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Posted on Oct 31, 2010 at 05:15 AM

Hey everyone, thanks for the input on what titles you want to see on the Men and Women of Annapolis blog.  Know we're spending most of our time in an Army environment, however, the blog was inspired by the men and women of Annapolis.  We'll elaborate more on that later.  Always feel free to request topics regardless of the "24 Hours" timeframe I posted -- I only put those hours out there because I'm thinking of writing a screenplay for a drama series I'm going to call "24 Hours".  Sounds like a cool title :)


Today is the perfect day to share "Be Transformed" which gleaned some notice -- renamed it "Fountain of Youth" because its that too.  Setting for this little parable is Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas where boys and girls from all the services were getting good training in specialized areas.  The Air Force is a very professional service, they put their officers into combat in the air while enlisted soldiers provide support.  And because the combat pilots are relatively few in number they avoid the expense of maintaining troops in the field.  Instead they spend the money DOD gives them on "quality of life", including some great golf courses.


When we were done there and moved on to Ft. Huachuca, re-entry into Army culture was a little tough and a little bit of a bummer until I got back into the swing of things.  One thing I loved about Goodfellow was wathcing the Marines -- regardless of the training environment they always do the same things.  Early morning formations, sounding off in unison and maintaining the discipline and "tyranny" of the Marine Corps.  (I say that affectionately, of course, and will explain more fully in a future post "Ferocious Fallujah".)


May be hard to believe, however, on the Air Force base members of the military were allowed to wear costumes to class on Halloween.   I felt like I'd rather wear my favorite costume in a party atmosphere off post on a weekends somewhere where you can do what you want rather than during working hours on an military installation.  Oh well, it was someone else's call and I love the Air Force so I'll leave it there.


In our morning formation before going to class as witches, goblins and ghosts cavorted around us, I explained to the soldiers in my squad, "Today's your chance to be different -- we're going to march to class instead of going over in a gaggle so remember what you learned in basic training."  Naturally there was some grousing.  The Army recognizes all legal religious practices, including the Wicken religion which had a number of members in the ranks.  They appeared to heartily celebrate Halloween and a number did show up in costume.


One soldier even said, "Give us a break, Sergeant Hugos, let's forget the marching and just have fun doing what everyone else is doing today."  It was an honest expression of desire to "chill", as we did on weekends and when we were off post. "Marching to class is going to take all of five minutes," I said, "and then you're release to do what you deem appropriate throughout the day.""May sound weird to some," I continued as their eyes rolled upward, "but I think marching is fun."  


"There used to be an old cigarette commercial for a brand called Tarryton," I explained to shaking heads and guffaws, "All the Tarryton smokers had black eyes and said they would rather fight than switch. Well I'd rather be different than conform.  If you really want to 'be out of uniform' and get away from your usual routine today, here's a thought that will help you experience a rejeuvenation that will truly set this day apart."


Later got some bounce back from a couple of soldiers for my next line.  The words came from alot further back than the Tarryton commercial.  "Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."  Merrily we marched off to class together smiling ghoulishly. 

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Posted on Oct 31, 2010 at 02:14 PM


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