Winding down

This past weekend I had my drill weeeknd for the National Guard. It was pretty mundane. Gunner's exams on Saturday morning, a change of command ceremony that afternoon, a physical fitness test Sunday morning, and the invariable maintenance. We got rained on during the gunners exam, which is not too bad. In the past we've had to do it in the snow (as seen on the left) so this was not too bad. :) This was the first time I was an exam evaluator though. The last time I took the section certification (which we do next month) my section score the highest in the battalion. The change of command is more for the officers involved. At first I thought, "why am I even here. I don't care who is at the top of the 'food chain'." But the more I thought about it I came to realize that it is important for us to be there. These men have been entrusted to lead those under them. Our standing there gives a visual representation of exactly what they have been entrusted with. Sunday morning we took the APFT (Army physical fitness test). Due to a variety of reasons (mostly excuses) I had not been training all that much for it - even though I'd known about it for many months. Because of my conditioning preperations I did not really push myself to do more than the minimum requirements. Which may have helped me pass the 2 mile run - the last event. About 1.25 miles in I was having a hard time getting enough air. Oh, I was breathing well, but it was not being sent to the muscles! :) I slowed to a walk for about 40-50 yards and resumed. Then again at the 1.5 and again at the 1.75 marks. I just couldn't keep my wind. I sitll made the time with 30 seconds to spare. Good thing I'm an 'old' man. The maintenance is getting to be very difficult to accomplish to standards. We have eight howitzers to maintain, but not nearly enough men to get all of it done in one afternoon. The men are very motivated, and they work very well and hard, but it comes down to mathmatics. Thank God it was a pleasent afternoon. The whole weekend I kept expecting to get called into the Commander's office to discuss a certain e-mail I sent to him (and others) expressing my intent on retiring this summer/fall. And at one point they did mention that "we need to talk", but the talk never came. As I walked around the armory and interacted with my fellow soldiers I seemed to take it all in. Twenty years is a long time. I am going to miss it. But when I got home and my kids 'bum-rushed' me, I also knew how much I was missing them when I am gone. Oh, before I forget. I got a regimental coin for my volunteering to go and help with the hurricane Katrina and Rita efforts. My 5th in my military career. Someday I might expound upon the "coin tradition", but not today. Two of the coins are special to me. This one is nice, but falls in between the group. Two others I see as "gimme" coins. That is everyone got one. But there is one military coin that I practically covet. It is the battalion coin. A lot of tradition and history in the battalion. Perhaps I will be able to receive one before I retire, but I am doubtful. Verse for today: Proverbs 25:2-7, esv It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable. Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel; take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness. Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence or stand in the place of the great, for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.

1 comment:

Bob said...

Ah, the joys of aging. Glad you passed you physical endurance.