by Steven H. Zinser
You donít know me, and that is a shame. I was born in a small town. I was raised in a big city. I am a Muslim, a Christian, a Satanist, and an Atheist. My age is from seventeen to thirty five. I am white, black, yellow, and brown, but primarily I am green.
I came from college with a degree in philosophy. There was no room for me in academia; I just didnít fit in. I could have made some money I guess, but this was my grandfatherís line of work, and I felt an obligation to carry on the tradition for at least a while.
I hope to spend my time peacefully, see the world, meet some interesting people, and maybe make some money for further education. In High School I was a punk. I stole a car, and found myself standing before and old school judge. He was a hard man, raised in black and white, and he gave me a choice of this or jail. I chose this route to save my butt, and had every intention of doing as little as I possibly can, but they treat me well here, and Iím proud of what Iíve become. This is the first place I have ever felt like I was doing something that actually mattered.
After graduation I was faced with the decision of college or work and neither appealed to me. I had no direction, no drive, and no ambition. I needed money, so here I am. It doesnít appeal to me, but Iím proud when I return home. Others have noticed the difference. I donít see it, but hell, it must be there. My parents have abused me. Iíve been hooked on drugs. Iíve committed crimes. Iíve had everything handed to me on a silver platter.
Protesters raised me. My parents flew a flag in the front yard. I am starting a family tradition. I am one in a long held family tradition.
I am the American fighting man and woman, and you should know me.
You should know me because I am what you wish to be. Why else would you spend so much time and energy dressing up like me? Itís a shame you donít recognize me. Itís a crime that you donít understand me.
After all you get paid millions of dollars to pretend that you are me. You glorify me in film after film. You scrutinize and moralize my actions. You buy mansions, cars, and furniture on the gross of films based on events I have lived. I am the first person you look to for inspiration, and the first person you rally against when things go wrong.
I am the forgotten American fighting man and woman and you owe me a debt whether you are willing to admit it or not.
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