We’ve all seen this, of course. You’re just browsing your Facebook newsfeed, minding your own when all of a sudden, BAM. You see something you can’t unsee – a news story that is sure to drive your veteran friends up a wall. Here’s the 12-step guide to veteran outrage on the internet.
1. A news story hits the wires, and quickly gains traction on Twitter and Facebook. It could be about military-related topics: female Rangers, a veteran who was denied a discount at a restaurant, or the F-35. Or it could be about absolutely nothing to do with the military, like Caitlyn Jenner.
It doesn’t matter what the story is actually about. So long as it’s loosely related to the military, it’s sure to make someone mad.
2. A military-related Facebook page posts the link to the news story with an outraged caption. It goes something like, “Unreal! This [person completely unrelated to the military] is being called a hero?”
3. One of your veteran friends posts the link to their Facebook account, with a pithy comment like “This is why we can’t have nice things,” or “SMH.”
4. Someone leaves a comment seriously blaming Obama for all of this.
5. An older veteran chimes in to say it was much different back when he/she was in. “The military is going downhill,” they might say.
Kidding. That’s what they always say.
6. Someone disagrees with the original post and their fellow commenters. It’s a well-reasoned and thought out response, with at least two paragraphs of information and links shared to back up their viewpoint.
7. Another person comments just milliseconds later to tell the previous poster that he’s completely wrong. This commenter either reads incredibly fast or doesn’t read at all (obviously the latter).
8. The name-calling begins. The guy actually making a reasoned response is called names like “idiot” and “shitstain” by multiple people. Someone else jumps in to say he probably voted for Obama. Another trolls his/her profile and makes fun of their profile photo.
9. Someone only comments with a picture of Michael Jackson eating popcorn.
10. We’re completely derailed at this point. More memes are inbound.
11. No one is even talking about the original news story at this point, and there is little interest in doing so.
12. Oh, wow. Something new happened: A lion is killed by an illegal poacher in Africa, and a new link is posted to share the outrage that everyone cares about a stupid lion but not veterans. The circle of life is complete.