Friday, September 11, 2009

Thoughts on 9/11

For some reason 9/11 seems more relevant this year. I suppose our country just seems a little more fragile these days. Lot on my mind right now. I think it'll help me just to put things into words. Like everyone else, I experienced shock, fear and rage that day. Mostly rage. I really wanted to hear reports of mushroom clouds over Tehran and Damascus.

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On 9/11/07 my mom died. Complications from cancer. I was right there in her room all that last day. Wasn't until an hour or so after her passing that I even realized what day it was.

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Back in high school (1987), I did really well on the ASVAB. Not long after taking that test, a uniformed Marine officer strode purposefully into my classroom and whispered to my teacher. My teacher pointed at me and my friend Doug. "OH ****!!" was all I could think of. "John, Doug, you're with me!" so we followed him. "Which way to your counselor's office?" So we led him there. "We need your office. Excuse us." The counselor said "alright" and left in haste. Face reddening, tendons in the neck sticking out a la Buzzcut from Beavis & Butthead, the recruiter started yelling. "2000 Marines held Guadalcanal against 10,000 Japs! If those had been 2000 regular army, right now we'd be eating sushi and bowing to the emperor!" He even banged his fist on the desk as he said "You two are the kind of men we want in the United States Marine Corps!" Yeah, I just about soiled my linens.

Then a few weeks later the Army recruited talked me into visiting his office. He had his feet up on the desk and was reading a car magazine when I arrived. "Let me find you file. Hmmm, looks like your overqualified for anything we do in this man's army. But in the other room there are a bunch of videos. Look through them and see if anything catches your eye." I watched about half a vid about being a tank gunner before I got up and left. I never even talked to the Navy and Air Force recruiters. The two extremes of what I'd already experienced with recruiters pretty much soured me on the whole thing. Now I go to church with this guy. Super cool dude. And the kid down the street who was my best friend from elementary school all the way through college is now a freakin' Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force! I now really regret that I never served in the military. During my 20s, I figured, "Aw, one of these days I'll just enlist." But I never did. Circumstances of life made me put it off and put it off and now I'm too old to do much about it. If you're in your 20s and reading this, don't pitterfutt around with your goals. Whether that is education, career, relationships or some kind of service. You'll find that another year has gotten behind you, and it happens fast.

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Last night I noticed on AoS that Allahpundit from HotAir had done a series of twitter messages regarding his first-hand 9/11 experiences. Powerful stuff. Exblogitate has a compilation of his tweets that is a little easier to read. Check it out.

6 comments:

  1. That's a good, solid post, Bro. I kinda regret not going into the service, too.

    Your assessment of the significance is spot-on. We are teetering on the brink of being a non sequiter when it comes to countries that have influence in the world. And Barry's speech today was so disingenuous, I nearly laffed (if I hadn't been so disgusted).

    Good thoughts today. Your not just another funny face...uh, writer, i meant funny writer!

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  2. you must have beat me on the ASVAB because an army officer came to speak to me. lol

    sorry bout your mom. and yes it does seem more significant since our nation is more fragile and at each other's throats.

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  3. aA: Thanks. This is probably more the "real me" than my attempts at humor. In reality I'm pretty much an unfunny stoic who'd like to be a hermit if I could get away with it.

    labcat: Thanks also. FYI I tried to comment on your snake post the other day but it wouldn't let me. Dunno if comments are intentionally disabled or of blogger is being weird.

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  4. First: It's AWESOME that you linked to Exblogitate's version of Allahpundit's Twittering, since Exman did it from friggin' Spain, some 6 to 9 hours before Hot Air's Andy Levy posted his account.

    Just saying...there might be some in-house stuff going on there @ Hot Air.

    [Is it safe to assume Michelle or her minions don't read you? Because...you know...I wouldn't want to let this come back to haunt you (me)].

    Second: Let me just tell you that we regular Army did quite well in the time of Reagan and HW Bush. And if we'd been called to confront the famed Soviet Armada, we'd have sent them back to their Godless Motherland in a pine box just as nicely as we sent the "terrible" Iraqi army (lower case intended) into hiding both times we set foot on their sorry ass soil.

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  5. I've felt that 9/11 was more prescient this year. Must be that most people have forgotten.

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  6. Dr. Dave, I don't doubt it. It was just that one recruiter, and I was just a dumb 18yr old. This may sound wrong - hope it doesn't - but I kind of wish the Sovs would have tried something. Not that I would ever wish to put our guys in harm's way, but I just know we'd have slaughtered them. Reading about when the Russians rolled into Georgia last year, all I heard was that half of them were drunk and their discipline was terrible. Maybe they were better during the Soviet era, but I doubt it. Our Army could have shut the bear up any time.

    Matthew, I don't know if it is because I miss GWB (I do) or if it is because Barry is screwing us over so completely, but this year is definitely different.

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