Who's Badass Now? by RodS ()
Think you're tough, CV? We're tougher. Believe it.
If you can stick with me for a few moments, I have a short story to tell you.
In May of 1968, I enlisted in the US Air Force. Coming from a military family, I wanted to serve my country, but did not relish the thought of slogging through the jungles and rice paddies of Vietnam during an unpopular war.
During my Basic Training, there were numerous classes in addition to the physical training. More than any other of these classes, the one that still stands out in my memory was called – in typical military nomenclature – “Rumors And Propaganda.” Just another 2 or 3 hours of trying my hardest not to fall asleep (something you really didn’t want to do in any Basic Training class) – or so I thought.
During this class, a rumor started circulating (odd coincidence, huh?) that once we had completed Basic Training, we would be shipped back to our home states, and become part of the Air National Guard squadrons at the closest Air Force Base. Naturally this had all the guys excited because it meant we’d be only ‘part time’ soldiers who would report to duty one weekend a month and be called to active duty only if needed.
Halfway through the class, we had a 15-minute break, during which the main topic of conversation was this ‘rumor.’
The class reconvened, and after about 2 minutes, a Senior Master Sergeant (not our usual instructor) strode in, turned and faced the class. He raised the clipboard he was carrying, looked at the class, and began..
“Gentlemen! I’ll make this brief.” He looked down at the clipboard, and began to ‘read:’
“By order of the President of The United States of America: Upon completion of your basic training at this station, you will turn in your Air Force uniforms which will be replaced with U.S. Army Greens. You will be reassigned and transported to Fort Hood for Army Orientation, and you will then begin training as U.S. Army Combat Medics.”
He strode back out of the room leaving us all in stunned silence.
A few minutes later, our regular instructor came back into the room as if nothing had happened. He began where he’d left off before the break – most of which I’ve long forgotten. The next few minutes in that class, however, have stuck with me ever since. His next statement went something like this:
“Gentlemen, if you take nothing else from this course, take this: A single sentence, true or false, can totally change your outlook, and demoralize you in a few seconds. And ANYONE can look utterly and completely “official” while disseminating false information designed to demoralize you and reduce your capacity to perform your duty.”
The guy sitting next to me and I looked at each other with our mouths open, then turned to look at our instructor. I must have looked like someone had dumped a bucket of ice water on me, because he looked directly at me: “Question, Airman Shelley?” “Yes sir…. So…. That sergeant that walked in and made that announcement…..” The instructor grinned, looked to the side door, and said “C’mon back in, Sarge!” Whereupon the sergeant that made the announcement walked back in, crumpled the paper he had ‘read’ from, and tossed it in the trash.
The collective sigh of relief from the classroom was probably heard as far away as New York.
There are few things that have stuck with me like that demonstration of how effective misinformation can be in demoralizing and promoting feelings of hopelessness and defeat – in only a few seconds.
During times like this, the spread of conspiracy theories and misinformation is akin to throwing a bucket of gasoline on a campfire – with much the same destructive result. Especially now, with global instant communications via the internet. It’s extremely difficult to know what sources to trust, sometimes, and great care is needed. Making a broad statement like “These are known facts” do little to sustain whatever ‘information’ they are attached to. Where did these “known facts” come from? Who “knows” them? Remember – ANYONE can post stuff on YouTube or Facebook.
Do I have the answers? No. I wish I did. But the best thing I can leave with you is one of the last things our instructor passed along in that class:
“Don’t believe anything you hear – and only about half of what you see.”
Take care, respect your communities’ requirements, stay healthy, use common sense, and most of all, DON’T PANIC. Together, and supporting each other, we’ll get through this.
Thanks for stopping by, and for all your wonderful comments and support. You all rock!
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Image Comments (41)
zaqxsw () Online Now! 5:53PM | Thu, 02 April 2020
Excellent image and advice... I know (and am related to) people who insist on believing everything they see on the internet without checking on the source of that information. Unfortunately, even the "reliable" sources such as nation news services have began repeating unverified items that are considered "common knowledge" because so many other sources have reported on them. No one is properly vetting news anymore... and a lot of what is being presented as facts by "official" sources (like government officials who will remain nameless) is just opinion. The moral of the story; check the sources of what you accept as facts and be careful about repeating things that haven't been verified.
makennedy () Online Now! 6:04PM | Thu, 02 April 2020
So that's what an anti-body looks like........COOL!
Faemike55 () 6:44PM | Thu, 02 April 2020
Great image and story. Hey! If it's on the Internet, it must be true.
eekdog () Online Now! 6:56PM | Thu, 02 April 2020
i'm not one for searching the web, since i use my phone and really have no need too seek much, I've been on this way for nearly 5 yrs w/o a desktop connection until now. my phone carrier is giving us 10g per month for two months free. so i get to see your awesome work now on a 21" screen instead of my 6" phone.
pretty detailed and interesting story from your time in service.
now we need a army like her around helping take out covid. super creation Rod..
calico_jester () 7:16PM | Thu, 02 April 2020
.... great story, sentiment and image to help your friends and fans get through this major historic event... and I thought the Cuban Crisis and Swine Flu were a big deal. thx buddy, and be well...
lwperkins () Online Now! 8:03PM | Thu, 02 April 2020
I like the fact that the inside of the virus looks a lot like a kiwi :D A Twitter friend of mine just finished a book last year (now a little delayed because of all this) called True or False, which talks about this (It's designed for young adults but it looks good what little chunks I have seen of it). She's an ex-CIA officer and this was her speciality--Cindy Otis. (She also has written for Teen Vogue).
adorety () 8:09PM | Thu, 02 April 2020
May your image come true. Great story and wise words, they are greatly appreciated and I wish more FOX like people would understand this.
Diemamker () 8:36PM | Thu, 02 April 2020
Very excellently said!... that is one thing everybody shouldn't do, PANIC! we'll get through this too... so they really scared the pants off you! but it's not all that bad being a grunt!... not that I was ever one. have a good one!
one thing... why does that Corona thing look like a Kiwi on the inside... yum..
goldie () 9:05PM | Thu, 02 April 2020
Nice scene to help convey your message, Rod. Do hope you are weathering this situation well--it really is like being in a sci-fi movie.
Folks must be discriminating about whom they listen to. It is tragic that there are those who find it easier to believe a crazy conspiracy theory than simple, straight forward facts...SMH. As far as getting info about this virus, etc., I suggest listening to Anthony Fauci and the EXPERTS on certain cable news programs--not Faux. Social media should be avoided--most of it is garbage, and NEVER, EVER listen to you know who--he is a pathological liar.
The virus is opportunistic and highly contagious. To help fight this virus and hopefully starve it, folks MUST participate in social distancing, and I suggest that one should use some sort of face mask, whether it be a medical mask or something like a bandana it will help keep the infection rates down. One should also use glasses/goggles to protect their eyes--it enters your body through the nose, mouth and EYES...and stay home unless you need to do grocery shopping, get pharmas, etc. The life you might save could be your own.
Radar_rad-dude () Online Now! 9:31PM | Thu, 02 April 2020
Very good advice, Rod! Now lets turn that girl loose on all the rest of the viruses out there! Excellent work, my friend!
Richardphotos () Online Now! 10:02PM | Thu, 02 April 2020
outstanding work Rod. she is very formidable for sure
imyourvillain () 10:48PM | Thu, 02 April 2020
She did a successful job killing it, you killed it as well with this image, great work
mtdana () Online Now! 11:43PM | Thu, 02 April 2020
Great - kill it before it can multiply! I don't believe anything on the internet lol Well done!
Saby55 () 12:05AM | Fri, 03 April 2020
“Don’t believe anything you hear – and only about half of what you see.” Beautiful story, I fully agree with you👍😀
Excellent composition. This is a beautiful image!!!👏👍🙋♂️
starship64 () 1:33AM | Fri, 03 April 2020
Great picture, and it sounds like that was a very effective class! One thing I do to help keep myself sane is impose a 48 hour rule on breaking news. That is, I don't take any news story seriously for the first two days because I know that the media these days will run stories before they've even checked them.
AureliusdeMercoeur () 4:49AM | Fri, 03 April 2020
An excellent scene (is the corona edible?), a very interesting and edifying text, and good advice! Great work, Rod ! Take care my friend !!
FurNose () 4:59AM | Fri, 03 April 2020
Cool pic, Rod, and very interesting story of yours! Also I like the tip of starship64. That might really help in staying calm and not overreact.
Rtesian () 7:55AM | Fri, 03 April 2020
First off, and most important Rod, thank you for your service and patriotism. Both serve a nation well.
I have two rules that guide me. 1, anything that follows, "The fact of the matter is...", will be crap.
2, I swear by Newton's 3rd Law of Expertise. For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert. :-)
adrie () 8:01AM | Fri, 03 April 2020
Fabulous idea and work on this corona virus battel, excellent done Rod!
misty7j3 () 9:14AM | Fri, 03 April 2020
Super cool scene Rod.......and very interesting story! I agree with your 'words of wisdom'......I try not to believe anything I hear anymore.....and only half of what I see......very, very, good advice Rod! Stay strong, and carry on.......
bakapo () Online Now! 12:30PM | Fri, 03 April 2020
A good scene, Rod... she's my new hero; give her two swords and turn her lose.
Thank you for the write-up. It actually made me cry out of relief. Relief that maybe what you posted, and shared, will reach some more people. Thanks for being a calming voice in the madness.
versluis () 1:15PM | Fri, 03 April 2020
What a messages, and what a lesson they've taught you there (unorthodox as it may have been), and so relevant to the current situation.
Thank you for sharing this story, Rod!