Friday, April 8, 2011

I'm in the Army Now

I enlisted in the military on this day six years ago.  It’s been a great ride so far, and I’ve never looked back with regret.  To the contrary, I’ve picked up some new skill sets, met some great people, and visited parts of the United States and a few countries overseas that I would never have been to otherwise.   Initially I joined up because I wanted to kill people—lots of them—and get paid for it.  I learned that it’s not so simple.  They don’t just give you a rifle, load you up with magazines, and tell you to have at it.  The Army Reserve does not have combat units.   Besides, by the time I’d get into a combat zone, they would have groomed me for the role and channeled my bloodlust into professional soldiering.  I got in a fight during basic training and I’ve had some combatives training, but it’s not the same thing.  Anyway, I’ve put aside such foolishness since those days of yore.   Nowadays I teach my children that violence has never solved anything.  (Hitler, for instance, would have stopped his rapacious drive for world domination if we could have just talked to him a bit more.)  I’ve devoted my life to teaching consensus-building and verbal jujitsu and warn people with whom I come into contact of the dangers of ethnic hatred and racial prejudice.  I offer clinics and workshops on these topics, and indeed this blog is an extension of these irenic efforts.  I now eat tofu and listen to Barry Manilow on a regular basis.  So why am I in the Army now?  Service to country, a little extra income, and the feeling I get with a rifle or pistol in my hands at a shooting range on a brisk morning will keep me satisfied.