cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
I served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard during the Berlin crisis that saw the 32nd Division activated and sent to then Ft. Lewis, Washington. We trained for possible deployment involving what was then called the "Cuban Missile" crisis. That never occurred and we were released from active duty some ten months later. Then that was quite the big deal; today that is little more than an extended summer camp at Ft. McCoy.
As I read this morning of the Army's need to go through a significant force reduction given budget restraints, I was reminded of how much our world has changed, and of just how much that has forced a change for those who serve us as today's citizen soldiers.
We have state Army Guard units that are about to embark on their fourth overseas tour of duty. We have, unfortunately, seen the flags flying at half-staff here at home too often in the past several years reminding us of the ultimate sacrifice paid by another of our state's young men or young women on foreign soil.
The force reduction being orchestrated now will mean that our National Guard and Army Reserve unit members will be even more subject to deployment since our world does not appear to be anywhere near able to see all nation states exist peacefully with one and other. We see nothing but the ever-present danger posed by disruptive forces that didn't exist to any large degree in decades past. We see religious groups bent on the absolute rule over all nations on earth and willing to engage in any activity to move their cause forward.
Remember these great young men and women and thank them whenever you have the opportunity. They, today, are very close to being front-line troops subject to mobilization at a moments notice. They are no longer the "week-end warriors" we were branded as years ago.
Thank you Guard members!