Memorial Day 2017

This one is kind of special. The reason why is that twenty-one-year-old young man in the photo, the one in the white shirt holding up his right hand. That is Blake Casteix, my grandson. That was Tuesday when he was in the process of swearing to “defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic”. He is now at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas, for Air Force basic training. That will be followed by tech school at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi, where he will be trained in cyber security. Sounds like a career field he can use when he gets out, assuming he doesn’t make a career of the Air Force.

His dad was also in the Air Force, where he learned a trade, one he is using today, as a civilian, to make a good living with his own business. Everyone thinks you must go to college to be successful and make the big bucks. Ain’t so. There are many career fields in the military where a young man or woman can learn a trade and make a good living at it afterward—or even use it as a springboard to attend college on the GI Bill. Sadly, not many young people are willing to do that. Instead, they whine about not having any opportunities. I am calling Bravo Sierra on that. If you want it, there are ways to get it, but you might have to work for it instead of having it handed to you.

I was also in the Air Force but after I graduated from college. I had my college handed to me by my parents. It took the Air Force to gave me maturity I did not get in college. There I learned to do my job in a way that reflected on the fact that someone’s life might depend on how well I did it. For that reason, I believe in universal military service. Unfortunately, that would open the military up to having a lot of people that will never “get it” and never appreciate what it can give them. And maybe it is better if it isn’t that way.

This Memorial Day I salute Blake Casteix and all those who have written that check out to the United States of America for payment “up to and including my life”.

The complete Oath of Enlistment –

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”


Filed under Family History, Growing Up, War Stories

4 responses to “Memorial Day 2017

  1. Dawn Smith

    I know what proud grandparents you must be and, I thank Blake for his service to our Country.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Margaret Handy

    Lane and Janis,

    Congratulations to Blake and your family. What a fine young man; you all have much to be proud of this Memorial Day, indeed!

    We will pray for Blake, for his success and safety, during this important time in his life.

    Hope all is well with both of you!

    Margaret & Woody

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Doug Caire

    Congratulations to all, Lane, for instilling solid American values in your grandson. It’s so refreshing to see a young man growing up to be a credit to his family and country instead of being a useless snowflake.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope Blake finds the Air Force to his liking. I myself was in the army an experience I would never want to repeat. As for universal military service I have mixed feelings about it but most likely different from yours. I would agree that a universal service for both male and female is an idea worth exploring. You would be able to pick either civilian or military service and the benefits you get during and after service should be the same. I do remember when I took the Oath of Enlistment it was a thrill and you have every right to be proud.

    Liked by 1 person

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