Friday, November 13, 2009



Veteran's Day was a special all day telecast from the Army's Military Academy. I watched a lot of the coverage, the same features over and over again. Brought back a lot of feelings for me, many from childhood and all of them eternal.

There has never been a question in my mind of whether or not I would fight for this country. For me, it always was considered an honor and the punch on my 'all day pass' for giving.

I think that being a bonnie wee lad as Vietnam ended and all the 'whatevers' that surrounded military service drew me to it. Man, that swimming against the stream thing has been in me for a LONG time. Though folks would say bad things about it, I had a cousin that came home from Vietnam and he wasn't too worse for wear, but I was looking at him from a child's perspective. What ever didn't sit right, whatever fraying he had, I wasn't aware of any of it.

Every Army-Navy game, it seemed that it was raining or at least drizzly! Looking at the Cadets and Midshipmen stand for the entire game in their uniforms, I would feel flush with pride. Each time I have found myself sitting in front of the tele watching the game, is a moment that I can't help but wonder 'what if' ...

When I hear about people who knew when they were a kid what they wanted to do their one thing, I get a little envious. Sometimes I wonder what were the circumstances that happened in their lives that facilitated their choice. What I mean by that is who mentored them and kept them in line for their dream? Even as I want to look for reasons that 'fated' them to become whatever they are, I have always came to the point where it was always the person that drove themselves to their destiny.

Before life can help you, you have to first start helping yourself. I knew that you would need to get a letter of recommendation in order to go to West Point. That meant if I wanted to go that I needed super great grades and a nomination from a Congressman or Senator. When I began to struggle with grades as I adjusted to life as a teenager, once my grades slipped to that 'B-C' shelf, mainly I sorta lost interest in the idea of going to West Point. But I still wanted to go Army.

Can't remember if I talked with any adult about what I had hoped for ... though I am pretty open with this thing here, there is A LOT that I don't put out. And it isn't because I have secrets to keep, but jeez, it is a lot and detailed. You'd have to be here to 'be here', you know what I am saying? Anywho, I still kept it together enough to stay in the ROTC ... and would go on and enlist under the delayed-entry program.

When my Army Sis graduated from high school, she came to me and asked about what she should do. Like me, she was a good but not great student. Could have went on and got financial aid and all that stuff, and scuffle through college, but she was already tired of that. She did all the extra curricular stuff, including playing basketball on a state championship team. But school was tiring, and no matter what, is no guarantee of anything. Her and a buddy were thinking about the Air Force and asked me for advice.

My military experience was a mixed bag ... but when I talked with her about it, I told her about how I had to take responsibility for a lot of my own experience. By joining the service you were at the political expediency of those in power and you could find yourself in some far flung place for spurious reasons. The upshot of it was you had an opportunity to find out about yourself and grow as a person.

Even though you didn't get paid what you would in the civilian sector, you had the benefits that made up for a lot of that. And you had the honor of being able to say to people that you served your country.

No matter what, you can use that in any discussion about the United States and why you feel the way you do about anything!

I don't know if I talk a lot about or even live in my past. What I do know is that my everyday is awfully hum drum. When I was in the 'provincial town that I jogged 'round', or even back home at my Dad's, I don't know if any of the mendacity of what went on was 'note worthy'. Anywho, what is a journal for, if not to write about what is on a person's mind, namely MINE.

The past has been what I have been working on, trying to learn from it and grow. To me, if I was lost in where I have been, then when MD sent that email about that stuff, it would have set off all sorts of alarms and whatever. Really, the first and only thing that went thru my mind was how truly insignificant she is to me ... she is back to her 'nothingness' that she was a part of after high school.

When it has comes to 'the people I know', that is how I have dealt with them. That is why it was 'new' for me ... aw, I have repeated that enough. That is what is a struggle for me. Because there are legitimate reasons (to whoever) that they haven't thought about me, I have my legitimate reasons that I haven't been pressed about them.

Messin' round with Mookie was a test in many ways, to see if I can put up with the irratants that I have about people ... to see if I can 'get over myself' enough to make a relationship work. I know with my ex-wife that I told myself that I wasn't going to get over the fail in THAT relationship. I never should have met her. Should have been somewhere else ...

... and where I should have been and why I feel that way, is something that will never be known.


Tawnya said...

I meant to come by on Wednesday and wish you a happy Veteran's day! I got lost in all the other stuff going on.. So, I am late. Glad things are well for you there!

That corgi :) said...

I think you gave your sister great advice about going into the military, Mark; thanks for your service to our country too

(I've been reading your posts but I've been working lots of overtime and by the time I read blogs I'm not my sharpest for making comments, just wanted to let you know though I've been reading them)


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Thank you for your service.

Hope things are settling out a bit for you there, I know it is a big change for you.

Beth said...

Sorry I haven't been by for a while, Mark. Feeling a little overwhelmed with blogs and commenting, and haven't been commenting as much.

I was happy to get caught up with you. Sounds like you're still in a state of transition, and I'm sure it will take some time wrap your mind around it. I know you'll get there. You are one of the most resilient people I've ever met!

L&R, Beth

Indigo said...

I think sometimes life has a tendency to beat us over the head no matter how well meaning we are.

I loved what you said about in the end, what you become is due to your own drive. It was that way for me. Knowing I could write, wanting to write. Then life started throwing punches and I forgot to duck more and more.

I think that happens to a lot of people. They soon forget what they wanted and dreamed of for themselves, for their lives.

I know my deafness brought me to a halt in such a way, I had to finally take stock of what I wanted out of life. And once again the meandering path is more destined than forced.

I'm glad to know you dear friend and thankful you were one of the honored who served. (Hugs)Indigo