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I think it was 02:00 by the time we made it back to the hotel last night. The veterans with Common Defense who’ve been taking part in the actions on Capitol Hill this week  gathered at Penn Social last night to celebrate the effort, unwind, and love each other up. This work isn’t easy and can be super re-stimulating to veterans who’ve seen war. I knew it was time for me to tap out on the last day when the Capitol Police had in such tight groups in the hallways I could feel my heartbeat in my temples and smell the burn pits of Iraq. In Country, Marines don’t stand around in wads because that makes for much more efficient targets. One grenade or IED can kill a lot more Marines if you’re piled up like puppies. It was so crowded right outside the hearings, there were about 15 of us standing in a five-foot square.  I looked at my roommate, also a Marine. “You ready to take a walk?” he asks. “You bet.”

We rejoined the group later over beers and Buck Shot at the pub. Even though it was after 02:00 when we racked out, my eyes flew open at 05:30 and I’ve been awake since. I owed you a blog so I thought I’d bang it out but I’m just finding how much I really don’t want to talk about politics this morning. I’ve also heard a fare amount of war stories in this past month of traveling with the veterans’ work and especially over the past three days. I hate war.
I’m about to hop in the shower to head to Washington National Airport to fly home to New Orleans which is where I expect to rest for a few days or as long as I’m able. I need to rebuild the storehouse. I need to get back in the gym, back to my bed and my bathroom, have lots of pairs of underwear to chose from instead of constantly washing them in hotel sinks. I need to sit with my thoughts and feelings, especially regarding these past three days in Washington, DC and I’m lonely for some Louisiana boys and hungry for some gumbo.
Today, it’s my intention just to keep it between the yellow lines, stay small and quiet (for a change) and nurture my heart.
I’m sitting at the airport, ready to board. By happenstance one of the other veterans is one my flight so I don’t have to say the complete goodbye until I disembark in the Big Easy. Although I so very badly need to sit on my ass in Louisiana a minute, I am going to miss this group of powerful veteran activists very much. To be honest there were some tears this morning.
The video of my confronting Lindsey Graham is going viral on Twitter so every second someone new follows my Twitter account. I imagine I need to use that increased platform to continue this important work at such a crucial time in American history. I can’t say enough how humbled and honored I am to be able to fight alongside these peaceful warriors whom I admire and love so much.
To my fellow activist, thank you so much for what you do.  Never, ever give up. Now remember to go home and look after of your mind and body for a bit. Reach other to others; lean on us whether you think you need it or not.
We can heal the world if we’re broken; we can’t feed the world from an empty bowl.

All political activism is an inside job. Take care of your insides.

 

I’m home finally. A friend from Australia just texted to let me know that he’d seen the video of me bird-dawging Lindsay Graham. It went up on Newsweek and Rolling Stone. Sarah Silverman retweeted us this afternoon. That’s cool. Apparently it got a lot of play in a lot of places and I’m not done exploiting it. Too many veterans worked too hard to make that and all the actions of this week happen. The video has now been viewed millions of time over different platforms and I got 3000 new Twitter followers today. I am so very grateful and I’m about to use it to the best of my ability to get our message out there, that this Republic is not beyond saving but if it’s to be saved, it’s up to us.

 

#COMMONGROUND


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