2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Relevance of time....

I met an old acquaintance from the National Guard walking into work the other day.  He is still in the guard and just recently returned from a little holiday overseas. He asked me simply if I missed being in uniform... I had a hard time replying.

Me as young man....

Do I miss being cold and wet in the dark of the wee hours of the morning lying prone in a puddle waiting for something that may or may not happen to occur? No.  Do I miss being away from family and friends with the possibility of being called off to some far off place never to return? No.  Do I miss being around others in similar situation that all have a common bond....yes.

Getting to be middle age me....
 The amount that I do miss that comaderie does dwindle over time.   When I first got out/retired it was directly after my 90 day stop loss period after returning from Kuwait.  I liken it to finishing a dead sprint in a single step.  Your momentum wants to keep you going forward after you plant that final foot.  I knew a lot of folks still in and felt a connection to the military, at least the Ohio National Guard.  Last year I lost a military acquaintance (a year ago this past week matter of fact) in a suicide attack in Afghanistan that I knew from years back, so I still have "a dog in the fight" when units get deployed, but that dog is getting older and more haggard by and by.  Most of the folks that were junior enlisted when I took off are all senior NCO's at this point, and their numbers are dwindling.  Moreover, nobody on the other side of this equation really even remembers me any more anyway.  Maybe I might get brought up at some point I would suppose when talking about a specific incident or detail from the past, but I did not leave any type of footprint behind that people would seek me out in any way.  Most of us don't.  So, as the familiar faces in the formation become fewer and fewer so does my connection to that particular organization.

Older "civvie" me staring middle age in the face and looking forward to what's next...

I think this happens to a lot of veterans from all over the services.  As the means or type of relevance a person has to an organization dwindle so does any feelings of connection or nostalgia to it.  Before you know it you're lumped into this big melting pot title of "veteran" that includes people from all branches and specialities that you have absolutely no connection or common thread with.  Sometimes you can build on the fact that you are all at least in the same group by joining the VFW, Amvets, American Legion or other groups, but really, what do you have in common?  Especially here in the "big city" where active posts are few and far between (I have looked and cannot find any near where I am at) its really not an option for me.  Seeing how the same soldiers are being deployed over and over and over, as opposed to vast quantities of new veterans being created as in WW2 and such, I do not see a huge increase in the roles on these organizations bringing them back to their post WW2 glories.

Posse time last year....me and Mark chilling waiting for the sun to set at camp...

Thank God for the Posse, that group of guys I get to hang with a few times a year on the range with a camping trip thrown in for good measure...maybe even a breakfast once in a while at Bob Evans too.  Made up of a lot of guys I used to serve with in the Ohio guard and some other faces that are vouched for by those I served with.  Solid Americans....every one of them.  We sit and discuss the "old times" and current events, much about how we lament the way things have become and are seemingly going.  They are my legion, my "kindred spirits" of a common root, the ones I can relate to because we all marched the same path at the same time.

So I guess the answer to the original question asked "do I miss it?"....yeah, I miss it...but less and less as time goes on.

Posse camp in 2 weeks.....

1 comment:

harp1034 said...

I am a Viet Nam vet. I and other Nam vets from the 716th MP Bn. keep up with the old unit. When it deploys overseas we support the troops in it. When we have our reunions every two years we invite the current 716th to send a couple of reps to up date us on what they are doing.