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Patriotism: An Old Virtue

When I returned to speak to BIake he was out on the cement slab of the new solar greenhouse that he was building hosing the mud off it.

He smiled. “How’d it go?”

“Alright I guess. I’m not sure I have a job to return

to but other than that everything is fine.”

“You’re we welcome to stay here. You can have that extra room in the basement if you want. It’s a nice little place. You should be able to find work around here too.”

“Nah. I should be hearing from the Air Force soon.

“All I need to have is one more address change for my recruiter to track down. I’ll never get in.”

“You thought SERI was bad. Wait until you try the Air Force. The military’s the biggest bureaucracy in the world. You’ll last real long there. Sheez! Whatever possessed you to join the Air Force?”

“Patriotism. An old virtue. And I had an argument with a girl I was dating and she convinced me I was going nowhere in my current position. It’s something I always wanted to see if I could do and she provided the perfect excuse.”

“Enjoy it then. Just remember to keep your own identity.

“They can destroy you with a decision. I’ve seen it done.”

Since Blake had served two tours as a Green Beret in Vietnam, I had to respect his opinion.

“I’ll be alright. I’ve been through enough already

“God only knows what I’ve been through.” He replied. And having fought with the Montaguard against the Viet Cong in those years, no doubt he was right.

“You probably will. Lt. Laura read some of that book you left behind and she said it’s pretty way out stuff.”

“Only when you’re first exposed to it. It becomes more understandable the more you’re exposed to it.”

“Maybe. Why didn’t you tell your mother where you were She was all distraught when she called and you weren’t She started crying.”

“Blake she’s like that. Her tears are control tears. They’re shed whenever she needs to whip one of her sons into line and they refuse to obey her wishes. She’ll be alright.”

“I know what you mean. My mother calls me up twice a month to say the same thing “When are you going to get away from those barbarians in Colorado and get some sense into you and return to civilization in New York.”

He laughed.

“When I lived in Texas it was the same thing except that she said ’Texas” instead of Colorado. I’ve lived here three years and she’s never even visited. Mothers. They’re something aren’t they Brian.”

“Yeah. I always think mine’s something and then I run across somebody else’s who’s weirder.”

“Why does your group refer to that woman as “Mother?” I read it in that book.”

“It’s a term of endearment. She’s considered the world mother.”

“Pretty tall claim isn’t it?”

“She’s a pretty amazing woman.”

“Maybe. I’ll take you out to the McCarta Inn tomorrow.

“Thanks, Blake. That will be good.”

“Oh ... don’t thank me. You know how it puts Laura in a good mood to drive out to the mountains.”

The next day we took their golden retriever and their Mercedes Benz and toured the mountains. It was a scene right out of “The Sound of Music.”

I avoided talk of Church Glorious and Victorious and it felt good to be away from it all day but now all I would think about was what I was going to face from my family when I returned.

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