Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Declining Self-Pity

Mike Rowe is used to seeing people suffer almost insufferable things on a daily basis.

But as blogger Justen Charters puts it, “eight years hosting Dirty Jobs couldn’t prepare” Rowe for his encounter with Staff Sergeant Travis Mills. The veteran of the war in Afghanistan got half his body torn off by an improvised explosive device; he is a quadruple amputee.

On his Facebook page, Rowe tells what it was like to meet Travis at a convention. “He wanted to tell me how much he and his buddies appreciated that show while on active duty. He wanted to know what it was like to work in so many ‘difficult and dangerous situations.’ . . . I’ve seen a lot of things over the years, and I’ve gotten good at pretending there’s nothing unusual when there clearly is. But I was completely unprepared for this.”

When he expressed sympathy, Travis shrugged it off. “No big deal. It’s been two years now. I’m good. Tell me something though — are you gonna do anymore Dirty Jobs?” The show has been cancelled, but Rowe managed to report that he is working on a sequel.

“Hey, that’s great! I got new legs and you got a new show! Tell me all about it!”

There are real victims in this world, and there are people who assume the mantle of victimhood when they have little to complain about. I’d say Travis Mills has a reason to complain. But he doesn’t.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Sheldon says:

    I wonder how many innocent men women and children Staff Sergeant Travis Mills killed or maimed? I wonder how many innocents were left with fewer limbs or eyes than they were born with because of Sergeant Mills and his “buddies.” Has anyone asked him?

  2. Karen says:

    I came away from this column feeling uplifted. Then I made the mistake of reading Sheldon’s comments. WOW! I guess you can truly poison anything.
    As to your column: I really like Mike Rowe; he’s been successful yet he’s remained humble. & he gives back. Sgt. Mills is the best of the best. I salute him. You’re right too, Paul. The American consciousness has become about victim-hood as an excuse for just about everything. Thanks for the uplifting column.

  3. Jesse says:

    The people who started those wars may not have honor, but the people with their boots on the ground, dieing in them, certainly have plenty. Sergeant Mills and all those like him deserve a better response than what some give them. Sergeant Mills’ injuries are the direct result of another person’s or persons’ actions. He deserves respect for what he did but also his current attitude.

  4. Paul Jacob says:

    To me, of course Mills has to answer like all of us for all the good or bad he has done in his life, but I don’t feel like asking him that question, Sheldon. There is no evidence he did such things and I’d prefer to recognize his struggle and his humanity. And his attitude.

    I’m in awe.

    I think it is the president and the Congress who must answer for the policies they pursue and force our soldiers to pursue. I’d like to ask them a lot of questions.

  5. Albie Hurst says:

    On some level when we were born we accepted our ancestors’ ignorance. War is a part of that. There are some who claim there are no real innocents even victims of unintended consequences. Get BIG in our perspective and what you may ask is more foundational,to overcoming the ignorance. An awareness, a wisdom that has been dressed in ignorance for way too long. Are the ‘clothes’ then covering up something so fundamental and impactful that we inadvertently prioritize our honor in protecting the ignorance? Or in humility do we begin to want to know, earnestly in each one, what has been covered up by these costumes? Embracing that,lets go of the ugliness. Big picture

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