Military Mondays

Posted: January 12, 2015 in Military
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I started doing Military Mondays around 2010. I don’t see very many veterans where I live, sadly, and I never really get the chance to “thank a veteran”. When I heard of Military Mondays on Twitter I thought, “Here’s a good opportunity to thank veterans across the country, even around the world, on a regular basis. It’s the least I can do.

I don’t have any fancy twitter programs to organize the veterans I want to thank. I sifted through my followers and saved all the veterans’ handles on a piece of paper, and later in a notepad on my phone. As I followed or was followed by new veterans, I would add them to my list. I would look up quotes, make acronyms, make short video clips, post memes, write articles, or share InstaGram pics I made. I used to drive in town every Monday to a wifi spot being that I live in the sticks, in the middle of nowhere with no cable, satellite or internet, except the little reception I get with cellular. I just had my trusty BlackBerry for the longest time until my dad sold me his iPad.

It was a labor of love. My friends all knew Monday’s were when I was unavailable because I wanted to work on Military Mondays. My family knew to “leave momma alone because she wants to thank the soldiers.” I would be consumed with guilt if I left anyone out or couldn’t get the tweets finished and sent. I would bitch & throw tantrums when reception or my phone/iPad wouldn’t cooperate with me. I’ve been known to drive down the lane, where I’ll get a bar or two more in 3G, in the middle of the night, just to get the Military Mondays to send.

As I started following more people, I was unable to see all the veterans I follow as often. Military Mondays became a great time to hear from them. It’s been suggested that I make a twitter list with all the veterans placed in there. To this day I refuse to do it because my gut has always said that’s like putting a target on their backs. I know, it’s “just twitter” but social media has become a battlefield. Sure, anyone who is maliciously set out to find veterans on twitter will find them. But why should I make it easier by providing a list? Now, I’m seeing the same issue arise with Military Monday tweets. Several tweets are being spammed. And anyone looking for a group of veterans to target need to look no further than people like me who send out Military Monday tweets.

I’ve also been faced with issues of stolen valor. I’ve been told certain veterans in my Military Monday list are not real and are seeking attention and sympathy. I don’t understand this behavior but apparently it happens. In the back of my mind I knew anyone could claim to be a veteran, but I was just going to trust and thank them anyway. In addition to having Military Monday tweets hijacked by spammers and dealing with the issue of stolen valor, I’m also struggling to keep up with account handles being changed, deleted, or left inactive.

As I debated whether I should continue with the Military Monday tradition, the most troubling thing for me came just this morning when U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts were hacked. Supposed classified information and screenshots were tweeted out and threats were given that American soldiers should watch their backs. Although media outlets are downplaying the hacking, and it appears no serious damage was done, this was the last straw for me. If veterans and active duty military personnel want to be vocal on Twitter, I fully support them. I don’t think any terrorist group should silence our military and veterans, nor any American civilian, EVER! However, I’m not going to be the one who exposes our military and veterans like Joe Biden did with his revealing of SEAL Team VI. It’s not exactly the same thing, but it’s enough for me to want to be cautious.

So, I’m reluctantly putting an end to sending Military Mondays.

My heart is heavy as I typed that last sentence out. For those that know me, you know how much it means to me to say “thank you” on a consistent basis. And not just a lazy tweet on my timeline that says “thank you” without addressing each veteran in their timeline, but one where they receive the notification that someone remembers them and is grateful for them.

This is why I never stopped sending Military Mondays in the past, regardless of technical issues. I hope and pray each and every one of you knows my heart, and knows that I genuinely am grateful for you, that my support is strong, and that even though I will no longer send personal Military Mondays, it doesn’t mean my gratitude and support has waned.

The military is something woven into my life that can never be removed. For your service and sacrifice for America and for people like me… THANK YOU!

Soldier on…

Image courtesy of nutsinanutshell.blogspot.com

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Comments
  1. prophesized says:

    hope things are great!

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