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Some of you may remember me. Most of you probably won't. I have been one of the forum's first members, and even after loosing interest in emulation, I stayed here for the community. True - my presence was rather fragmented, and I have made more than one comeback and disappeared more than once, but if it counts for something - this site has always been my homepage.

 

I am Israeli, and an Israeli's life can be divided to three parts - before military service, during military service, and after military service. I have dropped in several times during my service, but those were more of tribute visits than actual comebacks. The truth is - this place is part of my life before the service. And I want those life back...

 

I know I can't have my old life back. But at least I want to return to this forum - to the 1Emulation community - but I know I can't do it either. I can't bring back 1Emulation of three years ago - that place no longer exists. It changed. It evolved. Some people maybe left, new people probably came - and even the people that remained have certainly changed. Three years is a long time.

 

 

And I have changed as well. The military service here... it changes people. More than regular three years. Even if you are not a fighter. You can't go to the extremes this world can show you without being changed. I have experienced desperation. I have felt pain - physical pain strong enough to make you cry even though you keep going on, and emotional pain that makes you cry without being able to move on. I've received true comradeship from a friend that carried me on his back when my foot was to injured to run, and given true comradeship to friends that had tougher time than myself. I have also betrayed that comradeship several times. I've done many things I'm not proud of.

 

I have seen the best kinds of people, and I have met the worst kinds of people. People that sacrificed their own body for the sake of the team and the common goal, and people that sacrificed others for the sake of their own benefits. People that only think about giving, and people that think the world owes them everything. I have seen how envy can corrupt people.

 

I have seen racism. Before, I never thought it was real. Sure, they talk about it in the news all the time, but the brain refuses to accept that there are people that hate other people just because they are different. The mind refuses to accept that it is real, until your own eyes see it. Until your own ears hear people talking about how much fun it is to shoot rubber bullets at Palestinian kids.

 

I have been brainwashed. Brainwash is not like in the movies, where you see hordes of zombie-like people repeating the same mantra. It's very subtle - maybe not the tools used for brainwashing, but the brainwashing itself. It's not completely wiping one's brain - it's just messing up with his sense of logic. You can't tell a person is brainwashed until you talk to him in person - and you can't realize you are brainwashed yourself until you somehow manage to snap out of it. I have been brainwashed, I snap out of it, and I saw others, more brainwashed than what I was, without a chance of snapping out in the near future.

 

I have seen what authority can do to people, and I was given small amount of authority myself and experience it personally. Authority brings more problems than resources to solve those problems. More responsibility than power. When you have authority, you have to be the bad guy. The only way to be a good guy is to let someone else be the bad guy in your place. Most officers give that job to their vice. The ones that take that bad guys responsibility on themselves are simply the ones that are not placed in a position that allow them to throw it on others. During my three years of service, I have seen only one officer that could let his underling commanders be the bad guys, but chose to take the responsibility himself. Only one.

 

I have seen people with so much authority they will crash you like a bug, not because they hate you and not because they enjoy hurting people. They will crash you like a bug simply because they don't care enough to avoid it.

 

 

Anyways, It's all behind me now. In the 17 of this month I will finish my military service. In the IDF, before a soldier is released, he is given a vacation several weeks long - it's called "release vacation". "Hafshash" in Hebrew. Why is that? Nobody knows... My guess is that they want you to clear up your mind, forget about all the conflicts and quarrels you had with the people in your unit, and leave the army with a cleaner heart.

 

Yesterday, I started my release vacation. Even though I'm not released yet - I can start thinking of my self as a free man. And now I want my old life back - but I can't have them, because I am not the same man I used to be three years ago. I'm less naive, more matured - I'm different. Frankly, I say "three years" because it's easy to blame my military service on not letting me be a regular here - but it's really my fault, and it's more than three years. I stopped frequenting this place many months before enlisting. But still - in all this world wide web, this place is my only home. So...

♫Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree♫

♫It's been three long years♫

♫Do you still want me?♫

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Hmm the voice of reflection.

 

All I can say is things change. That is ridiculously obvious...

 

You have experienced a change that is quite powerful. It forced you to look at things with new perspective. In your words, I see things somewhat differently as well. Life a pair of glasses. I know for you it is more intense, but what you thought you knew was all blurry, and certain things now are in focus. You see more reality than preconceptions or straight ignorance.

 

Not that you can conceive every possibility or eventuality, but with what you have taken with you... will forever alter who you were (are?) . Not that you are epically different. As we grow, we take what we learn now and what we knew then and move forward. You are you. Ultimately it is up to us to make our own decisions, although the burden of knowledge can possibly taint our very soul.

 

As for the world around us... This site, changed drastically. Emulation is dead. Everything for the most part is now emulated. No new turf. There are the frequent upgrades all the time but if you want it, it's already old news. Whats left is a ghost. I among many others have tried to re-vitalize the site with conversation or whatever... but withought the reason of the sites very namesake... all were left with is heh... stragglers.

 

It reminds me of when I visited my old neighborhood. That was my turf, comfortable, familiar. When I went back years and years later, it was totally different. My property was overgrown, changed drastically. My best friends 3 acres was covered in full grown trees. TREES!!! He had rows and rows of black berry bushes and a large field we played football on when I lived next door. Now, completely different. I was now a stranger where before I was known well. I was the outsider now. Betrayal to my memories.

 

Its funny, the parallels one can take from this. One can think, "things have changed, but so have I". Indeed things are quite different, but yet... the same. The houses are in the same place and the brook remains. The trees are nice but unexpected. You can see it is where you lived, yet different. As for us or our surroundings, sometimes the changes an be good or bad. But never believe what once was is ever lost. As long as we are alive, there is always hope to fix or correct bad changes... or better yet, learn from them. As for the good changes... just remember, at our root, we are fundamentally the same. Just our perspectives change as we continue to grow. The foundation is always still there.

 

Will you continue to be you? Learn and adapt, but always be you.

 

Sorry about all that, you activated things I often contemplate.

 

But yes, welcome back #11

 

Edit:(p.s.) Thank you for you perspective.

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Welcome home someboddy. From one who has had the military experience as well I can concur with you that it changes you forever, especially in war time. You can never go back to what you use to have and never can you either forget it but you can learn to live with it. It takes time many years to actually get to that point but look at it on the bright side you are now a free man. No longer can the government tell you how to act or what to do...somewhat. Anyway glad to see you back here we need more of the old members back.

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Welcome back someboddy, glad to see that you have made it through alive, hopefully injury-free.

 

It seems you have at least recognised what they did to your mind, and perhaps you can eventually throw off the bad things that they taught.

 

I'm not around much now, since the demise of the FAS. But I still drop in most days, for a minute or so.

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