On Honoring Our Fallen

Note: I often go on little rants on Twitter when the mood strikes instead of writing things here. As such, I’ve decided to go back and pull the threads and change them into blog posts, if only so this blog doesn’t sit completely fallow between times when I decide to post things. Plus, it will allow me to finish some thoughts that might not have been complete due to character limits on Twitter. Check out the tag “Twitter Rants” for all the posts like this. They will be posted on the date that I initially did the thread.

In the latest adventures of “Donald Trump is a Horrible President” this week, there was some controversy regarding the contacting of families of some fallen Soldiers that had died nearly two weeks ago during operations in Niger. Not only did he not acknowledge their deaths when they were announced – instead tweeting about the NFL or going golfing – but he also accused past presidents of never calling the families of Service Members that had died. This, as is most of what Trump says these days, was patently false, but it only snowballed from there. When reports surfaced of the phone call he had with one of the new Gold Star widows – basically stating to her in her moment of grief that her husband “knew what he had signed up for,” he reached a new low in his presidency.

I retweeted some threads about why his word usage probably wasn’t the best, but then I decided to write my own thread based on my experiences with dealing with funeral details from when I worked for the Army. The actual Twitter thread is below, but after that, I went back and expanded further on what I wrote now that I’ve had some time to think some more.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>THREAD (of my own): When I worked for the Army, I never had the honor of escorting a hero home, or even meeting them at the airport</p>&mdash; Robert 4 Clinton (@GuruEbby) <a href=”https://twitter.com/GuruEbby/status/920500061808746496?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 18, 2017</a></blockquote>

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When I worked for the Army, I personally never had the honor of escorting a hero home, or even meeting them at the airport. I was a junior rank, in the Reserves, and it just wasn’t in the mission of our organization to do so. However, for a brief time during the “surge” – 2005-2008 or so, maybe a little later – the AGRs (full-time Reservists) that I worked with had to be ready for “funeral detail.” Continue reading “On Honoring Our Fallen”

Unfinished Business – Chapter One

In the first post in this series, I talked about my reasons why I am considering rejoining the Army Reserves, and since it is a month later, I figured it would be a good time to update what is going on…which isn’t really a whole lot at this point.

Shortly after my previous post, I found an e-mail attached to the Army Reserve Career Counselor’s responsible for Direct Commissions. After some e-mails back and forth clarifying what I was actually asking about, I was passed on to the Career Counselor responsible for my geographic region… who I didn’t hear from for about three weeks. After finally getting around to responding to my initial query, it turns out that the person that I will eventually need to talk to is yet another career counselor. I guess it is my fault for trying to be so proactive, and seeing as how I can’t really start the process for a little while (more on that in a minute), I don’t blame them for pushing me off until later, especially when I’m sure that they have other work to do. It was just a nice reminder of how things work in the Reserves sometime.

The only other thing that really occurred in the past month is a visit I had with a former Army colleague while I was in California on spring break. When the fiance and I arrived in Anaheim, my good friend Alberto reached out and wanted to get lunch. I had forgotten that he was in Anaheim, literally a few minutes from where we were staying, so we delayed a day in Disneyland to meet him for lunch. It was really good to see him, and I was reminded that he was one of the many good people that I met during my time in the Reserves. Continue reading “Unfinished Business – Chapter One”

Unfinished Business – Prologue

I’ve been really bad about writing as frequently as I set out to at the beginning of the year. Part of this can be attributed to interference from school as I come down the home stretch in my MSF program, as well as my general frustration with looking for a job for the past few months. As the title to this post implies, however, this should be a series of posts, probably pretty infrequent initially, about some direction that I think I am going to take in my life, if only for the next 12-18 months or so. You’ve been forewarned that it is a long post. On with the show…

The general malaise in my life recently has not been all school/job search related. For the most part, I am able to do both those things almost on autopilot now, which can be both a good and bad thing. As I reach the middle of what should be the last semester I ever spend in school, I’m beginning to think about what is coming next for me. Sure, I’ll be working somewhere, hopefully sooner rather than later, and I’ll be moving back to Utah, again, hopefully sooner rather than later, and that’ll be fine.

My personal life seems to be at it’s highest point in the last six years or so, with a supportive girlfriend that loves me almost as much as I love her and plans for a long life together somewhere. With her support, I feel like I can, and will, eventually accomplish all of my goals, no matter how small, which is one of the many reasons why I love her. Continue reading “Unfinished Business – Prologue”

This Army Life, Volume 8

Before Volume 7 was Volume 6. We’ll pick up where Volume 6 left off after that rude interruption from Volume 7, with my assignment to HHSC, 172nd Medical Battalion. This blog will be short as my memory of this unit is not very strong anymore.

SFC Nyman took me to the unit after we finished up at MEPS. I think it was the same day. It was funny because the unit I was assigned to shared the building with an engineer unit, and when he showed up with me, htey though I was in their unit. Apparently, I was the first non-engineer that SFC Nyman, an Army engineer by trade, put into the Army as a recruiter.

I went around and met the full-timers from the unit, had some uniforms ordered. This is where number one on this list came into play: told the supply sergeant I wore size 13 shoes, so I got size 13 boots. It was like walking around with skis on my feet. Nothing else was really memorable. I was told when I had to be their for “drill” and whatnot.

When I showed up to drill, I didn’t really do much. They assigned me a couple of pre-AIT Soldiers (kids who had gone to basic but not AIT yet) as my sponsors and they showed me over the next few months some of the basics I would need to know for basic training. There was a lot of training they wouldn’t let me do, like shooting actual weapons and whatnot, but I suppose it was a good introduction to the Army Reserve.

They sent me off to basic training prepared for the most part for the week one stuff. I will delve more into basic training in the next one of this series. But I must note that the 172nd Medical Battalion was one of the first Reserve units activated to deploy to Afghanistan after 9/11. I was no longer of the unit obviously, but if I hadn’t moved to CT, I probably would have gone right along with them. Good times.