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Thursday, November 15 2018 @ 01:51 pm PST

What We Are, What We Are Not

Do you remember the "special" bus, the "special" kids? I do. I was sometimes lumped in with them because I had problems with fine motor skills thanks to lack of oxygen when I was born. I hated it, and did my best to hide it. By the time I hit college, no one had a clue. I remember a close friend asking, "How is it that you can be so sneaky and so clumsy at the same time?" I had hidden my secret well. Most of us spend our child and young adult years trying to be like everyone else, and then somewhere in adulthood we try to stand out from the rest of the pack. But our failures in that line leave us ashamed.

The problem of "Fakers," "Poseurs" and (insert appropriate uncomplimentary names here) has been on my mind lately... . BK over at PJCountry wrote a good rant about the guys who pose as former PJs, and I also had a good talk recently with my priest regarding the general concept. Today I read Froggy's account of a SEAL memorial and several updates on various wounded soldiers. I have to wonder: how does anyone dare to compare himself to such as these? But another idea lurks in the back of my head. When we are alone in the watches of the night, we realize how much we fall short of these examples. And we fear that we will never reach our ideals, and so we attempt to pull our ideals to an attainable level. When we do this, we dishoner the men and women who have done what we cannot, and we do a great disservice to ourselves. We need our heroes if we're going to make it through this life. We need to know that such standards are attainable, but manifested differently in different walks of life, and we need to know that when we fail the world will not fall, because others have succeeded.

Now, with a nod to Harvey and his How to Start Blogging tips, I will use this overdue opportunity to introduce myself, so you can know who I am and who I am not.

I am a civilian. I am not on the government payroll in any way, and at the moment, I'm not on anyone's payroll. However, I wouldn't be unhappy if any of the above items changed. Within the last 3 generations of my family, every major service branch has been represented. I tend to feel more at home in military society than civilian society.

I am not a spy. I have never been a spy. But I would be good at both operations and analysis. I am individualistic but also a chameleon. I speak decent Russian and lousy Arabic, and poked my nose into all kinds of trouble in both regions. I may have had a run-in with the KGB but I'll never know for sure. Someone somewhere probably has a photo with me and someone on a watch list, but I can't remember their names, let alone what they said, so that tells you how unimportant the encounter was.

So why am I not doing more with these aptitudes and experiences? I am married, and I have a chronic illness. The marriage part will never change, the illness might. Until then I will do my best with the opportunities I have. I will comment, I will rally support, I will study, I will practice, and I will pray that someday I will be able to do more. This is who I am.


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