Tuesday, August 19, 2008

When Cannons Attack

This is when you get a "U" (for "untrained") on the collective task "load and fire cannon" portion of your METL.Let me be the first to say that one thing your Number 1 man is supposed to know is that you always stay out from behind the breech! Better a broken arm than a crushed sternum.

However, as sergeants and parents both know, there are some people you can tell and tell things to and the only way they learn them is to do the opposite and then the Bad Thing happens to them. The chagrined survivor, at that point, believes you.

It's a hard way to learn, but then, there are some people who only learn the hard way. I was one; my son is another. Life is not kind to us. But Life is neither inherantly kind nor cruel; it simply is, and as we are so we find it. I don't wish my own path on my son; much of it was difficult, embarassing or painful and much of that was my own fault. I can guide, I can explain, I can caution, I can try and prevent. But try as I might, I cannot divert the Wheel from his shoulders. And some day, as this poor young troop found, he may find himself hurled backwards with the hot, hard imprint of the breechblock in his chest thinking as the world flies past him in reverse:

"What the fu...!?"

I just hope he can get up, a wiser if less comfortable young man.

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