Nothing makes you appreciate the comforts and stability of the 1st world like a big ass explosion
Every Contractor I know cherishes their off time and leave rotations like a priceless gem. For so many reasons, it’s good to get away from work, see the family, and attend to your domestic responsibilities.
But there’s something else that’s often overlooked that should be appreciated quite a bit more; an ordered society and the rule of law.
As contractors we spend a great deal of our time working in environments where even the basics are hard to come by, and when we go home to “the Big PX” we ought take the time to realize what we are truly protecting alongside our military counterparts, and what we are a part of developing in those host countries that we serve in.
THE RULE OF LAW
Everyone hates dealing with the Police, but when they are absent so is the Rule of Law. All we have to do is take a look at some recent events to see that when ordered societies loose the lynch pin of the Rule of Law, violence and disorder are soon to follow.
The recent set of situations that come to my mind that exemplify the consequences of a rapid deterioration in the Rule of Law are the earthquake aftermath in Haiti, the Katrina disaster in New Orleans, and the lack of civility and public order that swept Iraq after we ‘Won’ the ‘War’ in 03’.
These are all examples of what happens when a society looses it, and you can find many more examples of this as well. So, when you reach the gates of your home town and enjoy the relative peace, kick back in your backyard, and rest well at night, think about why it’s possible and what it can be like when no law persists or is present.
THE WORTHWHILE TRAPPINGS OF AN ORDERED SOCIETY
A Working Economy.
In first world countries commerce flows and is supported by supply lines that seem endless. NEVER take this for granted. When you spend some time in places where ‘just-in-time’ economies are non-existent, you start to get the picture of how nice it is to walk into the local WalMart and grab what you need when you feel like it. This is all possible due to an ordered society.
Hot showers, running water, toilets that flush, and lights that stay on are all taken for granted in an ordered society. When you’re in the typical disordered environments of 3rd world shitholes you know different.
Sometimes, the power is only on for a couple hours a day, or you’re taking combat showers or digging a cat-hole to shit in and washing your ass with bottled water. NEVER forget how nice it is to flick the light switch on and expect the power to run and the toilet bowl to flush.
When I am home, I still wonder in amazement at just how much entertainment abounds and how freely accessible it all is 24/7. It’s not so in places like Kabul or Baghdad. Most of the time you’re left to the TV in the DEFAC on base, a paperback novel, or the random cam-shot copy of a film bought at a local hadji shop.
MWR is a staple we all enjoy that’s never given a second thought until it’s not there to take when we want it.
Need to get somewhere on time or just go out for a cruise? Totally possible back in the States, but totally impossible in many of our contracted work locations. In High Risk Environments, a trip off base could translate into a loss of life in an instant.
NEVER forget how sweet it is to just take off for a ride through your town or neighborhood when you feel like it without an operations order, and ground and air support having to be on standby.
Neighbors and Family. If you want to know why I think peace, order, and the rule of law have such meaning, look no further than my family and friends. I want to see my neighbors prosper, my wife to be happy, and my children raised somewhere in relative comfort.
This isn’t possible in the areas I operate in, and suffering and a lack of resources is all too evident. NEVER FORGET why you do what you do, and who you do it for.
Appreciate what you have, and the hard work that got you where you are today, but always be reminded of how fragile things can be and learn to value in a more seasoned light what it takes to keep things ordered and at peace.
~Bubba G Editor at Large
Bubba G. is an active protective professional presently performing contract duties in the Middle East and has well over 15 years of military, high risk contracting, international training and martial arts experience.