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I think someone took offense at a cartoon I posted earlier this month wherein I called Irwin a hypocrit. Apparently they thought I was calling all upper classmen cadets hypocrits. That wasn’t the case then and it’s not the case today. Fact is, most upper classmen are working hard to become the kind of officers we need in the military today, the kind who know how much work it’s going to be to lead in a combat zone, and they know hypocrisy won’t cut it when they get commissioned.
However, having said that, I have run across my share of hypocrits amongst upperclassmen cadets, and was a hypocrit on occasion myself. Like the above cartoon, I always thought that if you were going to be in the Corps of Cadets, you needed to do what was asked or get the hell out. It’s a lot of work being a cadet, but you get out of it what you put into it. It’s an honor and a privilege to be part of the VTCC.
It’s just that at on some days… Well, you know what days I mean. The days when you get up at 4AM to trudge all the way through the freezing cold out to Lane Stadium to run stadium steps for an hour and then when you’re completely exhausted you have to trudge all the way back to the cadet dorms and grab breakfast and throw on the uniform so you can make it to that three hour lab at 8AM and then you have a paper to write and two tests to study for and ROTC lab after that and oh, don’t forget evening formation and there’s an AUSA meeting you have to attend where you’re planning a fund raiser, and did we mention you’ve got guard detail tonight? Yeah, on those days, it’s hard to remember that you yourself said, “Do it or get out.”
The thing is, the rest of your life is going to be like that. In fact, it will be even worse. Right now, you cadets are single and in college. Believe it or not, your life is easy and you have relatively few responsibilities. In a few more years though, you’ll be in the military, going on deployment. You’ll have a spouse and kids and a house to take care of. There will be PTA meetings and parent-teacher conferences and math homework that your oldest child just does not understand and you majored in Military History because you never understood math either. There will be school bake sales to prepare for and your front yard desperately needs to be mowed and have you put up your Halloween decorations yet? Oh, and you still need to sit down with your husband or wife to discuss upgrading the flood insurance on the house and don’t forget you volunteered to help out with the Girl Scouts this weekend and on and on and on and on…
It. Never. Ends. And there will be plenty of days were you will think, “I wanted to do this, I chose to do this, and by thunder I’m doing it! And people who can’t handle the pressure shouldn’t have kids/a spouse/a home/a military career!” And then there will be days when you will look at your life and think, “I would really just like to go back to bed now and stay there…”
But that’s life. It’s terribly, terribly busy and it will keep throwing challenges and responsibilities at you until the day you die. Then and only then do you get to go back to bed and stay there. But until that day comes along, I suggest you keep moving. And indulge in a little hypocritical whining every now and then, because if you don’t, you’ll most like have a massive stroke and die.
In any event, have fun this weekend!