Thursday, February 27, 2014

Getting Old

While watching the movie Captain Phillips the other night, my mom asked, “You used to want to be in Special Forces?”

I hadn’t thought about that for a long time.  As I have written before, I had the ambition of trying out for first Combat Control, and then when it opened to officers, Combat Rescue, the two Air Force versions of Special Forces.  I was nominally held back by poor eyesight before LASIK was approved for use by military personnel.  I will admit candidly, however, that in retrospect I would have made a poor fit for all sorts of psychological reasons, about which the less said the better.

But from the perspective of my mid-forties, it is difficult for me to remember being the kind of person who would get excited by the possibility.  Over the last six years, first a shoulder, then an elbow, then a leg, and most recently a broken hand, have succumbed to some degree of strain or injury.  I nurse these along with physical therapy as best I can, and (with what I hope will be the temporary exception of the broken hand) I can’t really claim to be held back by any them.   But nor have I fully recovered from any of them; they are a constant reminder of my own fragility.

At the time of his captivity, Rich Phillips was nine or so years older than I am now. 

Getting old sucks.

When they joined the rescue effort, the Navy SEALs apparently parachuted into the water, inflated their RHIBs (think Zodiacs on steroids), and docked up with the Bainbridge.  But why do that when the Bainbridge had a perfectly good helicopter pad for them to land on?  With lights and everything?


Anonymous said...

But why do that?

Because they could.

Dexter said...

If you're in the Air Force and you're not a fighter pilot, you might as well be a desk jockey. Combat Rescue / Combat Control = more danger than being a pilot, with LESS chance of wearing stars.