Do a buddy a favor

[This is a slightly edited old post from the old blog – the edits removed some time-based references. While not this house and flag, I did drop off a flag today, coming back from the Grumpy Old Men Breakfast Club.]

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This isn’t trolling for you guys to say nice things to me – it’s to inspire you to do what I do, now and again.

This is a house along the route I used to drive a couple of times a week. It’s not as obvious in the picture, but that flag is tattered, tired, and ratty. The hem is gone and the stripes are starting to separate.

The home is not in great shape. I took a risk going up those stairs, if only because of the size of the shadow I cast.

Based on the evidence going up to the door, a former Marine lives there.

I just left the flag and the note. To my lights, there’s less chance of embarrassing someone – because the intent is not to shame someone. It’s to brighten their day a tiny bit, in a way that I can.  I’ve done this about a dozen times.  Flags are cheap.

Just paying my respects to my brothers and sisters in arms.

You drive by these homes, too. Every day.

The 4th of July is coming up, Flag Day was this past week…

Cut a brother a huss, to reach back to a nearly forgotten war. You can afford it, and they probably can’t.

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You could knock me over with a feather…

Judge overturns California’s 32-year ban on assault weapons.

I was at Fort Irwin when it was enacted and we were all concerned the state would get stupid with us when we PCSd out if they played games with movers.

And it’s the reason I refused an assignment back in California as a National Guard advisor and how I ended up at Fort Sam Houston (a better decision all ’round, regardless) for my terminal assignment.

Didn’t want to risk my babies.

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Memories jarred loose…

John Wayne in “Hellfighters”, 1968.

This movie has been playing recently.

I saw that movie in 1969, at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver. I was 12, Dad was in Vietnam, and I had to have some surgery. I was in a private room, because the surgery was in a delicate area, but also because staff was afraid the ward full of still-bleeding Vietnam amputees (some of them less than a week out from being wounded) might screw with the son of an officer.

As soon as the Docs left, a couple of troops opened my door, stuck their heads in and said, “Damn, kid, that sucks! Wanna watch “Hellfighters” with us?

Yes, I did. And I did. Good times. Even when one of the wounded kids died the next day. The ragged wounded warriors formed a rough honor cordon as they wheeled the dead soldier out, and I did my JFK Jr imitation in the line with them. Powerful introduction to the reality of my Dad’s career.

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