It's two days past Thanksgiving. Originally was going to post a "things I'm thankful for" post then, but it was a busy day.
I am most thankful for my family. I could write for page after page about what my mother has meant to me, and not have it scratch the surface. There are a lot of people who can't say the same thing about their mother (I know, I recruited some of them). I have never been the perfect son and have made mistakes great and small which have, no doubt, caused her sleepless nights and great frustration. But she's always been there for me. Can't ask for much more.
Continuing on family, these next two are in no particular order. AM has been a second mother to me. I come home to Houston as much to see her and UB as I do to see mom. Which bring me to UB. After the death of my dad UB has been my surrogate father-figure. His advice and guidance on all things "manly" served as my guideposts growing up, and even to this day.
The SFC B family is not particularly large, or at least not as large as some. There is a flock of Uncles who I don't see as often as I'd like, but when I do it is as close to, I think, hanging out with my dad as possible (why did I have to get the Bradshaw hair?!?).
And I couldn't go without mentioning my Super Sister. She uses all of the smarts and talent I did not develop/have/wasted. She needs to draw more, or at the very least draw my damned Tiny Pet. I was far, far, far from a perfect brother (as much as I'd like to I just can't rehash the "bike" incident) and I didn't realize it until I'd moved away from home that I was blessed with a fun, smart, cool sister who I now don't get to see or hang out with nearly often enough. If you read this Super Sister's Significant Other I'm glad that you make her happy, keep doing so and we'll get along fine.
With family out of the way I need to express my gratefulness to the Soldiers with whom I've served.
I have been blessed by having a string of fine NCOs as leaders and mentors. Starting with SFC Lynskey back when I was an E-0. He taught me the value in my MOS and how important it was. He also instilled in me the pride which comes from doing my job well, and to take satisfaction in those successes. This is an important lesson for any 42A, and one which too many don't learn. SFC now 1SG Stone was the first NCO who took me aside and taught me what it meant, what it really meant, to be a NCO. He held me to a standard that no one previously had, and challenged me to meet or exceed it. And I'd like to think I have. He was, unquestionably, the best leader it's ever been my pleasure to serve under. MSG Indyck and SFC Brooks were like some sort of old married couple. Where MSG Indyck was a detail-oriented professional who expected excellence (and it took me a bit to improve so that I could deliver that excellence) SFC Brooks was a kind and caring person who would try and find the best in people. Together they made for the best working environment I've ever had. MSG Jones had a knack for determining the most important part of a mission, and ensuring it got done. Learning how to pare away distractions and identify what is really important to the Commander's Intent makes life so much better.
I've taken almost as much from my peers as I have from my seniors. Dutch made Massachusetts fun, and is probably the only person in the Boston Metro area I'd warn before nuking the area from orbit. The only thing which made recruiting worth it, and a period in time which I look back on with any fondness were my fellow recruiters. While in recruiting I had nicknames for most of them in an effort to provide some distance from what I was writing and who they were. Those who knew of the blog knew who they were. At this point I'm far enough removed from the
Only recently have I been able to have anyone whom I could refer to as a subordinate. For the people currently serving in my section, and those who have recently left, I could not succeed without you all. Santa couldn't deliver a group of people more professional or competent. Any success I have in this assignment is directly attributable to y'all. Of course I will never tell anyone that and I keep all praise for myself while diverting any blame directly to you. I wish nothing but the greatest success, personal and professional, for all of you, and want to do whatever I can to facilitate that happening. Unless it requires you to leave my office. In that case I will 5 block you.
I can't choose family, and I can't choose my co-workers. So to have had so many of both for whom I'm grateful to know works for me.
Of all the choices I've made in my life, a whole lot of them have been really, really bad. How on Earth I've managed to find people who consider me a friend is, sometimes, mind-boggling.
Keeping some privacy for folks who have never asked me to write about them in such a public setting I'll abbreviate or use other names as appropriate.
C, my best friend. The low-key sober person to my me. Our common incredulity at Caleb's idiocy and appreciation for all things stripper has lasted almost 15 years. No matter the time between get-togethers I'll make whatever effort is necessary, and drive over miles of unlit North Carolina backroads to raise a glass with you. If my retirement plan to just live in an Italian exotic car falls through we'll see about getting that business running.
Ama, there isn't really much I can say here that I don't think I've told you. Suffice to say I'm extremely thankful for you.
The other Sheep, you always have a place to stay in Wisconsin. However if you find yourself in Wisconsin it is your own damn fault.
LT the best comment friend I have. I know you think you want to go 79R, but, think about it. Think about it long and hard. It's a bell that cannot be unrung.
H, aside from my relatives I haven't known anyone on this list longer. You're not last here because of merit, but because of the limits of my words and thoughts. I don't really know how to express what is on my mind. What I can do though is put in writing that I'm glad, and thrilled, and thankful, very thankful, for your friendship.
Anyways, I think this post has exceeded the combined length of every thing else I've written this year. It's two days late, but I'll blame that on mechanical problems (if it works for Southwest it can work for me). I think mom has some errands to run and I'm going with because, well, it's freezing in the house.