What a great day for a short trip. I headed to Alexandria, La. this morning to take the young lady to the VA hospital. She never finished basic training. Stress fractures to her pelvis and arms and legs prevented her completing her training.
The weather was full of sunshine that tricked me into believing I would be making the return trip with the rag top down. Around noon that sunshine disappeared, the temperatures dropped and the rain fell. Of course I was unaware that we would be getting this weather so I didn't have an umbrella.
We sat in the lunch room with our trays of food. I had a wonderful western omelet in front of me. Across the table, the 95lb ex soldier was attacking biscuits and gravy, two pieces of fried chicken and a blackberry dessert. She is trying to gain 20 lbs explaining the chicken on the plate of this vegetarian. A tattooed sleeve covers her left arm from shoulder to forearm. A ring decorates her lower lip. She is a 23yr. old from a small town close to Lafayette. Her eyes shine brightly as she talks about her dreams of being a soldier. She wanted to go over "there" and kill em all. If need be, she says, women and children too.
I sat and listened to her and occasionally I would question or comment. She is justifying her desire by explaining how "they'" attacked the Twin Towers and killed so many Americans. I was stunned. This young lady still hasn't heard that Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks? I mentioned Abul Grab. She knew nothing about that. She missed all the news reports? She doesn't watch the news; read a paper? Her conversation was akin to listening to a parrot repeat rhetoric she has heard. A perfect soldier? Uneducated, ill informed and pumped full of patriotic nonsense, she marches in like John Wayne to roust out the bad guy. I questioned her about the Muslin religion. I didn't expect her to have a shred of knowledge and I wasn't disappointed. She hadn't heard about Desert Storm. Was I surprised? Her goal was to have a free place to stay and guaranteed meals. This is our military?
Walking around the facility, eventually we were accosted by a security person. Doyle was very friendly and helpful. His first question was directed to her and I stood and listened to the conversation.
He asked "Are you having any problems getting your disability?" and to this she replies "I'm still working on it."
Doyle smiles widely and immediately spills forth information he declares will help her.
"Make sure you tell them you are in pain. The more pain, the more pay!" he chortles. "Don't ever tell them you feel fine." "You will get back pay from the time you applied and they answered your requests." "Don't just come for your scheduled appointments. Make sure you drive here to complain between your appointments." Gleefully he listed all the benefits of the disabled. Discounts and freebies she must take advantage of. I stood and listened to him educate this young lady on working the system. He sounded excited to be listed among the many on disability.
I won't be making this trip again. You can figure it out.
I made the trip back in bouts of this liquid sunshine. When I got back into Lafayette, I stopped by the daughter's house. I wanted to do a little shopping and she decided to go with me. I've known for a while that I was going to replace my microwave and since the granddaughter didn't have one for her apartment, I thought this might be a good time to purchase one. Planning on giving the old one to Elise, I loaded up the new one and with our other selections we headed for the registers.
It was at that time that I realized that we were in the roadster and the three bottles of wine I had selected would have been difficult to squeeze into that car. We considered our options. April picked up her phone and called Ted. He was more then happy to have an excuse to drive his truck.
Ted unpacked the new microwave and replaced the old one with it. He loaded the old one into his truck to take to his sister. I waved goodbye as they drove away, happy to have some quiet time once again. Television and a glass of wine, I watched the news reports.
More news on Japan; the scary nuclear disaster that is happening I watch. It's impossible for me to get involved in any sitcom. There is just too much happening in the world right now and being broadcast on the news networks.