Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stein

I’m not a big fan of rats. I figure if someone gets away with something that’s not too serious, leave him or her be. There’s no need to turn them in. Problem is that I did just that a couple years back. There was this older Soldier, Stein, in my class in DLI who had deployed during Desert Storm as a combat engineer and reenlisted at the request of a friend. He was a good Soldier, great at PT, but he was struggling with class from the get go. On top of that he mentioned that he had some serious family issues back home. I remember driving back from the DMV, taking the Private Bolio gate, when I was surprised to see him walking around near the museum at the bottom of the hill. I pulled the car up to him and rolled the window down, asking him what was up. He told me that he just didn’t want to be in class at that particular moment, that his studies and family issues were getting to him, and that he’d rather be with a line unit. I told him to take care, and drove back up to post to meet with my PSG before heading back to class. He signed my slip and we small talked for a bit, all the while I was debating whether or not to bring up Stein in my head. I gave in and told him and the PSG was initially furious, cursing up a storm. I interrupted him and gave him a brief overview of Stein’s situation, hoping to appeal to the PSG’s human side. My reasoning was that it was better for him to hear about it from me than some idiot from the school house who spoke English as a second language. I saw Stein again a week later. I remember him being pulled from class and asked him how he was doing. He told me that he was leaving for a line unit that was deploying in a couple months later. Before we were going to part ways, he saluted me. After looking around, I sheepishly returned it and ask what that was for. He told me I was going to be a good officer some day. I still don’t know if he meant that as a compliment or insult.
♪THERE'S A GRAY HORSE STANDIN' STILL
AS A SOLDIER CLIMBS IN THE SADDLE FOR ONE LAST RIDE
AS THE RAIN POURS OFF HIS HAT
YOU CAN SEE THE SHADOWS OF THE PAST WRITTEN IN HIS EYES...♪
Song of the Moment: "The Last Rebel" by Lynyrd Skynyrd