Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Missing the Military

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

AFA members, as you might guess, I get lots and lots of emails. You send me all manner of information – to include way too many political pieces.

However, occasionally, I come across a piece that makes me stop and think. This one just did.

It appeared in the Charleston Post and Courier, the oldest newspaper in the South. It was written by Ken Burger … or perhaps I should say Technical Sergeant Ken Burger. Read it here and tell me what you think.

A belated Happy Passover and a Happy Easter.



Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association


Unknown said...

TSgt. Burger pretty much tells it like it is for me and most vets I know.

Smsgt. Retired.

Unknown said...

Unfortunately the link in your letter dumps the reader onto the Post's front page with no clue what the title of the article might be. I tried several of the articles but never found the article you reference.

Billstrawn said...

He pegged it perfectly. When my wife, who I met and married after an Air Force career, asked if I missed the military, there was no hesitation. Of course I missed it. I missed it for many of the reasons Mr. Berger stated, but most of all because you are never a stranger on a military base. You may be the new guy, but that lasts less than a month before there are a dozen newer guys. I also miss the acceptance of responsibility I saw in the military. After 30 days in a new job, it and all the problems it may have are yours. Unlike civilians, I never heard an airman, soldier, or sailor blame something on his/her predecessor 1 year after getting a job. God Bless the men and women of today's services. As a Cold Warrior, I never had to serve under the conditions they do today. TDY's were infrequent and much shorter, and repeat trips to combat zones were even more infrequent. The men and women of today's AF, Army and Navy accept conditions much harsher than my crowd had. So again. bless them all.

Wisesooth said...

I read the blog and comments. Military life changes people. Most of the misfits never get into the military service. Some wash out. Others have bad experiences. However, most are changed in a positive way by their experience and carry these character traits with them into civilian life. These people invariably make a substantial contribution to their family, their country, and the world community. My military experience made me comfortable in the presence of strangers, developed personal discipline, cultivated a sense of mutual respect and a sense of teamwork. It also cultivated a sense of outrage about unscrupulous contractors and the government employees that allowed this conduct to happen. That outrage provoked action and the support of like-minded civil servants, airmen, and fellow officers. This enabled me to champion their cause and save the Air Force about $5 million in disallowed costs. Ergo, my military experience also made me a formidable patriot and military advocate.

My uncles served in the army during WW II in the Pacific theater. Fortunately, they survived the experience. They gave me an active-duty sendoff with a family party at our home. I had to sit in the middle hole of a three-hole outhouse board supported by two saw horses as they shared the advice of three military “dogfaces” to a rookie Air Force Officer. One bit of advice stuck with me all these years. My uncle Tom said, “Roger, the military is going to kick you in the butt. The direction is up to you.”

Unknown said...

Great article. It sure speaks the truth about the miliotary. Those who have never been around the military probably won't understand, but it is spot on.

Unknown said...

I fully understand Ken's reasoning and like him... miss being part of one of the greatest organizations on the planet the United States Air Force. We are forced to retire too soon.

Bro Bill said...

Wow! Hats off to Sergeant Burger. He pushed all the buttons in his excellent, insightful article. I hadn't given it much thought, but upon reflection, I completely agree with the premise. The Air Force shaped who I was when I served on active duty, and the experience continues to influence me to this day. L/C William J.(Bill) Davidek, USAF (ret).