Fans of “Grunge” rock know the names of bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden and people like Kurt Cobain and Chris Cornell all too well.
Chances are, they don’t know a whole lot about Jason Everman, but he has a story worth telling, and The New York Times did just that.
If you look at the album credits of Nirvana’s first album, “Bleach,” you’ll see his name. He toured with them throughout 1989, but was kicked out right before they hit it big. Undeterred, he found out his favorite band, Soundgarden, was looking for a new bass player, and he got a spot in the band, only to be kicked out again—right before Soundgarden hit it big.
What does one do with his life after being kicked out of two of the biggest bands of all time before they hit it big? Well, if you’re Jason Everman, you do what few are able to do: You join the Army Special Forces. According to the Times, it happened suddenly:
Everman started waking up early while his bandmates slept in; he went biking, swimming, got in shape. One day, with zero warning, he resigned. He put all of his stuff in storage. He took a flight to New York and went to an Army recruiting office in Manhattan. A couple of weeks later he was on a flight to Georgia. “Was I nervous?” he asked. “I was a little nervous. But I knew.”
He had been meeting with recruiters before that, and was showing an interest in becoming a Ranger, but he left with no warning and entered basic training in Fort Benning, GA.
Certainly, the beginning of Everman’s journey is unlike what most people will experience, but the next part of it is very similar to a lot of stories we never hear about. Many brave Americans, every day, follow the same journey as Everman, with a few even making it to Army Rangers and Special Forces. Men and women like Everman should be heralded for their bravery and commitment, but in today’s society, that isn’t always the case.
Many of our veterans come back to a society that just doesn’t understand them, and some of them are cast aside, not knowing how to assimilate back into a world they don’t really know.
There is good news, though. We can help them.
There are many things we can do, but people may not know where to start. A great place to start is with the documentary Veteran Nation. This documentary will give you a firsthand perspective on what soldiers went through on the battlefield and what they are going through at home.
All Americans can make coming home easier for our veterans. It’s the least we can do for someone who so bravely fought for the freedoms we all enjoy, and sometimes, take for granted.