Friday, December 01, 2006

Nice to be recognized

Well - I was suprised the other day to get a call - here I have been retired for 6 months and I got a packet with my retirement award in the mail. Also included were a retirement certificate and an American Flag.

Those of you that have served any length of Time in the Army Reserve know just how slow or non-existant the awards programs are in overworked and understaffed Reserve Units and I was no exception. Thats not to take away from the award and the considerable effort exerted by the FTS personnel... not at all... after all I served as a Military Technician for 18 years and I can testify how much work is piled on the few fulltime personnel in a typical reserve unit. I 'm merely expressing my pleasant reminder of the brotherhood that is a Reserve Unit when I see the package arrived and I opened it.

I was given an Legion of Merit for 24 years service which is quite an honor. As always- dear readers, it caused me to reflect back upon how it came to pass that that stupid 2LT (Butterbar) actually progressed in his career to the point that the Chief of The Army Reserve signs his retirement award in recognition for a job done well. Sometimes it seemed painful, lonely, adventurous, exasperating but above all it was service to country and that meant more than any ribbon can really convey.

I wish to use this forum to note that many do not get awards that are more deserving. Some recieve awards based upon flawed criteria, some are never submitted. In every case I have known, the award is not the sought commodity for the soldier.... we all seek the longer lasting and more satisfing thanks for serving... in good times and bad.

Next time you see or talk with a soldier... just that little comment - thanks for serving, appreciate your sacrifice, etc... means more than any medal/ award/ ribbon..... after all, we work for this great country and the genuine appreciation expressed by the american public is more powerful than a room full of generals with buckets of decorations.

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