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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Far Horizons - A get together



Last night a friend of ours decided he wanted to have a corn roast.  He went out bought a bunch of corn told a bunch of people to come to the open grill by the pool at five P.M, to bring your own eating utensils, something to prepare on the grill, and whatever you wanted to drink.  This is not an abnormal occurrence here in our little community on the east side of Tucson.  What made this one different is that no one new anyone else or just had a passing acquaintance.  I am not sure if the guy doing the inviting new this but I for one thought it a great treat.  To often there is a party and the same people get together all the time.  Nothing wrong with that but your horizon is limited and isn't this place called Far Horizons? 

There are about 1200 people down here at anyone time, many are just for a few days at a time, others are here from one to six months out of the year.  Still others like myself live here year round, there are about 60 of us who do that.  There are other parks in the state that are much bigger but for me if I wanted to live in a place much bigger I would stay in Independence at paint cati on the walls and sit under a heat lamp.  But bigger places have there place and many enjoy them.

I made some new friends last night and although they wont be the type of friends that I grew up with it will be nice to see more familiar and friendly faces.  Sometimes you like to be where every one knows your name. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Just a Basic Day - Graduation



When ever a Basic Training Cycle is completed the military has a "Pass in Review."  That is when the entire brigade and brigades assemble on the parade ground and pass in front of the reviewing officer, after said officer gives a short speech congratulating everyone for completing the training.  It is sort of an elaborate and complicated affair but has been done often enough that it goes without a hitch.  After the speech the commander of the unit  parading in review shouts out "Pass in Review."  The review is lead by an army band and each unit at company level marches and when they pass the reviewing officer the commander of the company level unit sounds off "Eyes Right."  The officers leading each company and platoon size units salutes, the squad nearer to the reviewing stand keeps their eyes and head straight ahead and the other columns turn their heads to the right.  After the reviewing stand is passed the same officer yells "Eyes Front."  The salutes are completed and the heads snap forward again.  It sounds sort of hokey but those participating do feel elements of pride.  I practiced the event several times but was unable to attend the ceremony.  I was recovering from an event that happened the night before.

A bunch of us were celebrating are completion of basic at the beer tent.  Another guy and I decided we didn't like each other and my only one real fight in my life ensued.  The guy beat me to a pulp.  I would like to say I put up a good fight but in reality I did not.  I remember very little about the fight and was black and blue and my face was swollen.  Several of my comrades helped me back to the the barracks and propped me up in the shower.  Several guys from the other platoons came by and said they would go down and beat the other guy up if I wanted them too.  They said they really didn't like the guy anyway and he had been a bully the entire eight weeks.  I told them not to bother, it was my fault for letting my masochism get in the way of sound judgement. 

Needless to say I was somewhat embarrassed and had no desire to see the guy the next morning before the parade.  So when the platoon fell out the next morning I remained in bed and did not get up till noon when the troops arrived back to the company eara. 

We started processing our way out of Fort Benning, several of my closer friends and I jumped in my car and headed home.  My basic days were over and while I don't dwell on them or want to relive it in any way shape or form, I don't want to forget even the most horrific parts of it and will treasure many of the events that occurred in the summer of 1968.