As you already know, I’m the garritrooper in this outfit, “too far forward to wear a tie, and too far to the rear to get shot at.”
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t know some things about wading in muck up to my elbows, sleeping on hard ground, marching ten miles in full kit, or peering down the sights of an M-14 at a target 200 yards downrange. Or having a big, tall black sergeant, with the same last name as me, bark down my throat, while calling me “cousin, Sir.” Although a JAG officer, I had been commissioned an Infantry 2nd lieutenant, so I was not the typical desk-jockey.
And I have been shot at, although never in uniform. In fact, I’d even been hit, but it was in commission of a felony, and I was running away. Just some buckshot in the leg, my Boy Scout training let me tend to it myself, so I could avoid seeing a clinic, where I would have been immediately reported and likely thrown out of college, and then what would I tell my Dad?
I’ll may tell that story some day, as it was one of my most effective stories in counseling young soldiers, for I became relevant in their eyes once they knew I’d done worse things than they were doing, which was bootlegging Class 6 whiskey to local bars, or working the backend of hashish distribution off C-140’s coming in from Thailand at Yokota AFB. After telling a kid that I’d already stood at the edge of the abyss that they were standing on, nothing more than blind frigging luck saved me, I think they got the message.
It gave me street cred, as they say today[…]
Cross-posted on VassarBushmills.com.
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