Friday, April 25, 2008

Contempt, Ignorance, Hypocrisy and Disrespect

KUDOS to Cassandra at Villainous Company

I can't really do justice to Cassandra's post. It is a very touching and poignant piece. And it really does hit home. I will excerpt some and link you to the rest.

And make sure you read the comments section. Just ignore Rick Schwag...he's just a lowlife troll.

Thank you cassandra for your sacrifices and for the service of your family. We all owe you a debt of gratitude...and more.

A Suspension of Contempt

"Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more;
you should never wish to do less."

-Robert E. Lee

I woke this morning knowing I could no longer put this off. For well over a year a feeling has been building inside of me, but until now I could see no useful purpose in naming the thing I see everywhere I look these days.

There is an ancient superstition which whispers that to name a thing gives it power. I think part of the rationalization for this idea lies in the notion that so long as certain things remain partially hidden, never quite seen in their entirety, decent people are still ashamed to acknowledge them in the harsh light of day.

My father was a Navy man. So, too, was my father in law. Both served full careers and retired as Captains. Destroyer men, they were. Both served in Vietnam. My Uncle Mel was a Marine in WWII, my Grandfather served in the Army. I have ancestors who served all the way back to the Civil (both sides) and Revolutionary wars. So although marrying a military man formed no part of my plans as a young girl, when my husband informed me he had signed up for Marine Officer ROTC, what could I do? I had already said, "I do". I loved my husband, and I love my country. Both deserve my support, and not just when that support is easy and convenient.
A promise is a promise. I was in for the duration, either way.

The ironic thing was that during my formative years I'd watched my mother (with much love and admiration) struggle with yearly moves, sea duty, and the loneliness and worry that come with being a Navy wife. Consequently, I swore I would never marry a Navy man. No worries. It seemed Fate had a far crueler destiny in mind for me. I would go through life handcuffed to a
chicken on a beach ball.

My mind drifts back to this often now when I read the media's heart rending accounts of young Army officers "forced" to leave the service so their brides can attend college [sniff!]. This is -alas! - the only way they and their families can have a "normal" life. I wonder, as I read, what is normal like? Was my life ever normal? Would I trade one precious second of the profoundly un-normal last three decades for that more tranquil existence, for more money, for the dreamy McMansions we keep looking at, the ones with brick all the way around the house instead of just on the front facade? The ones with all the trimmings I can think up - and I can think up a lot, trust me on that one.

I can imagine a lot of tranquility, too. But are these things: college, jobs, material possessions, what make up the good life? Or
is it the friends - the connections - we gather along the way that truly matter, even if they tend to make our lives a bit hectic and messy?

Semper Fidelis Ma'am. And since I am an old cav guy...I'll treat you to a more than honorable "Scout's Out!"

Die with your boots on....

No comments: