Getting Old

Apr 13, 2016 by

I have always been fascinated by time. Time is one of the few things that have been equally allocated to all people. Everyone has 24 hours in a day to use as they can or desire. Money or power won’t add one minute to the day. The important thing about time is that you not waste it. No one knows the time that is allotted to them. Of course, the perceived value of time differs depending on where you are in your timeline. The young have a different awareness of time and its finite number than do the elderly.

When I was young, time was not on my mind. The future seemed endless. Death seemed something that was not applicable to me. I felt no pressing need to spend my time wisely. Now, at age 67 time has a new urgency to it. I am all to aware that my allotted portion on this earth is running out. The value of my time has become very important to me. Everything I contemplate has to take time into account now. The inevitability of death has become very clear.

I do not fear death, but I do fear wasting what time I have left to me. I have given up many things that were once deemed of value in my life as I now weigh whether what time I have left would be better spend on something else. Is this a good thing to do? I’m not sure. I just know that I value some things now that as a younger me I would not have valued so much. People always say things like if I had know I would have lived this long I would have done things differently. Is that really true? Is that a consequence of not valuing time as much when we were young? ┬áSo many questions.

It has been said that old people are really young people trapped in an old body. There is some truth to that I think. I know that mentally I never really thought of myself as old until I reached about 60. Now, when I look in the mirror, the person that is looking back is not the person I think I am. It is a stranger, an unwelcome one. The wrinkled skin, thinned hair, pudgy face belong to my Grandparents, not me. I look at photos of me in my youth and I think, where did he go? Why isn’t that what I see in the mirror in the morning?

But getting old is part of life and the most you can do is fight it is by doing all the things you can to stay young physically and mentally. But eventually, time wins out. You suddenly realize that you are the old man you never thought you would be. But it’s really not that bad a thing now is it? I mean, the alternative is even less desirable. Well, that is enough mental wandering for one day. I hope you all have a Blessed day. And don’t forget to spend your time wisely. It is your most valuable commodity.

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The U.S. military represents the best of our youth.

Jun 5, 2008 by

I am always upset when I read or hear someone denigrate the quality of the American serviceperson. I have read and heard people say that serving in the U.S. military is only for losers or those who can’t get a real job. Facts and my own experience say otherwise. In a recent article written by General William S. Wallace, Commanding General of TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command) General Wallace states that only 28 percent of the 17 to 24 year-old population qualifies to wear a military uniform. The other 72 percent fail to meet minimum standards on education, character and health. I seriously doubt that similar statistics apply for the private sector. So you tell me where the best of our youth are employed. I say it is with the U.S. military. Who but the military has programs to encourage educational achievement? WIth programs like JROTC and the National Defense Cadet Corps (NDCC) the U.S. military is striving to provide an environment where the youth of America can learn leadership, responsibility, critical thinking and many other skills that will serve them both in the military and throughout their lives.

From my personal experience of working with both the Navy and the Army for over 30 years I can state that nowhere in the private sector have I met men and women of any higher character, dedication, and moral conviction than in the U.S. military. The day I retired from civil service at Fort Monroe, Virginia, headquarters of TRADOC, was the proudest day of my life. Not only did I receive the Department of the Army’s Commander’s Award for Civilian Service but I also received a U.S. flag that had been flown over Fort Monroe. Fort Monroe has been an active post since 1823 and has a proud history. What Fortune 500 company treats its retirees as well?

So the next time you hear or read someone not giving the men and women of the U.S. military the respect they are due, take the time to correct them. It is the least you can do for everything they have done for you and our country. If my words are not eloquent enough to convey to you how outstanding these men and women are then maybe this video taken during a ceremony at Arlington Cemetary will be.

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