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migliore
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Posted on Wed, Oct 20, 2010 16:21

Some of you maybe thinking that military life is all about being thick-skinned, shaking off emotions and driving on to the next objective.  Sometimes it's like that -- sometimes it's gotta be.  However, as in any life there are those days when everything goes well and your choices are to pinch yourself to see if it's a dream or just experience the fulfillment.  Hint: only a total grouch, grinch and curmudgeon would insist on refusing happiness.  

 

When I received orders to take two others on a training mission to Italy during September of 2002, rather than asking questions I smiled quietly and thanked my lucky stars.  For one thing the location we were being sent to was only a trainride from Italian friends adept at administering "the Italian treatment" which is a warmhearted, magnanimous "benvenuto" that is good for the soul.  

 

We flew all night and arrived in Italia as the sun began to rise and shine on the Alps.  The first day I was a little bleary-eyed, but the next morning I awoke...in Italia!  That alone is like waking up in heaven.  The weather is temperate, the town we were in made its own wine and sold bottles for a pittance, women dress in tantalizing yet tasteful fashion, senior citizens ride their bikes to market, the food is fresh, people are friendly and they speak a beautiful language. 

 

As we drove to post I remembered I had promotion orders to Sergeant First Class in my pocket, having received them just before we left the US.  After we parked the van the junior enlisted soldiers went to their duty stations as I walked in the sunshine toward the military clothing store to get my new rank insignia.  The walk back was even better, and all that had changed was the second rocker below the chevron on my collar signifying that I was a Senior NCO.  

 

Young soldiers 20-something years old stood at parade rest until I released them saying, "As you were, soldier, as you were."  Being treated with respect is always fun.  When I got to the chow hall for breakfast -- the DFAC (Dining Facility) in new Army parlane -- I was about  5 minutes late.  Based on past experience I figure the chances of getting in were zero. Yet, when I arrived at the entrance, the NCO at the door said, "The DFAC is closed, Sergeant, but for you we'll open the doors.  Welcome, and enjoy your breakfast."  Yeah, I like this.  

 

When I got outside I met the Italian officer who was in charge of the Italian troops in our barracks.  I spoke with him in Italian on the lawn in front of the DFAC and happened to see one of the young soldiers I came with walking toward us.  Since she was only mildly enthusiastic, young and did not speak Italian, I guessed she would walk right by us and ignore the Italian officer.  Instead when she got close to us she stopped, pulled herself to attention, saluted the Italian officer and spoke the words, "Buongiorno, Signore."  The Italian officer truly was impressed.  

 

He said to me, "Se solo posso fare i miei soldati da fare quello -- If only I can make my soldiers do that." Clearly I was on a roll.  That evening there was a national broadcast of "Saving Private Ryan / Il Privato Ryan" and the Italian soldiers asked me to be their guest.  An American officer asked me to go on a trip with him as his interpreter to several Italian cities.  I got a day pass to see my friend in Torino whom I had met in Paris when she was a student at the Sorbonne.   

 

On the anniversary of Sept 11, an Italian diplomat interviewed on Italian TV at ground zero told her nation, "Credo che oggi tutti noi siamo Americani / I think that today we are all Americans."  What could be better?  We have a phrase in the Army that is both a recognition of reality in grim moments and an expression of fulfillment in times of joy -- "It doesn't get much better than this." 

 

John, do we have the same expression in the Navy?  Need to know if I can use it next time I visit Annapolis.



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migliore
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Posted on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 05:11

Says it all, Bern.  Great insight there.  Apprezzo molto!  Think you're going to like my "Be Transformed" posting about Halloween at Goodfellow AFB.  Would love to get your top three from the list on my "24 Hours" post.

 

By the way, have you seen or heard anything from Sophia?  Haven't seen any of her posts and am starting to be concerned.

 

Andy



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wwww12345
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Posted on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 11:39

我不知道这是怎么你们说的话,但你必须把它关掉之前,我向你报告 果委员会。


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migliore
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Posted on Sun, Oct 24, 2010 11:57

Per favore, eviti commenti antipatici.  Alla luce del tuo discorso sulle maniere un'apologia e' appropriata.  Dopo tutto, devi fare qualcosa per creare un impressione buona.  

Un'altra cosa, Signora, attenzione al tuo italiano -- un uomo e bravo, non e' brava.  Grammatica, per favore.  E' un'abilita importante.  D'accordo?



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migliore
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Posted on Sat, Oct 23, 2010 05:27

Forse va bene di prendere una lezione dai Italiani -- lasci le prove e solo dai auguri della amicizia.  In questo ambiente anche sei un'ambassiatore per i Britannici.  Per te di fare le prove non e' appropriato perche abbiamo i consulenti MM per quel lavoro. Che cosa pensi tu Tinkerbella?



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