Lesson 480 – Military chicks

I missed Friday’s post because I was with my son while he competed at a gymnastics meet at West Point (where they have limited Internet access – who knew? 🙂

This is my son during warm ups (the one in the white pants in the center – click on the photo to get the full effect.)  Now is the time for me to puff up my feathers and tell you how proud I am of this kid.

He has been doing gymnastics since he was 5 years old. The only one of my kids who was a climber, (the other kids would climb on the monkey bars, Trevor would always be the kid on top of the monkey bars) I figured that if he was going to climb then he was going to have to learn how to fall. I enrolled him in a gymnastics class and within a few weeks, he was put on the boys’ team.

As a high school junior he spends 24 hours in the gym. Every week. It’s an incredible commitment. Because gymnastic meets can sometimes be far away, it means there is a lot of travel time which means there is a lot of time to talk. During the drive to West Point, we laughed, we told stories, he told me what he hated most about my generation, and I told him what I hated most about his. We ate Reuben sandwiches at Reins Deli in Connecticut and ended up having a great time.

Prior to leaving for the meet he had sent letters of interest to the Navy and Army gymnastics coaches. My little chick is interested in joining the military and in going to one of the academies.

As I watched him talk to the coaches (moms are supposed to stay behind the scenes) I saw my son stand tall, shake hands with the men, and look them in the eye when talking to them. What I saw was a young man getting ready to leave our nest.

I have mixed feeling about that.

Here’s what scares me about the military, sometimes, they seem like a bunch of brutes who think that might is the only way. They push, they intimidate. With a few, it seems like they like to fight just a little too much.  I know not everyone behaves that way, but more than one is too many in my book.

My son is not like that. He’s intelligent and thoughtful. He’ll protect an animal that is hurt, a child that is being bullied. My son is a critical thinker. We’ve worked hard at making sure he knows right from wrong, good from bad, and ignorance and intolerance from well, simply knowing better than that.

And it is for those very reasons (and the fact that it’s nearing the time for him to start living his life the way he wants to), I am supporting my son’s decision to go into the military. Trevor is the kind of kid that would be an asset, he’d lead by example, and frown upon abuse. He’d have a lot to add.

In short the military would be lucky to have my little chick in their corner.


Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Mama Hen, Personal

15 responses to “Lesson 480 – Military chicks

  1. Chickenruby

    Both my female American cousins graduated through westpoint, one in the airforce, the other in the coast guards. Both cousins played basketball and volleyball for the military, in fact the latter still plays aged 36. They’ve had fantastic careers, travel and experiences. Unfortunately their personal life suffered, the one in the air force took early leave to have a family and the other is still searching for mr right.
    My son joined the British army 4 yrs ago he too has travelled far and wide and is currently based in Germany.
    The only negative tales I hear are media based.
    I wish your son well.

    • Wendy Thomas

      Thank you very much for leaving that comment.

      It’s true, the bad eggs are the ones in the news, you don’t hear nearly enough about the good guys.


  2. Rich

    My opinion, and experience, has been that the ones that end up in the news are going to end up in the news, military or not.

  3. Bill

    Best of luck to you both as he makes this VERY important decision — Bill.

  4. It is difficult for many idealistic people to accept that we live in a very dangerous world, and thus we need police to maintain order and provide protection at home and military in terms of our relationship to the world at large. Any tool (such as a chainsaw) can be used for useful purposes or for harmful purposes, and can be dangerous even when used with good intent.

    A well-made chain saw comes with safety features to minimize harm if it slips. Our social guardians can be dangerous as well. One of the important safety features is that the members of these organizations be well-raised and well-trained. I am optimistic that your son fits into that category (as far as the raising goes) and will fit into that category as far as the training goes. Dogs have played an honorable role in the military (as a recent book about Rin-Tin-Tin indicates) but I am not sure if there are any examples of chickens serving in the military, though the Romans did use geese as guards, I believe.

  5. I correct myself. I cannot tell if this comes from Iraq or Turkey. (Well, the latter would be more appropriate, in that the name is more poultry-ish.)


    • Wendy Thomas

      Okay well that clip just made me giggle. Wonder if I can train my chickens to goose-step like that (chicken-step?)


  6. I’m still active after almost 22 years, and yesterday I was really down about a bad apple who I believe tarnishes the reputation and somehow has managed to weasel out of the consequences. Let me paraphrase what a good friend (also military with just a few less years in than me) said to get me out of the rut:

    “I have only ever met one guy like this in my entire time… I have to assume, due to your anger, you haven’t met too many like this one either. When you put it against the number of fine, upstanding, decent, warrior, family men we both have met in our careers, this one blip is miniscule almost to the point of irrelevance. He is the exception that proves the rule…”

    Wise words. If your son decides to pursue the military, he’ll find that the vast majority of the men and women with whom he serves are impressive folks, full of integrity and character, who somehow manage to balance the frightful responsibilty of employing violence with humbling displays of compassion and mercy. He’ll fit right in, I’m sure.

  7. Quietly exciting day here. Although our chickens are very well protected by mesh, cable, wire, fence, and electric fence against the coyotes, raccoons, eagles, owls, and hawks that live on our five acres of woods, somehow a hawk breached the Maginot line and attacked one of our 3 hens. There are feathers everywhere. The wounded hen was hiding in her large chicken run so well I could not find her for an hour. She is missing a lot of feathers (down to bare skin on her back), but I see no blood and she is pecking and scratching and pecked one of her sisters. My wife is gone today. I don’t know if she will insist on taking her to the vet tomorrow.

    We have red squirrels on our property (and island) regarded as “native,” and gray squirrels regarded as interlopers and “non-native.” This may be squirrel racism. At my wife’s urging, I shoot (my pellet rifle) at the gray squirrels and having been missing one for months. Today, I killed it. When my wife gets home tonight, I will tell her I defended the land against the gray squirrel invaders.

    As I have not discovered where and how the hawk got in, the chickens are confined to their hen house with doors locked. Though I put extra oat goodies inside, I am sure they are very irritated by now.

    As I said earlier, we are always facing some danger or other.

  8. Today, my wife let the chickens out of their coop again. I guess they will have to fend for themselves, though there has been some discussion of putting up mylar streamers as hawk deterrents. I was a bit amused to read something to the effect that it may be illegal for me to shoot a hawk, even in defence of our chickens. Probably next I should tell the chickens to stop eating earthworms. Perhaps I should tell the predators on our property (coyotes, raccoons, eagles, owls, and, of course, the hawks) that predation is now prohibited. Come here, little raccoon, and I will explain the virtues of being a vegan raccoon to you.

    • Wendy Thomas

      we had a problem with grey squirrels *in* our house (as well as, flying squirrels) I asked the local police department if I could shoot them while they were on our property (in my defense, one had bitten my toddler who had then had to go through the rabies shots) Absolutely not, was the response, I had to leave them be.

      I, like you, would love to *explain* to some of these creatures up close, exactly how it is I’d like to play the game.


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