

It could also mean getting blown up seven times and losing your memory, unable to remember your son's name or even what day of the week it is. It could mean losing a limb or two or three or four on duty, and waiting in line for hours – just to hope a doctor can see you within the next six to eight weeks.

When the military has become your crutch, what happens when you can't re-enlist? Where do you go? What do you do?

Upon his arrival home, Schumann comes face to face with the wife of one of his deceased comrades who begs him to tell her what happened to her husband, James Doester. Following some eye-opening experiences at home – including visiting the veteran who was sniped under Schumann's watch, who Schumann then carried and accidentally dropped while exiting the ambush – it isn't until the end of the movie when he had been home for several months that he's finally able to face her.

Aside from living with the guilt of someone else's life being ended and their family completely altered forever because of a personal decision, Schumann also faces the difficulty of living with the fact that Doester died because he told Schumann to stay back and recover while he took his place in a mission.

"I should have been there," he tells himself and others repeatedly. How do you move past something like that? How do you forgive yourself? Is there a way to find peace?

As a civilian, there's no way for me to know the answers to the questions this story poses, but as a civilian who has personal ties to a soldier, I can only hope that the passion and determination these servicemen have to make it home safe is even half as much as they have for their job.

At times, military personnel are faced with making unfathomable decisions that they and those their decisions have affected have to live with for years to come. They lie awake at night questioning their identity, their purpose in life, and whether or not anything in life is really worth it when they're constantly fighting death.

The sad reality is that there's nothing one can say or do to make these crisis thoughts leave a soldier's mind. Families wonder day in and day out what they can do to make the situation easier, and it's so hard to accept the fact that the only people who can ultimately change the situation are the soldiers themselves.

The only thing we can do is provide a sense of much needed stability, through unconditional love and support.

Something extremely humbling (aside from the film) is Adam Schumann's outlook on civilians saying, "Thank you for your service" to soldiers they see in public.

To him, and many other soldiers alike, the phrase has lost all meaning. However, there is an alternative way to show appreciation – a phrase he didn't realize held so much power until it brought him to tears:

"This man grabs my hand really hard, looks me right in the eyes, and he says, 'Welcome home, son,' and turns around and walks away. I sat down in my truck, and just started to cry.

Outside of family, no one said that to me, and it hit me hard. If you're going to say anything to soldiers, say, 'Welcome home.' That's all you have to say."
– Army Staff Sgt. Adam Schumann


To all active and retired veterans, Sgt. Schumann included, welcome home.


If you haven't had the chance to see Thank You For Your Service, book your tickets soon.

If you're a veteran seeking help or a civilian looking for more information on how you can help veterans and families of veterans, please visit the link above.

Cover Image Credit: People//Wordpress

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The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.

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Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

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For Those Of You Boycotting Nike, Here Are 10 Times You Need To Just Stop It

There's no need to burn your gear.

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As everyone knows, Nike created an ad that included Colin Kaepernick and the white supremacists went wild. They began burning their Nike gear, and no longer want to support the brand.

1. Why? 

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There are two reasons why I think you are boycotting Nike and that is because either you are assuming the race of Colin Kaepernick or you are mad because he kneeled during the National Anthem. Either way, you have the right to boycott whatever you want. Boycotting is a great way to protest. However, you're going about it all wrong

2. Why are you mad? 

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If you're assuming this man's ethnicity, you are assuming. Check your facts, Kaepernick is American. If you are mad because he kneeled during the National Anthem, I do not understand why that is even an issue. Just like you are protesting Nike, the NFL players were protesting police brutality. So, really, your thinking is on the same level. People who protest want something to be corrected. What exactly do you want to be corrected?

3. Nike knew what they were doing

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Of course Nike knows what they're doing! Nike has been successful for years and they aren't going to stop because they aren't going to conform to whatever the majority wants, especially if they don't stand for it. Nike is a business, they have marketing strategies, and believe it or not, they are most likely going to blow up. If not, they'll do just fine. Nike employees many athletes and owns multiple other companies. The reality of it is, if you don't like what Nike stands for, they don't want your business and they don't care if you're gone.

4. Let’s be honest

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The majority of people burning or mutilating their Nike gear are people who splurge on such items when they've saved up enough money to buy something nice. You tore up one pair of socks? You burned one pair of shoes? Honestly, it's your own money wasted.

5. You look like a buffoon

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Seriously, the internet is making fun of you. You are burning your own clothes. Sure, be mad at the brand, boycott it if you must. But, really, Nike already has your money. It is a business, not a person, they don't care whether you burn their clothing articles because you already bought it. What are you going to do? Buy more socks to cut or keep buying the same socks you normally wear? I think the joke is on you. You have fewer clothes and less money.

6. It’s an article of clothing

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You're not bothering Nike but Nike is bothering you. Some people would be thrilled just to have a cool shirt or nice pair of shoes and would gladly take that swoosh off your hands. But you're too busy caught up in your own fury to even think of the people less fortunate than you, right? Clothes that are in good shape are taken so much for granted. Typically when people are done with their clothes they donate them to Goodwill…

7. Or the army

https://www.instagram.com/p/BnX27tmD2by/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

Which seems to be one of the topics that some are so angry about. You talk about respecting the troops but don't think to donate an article of clothing that someone would not only be excited to have, but possibly need. Instead, you destroy it and hope someone's feelings get hurt. Keep in mind, businesses don't have feelings, people do.

8. If someone who cannot afford clothing saw you destroying it

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They would be distraught. Some people rely on thrift shops or donations just to live in habitable conditions. No one cares who you boycott or for what, but destroying a good pair of shoes, socks or even clothes for the sake of protesting is kind of dumb. Just donate whatever it is and don't buy from the company.

9. It’s not hard to be a good person and protest

Seriously, just donate your clothes. Figure out exactly what it is that you're mad about and decide whether it's worth the trouble. Making it public that you're angry about a small thing results in more people making fun of you and supporting where you lack; it doesn't matter whether you're buying from the company or not.

10. There’s a reason why people are making fun of you for burning your clothes

https://www.instagram.com/p/BnX27tmD2by/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

It's because everyone else sees that this issue should not be an issue. People have their clothes and wear them, whether the brand is getting a bad rap or not. You're mad at Nike for creating a commercial with someone they have been sponsoring for years who kneeled during the national Anthem to protest the victims of police brutality. It was a one time thing, and like you, they were protesting.

11. If you can be mad at that, you can be mad at things that matter

If you can spend all this energy on one small thing, you can protest things that actually matter, police brutality, for example. It's okay not to like something, but this isn't an issue. Michigan still doesn't have clean water, many people need affordable healthcare, there are people who live on the streets and need food, and global warming is a serious problem. There are way bigger issues than someone kneeling during the National Anthem. So, how will you help the world?

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