Tennessee Drifter

Random Thoughts at Random Times

Ripples in time…

In 1976, I graduated from high school in Clinton, Iowa. I guess where is not really important to the issue, but thought I would mention it. Shortly after high school, I joined the Iowa Army National Guard–I was seventeen. The draft and the Vietnam War had both ended and America was a nation at peace. The unit I joined was a field artillery battery and I worked as a fire direction control specialist, which is just another way to say that I did the math so the gunners would know how to adjust the guns so that the rounds would hit the target. Of course, if you saw my math scores in high school you would be saying WTF!? Not important…moving on.

Shortly after I joined, they decided to make me a recruiter, hoping that my young age would help convince young people to join. But as I indicated, the draft and war were over and many in the country did not care for the military and Army green was not what most people my age were looking for.

I recruited one of my high school friends. His name was Robert. Actually, his name is still Robert, but I’m talking about yesterday and not today. Robert ended up marrying my mother’s youngest sister, who was actually six months younger than me. They ended up having two kids, a boy and a girl. When their son was seventeen or eighteen, his father signed him up to join the same National Guard unit that I had recruited him to join nearly twenty years earlier. His name was Robert too, not that it really matters.

Young Robert, later was sent to Ft Riley, Colorado on a training exercise, where he met a fellow soldier, a young lady who he would later marry. Today, they have three kids, all healthy and doing great.

You never know how your decisions will ripple through time. Had I not joined the National Guard, I would not have recruited my friend and he would not have recruited his son and then he would never have met the woman who would become his wife and the mother of his children. Our lives and our decisions affect many others in ways we may never know.

I left one part of the story out. The reason I joined the National Guard in 1976 was because a friend of mine said, “Hey come join the Guard with me”. So I went, and I enlisted, but unfortunately my friend, Danny Smith, was not accepted due to health problems.

So I guess this is really his story…just another ripple in time.

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About Me

An English diarist and naval administrator. I served as administrator of the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament. I had no maritime experience, but I rose to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and King James II through patronage, diligence, and my talent for administration.


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