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 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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