Thursday, June 15, 2006
I want to tell you about a memorable day trip I recently had thanks to a court management conference that the field-Negro attended. This post will not really focus on the conference itself, but on a fascinating experience I had while on my way to it. I think it will surprise you.
Anyway, first a PSA:
I have been getting a lot of e-mails and flack from people who visit the field-Negro's web, about the tone and approach of some of my posts. The complaints usually go something like this: Why all the venom, why the mean spiritedness, and why don't you ever have anything good to say about anybody field-Negro? Must you always resort to name calling and trying to belittle and disparage people who disagree with you, can't you be more civil in your discourse? Well I suppose I could, but I don't want to, besides, usually when I write I am angry, so if that's the tone of my post, so be it. Hey, it's my site, so I reserve the right to say just about whatever I damn well please. For instance, If I want to call Thomas Sowell a republican pimp, I am free to do so. If I want to call LeShawn Barber a republican whore, I can do that too. And if I happen to say that Ann Coulter looks like an emaciated witch with the neck of a camel...well, you get the picture :) Thank goodness America is about choices, so fortunately for you, if you don't happen to like what the field-negro is saying, there are a million other blogs that I am sure will cater to your point of view. One thing the field-negro won't do though, is screen or censor the posters-You will notice all the Aryan brothers posting of late- I welcome everybody , and I am glad that I can help to bring the slime out of the wood work, so that everyone can know what type of country we really live in.
Now back to my road trip. So the court system -my employer- has a bus waiting to take us down to Delaware where the conference is being held. I arrive bright and early and scope out where I am going to be sitting for my trip. Now it's early, and I really don't feel like talking to anybody, so I scope out a spot towards the back of the bus-yeah I know I know I can sit in the front now- where I think I will more or less be left alone.
As we load up, I spot the head of our courts security heading my way. A nice fellow with a Marine style hair cut who is straight out of central casting to play one of those movie drill sergeants that we always see. He is a good guy and I like him, but the field-negro just wasn't in the mood for any company. Of course, as luck would have it, he sits right next to me. Hi John, (not his real first name) I muster up a smile and I think he is seeing right through my phony platitudes because he just kinda nodded at me. Hi field, I didn't know they signed you up for this detail- Detail? Okay, definitely a military guy- yeah, I figured it's a good way to get out of the office I mumble and feign fatigue by stretching out my hands.
We are heading out of Philly and on to 95 south, my seat mate is itching for a conversation, I can see it in his eyes. I start to feel bad, and figure what the heck, I will say something to the guy, just for conversation sake. "Hey weren't you in the reserves John?" He looked surprised that I broke the silence like that. "Yeah I was a full time Marine but I retired and became a reservist a few years back." Now I remembered, John had actually served in Iraq, and was away for quite awhile. I remember the e-mails we got that we should pray for him while he was over there. "Hey you were in Iraq right?" I said. "Yeah I was." Now he looked like he didn't want to talk. But my curiosity was up; I suddenly found him interesting. I told him about my brother- in- law, who was still in an army hospital in San Antonio Texas, and who was recovering from shrapnel wounds and burns he suffered when a suicide bomber drove right into a Humvee he was the lead gunner on. I told him about how messed up he was, how he still can't hold his one year old daugther the right way, and how his wife thinks a total stranger came back from Iraq. Now the poor guy wakes up screaming in the middle of the night, and sits in long moments of silence without looking at any thing in particular.
John told me about leading a platoon of men over there during some of the bloodiest days of the conflict. How he didn't lose anyone, but some of his men suffered serious injuries. He said he still goes down to Bethesda Maryland to visit the men who are still recovering from wounds they suffered over there. He told me he could relate to my brother in law and what he was going through. He said every time he is driving down the highway, and sees a parked car on the side of the road he becomes uneasy. ( I was thinking to myself that my brother in law told me the same thing) He told me about the time he went to Disney World and while he was carrying his son on his shoulder, a fireworks display went off, and how he instinctively dropped to the ground, almost injuring his son because it sounded so much like an explosion from Iraq. Now he was in a far away place himself, probably reliving those long hot days in the urban jungle that is Bagdad, where every breath could be your last. I watched him for awhile in silence, and in away, I felt guilty. Guilty because he and people like my brother- in- law had gone through it, and I hadn't. I thought of all the chicken hawk republican talk show hosts; like the droopy eyed Hannity and Rush the addict, and how easy it was for them to sit in their studios every day and rant about what a great war this is, when they had no fucking idea. I thanked him for his service, and told him that no matter how people feel about the war, they appreciate the soldiers and what they have been doing for us. I finally confessed to him that I was against the war, that I thought his commander in chief made a serious blunder, and that we would have been better off going to Afghanistan instead. He said as a soldier he had no choice, but even if he did, he would have signed up for this war. He said that he thought it was the right thing to do. Funny, I never asked my brother- in- law how he felt about the politics of it, but I suspect his answer would be similar. It's because unlike the chicken hawks, they actually have something invested in the outcome of the war. For some it's emotional, and for some -like my brother-in-law- it's both physical and emotional. They left something over there and they don't want that sacrifice to be in vein. I can't say I blame them, had I gone, I would probably feel the same way.
We talked some more; he gave me his war stories and I related some of the ones my brother- in- law told me. He gave me his home phone number and e-mail address, and told me to give it to my brother in law. He said he wanted to touch basis with him. -- I guess he wanted to hear the stories from him and not second hand from some civillian. We laughed, talked some more, and talked about our own urban war stories from the urban jungles of Philadelphia as well. (You wouldn't believe some of the stuff that happens in big city courtrooms)
The bus started to slow down, and we realized that we were at our conference. Wow, that ride was too quick. Now I was starting to wish the conference was alot farther away. I really enjoyed my time with this Marine. And I will see him from an entirely different perspective every time I enter the building and see him and his crew at the metal detectors.
The rest of the conference was anticlimactic, and the ride back was not nearly as fulfilling. Every one was beat and we slept the entire way. But hey, I already had my fill for the day. My education and training took place on the bus to the conference, not at it.
Posted by field negro at 9:14 PM