Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Thread

When I faced a choice with the last woman I loved--the possible versus the simple--it showed itself.

When I faced not having a home; not having a place to go or a meal to eat, it showed itself.

When I stood face-to-face with a drill sergeant convinced I was guilty of serious wrongs, in spite of my innocence, it showed itself.

When I was told the road to bring my wife to Germany was too steep, too rocky, it showed itself.

For all of my failings; for all of my instabilities and fears and insecurities, in the clinch, there rests in me the tiniest thread of steel; a metallic vine which, when disturbed, will slice or shred or crush whatever it wraps itself around. For all of my other weaknesses, if my desire, my need, my conviction is strong enough, there can be no wall high enough to block me. I've been feeling adrift in a lack of purpose lately, but after a long session with my career counselor this afternoon, I have become aware of options available to me that I did not know existed. I have a chance to become an officer. I have a chance to finish my degree. I have a chance to make a life for my wife and I, for our child yet to be conceived. I, after months of dejection and self-doubt, have a chance to change my life. The Thread has stirred, the Thread has awakened.

And I feel it show itself, now.

Sgt. Killeen once said to me, during a moment of personal crisis, that I was "stronger, more valuable" than I knew. I can finally say that I understand. The picture is clear, and I see now that I have a long, hard road ahead of me. That road will take me through more of the job that I hate, it may force me to accept additional risks. It may force me to put my career, my marriage, and even my life on the line.

But the rewards should I succeed? Those would be worth any struggle.

I'm tuning in to the future. The band is strong, the message is clear. In the words of Peter Gabriel:

Turn up the Signal.

Wipe out the Noise.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go for it! You would make a damn fine officer.

5:44 PM  
Blogger toadman said...

An intelligent and thinking officer? Man, we need a lot more of those. I couldn't ever do it, but I think you could. Just remember Miligrams 37. Be the three that didn't follow. Go for it. Wipe out the noise, and turn up the signal Milo.

good morning.

6:26 PM  
Blogger cinnabari said...

I'm glad you've found direction again. And I'm glad you're going for officer. I think you'll be a great one.

6:45 PM  
Blogger iamcoyote said...

Good for you, Milo, I'm glad you're getting your equilibrium back. I think you'd make a fantastic officer!

8:20 PM  
Blogger Just telling it like it is said...

You can do anything you put your mind to..The beauty belongs to thoughs that can dream high enough and believe in yourself when even when others have doughs.

11:34 PM  
Blogger green libertarian said...

Carry on, Specialist.

11:40 PM  
Blogger Chris Rich said...

Milo you are clearly more than fit for command. Many of the best service leaders come up through the ranks like Lewis Puller.

The reason is you understand your unit as people without a bunch of ROTC conceits. The essence of leadership is rapport with everyone and instilling confidence.

It's about stewardship of lives so go read Stiffed by Susan Faludi ASAP and the life of Ernie Pyle.

Other readings. Devour everything you can get by SLA Marshall. He invented operational analysis and improvement curve methods for small unit officers from WW 2 thru Korea and Vietnam.
is my essay on reading sign in the woods and perception honing. You want to be way alert to tiny details in combat and share it with the point guy.

You are up against very skillful people who want to kill you and it is infuriating that you are in this situation in the first place.

Please feel free to get in touch for more background on the elements of small unit command. I worry about you and River and want this ugly travesty to end more than anything.

Trust me the Iran complication will not happen. Dubya is just bluffing and the mess will collapse.

Take a hint from Yeats where he said the worst are fulla shit and the best are haunted by doubt, my paraphrase.

We need all of you souls back here to reclaim the republic.

3:35 AM  
Anonymous blue girl said...

Good for you, Milo. Go for it and good luck.

4:02 AM  
Blogger fjb said...

Congratulations Milo, I'm sure you'll make a wonderful officer. Good for you.


7:00 AM  
Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

What Chris Rich said! You are obviously very intelligent and sensitive and way too valuable to get messed up. So, all eyes forward and watch your back.

12:30 AM  
Anonymous .25 crisis kid said...

It's good to know that people feel the same way when they are lost in put it well.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous CitizenBoo said...

Your writing is amazing and very touching. You would make a fine office - one of which America would be proud.

5:05 AM  
Anonymous WitchWay11 said...

OT - no where really appropriate for this, but I thought you'd be interested, and your readers should know too...

From NPR, soldiers' mental health needs are being seriously neglected.

Write again soon - I was disappointed not to have anything new from you today! Guess I'll have to go through the archives in the meantime. Stay well.

7:32 PM  

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