Friends of Padre Steve’s World,
Sorry I haven’t posted for the last couple of days but I have been both tired and busy. However, I needed the break. We had major damage to a 60-70 year old Maple tree in in our backyard which had to be repaired following a microburst storm on Monday. Thankfully, a realtor friend of ours recommended someone who would do a professional job at a decent price.
Likewise, I haven’t slept well because my new CPAP mask has irritated my face and led to a bacterial infection that I just finished a course of antibiotics to treat.
That being said today is the 38th anniversary of my enlistment in the California Army National Guard, which with my simultaneous enrollment in the UCLA Army ROTC program began my military career. That career has spanned 38 years without a break in service, in the California National Guard, the active duty Army, the Texas and Virginia National Guard, the Army Reserve, activated and mobilized service in the Reserve and finally the last 20+ years in the Navy. In that capacity I served seven years with the Marine Corps, and four years in Joint assignments.
In the words of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, “what a long strange trip it’s been.”
Now, in seven months time I will be retiring from the Navy. This too is a stressful time of transition, not just for me but my wife Judy as we try to get our current home ready to sell and find a new home, without all the steps in our townhome.
However, it will be good to finally retire from military service. I’ve done my time in peace and war, and screwed up my body, mind and spirit in the process. At the same time I am glad that I will be done serving a potentially criminal and authoritarian regime. Like the German General Ludwig Beck realized when it was too late:
“It is a lack of character and insight, when a soldier in high command sees his duty and mission only in the context of his military orders without realizing that the highest responsibility is to the people of his country.”
I remain committed to my oath and the Constitution. I won’t surrender that. It is a matter of honor.