“I regret I did not serve.”
“I wished I’d served.”
“One of my greatest regrets is I did not serve.”
I hear a lot of this talk, sometimes in person, but a lot on radio and television. Somehow the topic comes up, along with the “thank you for your service,” when speaking about, to and with military vets. Thanks of thanks going around about this and all kinds of service now. During the last presidential campaign, Ted Cruz thanked a nurse for her service in a town hall meeting. Thanking people for their service can go deep and wide, in fact, I thanked a girl at Whataburger this afternoon, when she brought me my burger. Thanks…for your service. Someone commented the other day that "Thank you for service" is so overused, that it is starting to sound like, "Your call is important to us."
A Dennis Miller use to say, “I don’t want to go off on a rant here…” and I usually dodge these kinds of topics, but here are some “tongue in cheek” observations on the wishes, regrets and thanks…and the military.
I know it’s a bit of a fad thanking vets for their services these days. (You do realize that some military vets spent their entire tour filling soda machines?) And while I guess some vets dig this attention. I myself can take a pass on that thanks, thank YOU! If you spot me when I wear my Army ball cap, I wear it like you wear your college ball cap. It’s just an alma mater I attended, a real school of hard knocks I went to. As soon as I get another crew cut I won’t need that, or any hat, for a while to hide my wild-ass, cowlick, unkempt hair. Hair gets too long? Outta bed with crazy hair? ? I wear a hat till I see the barber.
I do see various old timers walking around with what appears to be oversized ballcaps with explicit, patriotic embroidery announcing what campaign, or what battle, or battleship they were on. Whatever. Do they just want to be recognized and be…thanked? Whatever. Okay. But dude, those hats are like…gigantic.
But I have heard a lot of wishes of “I had served,” “greatest regrets,” speeches lately, and from some younger guys too, like the radio host I heard yesterday, who happens to be a big NRA guy and conservative. (Just saying.) Next, voiced from the regretful people, we might hear a litany of excuses (none as long as Hillary Clinton’s recent excuses) on why they didn’t/couldn’t enlist, from diaper rash to who-knows-what-all. Some, smartly just regret not serving and give us no excuses. Whew! Thanks. Thanks for NOT sharing. That’s fine with me, too. Whatever.
But these heartfelt, “my GREATEST regret is…” This got me to thinking about the regretters. And…and, for that matter – what also about the ton of tough guys out there, no military, yet talking about guns and skulls and killing and flag and country and prepping and bragging, etc? Yakking about "Me-Infidel." Sheepdogs. And all that dressing up too? All that tattooing, macho outfits, gear and all those special forces beards and stuff?
So, I got to thinking –
“Dear Heart-Felts, Dear Beard-Men, you know, you aren’t dead yet.”
So, how old is too old to enlist? I decided to look it up.
Army reserve 35
Navy reserve 39
Air Force 39
Air Force Reserve 34
Marine Reserve 29
Coast Guard 27
Coast Guard Reserve 29
Army national Guard 35
Air National Guard 39
Canadian military 42
French Foreign legion 39 and 6 months
British military 33
Then each US state has state militaries too, and those ages differ too. You have to check out each one. Most military info webpages worry about the first legal age to enlist and some forget to mention the maximum age. But max ages vary and there are numerous stories of congressmen intervening and getting older hound dogs into various services.
And waivers! There are age waivers! (see the below story of a FIFTY-FIVE year old who got in! I think these 35 to 40 year old, cut-off ages are far too restricted. Older, experienced people could sure help out the cause. But if we go to a serious, world war, watch the age limits change as they will need ladies and gentlemen of all ages.
But for many of you out there voicing these deep regrets? Or, have skulls tattooed on your forehead and dream of macho combat? It might not be too late for you. Check your age? Or even write your congressman! When that diaper rash clears up? Maybe you too can still enlist?
Oh, to those who have served? By the way…yeah, yeah – thanks for your service.
(and so ends my “tongue-in-cheek,” Dennis Miller-ian, rant)
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