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Friday, November 23, 2012


Like many people, one of the first things I do each day is check my smartphone and computer. Personal messages are first, because they are the people I know well and care for. E-mail is next, and I do a quick triage on what needs to be addressed instantly or can be put aside for later. I then turn to Facebook, otherwise known as my virtual school playground.

The thread that interested me most yesterday was on privacy and our rights to it, and my take was that if you intentionally posted on a public domain, you had no such right. A subsequent post is simmering on that. I then slept, while friends on the other side of the world were awake and active, and woke to a contretemps I still don't quite understand (I hate it when people write AND delete things while I'm sleeping) but has friends defriending friends over snark and, potentially, more serious matters. As I said, the virtual school playground.

That over, I return to my e-mail. Where I am struck by what I have decided can wait, while recognizing why I made the decision.

While writing last year, I interviewed members of the Patriot Guard and subscribed to their e-mail feed. Most mornings since then I have woken to notices of Patriot Guard missions. Mostly, these are to stand guard at funeral services. Sometimes for veterans who have died surrounded by family, more often for military members who will only come home in a box.

I put these e-mails aside because I want my mind free and clear to fully appreciate and acknowledge these people who, I will be the first to say, I do not know. When it is a veteran who lived to a ripe old age, I smile and hope he/she learned to value life. When it is a 21-year-old killed in a war none of us really understands, I read of those left behind and ask they have comfort. When, occasionally, it is a happy occasion, I cheer.

Today wasn't bad:

The funeral service for a 1SG (Ret) in Texas
He was described as a soldier, aviator, sportsman, FAA inspector, mentor and teacher. He is survived by his wife, children, parents, grandchildren and many friends.

He will be missed but I believe he lived well.

Snowball Express

This organization sends children of fallen military members on a 5-day vacation. The Patriot Guard carries their bags at the airport (a few other things, but makes them welcome and tries to ease their loss).

Another funeral service, for a US Army Vet, aged 76

Few details here, North Carolina, but I hope he lived well.


I put these aside because I want to focus and acknowledge the lives lost, and get distracted by the schoolyard drama first.

Perhaps I have my priorities reversed.


  1. Just read your profile for the firs time. LLOL @ your use of the word "Sire" and Navy Deep Sea Diver who drank & shagged his way around the world

  2. "Sperm Donor" seemed a little rude while he still lives, so "sire" shall suffice . . .