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Friday, July 8, 2016

ROTC


ROTC


Fishducky recently blogged about her Husband, Bud, being an officer in the army after going through ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corp) in college.


My first year in college I learned that ROTC was required for two years.  Even if you had no intention of serving in the army, freshman and sophomores were required to take ROTC. 

I had no idea.  I did not like the idea.

I had enough trouble with calculus for dummies, a required course in religion and a foreign language; all subjects liberal arts students had to take and that I never expected to use.  I really did not want to learn to march, salute and shoot.  Remember “Animal House?”

It turned out that before entering college my doctor gave me a physical exam which showed I had a heart murmur.  The college physician gave me a test and could not find a heart murmur, and none has ever been detected since.  Still he gave me a choice of skipping ROTC and taking gym instead. 

I opted for gym.

Our gym class enrollees were all ROTC rejects.  We took archery, which I sucked at, constantly ripping my arm with the bow string, golf, basketball and football.  I was a decent athlete in high school; I should have excelled in this group of diabetics, fat people and cripples.

I was ok, but the best athlete in the group was a kid with one and a half arms, the result of a thalidomide pregnancy.  How this kid could shoot an arrow, swing a golf club, and catch a football with one arm and a flipper was amazing.  His basketball skills were incredible.  He could fire up a swish from anywhere on the court and dribbled circles around the defense.

I never learned to shoot an arrow, I am still only an average golfer, in football I could block but not catch and throw.  As a basketball player I perfected the air-ball.

I didn’t learn to march, salute, or shoot a gun, but I sure did learn to respect the incredible things a handicapped person can do when he sets his mind to it.

Probably one of the best lessons I learned in college.  

15 comments:

  1. What a great post. ROTC helped you a lot.

    Have a terrific day and weekend Joe. ☺

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  2. I'm sure that guy would have excelled at ROTC, too. So...did you get a PLEDGE PIN while you were in college? Or take a road trip to see Otis Day and the Knights?

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  3. Two kinds of people in the world. Those that think they can and those that think they can't. Both are right. Not my words, but I don't remember whose they are.

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  4. Love the ending to this post. I think you and I are about the same age but I don't recall ROTC being required in college, at least I never signed up for it.

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  5. You learned a VERY important lesson!!

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  6. I love where this story went. A really neat post Joeh.

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  7. As a person who works with disabled kids sometimes, that's a great lesson to learn, i wish everyone could have a course in it.

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  8. Sometimes life's lessons come to us on hidden paths. :-)

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  9. Great lessons come from where you least expect them

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  10. ROTC is required? Religion is required?? I don't like either of those ideas. I'm pretty sure it isn't the case here in Oz.
    I agree with the best lesson you learned.

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  11. Reminds me of the Para-Olympics. How great those people are. Loved this post, and the lesson behind it.

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  12. My (shortened) college years were at a small liberal arts college run by the Presbyterian church. No ROTC but compulsory chapel attendance and religion classes. But it worked. I became a non-believer and have remained one ever since!

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  13. Wow! A great lesson and story.

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