Category Archives: military

a young man goes to war

I had a tense conversation with one of my employees earlier today.  Our conversation was about her not coming to work on Monday which is a pretty important day of the month for us and our clients. It’s the deadline for paying Sales and Use Tax for the month.

The reason she isn’t coming is because her son is going to Army bootcamp in five days… November 21st.  She says she doesn’t think she’ll be coming in to work because she is going to see him off.

Being that I have been in the military, that I worked at the Marine Corps recruiting headquarters here which coincidentally is in the same building as the military entrance processing station for all branches, I know with utmost certainty how it happens and I know she won’t be occupied to the extent that she thinks she can’t come to work on the day when filing and paying sales tax for our 150 clients is due.

For whatever reason she thinks it’s going to be some drawn out experience where she gets to say goodbye to her boy, who is in fact a 21 year old man — ok, fine… he’s a boy still, especially to momma.  Either way, she thinks it could be that she won’t be done until 1 or 2pm and by then what’s the use in coming in.  It is undoubtedly, wishful thinking.

The sad fact of the matter is when she gets there at 6:00am, she will have at MOST a half hour, maybe an hour to say goodbye.   And like ripping off a bandaid that’s been stuck to skin and hair for three days, the recruiter is gonna snatch that boy up, throw him in a van and send him to Missouri for bootcamp.

After talking with her for about 20 minutes I finally got through to her that I KNOW what and how the processing happens and that she would not be there until well into the afternoon but would be done by 7:00 or so and would have plenty of time to make it in to work.

She finally said, “well, I don’t know how I’m going to be feeling. I mean for two months since he told me but especially the last couple of weeks, I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I cry all the time and I’m sure I’ll be upset after I leave and even if I do come in I won’t be able to do the filings.”

She was tearing up as she said it.

I get that.  I totally get that. She didn’t need to make up some bullshit story about it would take a long time and that she wouldn’t get here till 2 or 3 in the afternoon and traffic and distance other excuses.

I… get… THAT.

Our country is at war. Her son is entering the military, and our sons and daughters are dying.  I get that.

We shouldn’t be at war. We shouldn’t have the need to send our sons and daughters to a far away land.

When I was at basic infantry school we had an instructor who was a desert storm veteran say to us, “I hope some day I’m out of a job.”  In the context of what he was saying, he meant he hoped for a day when our country wouldn’t need someone to teach small arms tactics. He hoped for a day when our country wouldn’t need to train young men and women to kill.

I pray that day comes. I fear it never will.

Semper Fi Marines

Today is the birthday of my beloved Corps. Born in 1775 at a tavern in Philadelphia.

Watching the video brings back so many memories of being in the Marine Corps. Much of what was said in the first three minutes is true of the U.S. Marines. “Marines are different.” “We have an obligation to be the most ready when the country is least ready.” “a special camaraderie to each other.” “honor courage commitment. ” “The mission is everything.”

I am proud to say I am U.S. Marine. I’m proud of my service as a journalist in the U.S. Marines. But I am ashamed at how our state department has used this force that is supposed to be for our country’s defense.

It was said by our previous president that we needed to be in Iraq and Afghanistan for our defense. If there is anything that would have made getting into this war more palatable it would have been to see Pres. Bush personally drive the twins and Dick Cheney take his daughters to see a Marine recruiter. I’d like to see what their reaction would be to this war if they saw their daughters in a helo plummeting to the ground like in this video.

I pray for you brother Marines… stay safe while in harm’s way and may you come home soon all in one piece.

brother can you spare a dime?

Hello friendly blog peeps, peepettes and casual visitors.

Today’s post is asking for a HUGE favor.

If you look to the right… right next to the title of this post you’ll see a picture. If you click it, the link will take you to my page on the Lone Star Chapter of The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website.

I’m writing about this because I want to let you know I’m riding my bicycle half way across Texas in an effort to raise funds for researchers to find a cure for MS. I’m riding in the 2009 MS 150 Bike Tour from Houston to Austin. It’s about 160 miles or so over two days.

I’m do it for two reasons. One… believe it or not, I find it fun and of course, challenging. (i’ve ridden this ride before) Two… I know I am extremely lucky to be able to move my body on my own and so I feel an obligation to help.

I want to help researchers find a cure for folks who don’t move so well because of this disease.

I’m no scientist. I don’t know much about this disease or what it will take to end it. But I can pedal my bike and ask people to donate to my ride so the smart guys can figure a way to help those who are afflicted with this disease.

So I hope you will.

I hope you can spare ten bucks… or five bucks… or three or even one.

I know five bucks or even one doesn’t seem like a lot but it all adds up.

When I was in the Marine Corps I learned a saying from the grunts… “ounces make pounds.” I first heard it when my unit attached with some grunts for training and we were going on a 13 mile hike carrying all our gear on our back.

A few of the guys took us “non-hackers” aside and said, “ounces make pounds, Marine. Let me see your gear.” They proceeded to show us how stripping every tiny piece of non-essential crap added up to a lot of weight.

“Ounces make pounds” folks. I know times are tough. Hell, I barely have two nickels to rub together but if you could donate whatever you can…

well, every little bit adds up to a lot.

The war to end all wars

Today is veterans day in the U.S. It was born from the treaty that was signed between the allied forces and Germany on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month signaling the beginnings of the end World War I, which at the time people thought was the war to end all wars.

It didn’t quite take.

I was in the military for eight years… four of them with the Recruiting Command right here in my hometown.
That was a stroke of dumb luck… pure coincidence.

My experience in the military was.. is pretty negligible. I was in during the Clinton Administration which was a relative time of peace for our country.

I say relative because our government always has covert operations happening and there were flare ups in Haiti, Cuba, Somalia and of course the Yugoslav Wars but our involvement was minimal compared to what is happening now. Not even close to what is happening now. [sigh]

I’ve never been one who wears my military service on my sleeve. But today i think I will a little. I hope you’ll take a little time and join me and others as we send prayers, thoughts and/or some positive energy out into the Ether and hope that it falls on a kid in a far off land. They need to come home and we need to think of a way to end all wars.

Memorial Day remembrance

It seems as though many of us are touched by Memorial Day more than in past years.

I pray my Marine Corps brothers and sisters stay safe… especially those I put in the Corps.

Goodnight Chesty Puller!… where ever you are.