Airmanís Story of Changing From a Neocon to Libertarian Anarchist
I was inspired
after reading Ssgt.
Rodriguezís story and would like to share my own. I am currently
an Airman first class in the Air Force and am awaiting discharge
from the military. I, like Ssgt. Rodriguez, am a libertarian anarchist
and share many of the same beliefs that he does.
I was always interested in politics. I was a huge "Bush Republican".
I thought Bush was the greatest president ever and I thought anyone
who opposed the wars was just a stupid bleeding heart liberal. I
never thought about joining the military until my senior year of
high school. I often joke that if you told me junior year that I
was going to be enlist in the Air Force I would have said youíre
crazy! I originally was going to enlist in the Army and wanted to
eventually join the green berets.
One of my Dadís
friends was former Army and convinced me to join the Air Force instead.
I really wanted a combat job. My dream was to be a combat controller.
However, my eyesight was too bad and I couldnít be one. So I decided
to enlist, get the eye surgery from the military, and then cross
train into combat control later. I was really excited about enlisting
in the Air Force. I really thought that I was "serving and
defending my country". I thought this could be the beginning
of a whole new life.
went to basic and tech school. I enlisted with security forces planning
on eventually cross training into combat control later down the
road. I immediately saw how utterly ridiculous the military was.
It is probably the most incompetently run organization Iíve ever
seen. I was discouraged to observe this after I enlisted but I still
kept up hopes. I was "serving my country" and would eventually
be able to cross train later down the road. My beliefs didnít really
change much for the first year or so I was in. I graduated tech
school and was sent to Ramstein Air Base, Germany as my first base.
I was excited to go to Germany, as anybody would. After being at
Ramstein for about 8 months I eventually was "deployed"
(TDY actually, Temporary Duty) to Kuwait. Thatís when my beliefs
started to change.
a joke. Even when I first landed there and started settling in all
I could think about was why I was even here in the first place.
Me and my co-workers would joke about it all the time, Why were
we even here in the first place? Most people just took it with a
grain of salt and moved on. But the more I thought about it the
more I began to wonder what was I doing here? It was usually
pretty monotonous there, so after work and going to the gym I was
generally bored. I started watching Penn and Teller: Bullshit! I
heard them always mentioning the CATO institute and also libertarians.
I had heard of libertarians before but didnít know much about them
or what their beliefs were. I was intrigued but I never dug much
deeper than that. I became increasingly frustrated with my leadership
at this base in Kuwait. One day I was at a gate and one of our Msgtís
came out and started chastising me about how dirty my post was and
other frivolous things that donít matter at all. Shortly after my
flight chief came out and I explained to him my anger and that,
for lack of a better phrase, I wanted to beat the shit out of him.
That was not the right thing to say. They took my weapons, and I
was sent back to Ramstein to be seen by more "qualified"
mental health experts. This is when I really started to become discouraged
with the military.
I was only
in Kuwait three months before I was sent back to Ramstein. I settled
back in but I was very discouraged about the whole situation. I
remembered about Penn and Teller though and so I started doing some
research on the CATO institute and also libertarianism. I eventually
started watching some Ron Paul videos and that is what really changed
me. Everything he said made so much sense! Itís like there was one
man in congress who was actually intelligent! I gradually started
moving away from the philosophy of the neocons to the philosophy
of minarchist libertarianism. I was obsessed. I was researching
everything I could think of. It came as a shock to me how much my
beliefs starting changing. Itís like my eyes were opened. I was
blind but now I could see. By this time it was around May 2011.
I heard rumors that Ron Paul was thinking about running for president
again. I was very excited when I heard he was going to run for president
again. I kept researching more and more. I eventually found my way
to the Mises institute and also to LewRockwell.com. Itís been a
learning experience ever since then. I never knew Austrian economics
and Libertarianism were such interesting subjects. I eventually
crossed over to the anarchist side around October 2011. At first
I thought the idea was utterly ridiculous. I wouldnít even touch
it. Of course we needed the state right? But I eventually started
reading more from Mises.org and LRC and realized that they
were right. I was changed from a minarchist into an anarcho-capitalist.
All of this
was taking a toll on me though. My beliefs were changing so much
it was hard for me to wrap my head around what I really believed
anymore. I had done a complete 180. I was against everything I used
to believe and worse than that I was against the very institution
which I was now a part of, the military. I slowly started to break
down inside every day. Being in the military was now taking a toll
on my mental and moral well-being. I wrestled back and forth for
a couple months trying to decide if I should just finish my enlistment
or voice my concerns to my leadership and see if I could somehow
get discharged early from the military. Around December I finally
couldnít take it anymore and decided to go up my chain of command
and voice my concerns. I was done and I did not want to be in the
military anymore. The constitution, the very document I took an
oath to defend, was being trampled on every day, and worse than
that most people I work with either didnít care or didnít even know
that so much of what we were doing was unconstitutional in the first
I went up my
chain of command. I told my supervisor, flight chief, first sergeant,
and even went to go talk to the chief. I really thought that they
werenít going to have anything I was trying to say and would just
tell me to get over it and deal with it. Surprisingly they were
pretty willing to help me out. (I now believe that the main reason
they want to help me is not because they really care about my well-being
but that they do not want me to "poison the well" so to
speak. They know I speak my mind and will try to influence other
people.) The first sergeant told me that currently the Air Force
is downsizing and that they are trying to get rid of people. So
I put in a voluntary discharge application. It got denied, twice.
The second time I even had documentation from mental health stating
my condition and the Air Force still denied it.
there answer for denying my discharge was because of "manning
concerns". That was back in February. I was very discouraged.
I went and talked to the first sergeant again and he said he was
working on another way to get me out through mental health. I eventually
had to go to a mental health evaluation. This was about 4 weeks
ago. I had to spend most of the day talking to this mental health
specialist. At the end of the day he told me that he was going to
recommend an administrative discharge through mental health. He
said that my current beliefs werenít compatible with military service.
Itís pretty sad when a person who actually cares about the constitution
and liberty and freedom is no longer "compatible with military
service". No matter though, I was so excited I couldnít believe
they he was going to recommend discharge, albeit I was a little
skeptical. Nothing is ever too easy in the military. My commander
said he would approve the discharge.
So here I am
now. I am currently waiting on my discharge to go through. Mental
health said I should be home no later than July. We will see. However,
it really does look like this is going to go through. I am excited
to go home, and also to no longer be part of the military. Who knows
what these crazy people are going to do next. All this talk about
going to war with North Korea, Iran, and Syria scares me half to
death. When you think about it, itís not logical at all to wage
another war but if there is one thing we know itís that these people
in power donít think logically or rationally.
I was excited
to read Ssgt. Rodriguezís post of LRC. At least I know Iím not the
only Libertarian anarchist in the Air Force. I am happy to say that
I have met others in the military that are big Ron Paul fans and/or
libertarians. More and more people are starting to see this debacle
we call the U.S. government for what it is really is. I hope this
isnít too long or that it bores you. I would be honored if you shared
this on the main site. At least more LRC readers will know that
not everyone in the military are a bunch of crazed neocons that
want to invade every country on Earth.
the Mises Institute, Ron Paul, and you yourself Mr. Rockwell have
been some of the biggest influences in shaping my beliefs. As much
as I hate the military I often tell people that if I had to come
in the military to learn what I know now then it was worth it. Thank
Light [send him mail],
an Airman First Class in the US Air Force, is stationed at Ramstein
Air Base in Germany. He joined the Air Force about 2 1/2 years ago
when he was 18, but has since changed from a hardcore Bush neocon
to a libertarian anarchist. At this moment he is awaiting discharge
(honorable) from the Air Force, and should be home within the next
© 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.