Location: Fort Worth, Texas, United States

Mother of 3, grandmother of 3. Compulsive writer. Single, not especially "looking."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Memories of Childhood

Every once in a while, I will read about a subject from another Military Brat that I had entirely forgotten about. It's been a life-long experience, learning why I do the things I do, and how I feel about many things in this world. I was never so glad to see two things in my life as the Golden Gate Bridge as our ship from Korea passed under it; I had lived in Korea for 18 months as a 3rd and 4th grader, and I missed ice cream! We just didn't have that many luxuries there, so the minute I saw the Golden Gate Bridge, I knew what I wanted the first thing when we debarked -- An ice cream cone. And I got it. And it had never tasted better.

The second sight that is emblazoned in my childhood memory is that of The Statue of Liberty as yet another ship brought me back to the States in 1952. I thought, "Now I know how the immigrants must have felt when they saw that statue." I was home.

And as an adult, a strange feeling unrelated to the US Army life I had led, was in Honolulu, when we took a short boat ride out to Pearl Harbor. Out in the open seas, there was a naval vessel approaching, and their men were standing at parade rest as the ship brought them to dry land -- to home, at least for a while. And, I bawled like a baby at that sight. Why? I wondered. I'm not a Navy Junior. But that sight tugged at my heartstrings so much that I could no longer contain the emotion.

And finally, on 9/11, and its aftermath of Super Patriotism Displayed, I was somewhat bemused by this sudden public welling of loving our country. I had always felt that way. Trust me, when you live in a foreign country and then return, you really fall in love with your birthplace all over again. Good or bad, right or wrong, we mostly get it good, and right. And if we disagree, well, welcome to your opinion. I certainly won't attack you for a difference of opinion, unless of course, you do something utterly senseless like burn the flag, stamp on it,or spit on it. The hooligans who do such actions, I notice, are usually those who would do well to serve our country in uniform, where they would learn to love their flag, rather than dishonor it. And every once in a while, I hear even an Army Brat defending such actions, stating, "it's their right to do that," and I want to whack them good and proper. Not in my Army Brat world, I want to yell.
Sometimes we lean over backward to accommodate what some people believe is granted to us in the US Constitution. It's kind of like, "The right to bear arms." I'm sure the framers of the Constitution connected that concept with the then prevailing custom of everyone being subject to enlisting in a well-armed militia, and for defending his dwelling from invaders such as wayward Indians.
But I may be wrong. I quite often am.
And this morning I turned the corner to reach my street after coming back from Wally-World, and noticed a sign on the vacant lot on the corner....Future Home of Full Gospel International Tabernacle.
My heart sank. First, I thought of the traffic this would bring to my quiet neighborhood, even though as I type this, jets from the military base are buzzing overhead.
Second, I wondered what kind of church this would be? It's not Baptist or Methodist, or any of the prevailing Southern religions. As a child, I had become accustomed to going to Chapel Protestant Services -- A Methodist listening to a sermon by a Southern Baptist in an Army compound overseas. Can't get much more ecumenical than that.
I hope not. And I just have to say it -- I just hope and pray they're not snake-handlers.
Okay, so now I'm not only a brat, but a bigot. Maybe not. Maybe just afraid of snakes, okay?

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