|Posted by gargoyle on August 18, 2012 at 8:05 PM|
Why The Mercs Matter by Phillip Korista
·Last Spring, I joined a group called The Mercs, which my good friend Jodie Doster is a part of. At first, I thought it was only a historical combat reenactment group, but in the following weeks, I learned much more. The Mercs is not only about entertaining the public or sword fighting in the list; its like a second home, a safe haven, a tiny demographic in our times where there is such hate, such prejudice, and such stupidity in this nation. Our tenants are those most noble, a code of honor and respect. We do not tolerate discrimination against LGBT folks. In fact, we welcome them. Notions of race have no belonging either, nor do we tolerate discrimination against individuals with a rough past or those with a mental illness. Indeed, we give those folks a network of support, an open ear, an open mind. Many religions are represented in our close knit circle; Christianity, Native American beliefs, Islam, Agnostic, Buddhist, and others. We honor the veterans of our nation, giving them the Merc salute at events. A strong emphasis on work ethic is held, as well as the vital importance in one's job/education and family. Finally, all members have a voice, and are encouraged to speak up as equals. Conflicts are settled in an honest fashion.
I now wonder, what if there were millions, or perhaps billions of people who strove to follow such a path; a path of acceptance of others, an effort to learn from others, not shun them for their differences. An open hand and heart for our fellow men, women, and creatures. I think the world would be more peaceful, less hateful and bitter and spiteful. As our nation reels in its cycle of inequity, selfishness, and isolation, we Mercs thrive due to our stances, due to our dedication and love. I'm glad that I've found such an interesting, accepting, and open minded bunch. And still we grow, and still we travel and spread our good will; recently we helped change a Vietnam veteran's life by giving him the salute and respect he deserves, and has for so long been denied. In the end, we are not just a troop of entertainers; we are like a tribe of misfits trying to make a difference in this torn up world. It helps me hold the notion that there is indeed a little hope, a little good, that is worth fighting for. Thank you Mercs, for giving me a chance to be part of something special.