As I get older, I wonder what has become of my military-physique – the early one, not the rounder one of my last year – and what became of the ‘forego the mission, clean the position!” fanatical routine with cleanliness. Not that I don’t love the smell of PINESOL in the morning, but leaving the house all day with two big hair-shedding dogs results in a truce between the advance of dirt and actual boot-camp standards of clean.
Attitudes that once were socially and fiscally conservative, I generally vote in every election, hold ‘personal responsibility’ in high esteem — welfare is for the most-desperate and least able to work, and believe military service is beneficial to everyone between 18 and 50 years old. Now, I hold fast to my church family, my spouse, and keep my personal values fairly close to the chest — outside the street I live on. Fortunately, I have neighbors who were also military or police, and are now retired. A neighbor on a street where I walk the dogs has a “DON’T TREAD ON ME” flag above his door. Another proudly has a TRUMP sign. Both have pickup trucks with Marine and Army stickers on the former. Then again, I wear “VFW Life Member” and Navy Chief t-shirts to work. But I am mellowed with aging.
I have YOSEMITE, bicycling, and Grand Canyon hiking stickers on my car, a VFW license frame and a Nature Conservancy brochure on my car seat – I contribute to purchasing wildland around San Diego to preserve it. What happened to the guy who owned firearms, enjoyed target plinking, and was a fan of talk radio? Gone.
I need to get out of California. I’m starting to love it here.