Like many of y'all I found that the so-called election knocked the stuffing out of me. I've been lurking around dkos since, but haven't found the energy to post a diary. Not to mention the Ohio Wars got to be a little wearying.
But here's a happy thought, brought about by the upcoming 30th anniversary reunion of Peace Corps Senegal, classes of 1973-75 which has reintroduced me to people I haven't talked to in, well, 28 years.
My buddy Howie and I had little in common. Even at age 21 I was an eastern snooty innelectual, and he was a pragmatic midwestern engineer. We didn't like the same music, movies, TV shows, sports or anything. As for books -- well, as I recall he didn't read much. On the other hand, he could fix anything.
But we went through some heavy stuff together, Band of Brothers kind of stuff. I remember one time when he was going in to tear a new asshole for a local corrupt/incompentent government official. He knew he might create a big enough stink to get himself canned from the Peace Corps and kicked out of the country. But his French really sucked, and I was fluent, so I went with him and kicked the guy's ass on Howie's behalf. And Howie did logical equivalents for me.
Last time I saw him was at his wedding in Cincinatti in 1977.
So this mail message from him has really got me shaken up:
"My two sons are presently both in Albuquerque. My son stationed in
Italy was able to return early for moral support when I as in the
hospital. He will be heading back to Italy in January and then
unfortunately on to Afghanistan in early spring for a year. He has
already spent one terrible year in Iraq."
Now, when Howie says, "terrible" I can only imagine. This man is stoic.
Howie and I each gave two years, and a reasonble bit of good health, working among poor moslem people, trying to bridge the gap & spread a little understanding and goodwill.
Many Peace Corps Volunteers had parents who had been in combat. We hoped to help build a world where our children wouldn't have to deal with that kind of stuff.
Who would have thought it would have come to this?