Lackland AFB Texas
My fellow Libertarians.
My oldest son has just graduated from basic training in the US Air Force. In todays world of anti-military bias, why would I allow my son to join an organization reviled by so many as oppressive and a tool of George Bush to control the world, you may ask? Well I am a citizen of what some describe as fly over country. We still tend to believe that America is good and that our government is a manifestation of the ideals of the founding fathers. Although not naive, I still believe America is the last best hope of mankind.
My 19 year old son had spent some time in college, and there was first confronted with drinking and free sex. Luckily, the conversations we had over the years kept him from adopting those ways, but the college experience disillusioned him and left him wondering what he should do with his life. He left college and spent the next year or so, working odd jobs and doing a lot of soul searching. Although no one in my immediate family had been in the military, I began to think that my son would be a good candidate. He was tall, thin, athletic, and smart as a whip. After a few conversations with our local recruiter (Sgt Hose) we became convinced that the Air Force may be a good option for my son, Jr. Jr. eventualy signed up, and opted for delayed entry – several weeks went by before he went in. Basic Training – BMT- the six weeks that every military man refers to as the make or brake point of his career, started. My son, the boy who I had ran interference for on every issue for 20 years, was now outside of my reach.
The airman recruits leave from the local MEPS (Military Enlistment Processing Station) and are flown to San Antonio, Texas to begin their Air Force life. Upon arrival to Lackland Air Force Base the recruits are subject to largely the same routine that their fathers and grandfathers went through before they were inducted into the Air Force.
You may say, right, the recruits now have a cushy, politcally correct, program that is nothing like what took place in years gone by, well in some ways that may be true, the military training instructors may be less verbally abusive than those days, but, the physical expectations are still rigorious. Given all of the above, I was moved when on the first chance my son got to call home on week 2 of BMT he said he was fine and that he actually liked it – “liked it.” Think about that… Americans, and especially teenagers, live to make sure they are looking out for number one first before everyone or anything, but my son said he liked BMT, a program that teaches the core principles of: “Service before self, Integrity first, and Excellence in all we do.” Wow!The next 5 weeks went by and I only heard from my son once more on the phone. The Airforce sent me a mailing about the logistics of graduation week and where to stay in San Antonio. Having no miltary experience to draw on, I was anxious about how he was doing and what his future in the military might hold.
When I arrived at Lackland to see the first days activities, the airmans run and the airmans coin ceremony, I was impressed beyond measure to see the quality and discipline of the program my son had been living. Although not perfect, the US military is the last stronghold of the principles that made this nation great. Friends – support our troops – for their benefit and yours!Tweet