Phoenix

DesertExile: How did we ever get here?

13 April 2007

How did we ever get here?


The photo here was taken in 1942.
I'm the guy in the primitive stroller. That guy standing, feeding a calf, was my grandfather.
If you look closely, you will see that he has homemade prosthetic device for a left leg. In those days, if you lost a leg, there were crutches. However, if you were a worker, a survivor--they didn't make things so you could use both hands.
My grandfather MADE this attachment so he could keep working on his little farm. He didn't sit on his ass and wait for Aid from the Government, although debilitating welfare programs were around then, but only six or seven years into being.
My grandfather didn't whine and moan and expect someone to come and do his work for him.
You see, even at that young age, my grandfather taught me a lesson that the Marine Corps still teaches: Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.
I always wondered if there were people out there like me. You see, I had a 16 year Boot Camp. My mother would turn over my bed or pour ice water in with me if I wasn't up at 0430 to start milking cows. If she declared that I had done something wrong, she hit me with what was handy. This went on until I was 16, and rebelled one day, and told if she ever hit me again for some BS reason, I was going to hit back.
In 1974, I transferred to San Diego with the Highway Patrol. I found the U.S.Marine Corps, and lived near some officers. What I found was that Marines have the closest set of values, ideals, and measures of accomplishment as I do.

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