Thursday, August 10, 2006

What Makes Tim Tick

Hello everybody. TFDad filling in as threatened.

For some reason that now escapes me, I thought some insight into Tim (aka Sgt TF Boggs) might be of interest, at least to those of you who have come to appreciate his writing and have become his internet friends. First, a heartfelt word to you from his family- we really appreciate the kind things you have done for Tim and the supportive comments you have made to him, not to mention the many prayers you have said to God on his behalf. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We really appreciate all of you. As you know, this is Tim’s second deployment to Iraq. It has been much less stressful for us, probably for many reasons. But one reason certainly, is this blog. Tim has wanted to maximize the experience of this deployment, which is likely to be his last. I think this blog has enabled him to accomplish that by allowing him to share with you what he sees, what he has come to understand based on what he has seen and what he thinks we must know and do to win this fight.

Before I get to the question, WMTT?, there’s a somewhat easier question- What Ticks Tim Off? Many things, I assure you. His old man is terminally cranky so how could he help but have a long list himself? Certainly one thing that’s near the top of that list is being embarrassed by his parents, which includes but is not limited to- fussing over him. And so, let me here say to Tim, "Tough darts. Maybe you should have thought about that before giving me your blog password!"

So, WMTT? This is probably the fundamental key to Tim- he likes interesting things, especially interesting people. He doesn’t mind solitude but he hates boredom.

Tim had a pretty standard midwestern city-upbringing. He played sports, mainly baseball, though he dabbled in golf, boxing, soccer, football (flag in college) and basketball. He hunted and fished and shot guns more than most city kids, but a lot less than country kids. He was lucky to have an older brother. He really liked acting in school theater and having fun friends. (I am sure he will find the theatre while in London.) He still loves Shakespeare.

I managed to get him into bars to hear great musicians that I thought might not be around when he was older. (I was right about a couple- Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Warren Zevon are no longer with us.) [This, by the way, is a great way to demystify alcohol- get your kids around adults who drink without getting stupid. Sorry Buck.] His musical tastes remain pretty eclectic- Van Morrison, Zevon, Dylan, all the blues greats, Johnny Cash, Louis Armstrong and, my personal favorite- hip hop crap. Black kids would try to copy his dance moves. (OK, that’s bull, but not by much.)

Last year he put a nitrous oxide unit on his VW, so I guess you could say he likes fast cars.

Tim loves to read. Shakespeare, philosophy, history, American literature. He’s got an English/Philosophy/Religion major going at his university, if Uncle Sam would just let him finish. He loves teachers that know what they’re talking about and make it interesting. He hates political correctness and professors who don’t know half what they think they do. He’s an anti-frat guy (his flag football team were the ‘Master Betas’). He detests liberal white guilt and refuses to walk on eggshells and because of that, has more black friends than most white people do.

Even while going thru the trials and tribulations of youth, Tim read the Bible from front to back and over again. He did so, I think, realizing that the God found described in its pages, is the God before whom we live, now and forevermore. This didn’t make him a wimp or a prick. It did make him someone who knows what love is, and how to hate injustice. I think that pretty much describes his politics, too.

I think the reason I wanted to write this is for Neatie, whose son is thinking about joining the military. There’s a lot of idiots who belittle our troops and assume ridiculous things about them. I happen not to think Tim is a special case. Oh, he’s special to his family but then they all are, aren’t they. But, excluding the terminal buttheads who are in the military just as they are in any large organization, the soldiers and marines I’ve met are pretty typical of any sample of young Americans that want to actually do something with their lives and are willing to take risks to see that it happens. The remarkable thing about this current crop of military personnel, is that they either enlisted or reenlisted after 9-11-2001. In my book, this puts them on par with those who answered the call of WWII. I don’t know where to look to find greater reason to hope for the future of America, and indeed the world, than to these young men and women who are VOLUNTARILY serving our country and are the finest AMBASSADORS America could hope to have.

So, Neatie, if your son decides to enlist in any branch of the military, be extremely proud of him. If you’re a person of faith, put your money where your mouth is and trust that God can take as good care of him in enemy territory as back home. We have seen a couple of Tim’s friends die in innocuous circumstances here at home while Tim’s been deployed. Don’t focus on the danger but on the majesty of life. Without ‘sheepdogs’ such as police, firemen & soldiers, we’d all live in anarchy. What sane person would want that?

And thanks for raising a kid that has enough of a positive view of America to even be considering this decision.


tfdad said...

By the way, there is supposed to be a picture of young Sgt Boggs above the caption about camel spiders and body armor. I'm new at this and it might take me a little while to figure it out. Bear with me.

Anonymous said...

Well Tim's Dad - your son sounds like the all American boy to me. It shows in his writing be it outrage or empathy. It is why I trust his "view" from the sand he occupies. I know he is representative of the best this U.S. has to offer and am grateful for his service and for his eyes and ears and messages to those of us back home.
Andrea in California Tim - I'm with your Dad on the "tough darts"! Being a Mother of two approximately your age I know exactly where he is coming from......which is exactly where you will be at about our age! And that's a promise!

Anonymous said...

So you're telling us that our man in Iraq is a Song and Dance man, Right? Didn't see that comin'. Wow! That's what happens when you're raised in a bar.....just kidding. Right now he is probably living out in real life "Much Ado About Nothing". Hope he gets all his lines right! That's a inside Shakespeare joke, tfdad. You see it's about men returning from war into the open arms of the ladies....never mind. They all end up singing and dancing in the end. We know he'll get that part right! You are funny tfdad and we will use all the info on young Tim for blackmail purposes and incessant teasing. Too bad you are not very proud of him. Thanks for filling in. This might be fun.

Anonymous said...

Dear TFDad,
Great blog and you are probably writing for many Fathers out there of sons at war. I have to say that I agree with Tim's dislikes. Only a non PC person could write anything interesting and truthful. It is good to know that while teaching the Iraqi Army to protect themselves he can also teach them to moonwalk, break dance and even maybe the macarena. I'm not sure about the Shakespeare though. Doesn't seem to fit.
Seriously, there is no way I can thank you enough for the guidance and encouragement. Although you used my name I think that part of your blog was written for many American mothers. We all see our sons as little boys, and all think that they are exceptional, unique in every way. But the ones who volunteer to serve our country all have much in common...they see beyond themselves and give all for the benefit of others. Can anybody really be a complete person and live to the fullest without doing this in some way, military or otherwise. My son has chosen the Coast Guard. I didn't know how much the Coast Guard does until he told me. By the way, your son Tim suggested that my son look into the Coast Guard. It turned out to be great advice. So I am indebted to two Boggs men. I think if you need help you always go to people who are very busy because they will always be the ones to take the time to help you even if they have to work longer hours to do it. Thank you tfdad for having a great son and thank you also for being a great father...except for that bar thing. Hehe Wish you'd have had some influence on my father. My teenage years would have been more fun.
With much appreciation

Anonymous said...

TFdad - Just like with Tfboggs, I look forward to reading whatyou will be writing about.

William Eaton's Last Stand said...

"Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Warren Zevon"


What I wouldn't give to have been able to see SRV or Jaco or so many other cats. I really need to take advantage of the fact that Buddy Guy is still around.

And your comment about World War II is right on the money; the fight we find ourselves in now is the most important tangle we've been in since then.

In fact, I'd argue that "The War on Terrorism" is as much wrapping up WWII's unfinished business as it is anything else.

strykeraunt said...

That was a great (official) first post. Did he know what route you were going to take as his stand in? I have told my kids more than once that parents are put on this earth to embarrass their live with it.

The Ugly American said...

Thank you tfdad for a great post and for raising a fine young man. It is obvious where he gets his gift for the written word.

We all owe you and your son a debt we can never repay. Not only for his service and your/his sacrifice but for showing our enemies and our friends around the world the best of what America has to offer.

God bless and godspeed.

ET USN 71-78 said...

Fantastic job, tfdad! You will undoubtedly keep things popping until your son's return. You might even hasten his return, if he loses some of his sense of humor.

Seriously, my hat's off to you for such a fine job raising your son; it's certainly not an automatic process that "just happens" with no specific effort. Thanks and gratitude are definitely in order for your part in this process.

It's been most enjoyable following such a remarkable young man as Tim, and as special as he is, I also think that he is actually a good representation of many of the fine young men and women who have chosen to serve their country. They sure give me a lot more confidence in our future than all the politically correct media, politicians and pundits.

I'm so glad Tim and others have chosen to blog, too. They are really going the extra mile to help the folks back home understand the true nature of our enemies, not to mention helping keep the liberal media in check (as in keeping them somewhat accountable). I look forward to hearing more from you, too. Best regards.

Barryaoke said...

I read a lot of blogs every day and I've gotta tell you, you and Tim are far and away the most refreshing bloggers of them all. I've got four sons myself who, like Tim I'm sure, seem to love it when their old man embarrases them. I love you guys. God bless and protect you.

Susan said...

On the writing front, I can see that Tim didn't fall very far from your tree. =) Thanks for the little insights into the private Tim. Because of the blog, so many of us feel that we know him. It's good to see other facets of his personality.

K T Cat said...

Hi, TFDad! The Real Ugly American asked me to stop by and say hi.


Great post, too!

Melinda said...

Very nice post, TFDad. :)

I hope you're hearing from Tim & that all is well as he takes a much deserved break.

It made me giggle to read the 'being embarrassed' part. I know my parents have done that to me, however, I never imagined doing that to my kids. My 7-year-old reminds me daily, however, that I do so I just tell her, "I'm the mom. It's my job." :)

Anonymous said...

There is nothing more fun than picking your from their classroom wearing pigtails, baggy pajamas, fuzzy slippers and remnants of cold cream on your face. Now that's a mother with confidence. I refuse to sign this. My children have been embarrassed enough.

Elizabeth said...

I'm not the least bit surprised to read that Sgt. Boggs likes acting and theatre and music...I am a bit surprised that he likes Bob Dylan...I can't see Sgt. Boggs singing "Blowing in the Wind" or "The Times They Are-A-Changing" but I guess anything's possible...

Anonymous said...

That photo of Tim is adorable!!! Oh dear, tfdad. We have a feeling he is going to be embarrassed that you put it up though! Got one on a bear skin?

strykeraunt said...

I agree...the phot is absolutely adorable!!!

gypsy said...

tfdad, thanks for a little insight into WMTT! I think it is great that you are filling in for t.f., and love your wry sense of humor.

William Eaton's Last Stand said...

"I am a bit surprised that he likes Bob Dylan...I can't see Sgt. Boggs singing "Blowing in the Wind" or "The Times They Are-A-Changing" but I guess anything's possible..."

What's so surprising about that?

I love [to name a few] Primus, Steve Earle, Rage Against the Machine (their first album and a half) and Ani Difranco in spite of regarding their politics to be varying degrees of hypocritical and/or idiotic.

I guess this phenomena might be somewhat alien to your mode of thinking, but quite a lot of us out here in the real world actually listen to other people's points of view; even when they disagree with our own.

Bag Blog said...

I love reading Tim's views of life, and I appreciate the insight into his life. He is a wonderful young man - you should be proud. We have a few things in common. I have a 24 year old daughter who is also embarrassed by me from time to time - they learn to expect it. I post pictures of her and write about her on my blog much to her chagrin. Her dad and I taught her to love all sorts of music and books. We taught her to dance and took her to the bar with us at an early age (I learned that from my father). She drives a TC Scion five speed - yeah, she likes fast cars. And being a country girl, she has shot her share of guns.

I have often wondered about people who are not proud of their children and do not love to talk about them. I think you must be very close to your son and your love shows in how you raised him and how he turned out. Good job!

Mamabear said...

What a lovely tribute. Thank you for that.

Yep we got a good group over there.

As my son (Dreadcow from fun with hand grenades) replied to me when I asked him why he had to join in a time of war

"I'm s'posed to be there mom. Someone has to do it"

God Bless them all. They are our brightest and best.

What they give is their time and their heart. We can never repay them as time goes forward not back. To put themselves at risk of life and limb to serve and protect comes from a very high place. You can't buy it and you can't pay for is FREE!