Friday, December 4, 2009

Piece Keeping Mission

I'm a proud liberal, yet one of my biggest regrets is that I never spent any time in the military. I guess it was slightly in the blood- my dad went through ROTC and served in the Army Corps of Engineers at Ft. Lee, Virginia (where I was born). In fact, it was my birth that kept him from going to Vietnam. He had gotten his papers to ship out, but because I had to be delivered by emergency C-section (major surgery in 1971), his orders were rescinded. As a teenager, I lamely tried to use that fact to my advantage: "Can I borrow the car, Dad? If it wasn't for me, you'd probably be down at least one limb." It never worked, for the record. When I was of age to serve, there was no pressing need to enlist; no call to arms for sacrifice overseas. I was in college when the Gulf War happened, and I had friends who were sent overseas. I recall there was widespread pants-crapping on campus, due to the rumor that Secretary of Defense (and multiple service-deferment beneficiary) Dick Cheney would reinstate the draft. Otherwise, as a student, I would only have served of my own volition. Nevertheless, there is a structure in the military from which I suspect I would have greatly benefitted. Left to my own devices, I'm a trainwreck. All of this leads me to a less convoluted point: irrespective of our political leanings, when it comes to men and women who choose to serve and possibly sacrifice their lives for us, let them have frigging tattoos wherever they want.

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