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In April, I wrote an article for Task & Purpose on why I am so difficult to date, and why I find it tough to connect on some levels with those who think “PT” means physical therapy instead of waking up at some terrible hour to run some horrible number of miles.
Since then, I’ve tricked someone into hanging around. (Purely by chance, he is a former Marine, giving credence to another Task & Purpose article about why one should date a veteran.) We keep our own schedules, we exchange jibes about each other’s service, and we have yet to have a significant argument as most things seem fairly trivial. He treats me well; we don’t argue; all is well.
Then the other day, he mentions that he doesn’t use a calendar.
I’m sorry, what?
Maybe it was my enlisted time, having to not only be in the right time, right place, right uniform, but having to be there before my soldiers because of the whole 15 minutes early to the 10 minutes early to the preformation formation before Reveille. Our officers strolled up sometime later, usually about 20 minutes after I could no longer feel my toes.
Maybe it’s the two years of post-brain-rattle occupational therapy driven into my head that makes me feel as though I would die without Google calendar, which is synced to my phone, which is synced to the Evernote photo I took of the dry erase board hanging over my desk.
Maybe it’s just annoying when I can’t plan more than a few days ahead of time and that fills me with anxiety.
Whatever it is, the very thought of not using a calendar put me into such a state of panic that it made me consider this shortcoming a potential dealbreaker --- a fatal flaw.
Fatal flaws are part of my mental checklist of idiosyncrasies that make or break my patience with others. They are what make me want to just curl up on my couch and eat ice cream and watch Netflix. Alone.
All humans have flaws. I have about a million, the least of which being that I have two cats with whom I converse. (But, at least I know their schedules two weeks out.) I’m loud, I’m competitive, I’m opinionated, I have the mouth of a sailor, and I prefer clothes purchased at an outdoor store. I expect to be judged, I have my list as I evaluate potential mates.
But because something so small bothered me so viscerally, I started thinking, do veterans have too strong an opinion of what right looks like?
In the military, we were told what was expected of us through constant regulation and field manuals and counseling statements and command memos. If something was wrong, we were told to fix it. Our entire lives were owned by the service. Our rooms inspected. Our finances catalogued. Our off-duty habits analyzed. And we raised our subordinates the same way with the same standards, the same systems, synchronizing our calendars and our watches and our green notebooks.
Now that I’m out, I need to remember that standards no longer fit neatly into an inspectable item that I better have in my right cargo pocket. I have to give a little when dealing with, or dating, others. Otherwise, I really will become that crazy cat lady out here in the real world.
So is this calendar thing his fatal flaw? Maybe six months ago, it would have been.
But I’m getting better. I adore him, and he treats me well, he makes me laugh, and most importantly, puts up with my own flaws. I already forgave some other former dealbreakers, such as living within walking distance of my apartment, so my attitude is improving. I’m transitioning and becoming more flexible in my dating regulations.
Am I willing to give up my list entirely? No. We all have standards, and that’s a good thing. But he can track his appointments however works best for him. I’ll keep the list, but now the flaws aren’t so fatal as long as they’re balanced with the good qualities.
He’s not my soldier, he’s my friend. I’d rather keep him around, and he seems to like me enough to do the same. And that’s terrifying enough, thanks.
Former Marine Commandant tells Trump that pardoning troops accused of war crimes 'relinquishes the moral high ground'
Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."
"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.
President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.
"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted. "She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin"
The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.
"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.
"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."
After a year and a half since the Army took delivery on the first of its souped-up new version of the M1 Abrams main battle tank, the Pentagon's Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio is ramping up to deliver the service's first full brigade of upgraded warhorses to bring the pain downrange.