Wednesday, May 23, 2007

SO Much to Talk About

Well, on Mother's Day Saturday I refereed again. I haven't posted on it because I have had a very lot to do. I'll get into all of that.

I reffed in a tournament in Fox Valley (IL) and I did one game. My heels were healed enough and they didn't give me any trouble. The game was between the Chicago Dragons and Oconomowoc (WI). Oconomowoc won 57-0. There were a little shenanigans, but mostly it was a cleanly played game and nobody got hurt. I was a touch judge for a couple of other matches. I don't know if I am improving or if my abilities as a ref are entirely based on how difficult the game is to ref. Anyway I'm done for the season. I may be done forever. We'll see.

I'm trying to write a mystery short story and get it published with the help of friends at Miriable Visu. There is a password only section there so we can read, discuss and critique each others' work. If all goes well I will be able to sell my story to a large market magazine and make a few pennies.

I went to National Guard this past weekend. This is where the real meat of this post is and may need more than this post to work out. This was my last drill. I had submitted my letter requesting transfer to the Retired Reserve, from the Active National Guard as of 21 May 07.

Barring WWIII I will probably never be in the active service of our country again. This is the part that really feels funny. We are in a war. You may not look at it that way, but I do. There are folks out there that are being deployed 4, 5, 6 times and I've only gone Federally once. It seems like I'm not pulling my weight. I made a promise to Mrs. Prop that I would never go again, but that doesn't make me feel any less guilty.

Don't get me wrong, I am VERY glad to be done with that. I don't feel old because I'm "retired" and I will not miss it. I never LIKED doing it.

I felt a sense of pride, patriotism, and duty, but I NEVER did it because it was fun. I did it to pay for college, I did it for money, I did it to help end the Cold War, I did it to help flood victims, guard against potential rioters, to help hurricane victims, to defend liberty and to make this a better world. I did it for my country, for my comrades, for my children, wife and my family.

I started as a helicopter mechanic when I was 17 and still in high school. I finished as a Major and I think I was well thought of and could have continued to get promoted if I had stayed. My goals when I entered the service were to pay for college, to become an officer and to stay in for 20 years and retire.

I received tuition for four years at the University of Illinois and earned a BA there. I was commissioned on 8 Jul 89 after five years of trying and three commissioning programs. I received my letter stating that I had 20 years completed when I was deployed to Afghanistan and on stop loss. In the end I had 23 years, four months and seven days.

I now have to find a new way to serve.


Anonymous said...

Reading this was looking into the soul of a much loved child - now a man.

I cannot put into words the pride I feel knowing I may have had a little to do w/all that you are and do.

Thank you

Major John said...

Ha - we hated you...leaving. Shane! Come back, Shane!!