Opinion/Editorial: Opinion/Editorial: My Thoughts on the Deegan Interview
by Joseph Wade
As veteran of two armed services—both the Army and the Navy—I have attended basic training two times. I’ve also attended numerous training institutions within the military that are geared to break down the psyche as Richard Deegan stated during my interview with him. At least one of these training institutions I have attended resulted in Guantanamo Bay-like torture. I was fortunate enough to avoid being waterboarded, but it was rumored among the sailors and marines who trained with me, that some people may have been. This is not confirmed.
Throughout my extensive training, which in duration is double what the average military member endures, I did not ever feel like an animal as Deegan alluded to during my interview with him. In fact—given that I have a free-spirited mind that leans toward the creative, I feel the military and its process of breaking and rebuilding was great for me.
I now have a greater endurance for quality work because I have been repetitiously pushed beyond what I knew in my mind were my limits. I no longer believe much in limits. I also am polite to authorities even though I might disagree with them, but I am never docile. If an authority is wrong, I will tell them. I can also handle myself better under high pressure situations, applying reason to chaos.
In effect, I am a better man than I would have been, and I believe many veterans feel the same way. For anyone who disagrees, I challenge them to read, “Tom Brokaw’s: The Greatest Generation.”
I wholeheartedly disagree with the following statement given by Richard Deegan, and I believe it is poisonous to the stellar stigma of America’s military personnel. The statement Deegan gave is as follows: “Problem with the military is when you get into a situation like that, you are so fucked up after the drill sergeant that you aren’t normal after that. They rip your psyche apart, then build you back up so you think you’re an animal.”
The reason I wrote this article is because I accidentally interviewed Deegan as I do most of the people I interview. My goal is to get a random sampling of voices within the movement, and present this sampling for reading. If I don’t include someone because I have different views, then I am filtering the views of the movement. Filtering is lying. Lying is something mainstream media has been doing too often, too long—especially in the political field.
Thank you military, I am indebted to you.