The Struggle for Identity

“I is,” and “I ain’t!”

It literally makes me nauseated to even think about it!  I am throwing up as we talk and are putting to words the difficult measure of identity!  Maybe, it was just the orange juice that I over loaded on this morning!  Ummmm  ……

Well, it certainly raises the question, of what is, and what is not!  As we travel through this thing called “Life,” we often stop and think, just what are the measurements of our accomplishments and what have we really done?

Most things don’t give us much trouble, but, then, there are other areas, maybe just a few, that really give us a run for our money sometimes!  For example:

  • What race are we a member of?  White? Caucasian?  Black?  Brown?  Asian? Indian?  American Indian?  Russian?  Croatian?  Irish?
  • So, by the same logic, we may ask what is our own ethnicity?   May have to go to DNA!
  • What religion are we?
  • What do we believe?
  • What is the true description of our work?  Of our job?  Of our responsibilities?
  • Are we tall?   Or are we short?  By whose standards?
  • Are we overweight or underweight?
  • Are you this or are you that?
  • Are you a member?  Or are you not a member?
  • You get the picture!

Which brings me to one primary consideration.

In college, during the Vietnam War Era, I enjoyed the benefit of a college deferment from the draft as a registered 18 year old.  I went to college, Emory University, and while there, volunteered to join the United States Air Force, AFROTC Program.  Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corp.  As a Cadet, I was issued both work and dress uniforms, which I wore with pride.  I became an important member of the Rifle Drill Team, and I assumed other responsibilities as offered and needed.  I studied military tactics and drill on the field, and we observed special events and holidays along with our counter gender, Angel Flight.  All this time I kept up a full academic college load of studies.

During this time, we would, from time to time, in full uniform, fly in U. S. Air Force airplanes, to such places as the U. S. Air Force Museum, at Dayton, Ohio, at Dayton Air Force Base.  While there we visited and touched such items as the Enola Gay, the B-52, that delivered the first and second Atomic Bomb during World War II.  And other great aircraft, as well as Air Force Personnel.   We flew back home in the same Air Force Airplane, a Convair 340.  We were United States Air Force thru and thru!

During this time, I took, and made a

high grade on the OCS examination, for Officer Candidate School.  I was military all the way, almost!  But, as time passed, the government wanted a bigger and bigger commitment from me on the time that I would actually spend in the military after college.  I wanted to go to Law School.  They said okay, but that will mean six more years on top of the two, for a total of eight years you will be committed to the Air Force.  That seemed like a long time when you are young and it was not my intention to make the military a career for me.  So later, I withdrew from AFROTC and the apparent dead end road that I was traveling on!

Later the draft went to use a new method of selection for the “Selected Service” and that was the Draft Lottery.  Each Birthday was given a number by draw from a lottery of 365 numbers.  My Birthday of July 6 was #327, as I recall.  It was a very high number and I would most likely not be drafted anytime soon!  I finished college, went to Law School, and got on with my life!  Although I did not finish Law School, after my first year, I went into private business and began to pursue my other dreams in life!

So, I admit it, it has always haunted me, that I was in the military, but, I wasn’t!  There, I have said it!  I did all these things including having an M-14 Rifle (No firing pin), wore the uniform of my country, flew on Air Force Airplanes, marched in Parades, etc., etc., etc.

Now, when all those who are Veterans, who have worn the Uniform, of any branch of the service, please stand up and be recognized, is announced –  I remain seated, because I wrestle with these issues in my mind so heavily!  Yes and no, the arguments can go on, ad- infinitum!

So, in the final analysis, I believe that it is what “You Believe” that is important, within reason.  This puts the burden of proof on what is the reasonable man!  And, this has been the bases for the law and all other things for ages!   What is reasonable???   And who is the “Reasonable Man?”

Is is “You?” Or is it “Me?

Me, of course!

Don’t you agree!?!

It is what you believe!


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