Rushville Republican

Columns

July 16, 2013

I wouldn't want to do it again

There’s nothing nobler than volunteering to serve in our country’s armed forces. Back in May, Connie and I attended the Armed Forces Day celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We were the guests of our son Will’s father-in-law, Mike Kiefer, a retired Brigadier General in the Indiana National Guard. Mike is a lawyer in Indianapolis and a great guy.

Part of the celebration was an actual induction ceremony for about 50 young men and women into the various branches of the armed forces. While we were standing there waiting for them to be sworn in, I became momentarily acquainted with a guy who, obviously, had served in some branch of the service because as the ceremony was taking place, he learned over to me and whispered, “That’s the last time they’ll be ‘asked’ to do anything.” (Just before the actual swearing in, the officer in charge asked the group to stand and raise their right hands.) I was thrown back to the time I spent in Army basic training and smiled at the unalterable truth of his comment.

My mind went back to an August day in 1968 when we all arrived at Ft. Knox, Ky., in response to a letter that began, “You are hereby ordered to report…” We had already been sworn in and were simply waiting for the letter telling us when and where to report for BCT, (Basic Combat Training). You’ll notice the letter didn’t start by saying, “Please report…” or “If you don’t mind, we’d like you to report…” We were ordered to report, in no uncertain terms.

Keep in mind that the summer of 1968 was at the height of the Vietnam War and there was still a draft. Those of us who had just finished college knew that it was far better to join the National Guard or the Reserves then to be drafted. In those days we knew that because there was a draft, the likelihood of Guard or Reserve units being sent to Vietnam was pretty small, certainly unlike today when substantial numbers of our forces serving in combat roles in the Middle East are, in fact, National Guard and Reservists!

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  • Young people should be involved in sports People who know me are probably aware that my favorite sport is football. As it turns out, I’m not alone, at least in terms of the number of high school kids who take part in the sport. During the 2012-13 school year, a total of 1,088,158 high school

    August 19, 2014

  • A Washing-ton of baseball trivia On our recent, although not really so recent anymore, I guess, since I’ve been writing about it for weeks on end, summer vacation, all the guys in our group -- me, brothers-in-law, nephews, sons, father-in-law -- went to a Washington Nationals vs. Co

    August 19, 2014

  • Habitual behavior Mary Ellen and I have been happy together for so long that we sometimes forget how much we annoy each other, so on the trip back home from our recent vacation, it was time catch up on our bad habits.For example, I told Mary Ellen that she is a relent

    August 19, 2014

  • Driving Highway 40 in the 40's My days in the 1940’s would today be extremely quiet and sedate. I have remembrances of having an enjoyable day with family and in reality doing little. On a Sunday afternoon, we would take off and head toward Dunreith and Highway 40, the only 4-lane

    August 19, 2014

  • Card, why do I need a stinking card? I would consider myself a typical male shopper, I buy. That is not to say that I don’t look for a good deal, but I am not going to travel from store to store in search of saving a few pennies here or there. With that in mind, I recently was in search

    August 15, 2014

  • Giving young people a second chance How many of you know what the Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy is? More basically, how many of you know where it is? I had a vague notion of where it is, but I would have been hard-pressed to tell you much about what it is. The Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe

    August 12, 2014

  • Civil reunion My wife and I enjoy doing many things together. But when our entertainment preferences are not in sync, we can communicate openly with each other. That makes for a perfect union. But it may make for a lousy reunion. Let me explain.The Wolfsie family

    August 12, 2014

  • A capitol idea, sealed with a snog On our recent summer vacation to Annapolis, Maryland, we made sure to see as many memorable sights as we could in nearby Washington, D.C. This included a tour of the United States capitol building. Or maybe it’s the Capitol Building? – I suddenly rea

    August 12, 2014

  • Tuesdays with Auri It began with a simple phone call to my friend Auri, a computer geek I asked to help me with my very successful website, which right now is attracting up to three visitors a month. To have a strong online presence, you have to spend several hours a d

    August 5, 2014

  • Technology is taking over You see them everywhere you go. Electronics. Adults are using them daily and so are children of all ages.I am so glad that when I was growing up, electronics were not big yet. Of course in school we used computers to do work, but they were new. I rem

    August 5, 2014

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