Don't Wear Your Uniform at the Train Station!
Fri, 4 Oct 1996 05:57:06 -0500
I wanted to update you briefly on what's going on and why I haven't been
responding with my usual frequency to posts here as well as on the other forums
when I can be found. Thanks to some super TAC Scouters (including Chuck
Kirkland, who, by the way, Chuck...I'm taking a hour this evening to answer you
first! Thanks for the good words!) that have informed the Council Executive that
I was now in-country, I have been spending some time re-aquiating myself with
the "new Transatlantic Council", much more responsive and a lot smaller in size
than what I've experienced the LAST time I was here for longer than three weeks.
However, Scouting has NOT been keeping me busy....the Army has.
My primary "lot in life" in our Army is that of being a provider of
the public and in assisting the public to understand better what the Army
why the Army does; in particular, my little "parcel of Army camo" called the
Theater Army Area Command. It is easiest the busiest deployable
logisticial command in the world. Two weeks ago, I was talking to the man
who is now my
new boss about how the Army has changed since my days as a Signal officer in
Europe. He looked at me, looked at my collar and stated "You're a Signal
What are you doing at Public Affairs?" I told him that officers have to
serve in two
specialities, and because one of my specialities is in a branch different
I had to change branches. We talked more about what I did in civilian life, my
love for the Internet and the personal computer, and how my wife and I stay in
touch with each other.
We were standing, talking, literally in the middle of a busy passageway. I was
looking at the scanning beds and asking about getting one for my (old) office.
At the same time, I looked at the log sheet to see what *kinds* of things get
scanned here....if personal stuff was being scanned (it was) then perhaps that's
how I can get those patch designs scanned. During the ten minute conversation,
we had to squeeze, move and "excuse me" several times. "Worse than being
at a train station", I thought.
Then I went to Berlin for a German-American friendship conference. During the
conference, which had instruction in primarily German with a little English
in to remind us, one interesting thing was relayed to us during our
walk on the grounds of the historic Battle of Berlin, during World War II. The
Americans were not involved in this battle; it was between the Nazis and the
Russians. In preparation for this battle, service officers working at the
would find soldiers in uniform on leave, Youth brigade members in uniform, and
even postmen and policemen...anyone whom wore a uniform...and throw them in
a train headed for "the Eastern Front" and certain death at the hands of the
When I came back, I found out that the man I talked with informally over the
scanner (yes, I NOW have a scanner that works!! Be looking for scans of proposed
patches!) had talked with the Chief of Staff and my present boss, and volla!!
You are now reading from the "Task Force/Brigade Signal Officer" for our
deployable unit "downrange" in Hungary!! I'll be leaving for Hungary later
month, after I've attended mine warfare and situational training in the
of Germany. I may be like Mike Lardie and have to stay down there for a few
months; or like Scott Speck and go back and forth like a yoyo (I've done
several times, and it isn't fun!) to get the job done. Basically, my old
boss "traded me out" for a 20-inch color monitor and a 486DX/4 computer for
Forces Network (AFN) reporter downrange!!
It's good to know your *relative worth*. So Jessica, when I tell you that
worth *at least* 14 Pentium Pro computer systems with HP Laserjet 5 printers,
that's a GOOD PRICE!!! *heheheheeheee* (she's not too happy with me; I've
bounced two checks since being here and I "can't add and subtract"!)
So, you have some idea of why the delay is SO LONG....I also wanted to
thank those TAC (and other) Scouters that have "talked me up" without my
knowledge. Yesterday, our District Executive took me to lunch and besides
my SME/FOS money (which we will do this year here as opposed to home), he
gave me a DISTRICT COFFEEMUG (now where did you supposed he KNEW
that I loved coffee and coffeemugs at?? *wink*) as well as some patches which
will *remain* in *my possession*. Well....most of them. I'm still finishing
national CSP collection! *laughter* I assumed that what you told Ron Brown, our
Council Scout Executive as well as Bararossa District Executive Jack Gaylord
was that I always stand ready to do whatever I can within reason to further
along here, just like Jessica and I try to do back home and anywhere else we go.
Again, my personal and public "thank you" and "thanks" to the 27 people that
are waiting on a response from me....I'm looking at your minimized postings on
the screen here and as soon as I get "read into" the current stuff I'm
be being paid to do now, I will answer and send the things you've asked of me.
One final note: YES, my "four-pound binder" along with some other Scouting
stuff DID arrive (it wasn't the box I was expecting, the box with the modem
and fax card in it) and it's on my shelf at home, ready to be used and
Remember, don't stand on a "train platform" in your uniform....you never know
who will pick you up and take you to yet ANOTHER CHALLENGE!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle)
(Brigade) Signal Officer, TF 21, 21st Theater Army Area Command
Kaiserslautern, Federal Republic of Germany
"everything I say is "on the record"; speaking ONLY for myself unless indicated"
personal inquiries via email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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-----FORWARD in service to youth and the nation-----
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City