Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Day In History

Tamara reminds us...which reminded me...
I haven't fit into this jacket since that war but I keep it. Yes, I even denied the pleadings of my then-young stepdaughter to wear it. It's perfectly broken in and has the appropriate "Fuck Off and Die" button perched on a pocket flap. Yes, it was once me, entirely.
I got this patch to commemorate the "Line of Death" also called the Gulf of Sidra Incident. I understand there were two such incidents and I believe the patch related to 1981 - seems about right. But my memories of the `80's are - er - dim. Ahem.

I may have been my brother that sent it, in the Navy and stationed in Miramar. Oh, I had that Topgun fever just like everyone else. And it was near that timeframe that I made a desperate call to the Air Force, wanting something better in my life than what I had.

Their quiet, polite advice aided me not at all in the moment. But the kindness...it made me wonder about all that was around me. Madness, really, to stay...I reached out for a fool and took a different path. It wasn't necessarily cleaner but it was sane. And safe.

When I pull that jacket from the closet I think back to that day when I made a call and someone gave me a glimpse of something else. And I often wonder where I'd be now if I'd only taken their advice. There is something about an aircraft that I cannot...not love. Even walking around Camp Mabry, able to caress a wing, touch a rotor blade, smell that metal in the hot Texas sun...oh, I wish I knew why it pleases me so. The reason for my affinity...

I take some comfort in knowing that the answer will be given me one day. When I'll need no wings to soar...

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