Friday, February 4, 2011

And ADD kicks in...

Sorry for the delay with my Constitution series, but I seem to have finally struck a vein with my novel and that's been eating up some serious writing time. I'm not going to post any of it here, as I'm really hoping to publish it when it's finished, but if any of my readers are interested in being "alpha readers" to provide me with much needed sounding board, let me know!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Govt by Jimbo: Article I part 1

It should be noted, as I begin the first of my “Government By Jimbo” posts, that I am by no means a Constitutional Scholar. I am a high school graduate, with a limited amount of college (Including one class on the constitution and criminal law) and a perhaps greater interest in history and the government than your average bear. I’m am not a lawyer, nor do I have any legal background. Aside from the single aforementioned class, my experience with the US Constitution is that I have read it a few times. My interest here is mostly to share my take on the document that I have sworn to support and defend with my life. My lack of expertise here could also be seen as a potential plus-my conclusions in this case are not necessarily tainted by prior lessons from others, I’m simply calling it as I read it.

Also, I make no attempt to hide the fact that I have a potential political bias with my conservative views on the government, but I’ll do my best not to let that color my conclusions. I’ll be writing things mostly on how the government should appear to operate as based on the Constitution, and I’m not going to make more than the occasional stab at how things are *actually* run. In certain cases, I may also provide a note on something that, in Jimbos perfect world, would be different. So without further ado, the inaugural post to “Government by Jimbo”

My copy of the Constitution was found at

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Jimbos Personal Opinion: The preamble is largely self-explanatory. It provides an explanation for the Constitutions existence, and a basic scope of purpose. It should be noted though, that the preamble contains the often cited, often used and abused clause of “To promote the general welfare”. The General Welfare clause seems to be often abused by the government to pass things that would otherwise seem be outside of the Constitutions range, such as the recent Health-Care bill. However, the preamble is only there to define the *purpose* of the Constitution, and as far as I’m concerned, no powers should be derived from it. It’s the Constitution *itself* that provides for the general welfare, not a free pass for the government to simply do as it sees fit. Addendum: I also note that the "General Welfare" is mentioned again in Article I Section 8. This renders my above point pretty much moot, however, given that there are no guidelines for what the General Welfare consists of, I feel that the will of the public, sending their Congressmen to Washington to represent *their* wishes should be the ultimate deciding factor here.

Article I - The Legislative Branch
Section 1 - The Legislature
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Note By Jimbo: Every power listed below is given to the legislature, however I take this to mean that anything NOT mentioned is outside of what Congress is allowed to do.

Section 2 - The House

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. As was noted by the website, this last clause was modified by the 14th amendment. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five and Georgia three.
When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies. Note by Jimbo: It would appear from this last sentence that special elections within the House of Representatives ARE legal, and without a Constitutional amendment stating otherwise, an *appointment* would be unconstitutional, and thus, invalid, regardless of any laws passed by Congress, as the law would also be unconstitutional.
The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section 3 - The Senate

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies. No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen. Note by Jimbo: The 17th Amendment modified this clause to allow the direct election of Senators by the people. It also allows for special elections in the case of vacancies, BUT it allows for a temporary appointment until an election can be held, with no time-frame for when that needs to happen, This, an appointment could be valid for the remainder of that Senators term.
The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
Judgment in Cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
Note By Jimbo: Impeachment is mentioned under both the House and Senate sections, but it is worded slightly different in each case. While the House has the sole power of impeachment, the Senate has the sole power to try impeachment. I take this to mean that the House is granted to power to initiate impeachment proceedings, while the Senate actually executes the trial itself. If anyone has more knowledge about this, feel free to share.

Section 4 - Elections, Meetings

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of choosing Senators.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, (changed by the 20th Amendment) unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section 5 - Membership, Rules, Journals, Adjournment

Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide. Jimbos Personal Opinion: In the days where mail and travel could take weeks, a simple majority may have sufficed. In the days of completely instant communication and global travel, I find this unacceptable. Members of Congress should be there every day that Congress is in session, without some form of valid excuse. Running for reelection is not a valid excuse in my world. Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.
Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section 6 - Compensation

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. Modified by the 27th Amendment, and will be covered later. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office. Note By Jimbo: Section 6 essentially gives members of Congress diplomatic immunity in their own country. It also would seem, from the wording on ’emoluments’ to prohibit bribes, and could be argued that it prevents any monetary offerings from special interest groups as well. Using a Republican for example, if Dick Cheney is affiliated with Haliburton, and they contribute to his efforts while in office in such a way that it makes him personally richer, the Constitution says NO. This would also apply to anyone currently holding office, while running for reelection. It also, obviously, prevents a Congressman from simultaneously holding office elsewhere in the government, for good reason.

I will continue with the remainder of Article I tomorrow, as this is starting get long and unwieldy for a blog post. Although I may not necessarily have a note or interpretation for every section in the Constitution, I still plan to publish it all, in the spirit of continuity. If you’re really bored by it, simply scroll until you see red text, read the relevant portion of the Constitution, and move on.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New posting theme

*Disclaimer* The views in this post are in no way, shape, or form representative of the views of the United States Army. They are my own personal opinions*

It feels to me like politics have really gotten dirty the past few years. It may be my perspective-I’ve only really been paying attention to it all for about 7 years now, however during that time it feels as though things have just gotten dirtier and more polarized. In the past couple years I’ve seen the tone on both the left and right sides become more and more shrill and desperate. Listening to campaigns is akin to listening to a bunch of first graders arguing, thinking that volume rather than discourse will win the day. Name calling and labeling abound. Nazi. Racist. Redneck. Communist. I can’t seem to shake the feeling that the political reindeer games in the USA are about to come to a head.

We now have two VERY vocal, very strong main political bents, that are at their cores complete and total opposites. I don’t think it’s actually possible for them to come together and work together in an effective manner. On the one hand, we have the left, that subscribes to the idea that the government knows what is best for everyone. To them, the government is like a permanent parent, whose job is to take care of everyone, and should be trusted with the power to meddle in the lives of individuals for the ’greater good’.

On the other hand, we have the right wing, with an extreme distrust of everything the government does. They advocate for the government to have the absolute minimum in size and power on the lives of individual citizens. Obviously, there are varying degrees in extremity on both sides, and this is a vast over-generalization, but I think it’s applicable, and reasonably fair.

I find it necessary to note at this point, that in saying that the two groups are irreconcilable, I am in NO WAY inciting violence or rebellion as an answer. I’m simply making an observation that the status quo will have to change at some point in order to have an effective and reasonable government. I firmly believe that this can be done with the ballot box, NOT the ammunition box.

It’s no secret to anyone that knows me even reasonably well that I’m very conservative, and I have a strong libertarian bent when it comes to social issues. Being that I’m still in my 20’s, the vast majority of my peers are fairly liberal, and the reaction that I often get when my politics come up is as if I’d just revealed that I have herpes or something. I’m getting very, very tired of my intelligence being called into question over it, or being told that I’ve been “brainwashed by the church” to feel the way I do. I’m not even all that religious.

The fact is, I’ve come to believe the things I do with careful consideration and thought. I weigh the consequences of government involvement in almost every issue. I think how it will affect myself, my family, my work, and also the majority of others. I study history, and I study statistics, and I look at similar actions that have taken place in other areas around the world, and from all of that, I find a stance. I also listen to my own personal moral compass-but I try not to let that bleed out into other peoples lives. For instance, I may not *agree* with the culture of promiscuity in America today, but I’d never vote to pass a law making sex out of wedlock a crime.

In light of all this, I’ve decided to try a new theme on my blog. I’m still going to have normal, non-political posts when the ideas strike me, but soon there will be a new series of posts called “Government By Jimbo”. I’m going to review the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, posting my interpretation. The result will be a complete catalog of how I feel that the United States would be run, if I ruled the world, and how I came to my conclusions. It should be interesting, and I strongly encourage you to subscribe and comment if you’re interested. Feel free to completely dissect it if you like. I fully welcome views across the political spectrum, I only ask that regardless of which direction you lean, be respectful and polite. I’m not going to insult anybody’s intelligence here, so don’t insult mine.

Give me a day or two and I should have the first of the series up.

*Disclaimer* The views in this post are in no way, shape, or form representative of the views of the United States Army. They are my own personal opinions*

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I'm not going to make this tragedy political. I'm not going to spread the shooters name, or share his photo, or in any way respond to his apparent glee.

But, I absolutely MUST say something, in response to the nationwide political hysteria that has followed.

Stop projecting blame!

This was not the work of a right wing nutjob.

This was not the work of a left wing nutjob.

This was not caused by the music he listened too.

This was not inspired by a campaign poster that used crosshairs. That markmanship analogy has been in common use since the bow and arrow days, probably before.

This was not brought on by politics, or vitriol.

No laws in the world world would have prevented this. Murder is already against the law.

Even if this animal one day claims he was politically motivated, or musically, or because of a video game, or to impress an actress, it won't matter. Because the recent events in Arizona were brought on by one crazy man pulling a trigger. He alone bears the responsibility for it. Before you say it, the insanity excuse won't fly with me. You can't make it as long as he did outside an institution without knowing that killing people is wrong.

As to the politicians and pundits rushing in from all corners to push their own personal agendas...shame on you all. Let the dead rest, and the living mourn.

That is all.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


My base is a salute zone. It has been for quite some time now, and it’s a well-known fact, however it is very often ignored. Many of the officers don’t actually *want* to be saluted, for one thing. In the first place, in many places it’s a tactical error. You don’t want to radiate importance in the danger zone. It turns you into a target. The other reason is that it’s a pain in the ass. My post is very large-soldiers are everywhere. It’s large enough, contained enough, and peaceful enough that snipers are not a major concern. But, being such a large place with many amenities, it’s also *crawling* with officers. Which means that if everyone saluted every time, we all might as well walk around with our hands up to shade our eyes.

A salute must be rendered to an officer that passes you at a distance of anywhere closer than 10 meters, if I correctly recall. The range is often an eyeballed judgment call, and the ’salute bubble’ will expand and shrink depending on where the officer is looking and how occupied they are at the time. If they lock eyes it doesn’t really matter if they’re too far away, and some officers with confidence issues will actually change course to bring themselves into saluting range. I’ve watched it happen.

Over here, we’ve developed an unspoken body language that’s generally a reliable indicator on what’s expected by that particular officer. Saluted officers are generally walking in a group. Their heads are held high, looking straight ahead. If an officer is indifferent or does not want to be saluted, they’ll shuffle of range as you get closer, cast their heads downward, and try to cover their chest rank with a rifle sling or holster strap. The response by the soldier is to alter course in the opposite direction until we’ve passed one another. It functions as an officer/enlisted force field and deceptively prevents the salute from happening.

Today I hopped off the bus and began walking down the road towards the Living Area. I was carrying a lunch tray in one hand. Heading towards me on the sidewalk were a E-7 and an 0-2. I shifted my load to my left hand so my right was free, but they were engaged in conversation, and started to drift to my left. I shifted mine to the right, beginning the circle. As we passed, the 1st LT turned his head to the side and shifted his rifle sling. The signal. I followed his lead. Took two steps past.

“HEY SPECIALIST!” The Sergeant First class. Damn. Really? I turn at parade rest. The LT had kept going down the road and was now several yards behind his NCO.

“Yes, Sare’nt!”

“That’s a U.S. Army Commissioned Officer over there. Now, I saw you shift hands and I thought you were going to be squared away. How about you render my Officer the proper military courtesy?

Under normal circumstances, I’d have swallowed my pride a little better. I’d have saluted stateside as they passed anyway. But they had started the dance. They’d abused the unspoken code. I snapped to attention, and raised a salute but I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. Instead of the greeting of the day I barked out something else.

“Sniper-check, sir!”

Some pushups are worth it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)

DISCLAIMER*The views of this post in no way reflect the views of the United States Army in any way, shape, or form. They are completely my own*DISCLAIMER

The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy has been major news for the past couple weeks, only recently overshadowed by the new TSA security proceedings, which may become a post in the future. I thought it might be a good time to share my opinion on the policy and what it might mean for troops, should it be removed.

I could honestly care less about who a soldier wants to climb into bed with. We’re here to do a job. If a soldier is professional and competent, their private life is of no concern to me. Most troops that I’ve talked to have similar feelings. It’s mostly a non-issue, especially on deployments. I can’t speculate how well received it would be to have gay and lesbian couples quartered together on bases, together at social functions, or any of the other issues that would come up. However, those are still larger issues in society outside of the military as well.

I don’t like the idea that the military forces gays to lie in order to serve. It violates nearly all of the values that the military tries to instill in it’s recruits. In the Army, those values are simplified into an easy to remember acronym that comes close to spelling out “Leadership”. They are, Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.(LDRSHIP) DADT asks homosexuals to basically violate all but two of those. Those two-Selfless Service and Personal Courage- are, in my eyes, even exemplified by homosexual troops. They must be selfless in order to live a lie, and that takes heaps of personal courage to do. Duty could also be argued, but since it’s technically the duty of a soldier to report conduct violations, that’s a gray area.

It’s also been shown that DADT can be psychologically harmful. By threatening their career if they become exposed, homosexual troops are forced to deploy without as much support from home, and their significant others must adopt pseudonyms in order to prevent an “outing”. Their loved ones back home are denied the support of family readiness groups-groups designed so that the families of deployed troops can get together to share news, commiserate, and help them remain strong. This, to me, is shameful.

There are certainly legitimate concerns to allowing homosexuals to serve openly though, and I feel that they’ve been minimized by the media, to the point where anyone who raises objections is automatically a bigot. There have also been many parallels drawn between DADT and the integration of blacks and women, which I feel are actually pretty weak, particularly with the racial comparison. Nobody doubts the capability of gays to perform their duties. At this point it’s more of an issue of if it will change the effectiveness of our forces.

The first, and I would say, biggest, issue, is that homosexuality has not been fully accepted into mainstream society. We don’t allow gay marriages, and there’s controversy about gay couples adopting children, for instance. I’m not sure what the answer to these questions should be at this point. I don’t support gay marriage, although I’d be relatively comfortable with civil unions-it’s the word itself that makes it an issue to me. Who you want to visit you in the hospital, make health and monetary decisions with, and make your ‘next of kin’ doesn’t concern me. I’m also on the fence about gay couples and children-however that’s based on my feelings that a child belongs in a standard family with a mother, and a father, and all that goes with it. The death of the nuclear family has started to turn this into a non-issue, and that’s a whole ‘nuther ball of wax. Enough children are being raised in completely non-traditional homes that it leads me to believe that a gay couple could probably do a pretty good job, but I’m just personally not ready to make that leap of acceptance yet.

While the above paragraph may seem like a bit of a tangent, the point is this: The armed forces, particularly in the midst of a long, drawn out conflict, are NOT the place to conduct a social experiment! If society as a whole is not ready to accept homosexuality, then the military should not be forced to either. The military has a culture all it’s own, but at its base, it is a microcosm of American society as a whole. We come from all walks of life, from all over the nation, and if the nation at large isn’t ready for it, I don’t think it should be forced on the services either.

The other issue that I have is not as all-encompassing, but has to do with living quarters and shower areas. In the military, not only do we work together, but we also live together, eat together, and shower together. It’s not all that hard to get used to, to the point where soldiers often have conversations in the shower with the same level of ease that we would at a supermarket. A body is a body.

However, we do separate males and females from showering together. We don’t allow people that may be sexually attracted to one another to be naked together. This makes sense, in many ways, although it could be argued as unnecessary. I find it interesting that in the very openly sexual culture that America has that nudity is regarded as such a big issue. As I said above, a body is a body, and there’s nothing implicitly sexual about nudity. That’s the way it is though, and without changing our entire culture on nudity and sex, it will continue that way.

So why should I have to shower with a man who might be sexually attracted to me? I’ve seen the counter to this argument- that it’s already happening anyway, and there haven’t been any problems, so it’s not an issue. However that doesn't hold up under scrutiny. For one thing, I don’t know that I’m being ogled. The whole point of DADT is that gays must keep their sexuality a secret. At this point, if some guy is stealing glances at my junk, I don’t know it, so it can’t really make me uncomfortable. However if I knew the solider next to me in the shower happened to favor the hot dog over the hot dog bun, it would strongly decrease my comfort level. In a society, and a military, where sexual harassment and sexual assault is prevalent, this is a problem. Even though the integration of women into the force went well, sexual harassment, assault, and even rape, are still such big issues that soldiers get briefings on it about four times a year.

Further still, in the litigious society that we live in, where a single bad joke or unwanted advance can be grounds for a lawsuit, I could see serious problems for the military. We don’t do lawsuits in the civilian sense, but consequences are still harsh. A soldier convicted can forfeit rank, pay, allowances, or even be separated. They can be flagged against any favorable actions or separated from the service. At first glance, that seems like it would discourage misconduct and make the transition easy. However crimes of this nature are often hard to prove, and harder to disprove. If I think Pvt. Snuffy is a “meat gazer” I could report it. But I might be wrong, and ruin his career. And if I just had it out for Pvt. Snuffy, he’d have a very hard time convincing others that I was lying-even if he made it past the military justice system, the individual soldiers that he works with may not be so forgiving. The criteria for what constitutes sexual harassment are pretty loose, and often boil down to how the accuser feels.

So what’s the solution? Does the military spend millions and require separate showering facilities for gays? There’d still be the chance of sexual misconduct, but hopefully they’d be more comfortable with the idea than a straight person would be. Do we simply eliminate separate showers altogether, and put everyone in the same boat? After all, that would be true equality. It’s happened on remote FOBs in Afghanistan, mostly where US troops are quartered with troops from, say, Sweden. They’ve had surprisingly few issues-the US Military is a professional and adaptable force. The most likely option is that the military will continue to segregate facilities based on sex and not sexual preference. It wouldn’t be a disaster, but it does create a new list of problems to be considered.

I don’t think that there is an easy solution to this, nor will there ever be. Overall, I actually do support removing DADT, and I don’t think it will turn out to be a big deal. The honesty and integrity of the men and women next to me is far more important to me than my comfort in the shower. But these are real issues, and things to keep in mind. There are genuine concerns here, not just simple bigotry like many seem to think. No matter what happens, it will not be the end of our military. We in uniform will drive on and succeed regardless. The idea is to make it as easy for us to succeed as possible.

I would love to hear some thoughts on this, so feel free to comment.

DISCLAIMER*The views of this post in no way reflect the views of the United States Army in any way, shape, or form. They are completely my own*DISCLAIMER

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Deployment Goggles

The phrase “deployment goggles” is used to describe a certain condition that afflicts deployed soldiers, namely that after several months overseas, people who would be otherwise unattractive suddenly become incredibly so. Bases filled with tired, run-down, average looking women become filled with “tens“ . This does also seem to affect the women, however I know nothing of it, so I won’t comment.

This isn’t to say, of course, that all women in the military, and the Army in particular, are ugly. It has more to do with the simple fact the Army uniforms and regulations are not very flattering to the female form. The Army *is* changing this- they’ve announced plans to cut ACU’s in 13 different sizes for women in the near future, but this is more functional than it is for form. Until then, females on post are trapped wearing pants that are designed for a mans hipless figure, and a top with broad shoulders that winds up looking like a tent. (They also have plans to move the rank patch upwards, which is a good thing, and a whole ‘nuther post. I’ve spent most of my adult life concentrating on *not* looking directly at a woman’s chest when speaking with her, and what does the Army do? Somebody was either promoted or fired over that.)

Army PT gear consists of a T-shirt and baggy shorts, which, although comfortable, and necessary for freedom of movement, gets zero points for style. Couple the uniforms with the restrictive rules on how females may wear their hair, makeup, and whatever else they use to get all dolled up, and it just doesn’t make for a population that appeals to the opposite sex. This may be intentional, and I’m not disagreeing with any of these rules, mind you. It certainly makes for some surprises sometimes if you ever run into a fellow solider in civilian clothing, however.

These conditions tend to morph perspective, but it’s a subtle change that creeps up on you. This morning I saw a female soldier on the bus, in PT gear, and found myself checking out her forearms. It hit me then. Dear Lord, did I really just do that? I checked out a girls arms? For the rest of the day, I was very conscious of what I looked at, and all the while, phrases popped to mind that would defy logic based on what most people look for back home. Wow, she has really petite hands. What a slender neck-crap that’s an officer, better salute!

It’s not that I’m a perv leering at every woman in sight, and to be perfectly honest, my love life at home is on the same tempo as it is here-nonexistent. I just had a little shock today when I noticed that the “goggles” were so firmly screwed on. Maybe it will help me notice the little things, when I get home. Like wedding rings, for instance. I’m still getting used to the notion that I’m old enough now to actually need to look for one.

Just another fact of life in the Sandbox. Stay well everyone!