Saturday, April 14, 2007


I don’t do this for fun.

Once while training I was asked if I was having fun. Once I was asked the same question rhetorically in a large group where it was suggested to me that if I weren’t having fun while working in Iraq it was my fault. My personal feeling on this is that I don’t think this is fun, and that is not the reason I’m here.

I’m here primarily out of a sense of duty and allegiance to my country and to the guys to my left and right. Especially after my company command time a few years back I came to believe the saying I’d heard about the need for good leaders, and if I wasn’t there, someone else would need to do it. I know I’ve felt strongly since that time and September 11, 2001 that now is not the time to get out even though I have long since gone past my period of obligation. I now have 15 years.

Am I looking forward to achieving 20 years and qualifying for retirement? Certainly. Is that why I’m here? I don’t think so.

Returning to the fun concept, there is little in the work of the military that I find truly fun. Exercise is usually work- the type of exercise that I find fun, basketball, is rarely a viable option. Formations- well, as you can imagine from a recent post, I don’t enjoy them. The social traditions of the military such as Hail and Farewells, Dining-ins and dining-outs to me are sheer torture. The hard physical work of the infantryman? Not my style. My body type is built for a desk, but the majority of paperwork I’ve been associated with in the military is mind-numbing. I could care less if I space once or twice after the number. Also not a big fan of getting shot at, weapons play, killing, and cleaning the weapon. And typically the administrative work that I deal with in the military, either personnel or logistics, is not rocket science and becomes numbing with large exposures.

Pretty much, I strongly dislike all work related to the military, and most of the culture associated with it. I do enjoy the friendships I have made as I work however. True, I am well compensated, and yes, many have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. I am willing to contribute to the effort despite my concerns about the work we are engaged in. Others have sacrificed so much and I wish to honor them and my commitments.

Not fun, no. But for me, necessary. My wife probably pays a greater price in all of this than I do when I think about it. So not fun for her either.

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