Saturday, February 2, 2013

It was 20 years ago, today.

  Hello again.  I'm Mike Cronis, and I'm an expert.

  Sorry for the Beatles reference there.  It's Groundhog's Day (insert mediocre Bill Murray film) but it also marks the day, 20 years ago I entered the USAF.  I had left 5 years ago but by this time if I had stayed in, I likely would have been permitted to leave with a pension (meager as it is) and then at this time also been scrambling to find additional work to supplement said pension of a few hundred dollars a week.

  I know a guy who will retire soon who finished the last 5.  He looks weary, empty, drained and devoid of soul, with only a tiny, faint distant glimmer of hope in his eyes only very recently.  He should only have a few more months left, but he's been a paperwork monkey for the last 5 as was my fate if I myself had stayed, dealing with red-tape and corporate managerial dealings.  No fun in my book.  Working on enlisted performance reports and going to soul-sucking meetings divorced from the actual mission seems vacant, which is why I got out, or one of the reasons, anyway.

Soul being drained away by a wrath
  I was a good troop.  I got several medals for ingenious thinking and solution solving that was outside the generic "oh, you get a medal for moving to a new duty station" stuff.  Getting these is almost unheard of in Space Command.  In each place I performed magnificent deeds and kept the ball up, and knowing I did a good job makes me glad, even though I often "cowboy ops'ed" it, shooting from the hip more times than not. 

Snake left the USAF as well, after a while.
  So I'm not bitter or melancholy for this, becoming a space mercenary?  I got a great contractor job for Space Command pretty quickly after I left the service honorably, possibly because I was still fresh in-the-mind of operations and not paperwork jungle death, and partly due to cleverness despite an administration that abhors Defence budgetry.  I considered being down about it, "Oh, I should have finished my 20 years.." but I see too many guys in the last 5 left just trying not to rock-the-boat and become spineless supervisors, not taking charge but slinking around under-the-radar not representing their troops or helping them in ways they need, bittering the whole process like bad milk curdling coffee.  I was even told to do so by a soul-less bastard who was wraithed into believing this was the way to go. 

  He sneered at my out-of-the-box ingenuity often and cursed me for it every day before I left, perhaps jealously so that I was bold enough to buck the system and do what was right and not what was written in some alienated, officer-scripted checklist.  I got the job done, by my own right, and that ticked him off I bet (as well as a few officers who were perched, waiting to strike me down if I ever failed at my mission duties, which I never did to their chagrin, hate, jealously and fear). 

  So why did I get out?  I still love 'Mer'ca, of course, but I refused to lie down and be that empty soul, and I refused to become a paperwork junky, which I value as absolutely worthless.  No, I want to be in the thick of it.  I enjoy confounding America's enemies in any way I can, even though America is taking some rather radical turns as of late, some of which I don't approve, but it's still 'Mer'i'ca, so selflessly I love her for that, and I've often put that first over personal issues, willing to sacrifice to a higher level.  It wasn't about the brass ring at the end of it all, but the ride itself.  I can do better as a contractor with more freedoms than an enslaved and oppressed troop, as the crushing rules literally paralyzed me to continue my renegade path, being directly ordered to freeze and stand at attention and do no more.  Frack that.  I don't give a shite.  I do what I want!  I run with gangs!  What eva.  What eva!

  Fighting the good fight until I die.  For 'Merica.

No comments:

Post a Comment