The Family That BTS Built.
ARMY is one of those things that is hard to define. Simply put, it is a fan base, but it really is not. In fact, calling it a mere fan base is somewhat insulting. In truth, it is much, much more.
It is an international community made of many thousands of people all around the world, speaking many languages, living in different cultures, but who have one thing in common; Their love for BTS. And that is where their resemblance to a fan base ends.
BTS loves their ARMY. They show and say it every chance they get. In interviews, RM will say that almost all they have is due, in fact, to ARMY. This community will get together and rocket BTS’ video views and music sales through the roof. They have voting skills down pat, to help their boys in popular opinion polls and award categories. They rally to protect their band when attacks come from outsiders, and they work to make the world a better place, and they look out for each other.
While the band has been on tour, ARMY has assembled in each city, many gathering together to make a difference in that city for others. Look up Anpan ARMY. More great things done by the family that BTS inspired, including clothing and feeding the homeless in that city, and making care packets for people on the street. They are working to make this world a better place.
Now, does that sound like an exaggerated statement? It could, to some who have never experienced it. I, however, have been insanely blessed to have experienced it first hand. And it is something I had to share.
When tickets for their Love Yourself tour were announced, I was in a slight panic, trying to figure out how I would be able to buy tickets. It took some fairly adept bill juggling, but I was able to get a pair of tickets to the Oct 3rd show in Chicago. Having never been to Chicago, I figured it would be an adventure for my daughter and I. A few weeks later I was afforded the opportunity to go in with others on a club suite for Oct 2nd . And, at that time, I had some extra cash that was just looking for a place to land.
Tickets for both nights secured, now we save up $$ to cover the trip. Saving is not easy when you are a single mom living off the fixed income of disability. But then a good grace came through, and we had the money in the bank to cover our trip.
Chicago here we come!!!
Enter the antagonist: Hurricane Florence.
See, I live on the beautiful Crystal Coast of NC. Most times I like it here, hurricane season, not so much. Now I have lived on the Atlantic coast the majority of my life, and hurricanes are pretty much part and parcel of the whole coastal living experience. I have been through countless hurricanes, living in CT, FL and NC. This one didn’t have me worried…at first.
Needless to say, when evacuations became mandatory, we had to pack up the most important things and head out of town, not knowing if we would have a home to return to. Ten days on the road, living like gypsies, and thankful there was money in the bank to support our journey. But that money was for Chicago, and as time stretched on, I became more and more depressed that our trip would not happen.
(On the road)
By time we came home, there was precious little money left in the bank, and our trip looked like it was not going to happen. In frustration and tears, I remember telling one of my fellow Bangtan Moms about how depressed I was, and that I would have to sell my tickets.
Being the blessed soul that she is, she refused to accept that, and organized a bit of a fundraiser so we could have money to continue with our plans. And, the fellow Moms and Noonas came through with love. One coined the term, No ARMY left behind, and that became a rallying cry. In no time we had replenished our travel money and we had 5 days to decompress from our evacuation, unpack and wash our clothes, pack up again, bring the dog to the kennel and hit the road for a 16 hour drive to Chicago!!
After we reached Chicago, we met with my friends that I had never met face to face, and we were family from the moment we laid eyes on each other! Our children got along so well, we exchanged gifts and we took over almost half of a Korean restaurant for 2 hours!
I have made friends, because of BTS, that I hope will last a lifetime. And these friends helped to make a dream come true for my daughter and myself. Total strangers, who met on the internet because of BTS, who became a family. What else in the world can inspire this much love and community?
Our group has become tight knit, and they are a family to me. A family that was coined and inspired by BTS. Lives have changed because of them, and they are not even aware of it. People are changed because of them, and they have no clue. Smiles are shared around the world because these 7 men wanted to sing, rap and dance. If one of the ARMY needs help, you have members all across the world ready to pitch in. Isn’t that the way we are supposed to be?
Years ago there was a tv show called Angel. A spin off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the last episode, they were preparing to fight for the lives. Angel was talking to his son, Connor, and he said these words. I have never forgotten these words, and have them written in my heart. “Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It’s harsh…and cruel…but that’s why there’s us…champions. It doesn’t matter where we come from, what we’ve done, or suffered. Or even if we make a difference. We live as though the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be. You’re not a part of that yet. I hope you will be.”
Since 2002 this quote has been a never forgotten part of my life. And I have tried to keep it relevant in my doings. For some reason, I now associate BTS and ARMY with this quote.
BTS + ARMY = Champions