Friday, April 8, 2011

Alaska is considering a bill

that would lower the drinking age for those Alaskans that are in military service.

Now, prior to the late 80s before Nancy Reagan had Ronald change the on-post age to 21, service people used to be able to drink on post. It wasn't really a bad deal because on post there was at least some sort of supervision. The NCOs would simply cart off some private that had imbibed a little too much.

Generally speaking, when a one-term serviceman got out after his hitch he had some idea of how much he could hold without getting himself into hot water.

I remember the first time I tangled with a bottle of J&B scotch and I'll tell you that I was a mess. Looking back on it I was glad that there were a couple of pretty squared away people to keep me out of trouble. I base this entirely on luck.

It took a few nights of stupid before I learned my lesson and learned not to wolf down 80 proof hooch like it was Kool-Aid on a hot summer day.

While I was a junior NCO I had the occasion to pluck a couple of privates that had fallen off of their stools and cart them back to the barracks. I didn't really like it very much as generally when I returned someone had taken my seat at the bar, but I did it. It was part of my job as an NCO.

The following morning I generally worked the hung over private pretty hard so as to make him suffer and atone for his sins. After a time or two, the private generally learned that it was considered good manners to leave a little booze at the bar for the rest of us.

I figure that the guy that is serving today is probably smarter than most of the peole I served with back in the day. It's likely that he is somewhat of a quicker learner than a lot of the guys I served with. Todays GI will learn, and I would imagine that it will take a lot less effort to train him than it used to.

I have no problem with what Alaska is doing because I figure that if a GI is trusted with things like rifles, grenades, machine guns, tanks and cannons then it's probably a pretty good bet that he can to be trusted with a six-pack.

The truth is, what we ought to do is reopen the EM clubs back on post and let GI Joe tip a couple and let the NCOs handle things the way they used to. It used to be a real win/win situation. A young GI that had no previous experience with alcohol could learn something about it in a somewhat controlled setting and the chances of getting into any real trouble were greatly reduced.

Of course, if the proposal in Alaska goes through and GI Joe gets to be able to tip a couple after work, the next step is that a bunch of idiot do-gooders will start bellyaching about how unfair it is to those who chose not to serve.

The Gospel According to Piccolo says that this is not unfair at all. If you want to tip a couple before you turn twenty-one than sign right up and ship right out. The Marines are looking for a few good men, and women, too. I get tired of the whiners in the world that snivel about every little percieved injustice that comes down the pike. There is no injustice to lowering the drinking age for GIs whatsoever. Accepting responsibility should mean getting a few privliges to go with it.

The mentality is like listening to someone complain that So and So has more money than I do and how unfair it is that he can buy his own car when the truth is that So and So has a job and works 40 hours a week while the complainer sits on his ass and blubbers. A lowered drinking age for GIs is nothing more than a fringe benefit for getting off of one's ass and assuming a part of the responsibility of a nation.

Of course, GI Joe had best be responsible with his newly found freedom. He better behave himself. I'm going to hold him to it.

With freedom comes responsibility.

Overheard at Wal Mart: "With all that cottage cheese you got on them thighs, you ought to be sittin' in the dairy case."


While I wouldn't have the gall to tell somebody that, I do have to admit I laughed like hell when I heard it.

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