In December 2015, four days after I got out of the Army and flew down to my parents’ place in Arizona, they took me out to Sabino Canyon, just outside of Tucson. Despite it being December, it was fairly temperate in the 70s because of the arid climate. I got told to watch for rattlesnakes sunning themselves. In December. Four days earlier, I was freezing my ass off waiting for a bus in Missouri. Yeah.
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These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he who stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. -Thomas Paine, The Crisis
As I think everyone reading here knows, my aborted Army career was brief and altogether unspectacular, but as three month stretches of time go basic training left a large impression on me. One of those moments from basic goes like this: We had a Drill Sergeant, a particularly intense and hardcore infantryman like many of the best Drill Sergeants are, who used to read us Medal of Honor citations over the intercom at lights out about once per week. They ran the gamut from MSG Roy Benavidez and 2LT Audie Murphy to some lesser known men. They also included MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randy Shughart, whose stories are known to anyone who’s seen or read Black Hawk Down. Always, […]
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