Friday, May 05, 2006

Off With One Hellava Roar

Today, Scott The Taller became... A Man. A Man, with butter bars.

He was commissioned today into the Air Force. Better him than me. For the Air Force, I mean, not me.

I would last perhaps a nanosecond in a military environment before requiring an intravenous source of horse-grade tranquilizers. Even after realizing that the Air Force Academy and I would have caused mutual destruction upon contact, I approached AFROTC Detachment 225 of the University of Notre Dame and asked the recruiter, whose very existence depended upon sweeping warm bodies into the military, if he thought the service might be able to use an English major.

"I think," he said, taking in my peach hair ribbons and sparkly Tinkerbelle purse, "that you and the Air Force might not get along." Meaning: We will chew you up and spit you out and then chew you right back up again, because we can.

Where my father had thrived, I would crap myself. Dad was four years at MacDill during the Cuban Missile Crisis. At the age of eighteen, he grew three inches. I have never thought it was just the food.

I have, in my own bemused and sickening way, made a full circle. The Univeristy of Airplanes is a major ROTC artery, meaning that I often have classes containing ten or more young cadets from all three branches. So although I can't join the military, I can still bloody well pollute it.

Two of my former students were commissioned along with Scott, meaning that we should be a fifth-world military power by 8 AM on Monday. I went to the ceremony, because I was proud and curious and awed and humbled and somebody said there would be cookies. I almost missed the Oath of Office since I had to dart out the door to cry, and blow my nose on an Offical United States Air Force Napkin ($45,281/per).

It was a far sight more impressive than Country The Brother In Law's commissioning into the Navy, which took place as part of his college's graduation ceremony. They swore everybody in service by service, and all the Navy people just kind of wandered to the front of the gym when called ("Well, the rest of this has been boring enough; might as well stretch my legs and get an all expenses paid trip aboard a nuclear submarine while I'm at it"), whereas the Air Force cadets formed a nice neat line and marched sharply up to the microphone. "The Air Force has time to practice that sort of thing, while the rest of us are doing important military stuff," he said, by way of explanation, when I mocked him over this. Perhaps. However, Jim The Young Child Nephew patently refuses to say "boat," but he does point skyward and announce "Zoom! Zoom!" when an airplane passes overhead, so he'd better get cracking if he doesn't want his son stomping around a gym at five-thirty in the morning with a pair of wingie-things on his shoulder.

Congratulations, gentlemen, and I thank you. You've truly saved the world by keeping me from taking your place.

give 'em the gun at: mb@blondechampagne.com

15 comments:

Julie said...

When we lived on an Air Force Base, they used to come measure the grass in front of our quarters. If it was too tall, you'd get a ticket and a week to rectify the situation. So yeah, they got nothin' better to do.

Rick said...

I somehow survived 20 years in the Air Force. By the time I discovered it wasn't for me, I was already half way to retirment so I decided to tough it out. Well, there was also the fact that I had no marketable skills that could be used in the civilian world.

After 20 years, the Air Force and I decided that we'd had enough of one another so I agreed to return to Ohio and theyn areed to pay me a small stipend every month for the remainder of my life. For the last 13 years, the arrangement has worked out wonderfully.

red pill junkie said...

Well, I dunno about the Top Gun guys MB, but I definitely could see you at a comission on the Pentagon, or an overseas office of NATO. I think than in an enviroment like that a person with your skills could thrive.

Jenib said...

MB, you would have been great as a blogger from USAFA...all that scandal. The booze, the unasked for sex, the hazing, the fraternization, that sign (Bring Me Men)...you missed out on so much. (NOT)
My bro is a USAFA grad. I still think it was not worth the price he paid as a human being to get the same education and status as a ROTC grad from any state U with a program. But oh boy-he has THE RING that gets him absolutely nothing but oohs and ahhs over its design. I'm really proud of him for sticking it out at that place. Graduation was fun to watch (sigh, all those guys...so little time...)and I liked the Co. weather...
I sure as hell wouldn't have put up with the sheer amount of crap he put up with as a student there.
And for Julie...that is why decided to never live on base again. One good time of watching some cowboy hat wearing Bozo with penis envy in a govt station wagon lining up the blades of grass along our driveway with a freaking ruler kind of cured that. Not to mention the random psycho neighbor with her screwed up parental values that you cannot vote off the island.
Amy, I dare you to say something here...because you KNOW what I mean.

Jenib said...

Oh, how rude of me. Congratulations to Scott the Taller. Hope your experience is everything you dreamed of and that you walk away from this a fulfilled person.

2nd Lt Scott the Taller said...

Thanks for the well-wishes jenib....MB, I especially want to thank you for being such a great friend this past year; I definitely needed the chance to just hang out and not think about school sometimes, it's the only way to put up with 5 years of engineering.

I definitely hope to be back in Florida someday.

Rick said...

MB, I would like to extend my congratualtions to 2LT Scott the Taller and wish him the best of luck in the Air Force. I'm sure he'll be a good officer. Some of the best officers I worked for in my career were ROTC grads. They generally had a better grip on reality.

Oh, the AF holds Academy grads in much higher esteem than RTOC officers. The ring carries certain political and career perks that other officers don't enjoy.

Lisa Chumney said...

Hi everyone. I am former Air Force and though I only did 4 pretty easy years, it was the best thing that I have ever done. It helped me mature, learn more about respect and humility. It doesn't matter what branch or job, I am proud of all of the past, present and future soilders.

MB said...

I have such brave readers. Thanks for your service, everyone :)

Planty Hamchuk said...

Congrats to Scott the Taller, and personally I /like/ the idea of sparkly purses and peach ribbons in the military.

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