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Where I Am

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This guy at the shipyard was wearing the same shirt as me the other day. We both had a distressed US Marine logo t-shirt. He didn't notice me, but I noticed him.
I'm a bad person. I'm judging by appearances. But the guy wearing my shirt was a long, long way from his fighting-fit Marine days. His spare tire came off of a semi truck. Genetics were not his friend, either, as his bald head glowingly broadcast.
Schadenfreude? Yep. I'm (kinda) ashamed to admit at that moment I was glad I wasn't that guy. Time is no man's friend, but she is harsher to some than others. But I was also a little angry. Did, at some point, my fellow Marine just give-up? You don't just wake up on your 50th birthday with 50 extra pounds.
I'm no Ninja warrior-fit stud, but at least I try. And I cannot comprehend those that do not. Especially former Marines that should know better.
You just don't have the right to rest on your laurels, and tell stories of your glory days. I mean, you can... if you're that guy.

So, I get just a bit introspective. And whatever that 'spective is regarding folks around me. "By the grace of God", goes the saying. I'm not a happy-go-lucky guy, but I am fortunate that I never needed much. Specifically, money or status. I'm comfortable being who I am. I make time for myself, and my family. The idea of a cushy job with more money and long hours disgusts me. In my family, we get by. Not by cutting corners and making excuses. We work hard, follow through and care about quality.

My son had some issues with the motorized bicycle he built. I was kinda mad at him because he hadn't used it for a couple of months, and it just sat there, inoperative. My boy is in the high school band (low brass section leader), and he's a cadet in JROTC (platoon commander). So yeah, I can cut him some slack. He's a busy boy.
But, this weekend, he planned and executed the necessary repairs for the bike. I didn't need to nag him, he just found the time and did it.
For a brief time, I thought he might have just given up on it. A lot of kids his age have zero attention span. Not mine.
So, I watched him ride off, two-cycle smoke puffing. He was back in the saddle.
My son wants to be a Coast Guard officer. Fighting spirit isn't something you get from a title or job. It's a way of life.
Semper Fidelis / Semper Paratus.

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  1. Plasticweld's Avatar
    Being in good physical shape and being of good characte,r consists of being attentive to both on a daily bases.

    It sounds like your son is on the right path...probably the greatest compliment you could share with another dad.
    Updated October 23rd, 2018 at 01:14 AM by Plasticweld
  2. TuesdayEve's Avatar
    It doesn’t sound like your son will grow
    up to be the guy in the shipyard...you
    must have done something right.
  3. Winston's Avatar
    My son just got back from his JROTC "mini boot camp". The platoon he lead finished first in overall points.
    Funny thing, they actually only won one event. Came in second in the rest.
    Some may find consistency boring. But, it works. And wins.

    Physical shape, fiscal shape, mental acuity, same rules. Learn, grow, and get stronger.
    My wife calls our boy "The Turtle". Slow and steady.
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