I'm crunching hard for the job that pays the bills, so I've been a little negligent of my duties here. Sorry. Hope to be back strong tomorrow.
There aren't a lot of things I miss about the Navy--but one is the salute. The simple act of recognizing another person. Non-military folks think that officers get off on salutes--I suppose they may be right--but the simple truth is that you have to return any salute rendered you--so it is a mutual obligation.
I take the Kitten's kittens to school some mornings when I'm in our bucolic little town of Easton. As I leave the parking lot to head home, there is a crossing guard posted--an older man, probably in his late sixties. He's a bit of a fixture here in Talbot County--and can be found directing traffic most summer weekends in St. Michaels, the local tourist village.
He carries out his duties with military precision; his movements are akin to those of the soldiers at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington. I am fascinated by this fellow to whom I've never spoken. Though we do not speak, we do communicate. As he turns to me to wave me out into the road, I render him a salute. He comes to attention and returns it--and I am on my way. This little act of respect--me for him, him for me, and probably by the transitive property--both of us for the country we represented--never seems to fail to make my morning.