AN ODE TO EMILY

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Hey, you crazy Space Cadets, how’s life on the other side of the monitor? I wanted to dig into the 2017 way-back-machine with a blog I wrote before anyone was reading my posts. It was a lot of fun, so I decided to resurrect it, edit it and share it again with you fine folks! That’s right, today I decided to spill my soul and show you, my one true love. How do I start? She was everything, she was life-changing and later she became lifesaving. While I was in elementary school, I had a crush on a vision of feminine perfection… well, that’s what my kindergarten brain figured she was anyway. Her name was Emily, she was sweet and never said a harsh word to anyone, at least none that 6-year-old JR heard. She was a fighter too, my very own Athena Warrior Princess who cared about those who were bullied. People like me, the fat kid.

 

Years past; I found sports and lost some of the baby fat. I grew up, reached the age where I cared about those of the female persuasion, and I looked back fondly on her. The memory of her anyway, of who I thought she was and of what she represented. It was more about what she meant to me than who or what she was as a person. Let’s be real, my memory of her is an idealized one, rather than representing reality. When I got up my nerve to start asking girls on dates, I would look back on her fondly. Maybe that’s where my thing for brunettes came from?

 

Fast forward to Fort Benning, Georgia in the sweltering heat of the summer of 1999. It was the single most important day of a rifleman’s training, the day our rifles were issued to us. Not the rubber ducky, that harsh mistress of silicone and loathing. No, our honest to goodness bang sticks! Just like in Hollywood, our drill sergeants forced us to name these weapons of iron and steel. And like most boot recruits I chose my girlfriends name, Laura. Training went on, letters dried up and my rifle’s name morphed into “The Bitch That Never Writes.” Cause, you know, 18-year-old girls got shit to do and Jody drives a sweet sweet Cadillac! Least this Jody wised up and married her, but I digress!

 

Phases changed, sweat flowed from our pores and new skills were learned. We could stab tires with bayonets and scream obscenities and run laps around Hell’s Half Acre. Time drug on, like it’s want to do in training and I was molded into the grunt my drill sergeants wanted me to become. And then it happened… I received my “Dear John Letter.” Clearly, my rifle needed a new name, one not connected to the hussy who chose a social life over a weekly postcard! 😛 Seeking better times, fonder memories, I named my love Emily.

 

Emily was a wonder rifle, full of sass and charm.  She bucked a little, showing her independence, but in my tender loving hands, she came through.  I loved her, we made magic and I qualified as an expert. You know what they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” so this naming convention followed through to every rifle I was ever issued. From the summer of 99 until Iraq in 05 where I spent an exciting year fighting in the sweltering heat of Mesopotamia. My mistress was with me through every dust storm, every combat engagement, every sleepless night… Emily comforted me and brought me home.

 

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I guess the moral of this tale when you find a good woman you hold her tight and don’t let go?

 

Anyway, the beers getting hot and I’m not some warm beer-drinking British heathen!

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!

 brown_bess

JR

 

—> As usual, the two images I used today can be found under Google’s “labeled for reuse” section.

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