Warriors On The Home Front

This post from Brigid made me remember my slightly forgotten stash of army men.  I was so jazzed when the wife ran across a wooden 7.62 NATO ammo crate at a resale shop a couple of years ago for cheep.  “YES I WANT IT!!!!”  That will teach her to keep the phone so close to her ear.  At last, the boys had a proper barracks now.  I, just barely, stuffed them and their weapons in the 900 round box.  The nice wooden crate became a platform to stack some 5K rounds of overflow from the ammo locker.

I unearthed (unammoed?) them and started to paw through the box today. 

Somewhere about the end of my high school days and the beginning of my misspent college years, I began RE-BUYING little plastic army men.  The really small 22mm ones.  You see… I noticed that army men, and their support vehicles, were becoming less ubiquitous toward the end of the 80’s and I was determined to let my kids cause mayhem just as I did.*  The peaceniks had already started ‘tarding up cap guns and making them look like red tipped… TOYS!  Where was the fun in that! 

I managed to pick up a few soldiers here and there; mine, having vanished to the four winds (more on that later).  Then Operation Desert Strom happened and plastic army men became acceptable again because we were working with the UN and it was a clean war.  They showed up in all flavors at department and 99 cent stores, alike.  The HUGE jumbo ones never did it for me.  The 2-ish inch tall ones were ok and my first, but I really loved the barely inch high ones.  I had few of them when I was growing up so I made up for that fact by buying somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple thousand give or take a few companies.   

I still have some of my original band of brothers along with some old armor, aircraft, and naval units**. But the lions share of my new battalion are the pieces I got in the year or so following Desert Storm.  I even have some Micro Machine aircraft sets.  I know… I like miniatures, carbines, and 9mm.  I have a disease. 

Anyway… What makes the army men sentimental, especially the few old guard I have, is my Mom.  After I moved out, I would get a report every few months of, “Found another one.”  They appeared in nooks and crannies like Japanese soldiers still being discovered on remote islands.  Unsure of the fate of the Empire.  Not yet aware that it was all over and their kids were wearing blue jeans and their pervs were watching cartoon porn.  

This happened with such regularity that she even penned a poem about them.  Sadly, I was “too old” to bother with listening to any of it.  For whatever reason, I’ve never liked being reminded of my childhood. 

Somewhere in the flood of Tropical Storm Alison, the poem and memory of it washed away.  Until Brigid’s post.  Until I dug up the old army men.  Until the memories, like those forgotten Japanese soldiers, came striding out of the jungle, rifle in hand, ready to do violence in the name of a long dead empire.

Sorry I never took the time to read the poem, Mom.  It was my fault, not yours.  Something about being reminded of my younger days just cross threads my inner screws.  I’m sure there’s a whole host of reason for it.  …Some of them probably even semi-valid.  But at least you cared enough to try.  And I care enough now to remember. 

I fought this memory when she first died.  Cleaning out her affects, I found, you guess it, a few men that she saved from even The Flood.  A mother’s love can truly hold back the vicious tempest of our nightmares.  But I wasn’t ready to face any of it.  I stopped the thoughts dead before they hit the forebrain.  No tears.  No gasps.  Just close the box and put it aside.  Work to do.   No time to feel.

Now, a few months later, I can at least say, “Thanks.  I hope the post they stood made you smile from time to time.” 


*Although, I will watch them closely; homemade napalm is far too easy to make. 
** Cutting the pegs off Battleship game pieces works in a pinch.  Granted, it does render the game somewhat useless.

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Dante…

Conservative, educated, understands history, distrusts government, distrusts politicians, dislikes pop-culture, and carries a firearm. In short, I'm what The Framers of The Constitution were counting on and everything your government wants you to fear most.

The only thing I don’t have to complain about is some GI taking up space in my living room. I’ll let you know about the Civil Courts if someone ever owes more than $20 to me. ---If you didn’t get that one; sue your Civics or US History Teacher.


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Any Spelling, Grammatical, or Typographic errors are the result of my keyboard, public school Elementary education, or Secret Government Ninjas and not fault of the author and his flying through his posts at lunch time. If you see any errors, ping me and I will correct them. Ping me often enough, and I will make you my editor.
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