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Don’t mind the above picture, just a little NCO on NCO crime going on.  Every 4th of July, yard signs reading “Combat Veteran Lives Here, Please be Courteous with Fireworks” are distributed to Veterans around the country so that their neighbors can know they are a combat Veteran and the need to be courteous with their fireworks is present.  It is the subject of intense debate in the online Veteran community as some would call the sign posters attention seeking posers while another group would say each Veteran is different and this might be necessary for some.  Personally, I fall into a third camp that exclaims “what the heck does courteous with fireworks even mean?”  To me, that is the equivalent of my wife consenting to coitus but just so long as I agree to “stick it in like a gentleman.”  I”m happy to do so, but I simply have no idea what that means apart from dressing up like a character from Downton Abby before giving it a go.  Fireworks go boom my brothers and sisters and perhaps confusing your neighbors on what they are to do is less than helpful to you, them, and the rest of the combat Veterans throughout the nation.

Fireworks Might Really Bother You, But I’m Just Saying

Look, I’m not saying fireworks don’t bother some of my combat brothers and sisters out there and as such, I would never call everyone who places a sign in their yard a poser.  I’m just saying perhaps a yard sign is not the best course of action to deal with that very real problem.  However, I will bet a lifetime supply of Jalapeno Cheese that there are in fact a good number if not many who place that sign for no other reason than to inform their neighbors that they are in fact a combat Veteran.  It’s sort of the equivalent of a PFC returning home from Bootcamp feeling the need to go get Chinese food at that mall and oh, hey look, he just happens to be wearing his Dress Blues.  Knock yourself out kids.

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If you want to brag about your service, have at it as it is no business of mine.  We have all been there, either as a boot or a recent combat Vet, where we took a particular joy from people knowing who we are and If you deny that then I think you are lying to yourself.  But let us think this one out a little more, shall we? Have you considered that there are other ways to respectfully highlight your service without dragging Veterans with real struggles into the mix?  There are many options and they range from the classy Marine Flag on your front porch to the absurd notion of taking all your dates to the port-o-potty to make out because that’s where you do your best work.  Only true combat Vets will get that last one, but in either case, people will know you are a Veteran.  But more importantly, have you considered that because we combat Veterans are a small elite class that you might be the only one your neighbors have truly met.  Have you considered that a sign placed without any additional context could be shaping your entire neighborhood’s view of all combat Veterans?

Think of the Children!

Back to those who may very well have issues with fireworks, have you considered that a yard sign telling your neighbors to be courteous is less than helpful to begin with?  For not only does it bring about all the above issues the posers still face, but is this honestly going to do you any good? Like I said in the title, what the heck does it even mean to be courteous with fireworks?  You could make the case for kids not to shoot the fireworks directly at your house, but that’s a pretty standard request from most human beings.  If I catch a kid pointing a roman candle at my house I’m going to chase that little punk down the street for reasons completely unrelated to my combat service.  Or perhaps you are asking the neighbor kids just to stick with these on the 4th.

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Those things were just the worst.  Absolutely a terrible waste of money.  Or worse yet, perhaps you are telling your neighbors they are unpatriotic Veteran hating trash if they even dare shoot fireworks at the annual family party as your neighbor.  “Sorry little Carl, no fireworks this year because a Veteran moved in next door.”  Again, what does “courteous with fireworks” even mean? Your neighbors are ready to bring the fireworks, they all go boom, and telling them they have to “stick it in like a gentleman” takes a lot of the fun out of it now doesn’t it?  But even more poignant, now both you AND the posers alike are having a less than helpful one-sign conversation with your entire community about combat Veterans apart from any additional context. What if the sign is neither the solution to your very real problem or actually helpful to anyone at all?  A conversation with your neighbors will take you further than a gimmicky sign of that I promise.

In Conclusion

If fireworks truly bother you then you got to do what you got to do.  But perhaps noise canceling headphones, taking an annual camping trip to a state park on the 4th, or maybe even just turning up the volume to your old deployment Linkin Park CD and rocking out for a few hours is a better option than confusing your neighbors about what they are to do in this land of liberty.  In fact, if Veterans around the nation really feel the need to post a sign then might I suggest the below alternative that comes with greater benefits and less collateral damage to all.

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Let the kids and neighbors on your street enjoy their 4th without conflicting emotions people.  Telling them you are a combat Veteran and they need to be courteous just leaves them outside your house with frowny faces and a bag of fireworks trying to figure out how to stick it in like a gentleman.  Maybe, just maybe, these yard signs are a bad idea not because of the Veteran who posts them but because the solution itself has a complete lack of merit.  And if you just really wanted to brag about your service, I’m betting there are some PFCs in Dress Blues at your local mall right now who would eat that stuff up.  To each their own, but what the heck does “courteous with fireworks” even mean.  Enjoy your 4th America, all of you!

Be Courteous with Your Support and Like the Unprecedented Mediocrity Page Below, but Be Sure and Do It Like a Gentleman.

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5 Replies to “My Fellow Veterans What the Heck Does “Courteous with Fireworks” Even Mean?”

  1. Yeah! I go see fireworks every year and me and the kids have a ball. I meme what flares, rockets, and gunfire sounds and feels like and it ain’t fireworks. Does it bring back bad memories ? No, why would it. The Iraqis didn’t shoot bottle rockets when we were there. And to be totally honest , I really wasn’t to terrified of getting shot or blown up while we were there. I was to busy roasting my sac off or crapping my brains out, or worrying which of my Marines would wind up with a black eye today, or stabbed ( Kaulfurst and Newbill). It’s our Independance Day, everybody grill, drink, and blow something up. I’d be a little wary of somebody with a sign like that in their yard. Very likely it was some POG, like the ones who cry because they flew a drone in A-Stan while they were sitting in Florida in an office.

  2. There is an article on military.com that addresses this bit of craziness and one of the people it quotes is a douch named Shaun Gourly who claims all thes traumatic military based experiences but he made it all up. There have been numerous articles on him and his wife and my point is that this shit does not help us in anyway deal with things it just makes everyone shake their heads and look at us vets if we are broken. This makes me crazy much more so than stolen valor as it causes people to pitty vets. Ahhhh

    Sorry for the rant and I Really enjoy your site.

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