They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...

These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Aug 27, 2008

You Bring The Dog, And I'll Get The Pony...

it is that time ladies and gentlemen for that time honored tradition of military bureauacracy and pomp and circumshit. (Not a typo)

The words that every lower enlisted soldier dreads even more than Article 15 and "is it in yet". The DOG AND PONY SHOW. Anyone who has been in the Army long enough to see a senior officer retire knows all about this shit.

It basically consists of an audience, a few VIP's, normally senior officers and congressmen and women, and local mayor's and the like. The last element that is needed to complete the dog and pony show is the company or more of soldiers that is required to stand there, either at attention or parade rest, both equally uncomfortable positions for extended periods of time while the officers and their buddies talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and get the idea.

Tomorrow is our going away ceremony which thankfully my family is not attending. Not only can I only handle one tearful goodbye per year, but I also would not want her to have to see the caliber of leadership that I am going with.

I would elaborate but I just heard about another blogger getting his ass in a sling over making fun of his commander. Not that I have any problem with the trouble part of this thing, I just figured I would wait until I have something really good on him before I go risking it.

Now we are probably going to end up standing there for about 2 hours while the lights from the stage beat down on us and listen to these idiots postulate about war, and politics and who and what we are.

Fine, whatever, military officers are full of themselves and have quite the inflated opinions thereof. I don't really care. The thing that really got under my skin today was this. The Sergeant Major (highest ranking enlisted man) said that this ceremony was for us, and we should stand tall and be proud of the Army and being soldiers. Alright, I can deal with the pride part,...

But there is no way in hell this ceremony is for us. This ceremony is for the news crews that are showing up tomorrow, its for the commander to show his new girlfriend what a big deal he is, its for the 1SG to be able to stand out front when we get applauded, its for the higher ups so that they can get a little positive press for the Army, and maybe their names in the paper as an added bonus. Plus they get to pretend for the day that they actually care about the soldiers. Which is something they claim every chance they get but never seem to do anything of any real consequence about it.

This thing is for us? Really then why do we have to stand up here sweating our balls off, and all the while staring at our loving families in the audience, so close to them but not being able to be with them. If it is for us, why do we have to listen to these bloviating old men as they relive their glory years by sending us off to get shot?

Fuck all that, you want to do something for me? Give me a gift certificate to Applebee's and let me take my family out for dinner. Let me be with them every single minute that is possible. But no you decide to put on another dog and pony show...asshole.


  1. This is my first visit to your blog and I am hooked! Love your writing style!
    *Read* ya soon!

    AirmanMom returning to her blog...

  2. My first visit too. I'll be back. Your description of the dog and pony show is bang on. All the best.