Thursday, January 7, 2010
"REUBEN" Translated : "Surprise!"
There he is - - just another great kid, an American soldier and.... apparently a criminal. (LOL)
For the past few days our family has been enjoying the return of my first born, my son Reuben. Reuben was in the U.S. Army for about 3.5 years and spent a year in Iraq - - with what I may say, a great level of success according to his "war stories". I'm sure I need to record them now as they will no doubt grow and become rather exaggerated as time goes by. (Actually I look forward to that, my Grandpa had the wildest stories of when he served in the Big War of 1918. It was many years before I found out he was never in that war! LOVE that man.)
Here's another good Reuben story for Aunt Tammie!
Just before he was to come home on January 1, 2010 -- JUST BEFORE he was to get on the plane and come home to his MOTHER, my son was arrested or at least he was detained. Here's the story:
It was New Year's Eve and he had just celebrated the beginning of the brand new year, ringing it in with his good friend Chelsea at her family's home. They were kind enough to let Reuben drive their car to the airport or wherever it was he needed to go to get to the airport, but the CAR was missing a tail light. Reuben didn't know the car was missing a tail light - - but the officer thought it was important. Coupled with the fact that the car's license plate was partially covered in snow, the officer couldn't make a clear decision about the car and decided to pull the driver over. This particular moment was interesting in and of itself.
Reuben said he was thinking "NO! No! I'm about to fly out of this place! NO way he's stopping me. I wasn't drinking, I'm not speeding!" Reuben rolled down the window and presented his military license to the officer who asked him about his state license. Reuben is from the Sooner state, so he pulled that license out and handed it over as well. A few minutes passed and Reuben was asked to step out of the car for what he was certain would be a passable sobriety test - - it wasn't. The officer quickly hand-cuffed the boy and had his friend's mother's car impounded. Fun times!
While waiting in the backseat of the cop's car Reuben found out that his Oklahoma (Go Sooners) license had been suspended for non-insurance. HELLO - - he has been in the ARMY for 3.5 years. Surely someone figured that out when they went to renew and couldn't reach him. NOPE - - in Oklahoma if you don't HAVE insurance you get your license suspended. It happened to me once when I switched from Progressive to State Farm. Progressive didn't bother mentioning to the State Departments that I had simply dropped them, they told them I was no longer insured. I WAS insured but not with Progressive. Apparently it is MY job to tell the State Department of Public Safety when I switch insurance companies. REUBEN was in the ARMY. The fact should have been registered somewhere - - and it was, but the State Department of Public Safety doesn't really care.
It was 4:10 a.m. my time, and 1:10 a.m. his time. He was to be up and at the airport in 4 hours but was stuck - literally stuck, to a bench in a Fairbanks, Alaska police precinct for having a suspended Oklahoma license for non-insurance. This too should pass - - but would it pass quickly enough for the boy to make his 6:50 flight out of the great frontier and back home to his mom who was laying in bed minding her own business remembering how very lucky she was to be leaving the GREAT state of Oklahoma soon - - Go Sooners. I can say that much for our state...GO SOONERS! I won't go so far as to say I admire the laws or the procedures in the big offices downtown or on the Capitol's grounds. There are many issues to address in the Oklahoma legislature. ONE WOULD THINK that if a man or woman could show evidence that they stood in Iraq or Afghanistan for about a year holding a gun to protect the state's citizens that a waiver would be in place if they just happened to NOT tell said state they were going off to protect said state! BUT no....$350 to reinstate the said state's license. Is that fair? I don't think so. (maybe they found out my son likes to go curling. I'd charge someone extra if I found that out)
It took just under 5 hours to process my son. He was released and someone, someone very sweet and kind, drove him to the airport where he was LITERALLY the last person to board the plane, and then only after they were announcing his name for the very last time before considering him a no-show. THANK YOU Jesus - - and very sweet person who drove him to the airport.
HOMEWARD BOUND...and determined to follow his mom in a few years and move to a state with a bit less rigid rules and regulations. One that perhaps allows you to buy wine in the grocery store. Oh, wait, you didn't know that about Oklahoma? Well, all I can say is - - we have a HELLUVA football team!! ONE HELLUVA football team down in Norman! Go Sooners!