Monday, September 17, 2007

Sgt. Major Says

to me on the phone: "Do you know 'Garry Owen'."

I say "Of course I do. Harp or pipes?"

Sgt. Major: "Our young corporal ***** was 1st of the 7th."

Me: "Garry Owen it is. When do you want it played?"

Sgt. Major: "I talked to the mother and said it should be played on the pipes when we bring him into the church."

Me: "And going out?"

Sgt. Major: "I told her that the tradition is to play 'The Skye Boat Song'."

Me: "It's not a tradition that I know of. It's just a song I started playing because it's pretty, and it made a statement to me personally. It was also one of the only songs I knew when I started playing the pipes last year."

Sgt. Major: "I'm the Command Sgt. Major of this outfit, if I say that something's a tradition it is a tradition. Am I clear?"

Me: "Yes, Sgt. Major. Perfectly clear. We'll do the traditional 'Skye Boat Song' on the way out of the chapel."

Sgt. Major: "I want to thank you for this. It means a lot to us all."

Me: "It means a lot to me too Sgt. Major. I'm proud to be able to give this service."

Sgt. Major: "It's traditional to allow the Sgt. Major to have the last word."

Me: "Hoo-rah Sgt. Major."

Sgt. Major: "Dismissed dammit." (click)



Blogger Sherry said...

odd thing, reading that caught my breath in my chest more than the previous post.

5:11 AM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

Damn! Strange way to handle funeral arrangements.

5:58 AM  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

In our society a civilian pays SGM,s salary and is therefore his employer.The sgm's of the world must and should know that here are many worlds out there beyond their little bullshit gunslinger mindset. I expect a please and a THANK YOU would be most appropriate. Since an officer should get the last word in sgm's game ,then this one will say thank you MB. You are doing something that i don't believe i have the strength to do, reading at the VN Moving Wall was enuf for this old dog. Again thanks for your soldierly devotion. jim

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm, are you sure that was Sgt. Major and not Admiral Ass?

- oddjob

6:19 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

ranger, i've been both to the permanent wall in washington, and whenever the moving wall gets within a day or so drive. when it was in san diego last i took my boy with me. we went to the names of the guys that i knew and we talked about them. it got tearful in a few places. especially when it hits home that those deaths were wasted by the same fools who are wasting the lives of these good young people. sgt. major is a decent bloke. i think he was being more than a little bit playful with his whole tradition thing. he's always shown a good deal of deference and respect. he knows full well that i chose "the skye boat song" because of the first line

i'll sing ye a song
of our land
that is gone. . .

he knows because he asked about it and i told him.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Constant Comment said...

It's wonderful that you're doing's clear that you care a lot more than their own government does.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous amish451 said...

I'll suppose that Dismissed Dammit might have had a familiar ring ......?

7:58 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

you supposed right. it ended many an encounter i had with the brass. . .i was a "documented attitude case"

8:07 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

somehow i knew that. ; )

9:14 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

actually one of the nice things about being in vietnam was that there i could present myself as a heavily armed attitude case.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

always better that way! ; )

me, well it's a running joke at the club i belong to that i am the bouncer. at 5 ft 2, 110lbs. and being a grandma i make a muscle and tell everyone that they wouldn't want to be embarassed by getting tossed out by me.
the regulars laugh and the visitors aren't quite sure so they make sure the observe the rules. : )

6:27 PM  

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