Back in the Stone ages when I was in College, I had a couple of posters hanging on my dorm room wall.
One was this one.
Which kinda summed up my attitude at the time. I wanted to get out of college and get on with living.
The other was a bit of a throttle on that emotion.
But, Mrs J and I had a vivid example of the truth in the latter this past week. We had been set up to close on our house today since the 25th of August. We've checked at least weekly with the various agencies involved to make sure everything was on target.
"Yep, juvat, all's well."
You know where this is going don't you?
Thursday we called again to check. When we called the bank, we got a "We'll get back to you".
Yes, my internal Radar Threat Warning gear went into screaming alarm mode. Later that afternoon, we got a call saying the underwriters were behind and our closing was rescheduled for the end of the month.
Fortunately, NASA was quickly able to strap a payload to my hind end and save launch cost for a resupply run to the ISS.
Upon returning to Earth, I explained to them that the agreement with Tilson expired the end of the month, that we had already arranged for the moving company to move our heavy stuff Tuesday and they would not be available again until after the end of the month and, finally, that we had set up delivery of our appliances which also could not be rescheduled.
At that point, Mrs J being the kinder and gentler of the two of us, asked what was the hold up. The banker replied that the refinance office was way behind due to a huge demand for refinancing (low interest rates expected to go back up). But...Refinancing a loan isn't all that time sensitive (other than the interest rated going up, but they're usually locked in at some point), the people are in the house already and not moving, so they take a more laid back approach to deadlines.
We should have been a new home finance case. Mrs J was much better able to explain that to them than I. I was still exhausted from my flight to the ISS.
"Oh, well, that IS a horse of a different color." said the banker.
"No S#!7, Sherlock" I think to myself (I hope).
Lots of phone calling ensued and the end result is the closing is scheduled for next Monday, however, Tilson is allowing us to move in as scheduled. All that was needed was to add them to our insurance policy in the interim until closing. USAA was happy to oblige. So there were at least two customer conscious companies in the process.
Replies to comments for this post may be a bit slow as I'll be otherwise occupied while you are reading this.
Now, to change the subject, a bit.
Most of you know that my last couple of posts have been about the Medal of Honor awarding process and some of the things going on behind the curtains. Not meaning to disparage a recipient, but it appears to me that some MOH awards are, let's just say, more "obviously" appropriate than others.
And as I was researching awards that were in the consideration process for upgrading a previously awarded medal, I came across one of those "obviously" Medal of Honor worthy situations.
It's October of 2005, SFC Alwyn Cashe is leading his squad in a Bradley fighting vehicle when it hits an IED. The squad's translator is killed in the explosion and the vehicle is engulfed in flames. SFC Cashe has been blown off the vehicle but reboards and rescues the driver who is on fire. He extinguishes those flames as rifle fire starts erupting around him. One of the other survivors manages to open the hatch, but the interior of the vehicle is on fire. SFC Cashe's uniform is soaked in fuel, but re-enters the vehicle to rescue the members of his squad.
Now on fire, he re-enters 3 more times rescuing all 6 members of his squad. By this time, he is the most severely injured member thereof. With 72% of his body covered in 2nd and 3rd degree burns, he insists that the other members of his squad are on the medevac flight before him. SFC Cashe died at Brooke Army Medical Center 3 weeks later. People who were with him said he never stopped asking about his soldiers.
For his actions, SFC Cashe received a Silver Star. You read that right, re-enters a burning vehicle rescuing all 6 members of his squad while himself on fire and gets the third highest award for Valor.
In 2011, his commander realized that he'd made a mistake and submitted paperwork to upgrade it to the Medal of Honor. No action was taken. In 2017, the decision was made to re-evaluate many awards, including SFC Cashe's, for possible upgrade. His package has been slowly making its way through Fort Fumble and finally the SecDef recommended approval in August this year. The final step will be approval by the President.
Folks, this is a "No Brainer". This is quite likely THE most deserving Medal of Honor recipient I've read about, and that is in no way denigrating any other recipient. "Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty" is the criteria.
Yeah, if he doesn't meet that criteria, I don't see how anyone else ever will.
Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe's Silver Star Citation:
Sergeant First Class Alwyn Crendall Cashe heroically distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous conduct in the face of the enemy of the United States as a Platoon Sergeant in 1st Platoon, Alpha Company (HARDOCK), 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment stationed at Forward Operating Base MACKENZIE, Iraq, on 17 October 2005.
On the evening of 17 October 2005, Sergeant First Class Cashe's heroic actions saved the lives of six of his fellow soldiers. At approximately 1920 hours, 1st Platoon of Alpha Company, 1-15 Infantry departed FOB MACKENZIE to conduct a route clearance in the city of Daliaya, Iraq.
Along Route JAIME, the lead Bradley Fighting Vehicle, of which Sergeant First Class Cashe was gunner having just moved from a NMC vehicle, struck a victim detonated pressure-switch IED at grid MC 25357243. The blast ignited the fuel cell on the vehicle causing fuel to spew everywhere. The vehicle came to a stop and immediately erupted in flames.
Sergeant First Class Cashe was initially slightly injured and drenched with fuel. Despite his condition, he bravely managed to get out of the gunner's hatch, crawl down the BFV and assist the driver out of the driver's hatch. The driver had been burned and Sergeant First Class Cashe extinguished his flames.
The following minutes were crucial. Six soldiers and a translator were in the back of the Bradley. Flames had engulfed the entire vehicle from the bottom and were coming out of every portal. The squad leader inside the vehicle managed to open the troop hatch door to help the soldiers escape.
Without regard for his personal safety, Sergeant First Class Cashe rushed to the back of the vehicle, reaching into the hot flames and started pulling out his soldiers. The flames gripped his fuel soaked uniform. Flames quickly spread all over his body.
Despite the terrible pain, Sergeant First Class Cashe placed the injured soldier on the ground and returned to the burning vehicle to retrieve another burning soldier; all the while, he was still on fire.
A crew from a trail Bradley arrived within moments and assisted with CASEVAC. During all this and with severe burns, Sergeant First Class Cashe bravely continued to take control of the chaos. Within minutes, the company First Sergeant was on the scene and began to evacuate the seriously injured soldiers. One of which was Sergeant First Class Cashe.
In the end, the national translator was killed in action, and 10 soldiers were injured. Seven of the ten were very seriously injured. Sergeant First Class Cashe stayed a hero through it all. His injuries were the worst as he suffered form 2d and 3d degree burns over 72% of his body.
Sergeant First Class Cashe's heroic actions saved the lives of six of his beloved soldiers. He is truly deserving of this award. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, Task Force LIBERTY and the United States Army."
Rest in Peace, Warrior!
*Last week Beans had asked, since it's known as the Congressional Medal of Honor, why Congress wasn't involved in the Medal of Honor approval process. That answer is "Because the medal is presented "in the name of Congress", it is incorrectly known as the "Congressional Medal of Honor". However, the official name of the current award is "Medal of Honor". A bit of linguistic trivia for a Monday morning.