Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just a short tale about truth or perceptions...

I was once important, and because I had a position and voice I was expected to spout the Party Line, and could have if I didn't worry about Right and wrong. But when questioned I would tell the truth, and that bothers the cowards and the fools. I couldn't believe Oliver North wouldn't talk to Congress, he was a Marine and able to charge enemy machine guns, why would he be afraid of Congress? Lucky me, I only had to charge machine guns and write letters to Presidents and Congressmen and Senators, but since I never counted they weren't bothered.

One day in my attempting to wright a wrong, by beating it until it straightened out, I was found to be in error - seems I had written a letter to a General way up the Chain of Command (in an Army of OPEN DOOR policies at every level - like whistle blowing) and he didn't understand, and asked the fellows between us what the problem was (with me, of course, not with the Command). What was wrong, as I saw it, did not get reviewed nor changed, because it was only my perception of a problem. But now I was exposed and marked for destruction, and the gloves were off. Destroying me isn't easy, can be done but isn't easy. Since I really didn't self-destruct and take the honorable way out of wenches, wine, weed and AWOL: they waited and talked to me and poured it on a bit more waiting to hear me complain again. And I did complain again, I am trained to attack into ambushes and burst through them, don't stand around in the killing zone that is only dead meat there.

After a few more pointed counsellings and some written instructions on my future conduct it became clear there wasn't much of a future for me. I put in my retirement papers and cooperated with the Command structure quietly to smooth my transition out of the Army that wasn't ever going to fight a war again - the last remaining Superpower didn't really need warriors, just more yes men and business majors. Now, and back then, there are a lot of fine soldiers and officers - but they aren't always in charge nor around when one needs them - they are usually at work making war and building a better world, not doing powerpoint and gathering statistics and talking to the media. Rock on! Anyway, all my required by regulation paperwork for my retirement had been submitted and since I had over twenty-seven years of service, much of it overseas (that depends on what you call home, folks) and sometimes in combat central of some American Political opportunity, they were going to allow me to retire - I just had to provide them with a letter describing the reasons I was choosing to retire before my current overseas tour was over.

Ah, I then made a mistake, I looked at my reasons and decided I could do a "The Top Ten Reasons to Retire" and I did. Reason Number Ten: and all the way to Reason Number One: and it was in proper military letter format, with my unit, date, my signature block on it and addressed to the Headquarters that had insisted I write it. I handed it to the clerk for faxing and he glowed with promised potential - he not only sent it to that headquarters, but all his clerk buddies to laugh over, all over Europe. Or that is my story, for sure I was called up on the carpet again, to be told what a terrible fellow I was because of my attitude and what I had written. I would only get a lower level service medal because I wasn't one of the good guys. Ah, yes, the feeling of failure was supposed to descend upon me - but I felt freedom, take my family and flee - they never loved me anyway. Expendable, replaceble parts, worn out.


The Old Man said...

Yo. Some of us doggies would like to see the list? Y'all mind?

Earl said...

I will find it when I find it, since I spent twelve hours tearing the boxes of memories apart and fondling lost treasures - but I haven't seen that letter yet, I once had it framed to remind me of my faults but that was years ago... it is somewhere.