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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18 Bible Verses That Prove God Would NOT Be 'Pro-Life'

Stop using the Bible as an excuse to take away women's rights.

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"Abortion is WRONG because God (the highest authority) says so! Not because I say so, or "religious" people say so or the government says so...because the CREATOR OF ALL HUMAN LIFE SAYS SO."

This argument is bullshit and I'm sick of hearing it, because it just isn't true. All these Christians claim that the Bible and God says that abortion is wrong, and it's clear they've never read the Bible. Have you ever seen them use a biblical verse to validate their claims? Yeah, me neither. And you know why? BECAUSE THE BIBLE IS NOT PRO-LIFE. They pick and choose vague verses to attempt to back up these ridiculous claims, completely ignoring the damning evidence that the Bible, and therefore God, actually supports child murder, infanticide, and abortion.

Unlike pro-lifers, I'll actually provide some evidence:

1. Numbers 31:17 "Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him"

2. Deuteronomy 2:34 "And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain"

3. Deuteronomy 28:53 "And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the seige, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee"

4. 1 Samuel 15:3 "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass"

5. Isaiah 13:16 "Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished"

6. Isaiah 13:18 "Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children"

7. Ezekiel 9:6 "Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house"

8. Hosea 9:14 "Give them, O Lord: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts"

9. Hosea 13:16 "Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up"

10. 2 Kings 2:24 "And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them"

11. Psalm 137:9 "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones"

12. Numbers 5:21 "-here the priest is to put the woman under his curse- "may the Lord cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell"

13. Hosea 9:16 "Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb"

14. Psalm 135:8 "He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and of beast;"

15. Psalm 136:10 "-to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt His love endures forever"

16. 2 Kings 6:28-29 "And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow.So we boiled by son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son"

17. Leviticus 26:29 "And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat"

18. Jeremiah 11:22 "Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine:"


Stop using your religion to try and push propoganda that "God says abortion is wrong because it kills innocent children." Clearly your God doesn't care about killing children. There is more than enough proof that the Bible and God are NOT pro-life. Stop acting like you're good Christians upholding the values of God when you clearly haven't picked up the Bible and actually read it. God doesn't agree with your backwards thinking. Maybe try do your research before spewing your religious bullshit to try and take away women's rights.

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What You Can And Should Do If You Oppose Alabama's Abortion Ban

We've all seen the tweets, posts, and Instagram stories about the abortion ban, but here are three things that we can actually do about it.

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"So if I perform an abortion for a woman who was raped in Alabama, I would go to jail for many more years than the rapist himself? Cool, cool, cool." — @JohnJiao
"Make no mistake - a state that criminalizes abortion but ranks 50th in public education doesn't give a shit about children." — @wittelstephanie
"Alabama has the highest infant mortality rate in the country. Somehow I don't think this was about care of children." — @Amy_Siskind

Above are just some of the reactions Twitter users had after the Republican-controlled Alabama state legislature saw the passage of a total abortion ban at the hands of 25 male politicians and Governor Kay Ivey. This law makes Alabama the state with the strictest abortion policy in the U.S., as it only leaves an exception for when the mother's life is at risk. But in the bigger, perhaps more frightening, picture, this law also further brings into question the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning the Roe v. Wade decision. Seeing as this law is directly challenging the Supreme Court's ruling that it is unlawful to place "undue burden" on a woman seeking an abortion, the opportunity to overturn the court's decision will come if they decide to hear the case against the state of Alabama.

In lieu of this, there has been an overwhelming amount of outcry and discussion via social media and it doesn't seem to be dying down, but the next step is to turn these feelings of anger, disappointment, and fear into action.

So, what exactly can you do?

Donate

We hear it all the time, "every dollar counts." Donations can make all the difference, but the struggle is finding the right places to donate your money to. Below I have listed several organizations which are providing meaningful help, and are dedicated to the fight for abortion rights.

The Yellowhammer Fund of Alabama helps provide access to abortions for people at one of the three abortion clinics in Alabama. This organization even helps pregnant women get to another state for a procedure as soon as possible, because although the abortion ban hasn't gone into effect yet abortion access is still something many women in Alabama don't have.

The American Civil Liberties Union is a longstanding, national organization which fights for the rights of the public. They have repeatedly vowed to do all they can, legally, to reverse this ban. By donating to the ACLU your money would be contributing to the larger legal battle over abortion rights.

Planned Parenthood only has two branches in Alabama and they're going to need all the donations they can get for these two clinics to provide for a whole state. For Planned Parenthood, as well as all the other organizations listed, you can donate by simply clicking on the hyperlink attached to its name.

I decided to include the next place you may want to donate to because data shows that in Alabama black women will be most impacted by the state's abortion ban. Not only will they be unable to get abortions, but they will then face an increased risk of criminalization if they do find a way to get an abortion, so donating to organizations like Sister Song ensures your donations are fully inclusive of all the victims of this law.

On a similar note of inclusivity, the LGBTQ+ community is and will be continuing to struggling with abortion access as another facet to the issue. Organizations like Southern Equality and the Alabama-based TKO Society, are grassroots movement founded and led by black, transgender, gay, lesbian, and gender non-conforming people, which are sharing Governor Ivey's phone number and asking for Alabamians to urge her to veto the law and helping provide abortion access to the LGBTQ+ community.

Volunteer

Find your local abortion fund by visiting the National Network of Abortion Funds. This site will not only show you where your local abortion fund is and where the nearest place to get an abortion is, but how to support them in other ways. Not everyone can afford to donate their money, but we can all donate some time. It is important to remember that, considering the push to overturn Roe v. Wade, it is essential we support abortion funds and clinics in more liberal states as well.

VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE WHICH REFLECTS YOUR BELIEFS, AND YOUR OPPOSITION TO THIS BAN IN THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

As you can see by the all-caps, I can't stress this enough.

You can also help groom better progressive candidates by donating to organizations like Justice Democrats. Justice Democrats "is working to elect a mission-driven caucus in Congress that will fight for solutions that match the scale of our many crises: skyrocketing inequality, catastrophic climate change, deepening structural racism… and the corporate takeover of our democracy." While donating to interest groups, non-profits, and other non-governmental groups (as listed in the first section) will help the individual people who are struggling right now, it is equally important for there to be legislative solutions. Without creating political change through voting and supporting the right candidates, the work of these non-governmental groups will never be done.

I hope you found this article helpful and that, together, we can ensure bodily autonomy for ALL women. In the meantime, stay mad. Accepting that "this is the law now," or telling yourself "it doesn't affect me because I don't live in Alabama," or saying "my state is too liberal for this to ever happen here" is the attitude that will be our ruin. We can't simply sit back and allow the male-dominated Republican party to continue pushing for the Supreme Court to overturn of Roe v. Wade. Lastly, it might be smart to stock up on Plan B just in case?

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