Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

21 May 2014

Building Another Fleet

Here in New York, Fleet Week begins today.

As much as I'm opposed to war and militarism, I can't say I get too upset when some young guy in uniform holds a door open for me. Plus, I tell myself, most join the military because of a lack of other opportunities wherever they were living at the time they joined.  Others conflate "patiriotism" and "serving their country" with serving the war machine.  After all, that is what their schools, communities and culture--and, in some cases, their families--have taught them to think.

Even though I realize they're trained to kill for whoever wants them to kill, I almost invariably like the young people I see in uniform, whether or not they're holding doors open for me.  After all, most of them are perfectly good young men and women who have made what they believe to be the best choice given their circumstances and the values they have been inculcated with.

And, I must say, they do some good charitable work.  So I don't begrudge those--not even the USO--who help them.


Speaking of whom:  Tomorrow, the USO, along with volunteers, is building bikes for service members.  Actually, the bikes are intended for service members' children. 

Perhaps they should also build bikes for the service members themselves.  I'm sure more than a few are cyclists, in one fashion or another.  Or, perhaps, the volunteers could solicit donations for foldable or collpaible bikes the sailors and other service members could bring on ships, sumbarines and such.  I know that sailors and Marines are in good shape, but riding bikes certainly won't hurt their physical conditioning.  Plus, it would probably improve their mental health, even if they pedaled only a few miles or a couple of hours ever week. 

Of course, they can't ride when they're in a submarine,and probably can't when they're in a shop on the High Seas.  But they can ride when they touch the shoreline.  That's better than a lot of other things young men and women do when they walk on land for the first time in months!

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