Thursday, May 27, 2010

Obligations, deployments, and the Army values.

While replying to a comment Caraboska made a couple of posts ago, I decided I needed to do a little post and expound on the subject.

Conscientious objectors. We all know what that is, and I'm sure you've seen news coverage of soldiers who have filed that status in conjuction with finding out about that they're going to be deployed.

Let me tell ya - I don't want to be "that guy". Soldiers do NOT look lightly upon others who use that status. There's a level of resentment and disdain that comes with that status -- as a shirker who is fine with serving in the US, but when it comes time to do a soldier's most basic duty -- you're considered a dirtbag. You're tossing your buddy out there in your place. You've defaulted on the Army values.

The following are the seven Army Values, the guidelines that soldiers are supposed to live their lives by:

Loyalty: Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. constitution, the Army, your unit, and other soldiers.

Duty: Fulfill your obligations.

Respect: Treat people as they should be treated.

Selfless Service: Put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own.

Honor: Live up to all the Army values.

Integrity: Do what's right, legally and morally.

Personal Courage: Face fear, danger, or adversity (physical or moral).

Is it always like that? Of course not. The Army is made up of people. People are flawed. But these are the things to which we aspire.

You have to know what the military is and what service entails. Simple, really, but I'm continually astounded by the things that people say and do when they find out they are going to deploy. Is it such a shocker? We're at war, folks. It's not pretty, and it's not right, but that's the way things are. If you have enlisted in the last 9 1/2 years, you know it, and you voluntarily signed that paper anyway.

On a more personal note...

Have any of you ever been walking through an airport and seen a group of soldiers? Maybe there's just one or two at first, but then you see another. And then another comes along. They gravitate to one another. It's reassurance of the familiar, in unfamiliar surroundings. The uniform is a recognizable constant. They may never see each other again after that minute or hour, but they're brothers and sisters -- bound not by blood, but of the spirit. That's the bond that makes wounded soldiers wish to be back in the desert with their units, that makes old soldiers nostalgic, and keeps young ones coming back for more.

My brothers and sisters in arms have been going over there for years. Some for 3, 4, or more deployments.

There is no soldier worth his or her salt that will allow a brother or sister to deploy in their place, not when they themselves can go instead.

Am I worried and a bit scared? Yep. But would I try to get out of it?

Not on your life.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rage Against the Niqab (and other ramblings).

My caption: Hell hath no fury like a niqabi who is told she can't choose to wear her niqab.

All this anti-niqab sentiment... I don't like it. Yes, I can see where some folks might have cause for concern -- but that's where we step in and lovingly educate them. Yes, I am against "forced Niqab" because it totally contradicts what hijab/niqab means to me -- namely, freedom. Having the choice is what makes it so beautiful.

However...given my online persona as a non-Muslim niqabi, I am totally an advocate of wearing what makes you comfortable. For some folks (like most of us), niqab and/or hijab is a level of coverage that is comfortable, in both a physical and spiritual way. My hijab/niqab are things that allow me to place more emphasis on what should be emphasized -- God and my relationship with Him.

If anything, I could use a break from the cheap, clingy fabrics and -- to me -- dubious level of "essentials coverage" that seem to dominate Western clothes. Especially those meant for women my age. But, that's why I like Avenue. It's a plus-size store for women. I got this in two colors:

I pair it with jeans, sandals, and my favorite pink scarf. : ) It's utter cuteness.

Found this little hijabi photo somewhere online. Total props to the artist. Isn't she adorable? The world needs more manga hijabis. ^_^

Preparing for the transition...again.

I've been going through all of my books and the occasional CD and plucking out what I haven't read/watched/or ever will -- after all, the less stuff I have to pack, the better. Sold a bunch of books at Hastings -- not my favorite place (because it's LAME -- what kind of establishment doesn't take regular size paperbacks in trade?), but it's the only new book store in town. I got enough in credit that I was able to get this:

I'm on a major Star Trek binge after watching the Nu!Trek film a time or 12 in the last month. ; P Watching the first season for the first time in a long time is truly Geeky Bliss. ^_^

Have any of you seen the new "Veilkinis"? I got the ad from They're pretty cute -- all sorts of different color options, and a good bit cheaper than the Burquinis from Ahiida.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Searching again...

My life has done the upheaval bit again. I had a phone interview today, though, and I'm seriously hoping for some good news.

I'm really trying to make a run for my hijab again. The whole incident, in which wearing my hijab -- as a CIVILIAN -- was in violation of the military dress code and therefore part of the total package of "getting fired"-ness, has made me step back from it for a while.

I need to wear it again, though. I need the spiritual mindset that having a physical reminder of my faith gives me, so that I can work harder at stepping up to the plate and trusting more in God and giving Him more of me. It's a constant work in progress, with varying degrees of success.

Prayers for me, and prayers for you. I need the support of my covering Christian sisters right now. You are all wonderful, generous, and a total blessing when society at large comes on a little too strong in their secularism.

And the next job I get, the hijab will be part and parcel, non-negotiable.