What must it be like, going to basic training? It’s nothing like sleep-away camp, I’m certain. Unless you’re the Thriller. Here’s a story.
He still calls his basic training at Naval Station Great Lakes “Boy Scout Camp.” Coming from a difficult adolescence (he and his step-father had some issues, as is often the case in those situations) and wanting to break free, he was ready for anything that might help him “get out of there.” The Navy offered him a ticket to independence, and after graduating high school in 1969, he went for it. He repeatedly enlisted, and served a total of eight years.
I say here today, as I said on Facebook this morning: thank you to the Thriller, for your years of service to your country. While he was shorebound (a jet aircraft mechanic), his service was integral to the cause.
There is a deeper issue that I wonder about with regard to our servicemen and women. It takes some real mental fortitude to deal with the possibility of dying a violent death — not to mention the loneliness, uncertainty, and utter despair they must certainly feel at times. It is no wonder that some people return from war and are never the same. So the deeper meaning here today is that soldiers/sailors/airmen don’t just go off to war, do the job and come back to parades. They willingly alter their lives — sometimes permanently — defending tens of millions of people they will never meet. For that, I salute them all. You have more courage than I can imagine.
Yay for our vets! Share a shout-out in the comments today if you love a veteran, too.