Message from Iraq

FG is one of four brothers- bang!bang!bang!bang!- born in four years. He’s the baby at 52 next month, then there’s Calvin and Jon and at the top, Bill who is 56. FG is a consulting psychologist in sports and leisure intelligence; his guy friends think this is a very cool job because he goes to August Busch’s cigar parties, the Super Bowl and every other sporting event on the planet. Bud, of the Bud and Jan show, blames FG for what went wrong with hockey. The two middle brothers are both lawyers and they are not without their quirks. They’re also pretty cool guys. One of them practices special education advocacy law, which doesn’t pay squat, but has it’s own rewards. The other one teaches at Concordia University, which doesn’t pay squat, but has it’s own rewards. They both have neat wives and children.

Jon calls me girlfriend and I started calling him that, too, after I saw him in a 30 year old baby print flannel nightgown a couple months ago. Apparently he asked his mom to make him a nightshirt in the 70s and she found some old material left from sewing for the boys when they were tots. She’s gone now. He calls it a nightshirt but I’m tellin’ ya, it’s a nightgown.  He wears it on special occasions and their father’s internment at Arlington a while back was one of those so there, in the hotel room, wandering around with a beer in hand, was Jon in his nightgown. I’m trying to get a picture for you.

Bill, the oldest, is a soldier. He was in for 30 years and retired as a Lt. Colonel about a year ago. He went home to his wife and sons in California. Three months later he got called back.

56 is not a good age to be dealing with sand fleas or the sand flea repellent that his uniforms are saturated with. It’s not a good age to be swallowing talcum powder fine sand. And it’s not a good age to wear 40 pounds of gear and go trooping around in very dangerous places. You can probably figure out that if you’ve been at it for 30 years and they call you back you have valuable skills that involve some risk.

We’re pretty much a peace loving, open minded, good samaritan group; at least we try to be.  When we all last met at Arlington (you can check out the photos I took in the side bar album) we said goodbye to Norman permanently and Bill until we see him again. We all worry about him a whole lot and talk about it very little. Sometimes humor is the only way to deal with tough stuff. The picture of FG going to work on his new bike had been going around the family and I guess Calvin got a mid-life cycle, too. So Jon sent us this:   HERE’S A PICTURE I JUST RECEIVED OF BILL ON HIS WAY TO WORK    Image001_1_2

(I haven’t given you much to go on in terms of how I feel about this but I would welcome a discussion.) 

6 responses to “Message from Iraq

  1. The question is – Is a tank a good carpool vehicle? If so, we sell them where we work, and I can get a discount for you. Better than an SUV in the snow, I guarantee it.

  2. Thanks, Amy. I’m not sure snow is high on Bill’s list of problems right now but I’ll pass it on…

  3. I imagine Bill would welcome the coolness of a snow shower about now. Okay, I will bite: How DO you feel about this, Vicki? It might make a good post. Take care. Bill and all of you are in my prayers.

  4. Thanks for your e-mail! I like your blog. I’m looking at your book list. I loved the Kite Runner. My heart goes out to Bill. Best wishes for a safe term in Iraq. I hope he gets home soon.

  5. I hope he comes back safe and sound!

  6. As I’m new to your blog, I’m a bit confused. Are these your brothers?

    Sending love and concern to Bill and Bill’s family, whoever and wherever they are.

    I’m very mixed. I’m a pacifist by nature. And I know two people who are fighting in Iraq now, and in danger. I’m afraid if I get too deeply engaged in conversation about what is and has happened there that I’ll end up with nightmares. Vicki, how are you feeling?

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