Saturday, May 06, 2006

Justifiable homicide

There are moments in every marriage when you look at the person you've joined your life with, the person you have children with, the person who shares your very soul, and want to slowly and deliberately strangle them.

Kirk came home from university one day and said he had done a bit of research and he was think about joining the air force. Keep in mind we had spent three years of misery and several months of total hell getting into, living with, and painfully getting out of the army. Now this idiot was sitting on the living room couch and calmly saying he wanted to step right back into the military. I was beyond dumbfounded.

He did have a reason though. It turns out that getting out of the army isn't enough. Although he had his honorable release papers, although he'd signed things AND we'd done the traditional slinging of the boots off a power wire (I decorated them myself: tasteful pale green with scattered pink flowers all over. Apparently they made local legend) the army wasn't quite done with him. He was on 'inactive reserve' or something which meant that at a whim the army could call him back up and make him serve again for months at a time. He would be in this situation for the next four years, and if they called him up it would (apparently) reset the clock and extend his inactive reserve time. At least that's how Kirk understood it, and how I remember it.

However, if he were a reserve officer in the Air Force the army wouldn't be able to touch him. Also he would have a guaranteed job when he got out of college, and would qualify for a scholarship which, given our shaky finances, was a good thing. I still wasn't convinced. To me, the military was the military, and I didn't want any of it. Kirk however had talked with the ROTC unit, met with the officers and was amazed at how different the culture was.

Does it sound paranoid? It did to me. However, a couple of years later, after his commission, Kirk received a phone call asking for him as 'corporal.' The guy was incredibly rude and arrogant until Kirk answered as 'Lt. von Ackermann' at which point he became almost stupidly obsequious. That same week an army friend who had gotten out at the same time Kirk had called us to say he had been called up for six months border patrol duty in Texas. If Kirk hadn't joined the Air Force he would have been in the same situation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you decided against it. I'm enjoying your writing too much to have it end with this post.