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Steve Slinker

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Running Away From Home
by Steve Slinker   
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Last edited: Thursday, November 01, 2007
Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2007

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What I learned in running away from home

Running Away From Home

When you are young and have spent much of your life farming cows, hogs, cotton and peanuts out in the middle of nowhere you get to thinking all kinds of stupid stuff, like adventure, glory, glamor, excitement! Boy did I get the excitement, in spades or was it fear, I think sometimes excitement and fear are two words for the same thing. Here are a couple of things I learned running away from home and ending up in a war:

Adventure- you read it in a book, see it on a movie.

The real thing smells bad, keeps you filthy and stinking and scared stiff most of the time...give me a book anytime!

Glory- It seems great in a movie or read in a book or being told of while you are safe at home...

I learned the ones who earned the glory in real life, normally died in the getting of it, I choose to stay as I am, plain.

Glamor- never experienced it, I wonder if it is real.

Excitement- a clever word to describe being scared to the very center of your being, the kind that makes your bowels weak and your stomach knot up and you want your mother.
Give me my farm and tractor any day, I get excitement enough enjoying my life as it is today.

Some of the pluses of war,

You feel more alive knowing your next breath could be your last, it is a feeling that lasts your whole life.

Comaraderie- You will never feel as free, as close, as open as you do with those who you trust daily to watch your back, as they trust you to watch their backs. Color, religion, political views all pale compared to that. You are all definitely one race, human!

The extreme feelings war creates within you; love, hate, fear, courage, enjoyment, unenjoyment, peace, chaos (within and without), the sheer amazement of what man can accomplish in times of utmost danger, the sheer amazement of how far a man can fail in times of utmost danger. The greed and yet the admirable in men, the learning of your capabilities when faced with danger, with hunger of children, of handling danger, of handling people who are not of your culture, your appreciation of the beauty you see in all that is around you, the knowledge of the ugliness that is also around you, often at the same time.

You hear the whop, whop, whop of a Huey coming in to pick you up and take you somewhere safer, the same whop, whop, whop of the same Huey taking you into combat can cause extremely different emotions, yet it is the same sound.

Finally you come home and realize, sometimes eventually, just how great is the country you call yours.

Steve Slinker

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