18 Years Ago

Thanks to the Memories thing on Facebook, I was reminded that I joined the Army Reserve 18 years ago today. That means that about this time on that fateful Monday, SSG Nyman had dropped me off on my second attempt to join up, after having gone previously and failing to “provide a sample” due to my inability to pee on command in front of other people. Maybe I should have taken that as a sign, but I persevered and finally enlisted, even if I didn’t get my massive ($3,000) enlistment bonus on the spot when I signed on the proverbial dotted line.

This anniversary is often secondary or tertiary to all my other Army anniversaries, and I tend to forget about it until I see the annual reminder. I always remember my last day in the Army – February 6, 2011 – which, as you will note, was 10 years and six months to the day of the day I signed. Leaving then also led me to losing my job, something that I didn’t really prepare for fully and something that I never really recovered fully from until I started working for the Air Force two years ago.

I probably should have left about two years prior on my initial ETS date. I wasn’t getting anywhere, I hadn’t passed a PT test since November of 2001, shortly after I returned from AIT – and I barely passed that test as it was. I started to get fat not long after for various reasons, and I stopped missing weight by 2003 or 2004, and I was always on the “Body Fat Control Program.” I wanted to do so much more while I was in the Army and I was being held back, but I was also scared about my post-Army prospects with nothing but a degree in political science and no “real world” skills. Continue reading

TDOH: Hamilton and the Army

Note: “Ten Days of Hamilton” is explained here. Today is Day 6. 

As a kid in the Caribbean I wished for a war
I knew that I was poor
I knew that it was the only way to 
Rise up
If they tell my story 
I am either gonna die on the battlefield of glory or
Rise up
I will fight for this land

Hamilton – “Right Hand Man”

As mentioned previously, Alexander Hamilton was born in the Caribbean, far from the fledgling American colonies, though he was tangentially involved in what was going on through his employment with a trading charter. He learned a lot about trade and how the world at the time functioned, but he also had a lot of free time and some very helpful folks that would give him things to read. He filled his free time with reading – and writing – and eventually made it to America and his destiny.

As indicated in the quote above, Hamilton knew that his upbringing would prevent him from attaining the height of society. (He was very prescient in that way). Based on his studies of history, however, he also understood that there were “shortcuts” to the leading class, and that was through the service in the military.* Hamilton arrived in America three years before what would become the Revolutionary War, and began training with a New York volunteer militia company at King’s College (now Columbia University) shortly after the events of Lexington and Concord and in advance of the Declaration of Independence.  Continue reading

Trump Has Been “Treated Unfairly”

Note: I often go on little rants on Twitter when the mood strikes instead of writing things here. As such, I’ve decided to go back and pull the threads and change them into blog posts, if only so this blog doesn’t sit completely fallow between times when I decide to post things. Plus, it will allow me to finish some thoughts that might not have been complete due to character limits on Twitter. Check out the category “Twitter Rants” for all the posts like this. They will be posted on the date that I initially did the thread.

President Trump spoke at the commencement of the Coast Guard Academy today.

This tweet prompted the following mini-thread on Twitter:

 

You can read it there, but I’m going to expand on some of the things I said below in a format that might be a little easier to read: Continue reading

With a New Year…

January is typically a time where everyone makes goals and plans for the upcoming year. I am not immune from this, and most Januarys find me doing the same thing. Last year, I wrote about the four things I wanted to do, which I mostly failed at, though I was mostly happy this year until my father passed away two weeks ago. Two years ago, I highlighted a lot of the previous years’ goals, which tend to repeat from year to year.

This year is no different. I have a lot of the same goals that have followed me from year to year, primarily because I fail at accomplishing goals. Things are a little different this year, because my success means a bit more with a new wife and being back in Utah for the entire year. For the most part, I’ll be sticking with the same goals as last year, though they are changing a little bit. Without further adieu, here are my goals for 2015: Continue reading