Cafe Hitch-hike


Remembering those who served

Veteran's Day. 11/11 became a sacred number 11 has a lot of oomph in numerology, and then it was the day the world's first war ended known as Armistice Day. Some claim it was declared at 11:11 a.m. somewhere, but it's not really true.

On 11/11/11, I got a text from someone who was away on business, and at 11:11 a.m. I wonder if he made a wish for us the same way I did at Madame Laveau's grave later that year. Well, I later wondered if there were ways I could reverse it, hahahha! Maybe I should send a cosmic message that he needs to reverse his wish if he made one.

Besides that, it made me think of the vets in my life.

I didn't know until recently that the Puerto Rican side of my family fought in most 20th century American wars, even going back to World War I, according to Uncle JumpRanger. One received a Purple Heart in Vietnam and served 2 tours of duty. He didn't get drafted, but most likely figured Vietnam couldn't be worse than Belle Glade.

Hah, and Al Pacino's character in Scent of a Woman, who was a disabled vet, said in one of his wandering mutterings, "Puerto Ricans made the best infantrymen." That one stayed with me.

During one of my visits to Florida when I was younger, I left with a strong image of a mongoose and used it in passwords for the newly online services at University of the Rust Belt State, which I started when I returned to my hometown. I thought the mongoose was fitting because it was a symbol of strength and wiliness despite its size. Yeah, I needed that energy for the endeavor I was starting! I later learned, thanks to my friend Bernardo, that Uncle Cat's personal logo was a military seal with a mongoose fighting a cobra. When Cat with in Vietnam, Viet Cong often dropped cobras in American camps which attacked the soldiers. Uncle Cat had a mongoose he kept as a pet, and the mongoose was used to fight the cobras. So, that was where the mongoose came from for me! I'm glad I was perceptive enough to pick that up, and for Bernardo to tell me the story.

Then, my cousin Gabe the Babe was in the Middle East as both with military and as a contractor. He was in some pretty elite units for both areas. He says little about the military part of his time there, though I've heard interesting stories of just plain living there (like befriending the medic because they'd supply IVs to help with hangovers after a night of heavy drinking)..

I've been told that my father's side made warriors. He definitely possessed that, and kinda did his own thing with it (for better and worse, some would call it toxic masculinity). Every kind of energy is a double-edged sword, I know, I know. But, when I think about what I know about him and his people, I'm actually very grateful to learn about its military side. What made them warriors also gave them energies to do other things. Like him, some used it for better purposes, while some did not.

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