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.