Friday, January 24, 2014

Need What?

Rather than moving cases along in my regular docket, I spent the day drawing my combat gear.  Talk about a change of pace.  I use the term "combat gear" rather loosely given the slim chance of a lawyer seeing "combat".  The gear however, is the same, so there you have it.  This process is called "RFI" for Rapid Fielding Initiative".  Bear with me here.  This is a program that quickly evaluates lessons learned from the theater of operations, identifies equipment that will assist Soldiers in accomplishing their missions while maximizing safety, and then quickly acquires and issues that equipment to the Soldiers who need it.

You may now understand my reaction when I was issued an "Improved Groin Protection System".  This causes me concern on a number of different levels.  First, the name implies that there was a previous Groin Protection System that needed to be improved.  Did it not work?  In what ways did it fail?  Can someone explain to me the criterion for "fail".  Seriously, I think I deserve to know.  A second concern quickly followed:  I NEED A GROIN PROTECTION SYSTEM?  I'm virtually certain that targeting that area is a foul in most sports and violates the law of war.  Must we have such a thing?  I don't know, but what I do know is that I'll put it on at the first hint that anyone thinks it might be a good idea to do so.  I have no desire to be the first beneficiary of a "Don't ask, can't tell" policy.

As I think about it, I am filled with an even greater patriotic fervor for my Nation.  How wonderful to realize that the things my country values and the things that I value are so very perfectly aligned.   Thank you America.  Thank you indeed.

Monday, January 13, 2014

"Are you going to be here tomorrow?"

This innocent question has become part of the night time routine. Spoken in the cutest 8-year-old girl voice you’ve ever heard, it echoes like the war drums that will soon change my answer to her question. 

I would prefer to tell you a story of the courtroom or some silly criminal caper, but this blog is about what I’m doing, and what I’m doing of late is more about preparing to deploy with the Army.  Perhaps in some way I can take you on the roller-coaster with me.  I suspect there will be a great many ups and downs, but hopefully, in the end, it will have been worth it. 

I’m not doing anything that a half a million other Soldiers and their families haven’t endured before.  I’m neither special nor different.  I will likely be as safe as one can be in Afghanistan.  Lets face it, if your lawyer is returning fire…something has gone horribly wrong.  My job is not inherently dangerous.  There will be no movie entitled “Lone Solicitor”, though I think Daniel Craig would do a marvelous job if he can manage a Midwestern accent.  The thing is…its still hard. 

It is a hard thing to leave your wife, even when you know that others are there to support her.  It is a hard thing to leave your children, even when there are others who will help care for them.  It is a hard thing to put aside your cases, handing them off to co-workers (who have yet to complain of it in my hearing).  I am supposed to be there to do all of those things.  I won’t be. 

It is not my intent to whine (even though I am, just a little), but rather to document what I think every Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine feels when the Nation calls.    It can leave you downright schizophrenic.  The Soldier is eager to test his training and vindicate his service.  The husband and father laments every missed teacher conference, wrestling match, choir performance, or dinner time conversation of the year that hasn’t yet come.  For the most part, it has been so incredibly busy, that there has been too little time to dwell on what is to come.  Perhaps that is a Divine mercy.  As the day approaches though, it is the small things that are beginning to penetrate the noise.  Small things like the innocent questions of a little girl trying to understand what it all means.

“Yes, sweetie, I will be here tomorrow.”  

“Okay, goodnight daddy…see ya in the morning.”   That may be the secret to making the best of the whole thing; taking it one day at a time. Even so, I already dread the night my answer will be different.

Seriously though, I think Daniel Craig would be a good choice.