By The Airborne Toxic Event • September 15, 2012
First of all, thank you TATE for donating the proceeds from your show to the Wounded Warrior Project. It is a great cause for those who sacrificed so much. I really liked Mikel’s interview and wanted to address his question of the connection between TATE and Veterans, although I can only speak from my personal experience.
I am a Major in the Army and am currently serving overseas, although the conditions are relatively safe here when compared with other areas of operations. My previous deployment was to Iraq in 2005. I was in a combat unit, although I didn’t see any combat personally. When I try to explain deployment to civilians, I use the analogy of the deployment being similar to a science-fiction novel where the main character is somehow transported to another dimension. Everything is different: your job, your friends, even the food! Then add to that, the element that any second you, your friend or your Soldiers could be wounded or killed arbitrarily for no rhyme or reason. This adds a tremendous amount of stress. Then, you survive all of that and go back home and find that nothing has changed except for you. Paul Baumer experiences the same types of feeling when he goes on leave in All Quiet on the Western Front. No one can relate to you, because the only people who can, those you served with have gone home, back to their families.
One of the issues I had going back was that we would go out to bars and clubs with our friends, drink and hang out just like before the deployment. I would get angry and jealous when I would see my wife talking to guys and storm out of where we were. I’m pretty sure large quantities of alcohol had something to do with it to. She would of course follow because she was concerned. I would get ornery and we would fight on the sidewalk or in the street. One time she took her engagement ring off and threw it away. We found it later thanks to a friend’s flashlight. Thank God she stuck with me through that period.
When I first heard “Sometime Around Midnight”, it connected me to those moments, not that my wife was going home with another guy, but the night starts out so promising and then progressively gets worse until you find yourself outside, alone and angry at the world. The more I listened to TATE the more I felt connected to the music. I cannot relate exactly to Mikel’s lyrics, but I have experienced similar feelings or situations. I never heard music that (happily or sadly) captures the feelings of the lyrics. I hope TATE has some East Coast tour dates in 2013.
Thanks again for your support of the Wounded Warrior Project,
Had I known you guys were doing a show at the troub for Wounded Warriors, I would’ve figured out a way to go. Good for you guys, good for the troops, bad for me, which is all gravy. Will be at a show soon.
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