Thursday, June 7, 2012

Oldest Military Blogger Crossroad

Oldest Military Blogger ..Crossroads!

I was standing aft, on the starboard side of my
Liberty Ship. entering New York‘s harbor .
It was early afternoon and the Western sun made
the Manhattan skyline glow and shimmer,
in the cloudless blue sky.
I walked around the stern of the vessel to the
port side, to see if it was possible to catch
a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty ..
There She was....silhouetted against the
Jersey shore.
It was exciting for me see this icon, whose
revelation to thousands of arriving immigrants
to America, simply thrilled them, with wonder
and amazement.
I was very happy to be getting home
after 2 years abroad.
What was I going to do when I was discharged
from the Army???
How was I going to get a job?
My parents had moved out of N.Y.C. while I was in service...
Where was I going to live?
Am I going to marry the girl of my dreams?
Are my friends survivors of the War?
With great introspect, I thought about staying
in the Army..
Great!
Nothing changes!
No worries!
Food, shelter,money ..all supplied by the USA.
But!!
Was I a quitter on Life?
No!
So I looked at the re-up form in my hands.
Check the appropriate Box it stated...
4 year Active Service........( )
4 years Inactive Service.....( )
Active Service, was all the above...
Inactive service was a cop out on Life,
to go the Army way, if I couldn't make
it as a civilian.
I Checked the inactive selection.

I had to sweat out the Korean “ War”....
Some of my friends who chose Active, got
called up for that one,immediately..
That, innocent, meaningless, little, CHECK MARK!
The Crossroad of a career, a life, a family
and a 52 year marriage.

Never thought about it then.

Today is my 88th birthday.
Can’t get it out of my mind....now!

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sol...a Great Message in this "coming home" experience! Throughout Life we face Decisions...which impact our lives. You obviously made the right one...in view of your uncertain future at that time. Congratlations and Happy Birthday! I

CI-Roller Dude said...

You checked the right box. I have buddies in the National Guard who are on their 4th deployment--because they VOLUNTEERED for them. Do I feel quilty that I only did two deployments? Nope, not at all.

By the way, I never could get the sides of the ship right...what's starboard, port and all that.
I just said "the front, back, left or right side".

solfine said...

Hi Dude,
Great to hear from you so soon after my post...
You have to understand there was no more war anywhere,
when I had took this option.
I am prepared to say that unfortunately you have never experienced a
length of time, of any duration, where there WAS NO WAR.
I had more than 20 years of no war.
On hatch # 4 on a Liberty Ship the operator of the winches faces the stern( The Rear)
So......his right side (Starboard)of the ship becomes the left side(Port)of the ship
when he face the Bow(The Front) That's why they don't use Right and Left.
Port is Left and Starboard is right ONLY WHEN YOU FACE THE BOW.
When a Barge is asked to bring his unit to the port side he knows the correct side..
Much too expensive when you are requested to fire your port guns and you are a little confused
about which is the right side to shoot from. Too much wine tonight...can't stop my motor.
Nite Dude..
I Thank You For Your Service.

Elizabeth Bacher said...

Great posting Sol...I remember Papa telling me (and he talks about it in his memoirs that I will be posting soon) what was he going to do. He enlisted into the Army Aircorp his freshman year of college when the war broke out. The transition from being trained into a pilot within just a span of a year and experiencing the day-to-day dangers these men faced...the likes of which I cannot imagine...I mean, I don't know how you can transition back into regular civilian life after those kinds of experiences. Happy Birthday my dear friend...the life you made for yourself was well-deserved!!

Red said...

Happy belated birthday, sir!

solfine said...

Hi Liz,
Thank you for your kind birthday wishes and, understanding...
I went home to a country at peace.

Younger people today, have a much bigger problem..
They are being asked, to go back to a home, in a country,
that has been at war since I came home.
Korea, 4 years, Viet Nam, 8 years,Iraq,4 years,
Iraq again 4 years again, Afghanistan ??????
AND I left out 3 of them...Panama,Somalia, and another,Mo ...something.
They are torn apart with guilt when their time comes
to get out.
I am very proud of you, for your efforts in portraying
your Dad's service.
I've been to your blog numerous times and watched
you develop into a vigorous Blogger..
I know, that you now see, why it was so difficult for him,
to talk about what you are Blogging.
Can't seem to figure out how to leave a Comment on your Blog.
Truly,
Solomon

Miselaineous said...

Dad, just read your moving birthday post. It reveals much real emotion about your touching appreciation of life's varied choices and their resulting pitfalls and opportunities. Your ability to deeply experience "the moment" has been something I have long recognized and treasured about you. Now at 88 you continue to grow where you are planted and avidly seize each day by savoring every precious moment. So many love you ...and wish you a very happy birthday and many more years of good health. Love you, E

Wil said...

A very belated to you Solomon.

If you recall, I am the young man who served you at the Pelee Island Winery this past summer of 2010.

I've had your blog here bookmarked for sometime, and having read of the news of the last WWI veteran today reminded me of you, so I figured now was as great a time as any to drop you a line.

You among many I've met the past two summers there have stuck out in my mind and I appreciate the conversation we had, even if it was for a brief sunny afternoon.

I hope you and yours are happy and well.

~ Wil

michael said...

This is a great story. I am actually a Career Counselor in the Army and I deal with a lot of these same situations. In these times, reenlistments can be challenging, especially after a Soldier has served on multiple deployments. I appreciate and respect what you have done to provide me the freedom to do what I do now. Thank you for your service.

michael said...

This is such a great story. I am currently a Career Counselor in the United States Army. I deal with many similiar situations especially during these trying times of multiple deployments. I respect and appreciate the road you paved in allowing me to do what I do. Thank you so much for your service.

V/r
Mike

solfine said...

Thank You Mike,
Though I have not published since Dec. of last year, this old war horse is getting ready to return to the wonderful readers of my Blog.
I thank you for taking the time to leave your comment here.
Solomon

Sam said...

Happy birthday, so it seems you made the right decision and are happy about it. Today a lot of members are forced with this choice especially how the economy is. That must have been a good feeling to see America again.

solfine said...

Thank you Sam for your comment..
Somehow I get the impression that you are, or among, those that will, or, have to,make a similar decision.
Tough One to make!
Sorry ! No help from this corner!
Good Luck.
Solomon