This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. –The Rifleman’s Creed
Tonight my son calls from Fort Benning, Georgia to let me know how he is progressing with his boot camp training. He’s only allowed to make an eight-minute call, so it’s not really a conversation. He reports on what has transpired since he last talked with me, and by the time he’s finished, I have just enough time to say, “It sounds like things are going really well,” before I’m cut off.
“I have to go, Dad. Good talking with you.”
I put the phone down and go out to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. With the sun setting at around 4 P.M. now, seven o’clock feels much later than it is. I sit down at the kitchen table and look out the window. A light rain is falling, and the wind is beginning to pick up. From what my son said, it seems he’s enjoying his experience, and making the most of it. This past week, his training focused on marksmanship and hand-to-hand combat. “I made it up to five-on-one before somebody finally got me in a headlock I couldn’t get out of. I had to tap out.”