Sunday, May 27, 2007

What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been

Twenty years ago today, I walked across a stage at Michie Stadium (pronounced 'mikey') and received my diploma from the retiring Chief of Staff of the Army, General Wickham. On that day I was committed to serving 20 years in the army. I was committed to serving until today.

Obviously I changed my mind. And I'm not going to dwell on what might have been, but today, 20 years later, I can't help but think back to who I was then and what the world was like. My class is just starting to make full colonel, and I never thought we'd hit 20 fighting Islamic terrorists in the Middle East. Then again, the world's quite a different place:

1. The big threat was from the Commies.
2. Germans used marks, French used francs, and everyone thought we were going to be using yen.
3. You could tell a soldier in public, because he was the one with short hair.
4. Madonna was just starting her climb to stardom.
5. When was the last time you heard of the Fulda Gap?

So on this Memorial Day weekend, I offer my salute to those of us from the Class of '87 who are still on active duty, those who are serving or have served in the Middle East wars, and those who have paid too high a price.


Anonymous said...

How come you retired from the Army?

Darren said...

Had I stayed in, I could have retired today. Instead, I resigned. I don't really want to get into why, not today.

rightwingprof said...

In 1987, I was doing research at Stanford.

Jetgirl said...

I don't want to make you feel dated gentlemen, but in 1987 I was in kindergarten, making macaroni art.

Thanks for sharing Darren, it's always interesting to examine how what we thought our paths would be change over time.

Law and Order Teacher said...

In 1987, I was in my 13th year as a police officer. I remember thinking at the time that I didn't know if I could survive another 13 years to retirement. I made it and now I'm in my second career. I glad I stuck it out, but I know the feeling when you look a long way down the road and you can't see the end of it. It would seem that you have made the right decision. The students need good, dedicated teachers that care. We seem to have a shortage in this area.