There's not much positive I can say about my experience in the U.S. Army during the seventies. All I can say is that I did my part and that I never had to serve in Vietnam.
But, there was one positive thing from the Army that has stuck with me during all those years.
I was sitting in an outdoor assembly with several hundred other soldier types. We were listening to a whole line-up of officers talk about the rules. One stands out and I've never forgotten him. He was a colonel and a West Point graduate.
As he was going up the steps to the platform, he tripped and fell. A bunch of guys laughed. This was in basic training meaning that we were slick-sleeve privates and under their total control.
Instead of an angry response, he used it as a teaching moment. He told everybody with the voice of a teacher and an Army leader that the issue is not about falling, but how you get up. And he went on to explain that everybody would fall and make mistakes. The secret is how you recover and what you learn. It's how you get up.
I've made plenty of mistakes. I thought of that day and what that colonel said. I've tried to learn from them. It was all a matter of getting back up.
My grandson is two-years-old plus a couple of months. His sister will be born in the late fall.
I pass this story and its lesson on to them.