Tuesday September 06, 2005
MREs -- now with steroids...
Years ago, after graduating from high school, I
considered joining the Marines as a means of
getting a college education.
I went to the recruiting office and took the "written test" and was scheduled to take a physical exam weeks later.
The timely arrival of a college acceptance letter
with an offer of a scholarship diverted me away from the military.
Thinking back, I doubt I would have made it through boot camp. I was fit and trim from having been on the swim team but I never did have the physique for any "real combat".
At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, when I visited there on vacation, I saw The. Biggest. Guard. Ever.
He had a shaved head, crisp uniform, big stompy boots -- except that he barely made any sound as he patrolled back and forth -- and precise turns made while carrying a rifle.
Not the rat-tat-tat automatic weapon kind of rifle -- the kind with bolt-action that makes a satisfying click-click
sound (or so I imagine from seeing countless action movies, as I've never fired a gun).
What brought this to mind was seeing the funeral procession of William Rehnquist, the late Supreme Court Justice, on television this morning.
His pall bearers were his former clerks. I'm not saying all his clerks eventually found desk jobs where their daily routine now involve lifting
items no heavier than a briefcase -- I'll just say that they seem a bit strained while transporting the casket. Contrast that to the funeral of
Ronald Reagan, the 40th President, whose coffin was carried, seemingly effortlessly, by marching military guards.
Either the recruiters for the armed forces have a great screening process to pick out the biggest, strongest guys, or they're putting steroids into MREs (yup, steroids).