Thursday, August 19, 2010
In a slight break from the norm of this blog (if there is a "norm" to this blog), I wanted to share an experience I had recently on a flight out of Atlanta. Joining us on the flight were several Army Air Corps personnel, one of whom occupied the seat next to me. A pleasant fellow, I believe his name was Roger or Robert (I wish I'd thought to ask him for contact info).
Over the course of the flight we conversed off and on, and I learned that he had served for about 18 years now (meaning, I've realized in retrospect, we probably enlisted about the same time). He's now an officer, having completed OCS about 6 years ago; he was on his way home for a couple of weeks. I asked about rotation in the area, and he said it's been typically one year there, one year back in the states, for the last 9 years or so. (I don't think I've revealed any particularly sensitive info, and do not intend to do so; in fact, I've edited some info out of this post before publishing already, info that I still don't consider to be sensitive, but wanted to be as careful as I possibly can while still getting the point of the post out.)
He talked about how it is hard to get the point across (of why we are there; he used the term "illusionary war" - the soldiers mainly see violence, and the true impact of why we're doing what we're doing won't be seen for a while, not in the next year or the next, but maybe in ten; his and my children will see the benefit) to the troops on the ground, and I mentioned how it's probably harder to get the point across to the average American. He commented that the average American doesn't even know the first four amendments to the constitution; if he did, he would be much more likely to understand the reasons behind our involvement overseas. As long as Americans take for granted our freedom, our way of life, we'll not understand the necessity to defend it.
This soldier has a family. He has children that have spent half of the last decade with their father out of the country, a wife without her husband every other year. He has a daughter who was (at one time) 6 months old when he went away and was 15 months old, not knowing her father, when he returned. He is home for a couple of weeks, and will soon be returning to resume his duties in defense of our freedom, our way of life, yours and mine.
This soldier is a hero. An unsung, unthanked hero (I did offer my thanks and appreciation while sitting next to him on the plane). And certainly underpaid, as well (all of our military are generally underpaid, perhaps with the exception of those at the rank of general or higher). To our military, I wish to say thanks, and I will be diligent in my prayers for your protection.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
So, I'm sitting in the Atlanta airport, and have only Edge speed on my T-Mobile smart phone. In Fayetteville, NC, I had 3G speed, faster, I think, than even my DSL Extreme at home. You'd think Atlanta would have the edge on mobile high speed (terrible pun fully intended).
Friday, August 13, 2010
So, I'm the proud owner of an android based phone now, a T-Mobile MyTouch 3G Slide. Ok, it's really and HTC phone, but that's not really important right now. What's important is that I've failed you, my three readers. For that, I apologize, but only in words, not in crisp new $100 bills. For that, I don't apologize, although it might up my readership a bit.
I have been rather busy over the last few weeks, you see. I'm currently en route to deliver my daughter (and my dollars) to Bellhaven University (it's in Mongolia, Mr. Stalker/Kidnapper), we've been looking at nearly every four bedroom house for sale in the Spanish Fort school district (in Spain, of course, Mr. Stalker/Kidnapper), and I've started a new job (still in Mobile) that's been keeping me busy, not to mention spending a lot of weekends out of town, watching my young nieces for a week (not to worry, Joe and Teri, they were fun!), fixing cars, searching for a car for my daughter to drive across the Atlantic, Europe, and Asia to Mongolia (she's pickier than I, I think! I even got a sunburn on my head one day from the exposure when I didn't think to wear a hat), and who knows what else. So, I haven't taken much time for blogging over the last month and a half.
Anyway, the other day I was talking with my brother about the world and how it really hasn't changed much until the last one to two hundred years. Really, the only major revolutions that the world has seen are 1) the internal combustion engine, which made man's expansion into the world much quicker, made the world a smaller place, allowed men to travel with ease and spread out, increased productivity through farming and other implements; and 2) the electric/electronic revolution. (My brother also pointed to the printing press as a third major change, but, while bringing printed material to the masses, I feel its impact was not quite as revolutionary as the other two mentioned.)
If you stop and think about it, things really don't seem that different throughout history until the late 1800s, when the internal combustion engine and man-harnessed electricity came on the scene, and the mid 1900s, when electronic devices started to join the party. Now, going back to that printing press idea, perhaps the recent influx of technology owes to improved teaching and learning from the widespread availability of educational material. However, the "widespread" aspect really began to take off with the coming of age of the internal combustion engine and the vehicles it made possible to deliver those printed media to various locales.
And now, here I am, writing a note about the world on a pad that's smaller than my hand, and my daughter will be able to read it in Mongolia the instant I push "publish" (well, if she read my blog she could, but you can read it wherever you happen to be, and I'm publishing it while on the road in an internal combustion engine powered vehicle that's making it possible for me to take my daughter off to college hundres of miles from from home over a weekend). Cool. What's the next revolution that may actually change the world, do you think?