Another coin

This coin comes from when my unit was mobilized after 9/11. Although we did not get activated for 6 months after the attacks we pulled our rotation stateside. What an interesting time. The state called us up 2 weeks prior to our Federal orders so that we could better prepare the unit to be mothballed for the next year - being an artillery unit there is not much use for cannons within the borders. From there we went to our mobilization station to train up for the mission we would be performing (force security). The guys hung together and we got through it all pretty well. Something of note... When we arrived at Ft Myer, VA - home of the Old Guard - we were ushered into an old movie theater being used for briefings, etc. At that briefing we were welcomed to the home of the Old Guard and given the general do's and don'ts. The statement that stuck in my mind was, "we will not treat you like borrowed military man power". Well, from that briefing we were ushered to our barracks... a condemned (it was slated for demo prior to our arrival, but pushed back into service when we going to arrive) barracks. There were few - if any - active duty soldiers still in the building. Our floor had 2 working washing machines, one working drier, 3 working shower heads for over 60 soldiers. None of the windows had weather stripping around them anymore... there were seveal indications of electrical issues... and when our First Sergeant went to try and get this corrected he was basically told to suck it up. It is of note that the rotation of soldiers that relieved us a year later were all given off post housing... Another time I was told that the MP running the gate would be in charge of my search lane - even if that MP was an E4. Now this was an insult being an E6 and basically told the patrol sergeant that unless there was a legal issue such as controband being found that required an MP that I was in charge of that search lane. Basically the MP's worked with us only grudgingly. We were basically considered inferior soldiers and that unless they were forced to work with us it did not happen. At least not at what I consider a "professional" level. At the individual level many MP's did indeed work with us. They understood the politics involved and worked hard to help make things as smooth as possible. The coin shown here was given to pretty much every Guardsman on the mission E6 and above. I like it, but it reminds me of a time in my military career I would not consider a highlight. I am proud to have served my nation, and my fellow soldiers there at Ft. Myer - but I am ashamed at how I was treated simply because I was a National Guardsman and not an active Duty soldier. After our year on active duty 'Big Army' mandated that we spend two more weeks refamiliarizing ourselves in our primary MOS. For me this was the best time of the mobilization period. The picture below was taken of my section and I am very proud of it.

Updates: Well, i've written a short story, but I am not sure I am allowed to post it here since it was 'commisioned' by someone to be a part of another article. I will gladly e-mail it to friends if they wish to read it.

verse for today:

Psalm 116:1-9, esv

I love the Lord, because he has heard

my voice and my pleas for mercy.

Because he inclined his ear to me,

therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

The snares of death encompassed me;

the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;

I suffered distress and anguish.

Then I called on the name of the Lord:

“O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;

our God is merciful.

The Lord preserves the simple;

when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return, O my soul, to your rest;

for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For you have delivered my soul from death,

my eyes from tears,

my feet from stumbling;

I will walk before the Lord

in the land of the living

1 comment:

Susan said...

I hope your retreat goes well this weekend. I find your stories very interesting. Have a great time!!

:-) Susan