Thoughts and assorted philosophical musing about: Family, Friends, Fun, Hobbies, & other everyday things.
My continuing efforts to serve as a First Sergeant (Top) in the Army of God.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Seasonal Friends.

This summer season (as well the seasons of my life),seems to be moving by much more quickly than I would like. Recently I have had several reminders that God has given us only a short time to spend here on this earth. I now really regret and even dread it each time that I am separated from my loved ones and find myself wondering if I will see them again.

Last week we were blessed to be able to spend several days with friends from long, long ago. Forty plus years back we developed a close relationship with another Army family at Ft. Carson Colorado. Then Captain Bill Akins was the commanding officer of an ASA company there and I was his First Sergeant.

His wife Ruth worked alongside my wife Donna at the base education center where they developed citizenship studies and an English as a second language (ESL) program primarily for the benefit of Foreign born spouses of military personnel. At that time this was entirely wives as there were few military women marring men overseas.

Despite military anti-fraternization policies which dictated no off duty social contact between officers and enlisted members we soon spent many evenings together enjoying dinner, games, and just having fun. We were at their home the evening that Donna announced that it was time for us to travel two block to the base hospital for the birth of our first child.

Friendships in the military are strong and sincere. You are committed to working together and being part of the team at all costs. To use a cliche, you must be prepared to give your lives for each other. New arrivals and their families are quickly assimilated and assisted in getting settled. Your home support network of family and friends is not available so everyone helps everyone, there are no strangers. People are frequently reassigned, you move on and very quickly develop new relationships. Unless you make an extraordinary effort, you soon loose track of old friends as events and circumstances change. If you are luck you will find yourself assigned to the same location with some of the same individuals in the future. Military friendships are very real, deep, and committed, yet they also tend to be enjoyed briefly and then, like the seasons of the year, only remembered. Friendships are usually not permanent, but you know that going in and must be satisfied to enjoy them while they last.

Of the many friendships which we developed on active duty this is the only one that has been maintained, and that is probably more from their effort than ours. I now very much regret that this is true. We have lost track of many fine friends and their families.

While Ruth and Bill were here we went to a baseball game. We picked one of the few games that the Indians have won recently. As we were walking back to our car and chatting about the game my Implanted Automatic Defibrillator (IAD) suddenly discharged. That was an entirely new experience. I am reminded of how transatory the things here are. I believe the only thing that will outlast us here is our relationships with God, family and friends.


Unknown said...

sorry about your shocking reminder of real life, but I am glad you had a good time with Ruth & Bill.

Anonymous said...

Your last line is soooo true, we have to keep reminding ourselves of that fact, that if we truly beleive and except him we will be with him and our friends for ever. Take care and know I am thinking of you Dot