The Flinchum File

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The Ability to Forget

Military officers should look and act dignified but not prissy. For myself, this indignity training consisted of “low-crawling” (on our belly) across a sewage-drying facility in Fort Benning, Georgia. It was probably only 50 yards across (4″-6″ deep), but it seemed like a 26-2 mile marathon. I suppose nobody could possibly be “prissy” after that?

While awaiting deployment, some important person died, whose name I have long forgotten, and the Army in its infinite wisdom quickly selected those awaiting deployment to participate in a parade. (What? I “fired expert” in both the M-14 and M-79, and you want me dress up pretty and prissy for a parade?)

It was awful! Marching around like little Marionette puppets is unnatural. Fortunately, human memory banks often lose the most unpleasant memories. While I remember every detail of the indignity crawl, I had largely forgotten how much I hated parade-work.

Watching the coronation of King Charles, I was happy for the him and the British people, but felt only sympathy for the thousands of soldiers forced to parade around like puppets. I salute them too . . . poor bastards!