Military service involves a lot of tradition. Much of the tradition does not have to be taught. It is simply acquired through living, experience and survival. In the world of science, it might be labeled osmosis. You absorb it  from the environment that surrounds you without being taught or putting forth any effort of your own.

One of those traditions is the Short Timer’s Calendar. Regardless of rank, virtually everyone in uniform in an undesirable assignment maintains one. Some are just more visible than others. The private may keep his large calendar in a wall or foot locker, or on the wall of his living space.  He dutifully  marks off each day as he passes by the locker, unless he is too exhausted and delays into the next day.

Generally speaking, the higher the rank, the smaller the calendar. General Officers have the smallest short timer’s calendar. It may be carried in a briefcase or briefing folder and could be as small as 5 inches by 7 inches. The General officer discretely updates his calendar while on the way to the airport, or in the “john.” Of course, Admirals and some Marine Corps Generals may perform this duty in the “head.”

Some three and four star Generals and Admirals have been known to ceremoniously  perform this daily ritualistic ceremony with the help of an aide-de-camp.

With the advent of miniature electronic technology, and the mobility of forces, soldiers are now carrying their short timer’s calendars on their cellphones or other electronic gadgets.

Once tradition and the “Customs of the Service” are imbedded in the brains of old soldiers, they are not easily dislodged.

The troubles facing our nation at home and abroad these days are so profound that elements of the military mind are resurfacing in many old soldiers.

With only 48 days to go before the November 6 General Election,I caught myself marking off the days. This election is so important, it is very much like a date set to leave a combat zone and returning to a zone of peaceful living. As the magic date approaches, you know stories of those who lost their limbs or lives in the last few days.

As we approach this General Election of 2012, we are well-aware that the stakes are high and victory is not assured. In war, leadership is important and confidence in leaders is necessary to keep the forces engaged and not breaking ranks and advancing to the rear.

The armed forces of the United States departed Vietnam demoralized and betrayed by the civilian leadership appropriately established by our Constitution.

The American people elected Jimmy Carter president. During his four year term, he made certain that war criminals were not prosecuted, draft dodgers were pardoned and “less than honorable” discharges were upgraded to honorable. Is it possible that Carter did all that to ensure that his son, a Marine stationed in Okinawa who was booted out of the Army for smoking dope on guard duty, would receive an honorable discharge and full veterans benefits?

The veterans of World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam had one major advantage over the combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Those earlier combat veterans came home to peace, safety and freedom within our national borders. The young combat returnees of today have no such assurances. They don’t know if they will be returning to riots, anarchy, Martial Law or mandatory community service.

Tragically, it appears that the lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan may be squandered in an effort to “bring the troops home.”

Our only hope to survive as a strong nation is to replace the current administration. However, the Romney camp either through ignorance or naivete refuses to tell the American people who this president is and what he and his leftist administration have done and are doing to our Constitutional Republic.

The future of the republic is in their hands. I just marked off another day on my calendar. It is only 48 days to feast or famine, freedom OR tyranny. We will choose and once the decision is made, there is no turning back. Old soldiers are counting the days and dreading the ways politicians can take away our freedom.


You have no rights to post comments

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive