Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Top Secret Mission of the United States Army

No, don't even think it. I would SOOO not give out any information regarding any mission whatsoever involving our armed forces. I only wrote that to get your attention, and obviously it did. However, I will tell you a funny little story about one of the members of the United States Army. He happens to be stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska - which is not a secret, and this particular soldier is ready, willing and able to perform just about any duty he's called upon to perform; with the exception of firing a gun right now because one of his arms is still in a sling while the other hand is wrapped up from injuring it trying to catch rebar with one hand.

I'm told by this soldier (because he calls me several times a week) that he doesn't let the sling covering his right arm to slow him down too much when it comes to playing basketball or steering a tank. It does however become affected when it comes time to clean his room, make a bunk, pack his wares, or when he's required to write something with an actual writing utensil. Give the boy a pen and he's lost, give him a keyboard and he's able to peck and punch using his toes and nose if he has to, he will not miss out on any MySpacing simply because of an arm injury. What comes to mind when I think of my son wearing his arm sling over his right arm and holding his injured left hand up in the air to stop the throbbing is the Black Knight from the hit comedy "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". Do you remember the poor, disadvantaged King as he approached the Black Knight? How the Black Knight (at the hand of the disadvantaged King) suffered severe wounds both to his arms and then to his legs? The brave Knight continued his quest to protect his post by demanding that the King come down off his horse and to face him (the Knight) like a man! The Knight demanded also that he come close enough so that he could bite the King if necessary...it was, afterall, only a flesh wound!

My Baby Boy, Private First Class Reuben Stringfellow is (if nothing else) going to communicate with his Top 8 and anyone else willing to listen to his war stories full of glory and gore; and/or moose and northern lights, cooler weather, and the fact that he may or may not come home for the holidays because he has to protect them. They should understand! He expects me to understand this too, and where I do, and where I know he is the bravest, most noble of the Stryker tank drivers EVER to be trained by our Army, he is my little boy and I haven't hugged and kissed him in almost 9 months. It may very well be that I don't see him for another 15 months if he goes away like he thinks he will - and that would be just a little too long for a mom to have to understand...but in times like these I think of Mrs. Potter. Mrs. Potter was Col. Potter's wife, whose portrait sat on his desk for all those years he was in the fictious war on M*A*S*H. Season after season she sat there without complaining and each and every morning the Col. would stand and salute his adoring and loving wife. I will have to send my boy a little pocket photo of me so that he can pull it out and burp for me....not quite the same as a salute, but to me, music! Sheer symphony! If I can hear him belch out a really good one, I know everything down in that body of my son's is working just fine!

OK, I can let you in on one big, unknown secret that the U.S. Army has been keeping hidden away from the rest of the world for years. Reuben told me this just the other day. It is believed that someone up on The Hill is considering selling Alaska back to the Russians and letting them deal with the frozen coffee and the gull-sized misquitos. Shhhhhh, you didn't hear it from me.

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