Friday, November 27, 2015

Oh Army Times, now you've done it...

This morning, I noticed the Army Times reposted an article about "dependa bashing".  I'm pretty sure I might have opined about the content of that article the first time it ran.  I'm not going to opine about it again in this post.  I just want to put down in words something that occurred to me this morning.

First off, people who go around ripping off other peoples' personal photos and post them solely to make personal attacks against them are, plain and simple, bullies.  It's one thing to poke fun at someone who makes an egregiously dumb comment on a public forum.  It's quite another to go "hunting" for embarrassing photos and comments on private Facebook pages and post them on public forums, simply for the purpose of insulting them.  That behavior, in my mind, constitutes an invasion of privacy and harassment, among other things.  It's especially wrong when the photos ripped off include pictures of minors.

Secondly, it seems that a lot of servicemembers who make these kinds of comments are guilty of some "dependa" behavior themselves.  I've been around military members my whole life and I have found that the ones who join the military because they felt compelled to serve and truly enjoy the job are not the ones who make derogatory comments about other people.  The ones who join because they qualified and it's a job that offers excellent benefits may not be as happy with their work.   But instead of leaving the military and finding their true passion, they stick around and continue to suck off the US government's tits, enjoying the benefits even as they are mediocre at their jobs and don't behave with honor.  They can't pick on their higher ranking bosses who might be making their lives hell, so they pick on fat, unemployed housewives whom they think are freeloaders.  Happy people don't have to pick on others to get their jollies.  They're already high on life.

Maybe it's not even a boss making the bullies' lives hell.  Maybe it's a spouse.  Maybe they weren't loved enough when they were kids.  Maybe they felt they had no other choice but to join the military because for whatever reason, they didn't think they could make it in the civilian sector.  Who knows? But bullies are always cowards and hurting people hurt other people.  The ones that seethe with venom and contempt for those they deem "dependas" are like that for a reason.  My guess is that someone made them feel inadequate.  Instead of taking on the person who made them feel that way, they direct their vitriol to people who are defenseless.  That is the very height of cowardice.

The thing I find most disturbing about the Army Times article is that one woman reported that a colonel was doing the bashing.  Here's a guy, entrusted with leading troops and taking care of the mission, and he's ripping off Facebook photos, posting them in open forums, and insulting them.  How can troops and their families trust a "leader" who behaves like that?  And why would anyone want to be a part of an organization that allows that kind of public behavior from a leader, whether or not he's on duty at the time of the offense?

It seems to me that other peoples' spouses are no one else's business.  I may not approve of the skanky behavior I see from the wife of a deployed soldier who is entertaining other men at the officer's club.  When it comes down to it, though, it's not my business.  She doesn't affect my life in any way.  The wife who spends her husband's paycheck on Coach bags, makeup, or booze is also not my problem, unless I'm working in the capacity of a social worker and it's my job to deal with people with that problem.  It's not my business.  Neither is it my business if someone is ugly or fat or otherwise unappealing to look at.  I have my own life to lead.  I don't need to concern myself with other peoples' lives, especially if they aren't people I know.

Those who defend the "dependa bashing" say that if you're not a dependa, their bullying behavior shouldn't be bothersome or disturbing.  First off, as an American, I have the right to be offended by any damn thing I please.  Servicemembers put on their uniforms every day to protect that right.  You have the right to be offended by a fat woman who doesn't work?  I have the right to be offended by your boorish, tacky behavior.  Secondly, regardless of the real reason why someone attacks so-called "dependas" and other people who are easily picked on, it just isn't decent behavior.

Sadly, I don't think it will end until the perpetrators have to deal with real consequences.  I'm not a fan of lawsuits, especially over "hurt feelings", but I think there is a difference between hurt feelings and harassment. People have the right not to be harassed by others.  And really, if you have the time to engage in online bullying and harassment, your work obviously isn't keeping you busy enough.  Again... I could call that "dependa" behavior too, couldn't I?  Aren't you wasting time Uncle Sam is paying you for?  Isn't that a form of freeloading?

I want to ask some of these people what a so-called "dependa" could do to make themselves respectable...  Would they qualify as fellow human beings worthy of a modicum of regard if they lost some weight and got jobs at AAFES?  What about someone like me?  I am now a retiree's wife.  Many would say I'm fat.  I don't have a regularly paying job, but I write blogs and earn some money from that endeavor.  Am I worthy of respect?  Or would you call me a "dependa" for my lifestyle?

Ah, no matter.  I know I am worthy of respect.  Those who don't want to give it to me aren't worth worrying about.  Anyway...  I probably shouldn't bother reading the comments on articles about so-called "dependas", because while some are genuinely witty and funny, too many are just plain sad. Life is tough enough without people acting like assholes.  The opinions of people who lack decency and humanity are worth about as much consideration as what is extended to "dependas".


  1. Those articles seem most bothersome, but probably nothing good comes of reading them, unless you're in such a mood that you feel like actively taking on those who write them or support such a mindset.

    1. Well, I had already read it... so I didn't need to read it again. But yeah, a lot of stupidity abounds.


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