Good and Bad….
A late night post because I think I am coming down with something. I have been thinking about getting something out there in the blogosphere but since I am not feeling well, I wanted to be proactive. It is late and in my rush, please excuse any mistakes or typos.
The most important item is that my Red Wolves won the Go Daddy Bowl Sunday evening. Dramatically, they blocked a field goal attempt as time expired to preserve the 23-20 victory. A great game as the Ball State Cardinals scored a touchdown with 1:33 left to take a 20-16 lead. Arkansas State drove the length of the field to score with just 0:40 seconds left. Ball State drove back down aided with a personal foul with 0:02 second left for a 37 yard field goal attempt. It was a great game, well played by both teams.
I have to point out that the 22 Seniors on the team played for 4 different head coaches. Those Seniors had a record of 32-19 going 4-8 in their Freshman year. The next three years they lead their team to three consecutive Bowl games winning the past two. For those who think the new generation is addicted to video games and self-serving behavior. I would use these 22 young men as my Exhibit A. They started completely over four times, with four different coaching staffs. None of the coaches were involved in recruiting these 22 young men. Additionally each new coach brought in a new group of recruits who were sold on the pitch of playing time at the expense of these 22 men. These 22 players didn’t quit, they didn’t allow themselves to be run off and they kept working on their craft. In the end, they did it right and played for each other as much or more than they played for a coach. I always suggest that we as a nation need to celebrate these types of young people. These are just the latest examples of young people who will continue everything that is right with this country.
Secondly, I completed training on Sunday. I don’t have much to say about the training right now except that I am glad it is over. I will say that I don’t think I have ever worked so hard for a pay cut in my life. Most of you don’t know, but I am no longer a Captain. I am back to the First Officer rank. The airlines operate on a strict seniority based system. And unfortunately, when my old airplane (727) was retired, I could not hold Captain on any other aircraft. So as of Sunday, I am officially a 757 FO, doing the walk around, pouring the Captain’s coffee, and watching the family budget much more closely. The good news is that on the FO seniority list, I am near the top and will get a much better line. All is well and I look forward to being able to pick some better trips again.
Finally, I am reading the news about Al Qaida and their resurgence in Iraq. I am personally very disappointed about this turn of events. But I am not surprised. I think we all knew in 2003 how Iraq was going to turn out. I will always support the troops and I don’t think the troops were the ones who let the American public down. When I was there, I didn’t want to be there. I don’t know anyone who really wanted to be there, but in spite of a lack of desire. Everyone did their job to the best of the ability because we were not fighting for the Liberation of Iraq. We were fighting for each other. We had a job to do and collectively we did it well. I always put my faith in the American military. I knew that if I was in danger, someone I never met would risk their lives to come get me. Every C-130 crew I know would have done anything to get a wounded troop to a hospital. In the worst case we treated their remains with the highest honor, even the remains of those who were citizens of other countries.
There was never any doubt that the “Collation of the Willing” could win the war. We all thought that would be relatively easy and in hindsight it was over faster than the time it takes to train a pilot to fly a 757. We didn’t lose the war, we lost the peace. We all know the reasons so there is no need to re-ignite that debate. All that needs to be said is that war is not always the answer. But if war is the answer, then it must be total, complete devastation. I hate war but if a country isn’t going to fight to win, what is the point?
Over an eight year period, the United States was spending a billion dollars a week to conduct combat operations. 4,486 (2003-2012) American Service men gave their life in Iraq. Estimates average between 120-130 thousand Iraqi’s died a violent death because of the war and the civil war the erupted following the initial combat action. There is a lot of blood and treasure that will soon be thrown down the tubes. It is just sad.
Until next time, keep on rockin.