** This post was written on a flight to Phoenix earlier this week. At the behest of some friends, I am posting, even though it's well off the beaten path of my normal content. But it's my blog and I do what I want; I hope you like it.**
|My grandpa, Ken Baker, in Normandy, France - June 1944|
Writing while overwhelmed with humility, respect and
complete admiration is a new trick for me. Generally, I write angry and edit
calmly. That’s the mantra I live by; however, as I write this, a young man
named Owen is dozing next to me in Dockers and a pressed shirt and has
awakened an unfamiliar cocktail of emotions that I simply cannot ignore.
Owen, a mere 18 years old, is en route to his Marine
Corps basic training. He has anted up his mind, body and time for the next
eight years. I am certain that when I was 18 I was not confident, brave or
visionary enough to make a decision that would regulate my daily activities,
and future, for the next eight years. Hell, I am struggling to face the facts
that I may have to move away from Kansas for one to two years; I can’t even
begin to address an eight year decision.
In fact, the only time I have made such a momentous
decision was when I said ‘yes’ to a glittering rock more than four years ago.
Thus far, marriage is going well but my decision to get married was no act of
valor (regardless of the picture I may paint on this blog).
Owen has replied ‘yes, ma’am’ to no less than 10 questions
that I’ve asked in the same amount of time. I ask him where he’s from, why he
chose the Marine Corps and if he’s nervous or excited. The entire time, I’m
keenly aware that I sound like a scared little school girl. I don’t want to say
anything that may convey disrespect or the fact that I am abundantly
intimidated by a young man 10 years my junior.
The Frobuzz household is rich with military tradition –
my Grandpa Baker was on the beach in Normandy in early June, 1944. Papaw
Buzzard was in the Navy in the 50’s and recalls with merriment the day his
crew mates found out he couldn’t swim. The Ninja’s grandfathers were also in the
service – Lowell Frobose served in the Army and his dog tags hang proudly in
the Frobose farm house in NW Ohio. On his mother’s side, Grandpa Thompson also proudly
wore the Army greens overseas in Japan. Several other family members on both
sides of our family have risked it all and asked for nothing in return. I’m
proud of our family traditions but I won’t lie and say that I wouldn’t be
opposed to the Ninja signing up. I don’t possess the caliber of strength required
to be an Army/Navy/Marine/Air Force wife.
We run around in our own little sphere of daily
activities thinking that we are important and that everything we do is more
pressing and prestigious than anything else going on in the world. I’m proud of
what I do and who I represent. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve felt
pride at walking into a room of cattlemen while being the only woman wearing
boots and a blazer. Stupidity. I am no one, I am not courageous and I will
never have the gumption of this young man. I wish that our nation’s leaders
were required to serve in the armed forces – they could all learn a thing or
two from Owen about courage and moxie.
He is reading his general orders now as I spy over his
shoulder, but I’m too shy and apprehensive to inquire as to their nature or
meaning. He’s taking them very seriously. I have unfaltering respect for my
Before he deplaned, I thanked him. I’m not sure if he
felt awkward or if it actually meant something to him but his service means a lot
to me. I doubt that I will ever forget Owen and I hope that God watches over
him and his colleagues for the rest of their lives.
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~
Labels: armed forces, bravery, courage, Marines, musings