Friends of Padre Steve’s World,
The past couple of days have been pretty hectic as I transfer from the Staff College to be the base chaplain at another base in the local area. I’ll still remain as an adjunct at the Staff College to do the Gettysburg Staff Ride which is a good thing. Now truthfully, I did everything I could think of to get a different assignment. I wanted to do something in the Joint world or at least semi-operationally. My qualifications are many, so being assigned to a base chapel makes me feel like I’m being bumped back to the minor leagues, not because caring for people is not important, but because for promotion it’s not highly valued. Of course since I was passed over for promotion last year it is what I get. In today’s military once you are passed over you’re pretty much done, so I’m still lucky to get to do what I have loved doing for decades. Not many people get that chance, so I am lucky, Like Kevin Costner’s character in Bull Durham, I still get to keep going to the ballpark and getting paid for it.
I spent the last couple of days signing out of all the places that I need to, getting my medical records transferred, taking and passing my latest body composition assessment and physical readiness test, and taking care of last minute things needed to transfer. Then yesterday morning I donned my Service Dress Blues to officially sign in at the new command.
It is interesting because unless something unusual and unexpected happens this will be my last ride and the three or four years I spend in the job will take me to retirement with somewhere between 39 and 40 years of cumulative service in the Army and the Navy. I’ll have a good staff and my goal at this point in my career is to take care of them, and help them to succeed while caring for those committed to our care. I’m an old guy now, there aren’t that many people in the military who have served as long as I have, and most of them are admirals or generals.
I’m kind of reminded of the scene in Bull Durham where Kevin Costner’s character, Crash Davis gets sent from AAA down to single A Durham to help mentor a young pitcher. In frustration he tells the manager: I’m too old for this shit. Why the hell am I back in A ball?
Joe Reardon: ‘Cause of Ebby Calvin LaLoosh. Big club’s got a hundred grand in him.
Larry: He’s got a million dollar arm, and a five cent head.
Joe Reardon: Had a gun on him tonight. The last five pitched he threw were faster that the first five, He has the best young arm I’ve seen in 30 years. You’ve been around. You’re smart, professional. We want you to mature the kid. We want you to room with him on the road, stay on his case all year. He could go all the way.
Crash Davis: Where can I go?
Joe Reardon: You can keep going to the ballpark, and keep getting paid to do it. Beats the hell out of working at Sears.
Larry: Sears sucks, Crash. Boy, I worked there once. Sold Lady Kenmores. Nasty, whoa, nasty.
So anyway, there are a lot worse alternatives. Until tomorrow,