Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Lebanon, Dominican Republic, Panama, Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan


By: Ed Creamer

Do you remember when you were in high school and everybody was running around signing yearbooks and promising faithfully to keep in touch? All the while pointing out their picture in the book so you’d know who it was that had just signed it even if you didn’t know them.

Those were the years when pictures of myself actually looked like me. Maybe I didn’t have looks girls called handsome. But, my parents didn’t buy me a flea collar or give me rabies shots for Christmas. Mostly, the pictures showed a full head of hair and the results of what visiting a dentist every five years could do for you. I can say I still have that same gleam in my eyes I had back then. Only now it’s the glint off the cataract surgery lenses that have been put in.

In boot camp, the Corps took my picture and put it on an ID card. Each time I was promoted I had a new picture taken and a new card issued. When I retired, I received a final ID card. Although, as the years have passed, I’ve found my pictures no longer look like me. I’m not exactly sure where I’ve gone but the pictures aren’t of me. Oh, I still have that commanding presence. It’s just that my bodily formations have changed.

The other day, while talking to myself, I saw a picture of me in a suit. I just happened to mention to myself my high school full head of hair had gone somewhere. Myself replied, “Actually Fast Eddy”, myself always calls me Fast Eddy, “it hasn’t gone. It’s still there. It’s just like one of those government farm programs you read about. Your crops have rotated—to your ears, your nose, your back and all over your knuckles.”

One day, the wife and I were looking at old pictures. Some were of high school days and some were of boot camp and ITR days. When she asked if I was in some of those pictures, I pointed out I was in most of them. She asked, “Which one is you?” Now, this is where when you grow older you can point to the best looking guy in each picture and say, “That’s me”. Who was there to dispute it?

Look at the clothes we use to wear in high school. And the greasy kids stuff we use to put on our hair. Now, I know I could still fit into some of those clothes. Even if it did take a whole jar of that greasy kids stiff smeared all over me to help me slide into them. Then, maybe a pair of scissors to get out of them.

One of the things you can’t see in the photographs is memory. Now, that’s one thing that hasn’t changed since high school. No sir, not at all. Why the head I showered in earlier in the day I can still find when I have to get up to go at 0200. I can even find it again at 0400. No, my memory is still the same as it was back then.