Thursday, July 26, 2007

Speaking of uniforms

On 3/Feb/70 I took the oath of a recruit in the Army National Guard of Texas. Some thirty years prior to that my father had taken his oath of enlistment as he joined the U.S. Coast Guard. He signed up well before 7 Dec 41 and as was common with all the military during the war his tour of duty was extended until well after VJ Day. Among his stations were Biloxi, MS, Houston, TX, and San Juan, PR. He was an Aviation Machinist Mate (1st Class) and crewed PBY's - Flying Boats.

Upon my joining the Guard, I received basic training at Ft. Polk, LA. After rejoining my unit I transfered to another unit in Ft. Worth, TX and later Gatesville, TX. The Army in its infinite wisdom decided I was to be a Mess Cook and my Advanced Training was Army Mess School (MOS: 94B20). Oddly enough it has served me well throughout my life.

The Old Man was proud of his service and always talked about it. To the extent that I suppose it was as memorable a period as any in his life. He truly did believe he was serving his Country. Several friends, some close others not so, served during the Vietnam era. From a distance to a man, they are all proud of their time on duty and look upon it as valuable. Tools for life, if you will. In retrospect, I likewise look upon my days in the Guard as time well spent.

Don't know exactly what point I'm shooting for in this post. Perhaps it's an acknowledgement of the military's value in molding young men (and women) into citizens who are proud of their time spent learning a sense of self-reliance, duty, obligation and teamwork which the Armed Services instills in its members. I was a most reluctant recruit and did not enjoy any of the time invested during my service. It's only from a distance that I recognize what serving did for me as well as my friends. Am afraid I don't see so much of that in today's youth and wonder if we are not a little worse off for going to an all volunteer Armed Forces. Or at least for not recognizing the benefits of the growth and development military service offers.

Sleep well tonight, your armed services are awake.

Monday, July 16, 2007

So I took this silly test...

You scored as Severus Snape, Well you're a tricky one aren't you? Nobody quite has you figured out and you'd probably prefer it stayed that way. That said you are a formidable force by anyone's reckoning, but there is certainly more to you than a frosty exterior and a bitter temper.

Severus Snape


Harry Potter


Albus Dumbledore


Remus Lupin


Hermione Granger


Ginny Weasley


Ron Weasley


Sirius Black


Lord Voldemort


Draco Malfoy


Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
created with

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

It's a small world, after all ...

This, according to my "blogger dashboard", is post number 100. I can't think of a better one to mark the occasion.

Just got off the phone with the son in Houston, fixing to begin Law School in August. Having just moved there from TN and being unfamiliar with Houston parking regulations, he was ticketed for facing the wrong direction (against the flow of traffic) on a street in front of his apartment.

As he is:
1.) A less than wealthy student working his own way thru Law School, and
2.) A student who believes it’s never too soon to start practicing one’s chosen profession,
he went down to the Court House to try and beat the ticket.

Well, here’s where it gets interesting. When he appeared before the Judge he began explaining the injustice of his ticket saying he had just moved to Houston from Sewanee, that the street was in a residential neighborhood and not marked as to directional parking (good thinking, ignorance of the law is no excuse). The Judge, a fellow Episcopalian, asked him about Sewanee, being the first person in Houston to indicate any knowledge of the University of the South. They get to talking about Parishes, where son had grown up, which Parish the Judge was a part of and so forth. You know the routine. In visiting, the Judge indicated some degree of involvement in Diocesan activities (including a term on the Camp Allen Board) and the son then asked: “When were you on the Board, you might know my Dad?” At which point the Judge puts two and two together and admits (not even reluctantly) that he does know me, tells son we were friends on the Board and asks how we are doing.

So the upshot of all this is that son’s argument held water. He got a reduction in the fine (to $ 10.00), was told a few things to expect in Law School, and made an acquaintance who indicated a willingness to be of aid if the need ever arose. Guess he also learned the old man does get around from time to time.

It isn't a very large world, is it? The wife & I have even run into an acquaintance from Laity Lodge (the Camp's Director at the time) at dinner in an out of the way hotel in Kufstein, Austria while on holiday once, but that’s a story for another time.

Y'all have a good Fourth and take time to say a prayer for our troops.
Because freedom isn't free, it's very, very expensive.