Made a deadline… 9300 word short done and submitted to the slush pile. Now the waiting begins!

Coming up on 4th of July and the long weekend, I was thinking back over the years and the things we do to celebrate the holiday. This whole thing got started yesterday in the grocery store when three of us in line (a LONG line), all retired military, starting talking about the ‘old days’…

Depending on where we were at the time, the 4th was another day at work for most of us in the military, at least if you were on the operational side. The retired USAF guy hit that nail on the head with his comment about ‘holiday’ for admin and ‘routine’ for everybody else! Sigh…

I do remember landing in Stavanger, Norway one 4th of July in a snowstorm! LOL

I spent a number of years in northern Virginia, and had an apartment with a BIG balcony, directly across the river from the Mall, so lots of folks ‘invited’ themselves over (and brought food), and we would sit on the balcony and watch the fireworks and eat.

Other times it was a holiday ‘celebrated’ on the road due to testing. It’s funny how other countries see our Independence Day, and their comments. The Italians  baked us a red, white, and blue cake! The Aussies wanted to talk about what America means to us, and that was question after question over way too many beers. That usually segued into discussions of sports played in the various countries and our complete lack of understanding of Cricket (STILL don’t get that)…

Now, six years into total retirement, well other than trying to write books, we’ve kinda established a ‘tradition’ with the North Texas Troublemakers. Supper on Saturday, burgers and brats on the 4th, and sitting in my driveway watching the local fireworks a block away, then the further fireworks displays…LOL

So 30 years later, I’ve come full circle. I’m still proud of what I did in service, and afterward working for DOD. I don’t regret any of it, and sometimes I have to work hard to keep my mouth shut at some of the things I see going on.

Patriotism has come, gone, come again, and now appears to be disappearing again (at least in the younger generations). Our little town was putting out flags yesterday, all over town, and the town flies a huge flag year round up by 287 that can be see for miles. I hear more and more people saying they are willing to leave the US, and it’s hard to NOT tell them to get gone.

They don’t realize how good they have it here! Freedom of speech, plenty of fresh food, clean water, ease of transportation, entertainment, etc. Their view of the ‘world’ is obviously one seen through rose colored glasses and their social media networks, never understanding that the ‘world’ they see is carefully curated to maximize the lure of those foreign locations.

They don’t see the abject poverty, the deaths from what would be minor infections here, the repression by the governments, the lack of food, clean water, etc. And they don’t realize there is no reset button that gives them a new life. That isn’t and never has been reality…

Anyhoo, I’m going to sit over here and enjoy what I have, and the friends I will spend time with over the weekend, and the food I will enjoy.


Musings… — 20 Comments

  1. Amen brother! Those that have never been outside of America have never seen real poverty and want nor experienced it have no idea how good they have it in the greatest country in history!

  2. We travel a lot and while we usually stay on the tourist side of things that poverty still leaks through in some places. The US has it really good.

  3. Cricket: Imagine a baseball game where one side pitches until they get the whole other team out instead of 3. Then they switch. And instead of four bases, you only have two. A run is when you get to first or the guy on first gets back to home. Oh, and no gloves for catching the ball.

    4th: My veteran’s motorcycle club sets up our booth at the local old fashioned 4th day: vendors, parades, etc. In the evening I used to have friends over for BBQ and then we would walk down to the park (about six blocks or so) to watch the fireworks out over the water. It was incredibly fun. Now the friends have all moved away. Sometimes I walk down anyway, sometimes I go to bed about 9 like normal. But since I’m a high school teacher it’s always a holiday for me. 🙂

    • Pretty accurate description of cricket, except the run scoring: A run is scored when the batter gets to first AND the guy on first gets to home. And the runners can change direction and do it again until the fielders get the ball back to the middle and into position to “touch the base” by hitting the wicket with the ball while the runners are not “safe” in the end-zone.

      Add two types of “home run”: one if the ball bounces before crossing the rope (4 runs), and the other if it crosses without bouncing (6 runs) and you’re done.

  4. PS I get so tired of all the whining people complaining about how fireworks gives their dog PTSD. Then they veer into “well, how could you do that to veterans”. Meanwhile I have a few veteran friends who aren’t big fans of fireworks but not a one of them thinks they should be banned.

  5. Having worked in eastern Europe and the Middle East, you realize how good and easy we have it here in the USA. My immigrant friends would say too easy, that many people don’t know good they have here and how quickly it can disappear.

    No fireworks this year, way to dry.

  6. One 4th sticks in my mind. Hanau, Germany 1965 with around 12,000 troops in four different Kasernes, the consolidated NCO Club bought some $5,000 worth of fireworks. Our First Sargent was in charge and “volunteered” four of us enlisted swine to do the work (three days prep). The setting was a large flat area known as Campo Pond. It took nearly two hours for all the fireworks to be set off. Being at ground zero was a unique experience. (Took one whole day to police up the aftermath).

  7. John- Agreed

    JMI- Yes, it does… sigh

    Hereso- LOL, I still don’t get it… I just drank beer and watched the crowd. And yes, I understand about the fireworks, but I know many vets who are ‘happy’ to go watch, that actually lessens the reactions.

    Gerry- Concur. We’re on a burn ban, so I think they will be tightly controlled here.

    WSF- WOW, that must have been a BIG one for that day/time!

  8. You just want to tell the people who say they want out of the US, “There’s the door. Don’t let it hit you on the a$$ on your way out.”

    We would probably be a lot better off if they would leave, and take Biden & crew with them.

  9. Hey Old NFO;

    I got annoyed with one of the young mechanics who made some disparaging coments about the United States and I with annoyance ansked him” Have you spend any time outside of the United States? he replied “no…?” I snorted and continued..So you get all your shitty view from social media, lemme tell you, I have been in place you won’t believe, I have been to Europe, North Africa, Central America, South America, Middle East, and after all the places and shit I have seen and experienced and a lot of it on Uncle Sams dime, I really appreciate the USA, you have it good here and don’t even know it and appreciate what you have.I have seen abject poverty the likes you can’t imagine, I have been to places where rights are transitory and due process is which ear you want the bullet, and you bitch about the United States?, You need to go see what it is like outside of here before bitching.” I was a bit pissed. But this highlights a problem I touched upon, why the services can’t meet recruiting goals, after being told since grade school that the United States sucks and is the most evil country in the world, then you wonder why so many young people don’t want to defend her. Good going Public School Systems. Sorry for the rant.

  10. Cricket in a nutshell:
    You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out. When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
    When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay all out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.

    When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!

    Simple, no?

    • “Who’s on first”. Brilliant explanation, nbc. I now fully comprehend that I know nothing about the game.

  11. If only all the ones that have said they are leaving would do so we would be a better country. And once they leave Do Not Let Them Return!
    But since they are liberals they lied as usual!

    • Would that they would…but you’re correct, they won’t

  12. Please check your email, I have some questions about subs for my WIP.

    And Happy Independence Day!!

  13. A couple weeks doing field work in Guatamala taught me that Americans have no idea.

    And something I think folks in places like Great Britain don’t understand: unlike them I don’t WANT the government to take care of me. I want the government to get out of my way and let me be a grown up and take care of myself.

  14. My wife and I left the Black Hills this morning headed home from a trip. The patriotic bunting was up at the campground as we left. As we drove through Hill City, SD it was lively with folks getting ready to watch an impending parade. We stopped at Sioux City for the night, and are catching their Saturday in the Park festival. Nice to see so many out and about with nary a mask to be seen. Waiting on fireworks.

  15. Gotta wonder, NFO if you’re trying for irony here.
    “Freedom of Speech”?
    ” ease of transportation”?
    “plenty of fresh food” ?
    None of those will age well, Brother.
    The second will likely come a cropper this weekend for many people. The last … look at plantings, fertilizer cost, the administration increasing the corn in gasoline by 50%; this will NOT turn out well. We will have a LOT of people hungry in this country within a year or so.

  16. Cricket was designed to keep the English occupied rather than dreaming up more weird ideas.
    Have a great 4th and enjoy what you have.