|View to the Southeast, Aquidneck Island, November 2014|
Speaking of which...
|Yes, snow in the air, last Saturday, the 1st of November.|
|Snow? Feels too early, but in reality it's on time.|
Last weekend it precipitated all weekend. The snow on Saturday, though it didn't stick in my town, was constant and lasted all day. Heavy wet stuff it was, at one point the flakes looked as big as dinner plates.
To the south of us, on the Island as the locals are wont to say, the snow was almost not noticeable. As a buddy of mine said, you could see something hitting the windshield which looked "too thick to be rain." To the north of us, not that far north, the snow actually stuck to the ground. Pockets were visible even a couple of days later on Monday.
Yes, winter is coming. I don't sweat it, it is what it is. I am a New Englander born and bred. Though I spent 24 years out in the world, I returned to my native soil upon retirement from the Air Force. I expect I will die here, some day. Hopefully not right away, I still have things I'd like to do. But whatever the Good Lord has in store for me, I'm good with that.
He has been more than generous to me. For that I am thankful.
While at the deli counter in Stop & Shop this morning I met a nice young lady and her two very young children. She noticed my Air Force hat. She mentioned that her husband was in the Air Force, currently working as a recruiter in Providence. The following conversation ensued...
Me: "So how long have you and your husband been in the Air Force?"
She: "He's been in seven years now."
Me: "You understand I meant you and your husband intentionally. Do you think he could take care of these two beautiful kids, maintain a household and do his Air Force job without you?"
She: "Well, no. I don't suppose he could. Yes, we've been in the Air Force for seven years."
Beyond the Air Force we discovered another connection, their son had been born on Okinawa. A place I spent time a long, long time ago.
We parted ways. It was nice to talk to someone in a military family. But it made me think of something I mentioned in my retirement speech (yes, I got to make one, and it was good, damned good) and which I got all semi-pissy about not too long ago on Facebook.
For a long time on active duty I had an attitude concerning civilians. I felt, somehow, that I was better than them. While I never voiced that opinion, it was there.
As I grew older (and somewhat wiser) I realized that this great nation of ours (and she still is great, don't believe the crap you hear on the news) is made up of many different types of people. All more or less good at something. We all have our roles and responsibilities.
Not everyone can be in the military. That's not something we should want anyway.
There is as much honor (perhaps more) in raising children to become good citizens.
There is honor in going to work every day, doing your job to the best of your ability.
That guy riding the train into the city to do his job, he's one of the reasons this country works.
The lady waiting in line with you at Dunkin' Donuts, you can tell she's a nurse, she's wearing scrubs and has the long-suffering, you won't believe the things I've seen look of a nurse. Do you think her job is not important? Do you think her job has less honor than the job of a soldier, sailor, Marine or airman? She's another reason this country works.
We of the military are simply a shield protecting the real America. The America that goes to work, pays their taxes, votes, raises children to carry on long after the rest of us are gone. The America that still provides a beacon of hope to other areas of the planet where things don't work as well as they do here.
We of the military need to "get over ourselves" just a little. Sometimes we get a little too full of ourselves.
Sure our job is important. Yes, our job sucks sometimes. We probably don't get paid as much as we should. Sometimes we die in the pursuit of our mission. Remember though, we volunteered for that. Never lose sight of the mission.
And what is that mission?
It's to protect the homeland and the good citizens living here who just want to go to work, watch a ballgame, play with their kids and someday retire to play with their grandchildren.
That's why we do it. At least that's why I did it.
Those civilians that some wearing the uniform (not many but there are some) may look down upon are the reason for our existence. Without them, we have no mission. We have no purpose.
Well, I went down a different road than I had originally intended. Oh well, that happens sometimes and sometimes that's a good thing.
Every time someone says to me, "Thank you for your service." I like to respond with -
"Thank you for giving me the equipment I needed. Food, clothing and a warm place to sleep at night. Thank you for paying me for 24 years and putting me and my children through college. Thank you for voting and keeping the country running smoothly while I was overseas. Thank you Mister or Madam Citizen for doing your job."
I'm getting sentimental in my old age.
|What a beautiful way to start the weekend!|
|November Sunset, after the snow last Saturday.|
If you were wondering, for the moment I'm done tinkering with the appearance of the blog. It is what it is and je suis content avec de l'aspect de celui-ci. Là!