Ready for Plowshares

When I write for my blog, there are topics I rarely touch on, and when I do, I tread lightly.  There are other opportunities to write what’s on my mind when I want to tread heavily, but – for me – this isn’t the place to share everything.  

My time (a lifetime ago, or so it seems) in the military is one of those topics.   

Current events being what they are, though, I found myself thinking yesterday and now writing today about a book that sits on a shelf in my bedroom.  I haven’t opened it in years, but there’s an image on one of the pages that’s still as clear in my mind as it was the first time I saw it.  

The book is a “cruise book.”  A cruise book is to a long-term deployment (a six-month western Pacific “WESTPAC” cruise, in this case) as a yearbook is to a year in high school: lots of pictures and lots of memories.

The cruise was in the mid-80s, and I was deployed with a Marine Corps Fighter Attack squadron as a radar and weapons system specialist.  The photo, taken by one of our aircrew members, is of an F-4S Phantom escorting a Soviet Tu-95 “Bear” bomber somewhere over the Pacific off the coast of Japan.  Two airplanes, and two aircrews, both flying what they certainly thought of as deterrence missions.

Nearly forty years later, I’m more than ready for plowshares.  

I wish we could put down the swords.

5 thoughts on “Ready for Plowshares”

  1. I am glad you shared this, Tim. These are certainly difficult times we are living in, and it’s hard not for civilians to be thinking such thoughts, let alone veterans. Big hugs to you.

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  2. Yes to putting down the swords. And thank you for sharing this piece of your life. These days I find myself thinking of all the young men who find themselves in the middle of this. May they live to reflect on this; may they live to see others put down swords.

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  3. There is so much to ponder on here, Tim. I’m pretty sure you have memories, emotions, and thoughts that all rise to the surface in times like these. May we all one day, if only through the eyes of our grandchildren, see a world where the swords are laid to rest. That line is one to carry with me.

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