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16 October 2009


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otiwa ogede

reminds me of India and China in the news lately.
Big economic beasts.
Look good together.
Provoking furious thoughts, but wish we could all just get along.


J.: It's my fault. I sorta posted from 'nother dude's blog (guy we're familiar with) & 'em "doohickies" sorta "infected" the Col.'s site.

Otiwa Ogede: LOL! Unfortunately 'em beasts aren't (economically) even like this beau's though. Hhmm... & my do they look absolutely delicious...


oo, Those have to be American, damn it, not everything is off-shored, the last vestige American exceptionalism.


Col. Lang:

Ah. The return of the tingle. Wonderful. Who needs ‘thingies’ when you have her.


If I were to look up that problem, and I’m confident it’s been studied, I’d go to the research on stress. I don’t think it’s so much a group problem as it is an individual reaction (governed, in part, by a normal curve) to the stress associated with the change associated with retirement.

Further, that you find large numbers of people experiencing dysfunctional complaints after retirement probably has more to do with common factors that resulted in their being selected into the military in the first place. An unintended consequence of joining up, as it were.

Solutions would range from retraining (reentry), which is being done now, to establishing groups with which the retiree can affiliate, viz., existing veterans groups are an example, which have similar characteristics to the group from which the person is retiring.

I’d be also be interested in looking at prevention, i.e., finding factors during the initial selection process that are associated with stress related breakdown after retirement which can then be addressed during training. This is what the military is doing now with regard to suicide and suicide prevention. (As I read their work, however, they have not yet acknowledged that suicidal behavior is ubiquitous and has a “normal” baseline. This is always a problem when you’re trying to cope with these kinds of public health issues.)


my wife kinda of looks like her, b/ i married her for her hi paying job & her steady paycheck :)

Cold War Zoomie


Funny you should bring this up since I've been wondering about this for years and years.

Sorry, I don't have any real numbers for you, but I could swear that the overall health of a lot of retirees drops pretty fast after retirement. I've known a couple of lifers who were six feet under within a couple of years after getting out.

Anyone else see this, or am I just delusional again?

Back when I was still in, all of us in my unit had our blood pressure taken by some nurses that came in from outside the military (I think they were with the Red Cross? Maybe it was for a blood drive.). The nurse, or health tech, who took my BP told me that she typically sees much higher rates of hypertension in active duty people compared to civies.

Mine was elevated back then even though I was in much better shape. Guess it's kind of a low level stress all the time even in the easier jobs.


@William R. Cumming: I think you're referring to The True Believer, where Hoffer argued at one point that certain types of people join mass movements for the feeling of structure that they get. He quotes a Nazi who joined that group to be "free from freedom".

Babak Makkinejad


Thank God that you did not write: "I married he for smarts and intellect."

F B Ali

Richard Armstrong

30 Republican senators voted against a bill that would allow female contractors to sue if they were raped, as Jamie Jones was. Everyone should read Mark Morford's column of Oct 16 at:



Colonel Lang, Babak,

"It is a fallacy of the Enlightenment Tradition that elevates personal liberty to the status of a semi-religion, thus ignoring the large percentages of people who cannot carry the burden of that liberty.

The military forces, the prisons, and other such organized environments are providing suitable situations for people who cannot - through any fault of their own, deal with being Free."

It is contributions like this that keep me coming back to SST. I don't feel so alone.

USMC 1965-1972
FBI 1972-1996

dilbert dogbert

An impressive woman. However, I got more inspiration from the sunset viewed from my patio just a while ago.

Al Spafford

Mr. Cumming--it was Dr. Eric FROMM that wrote the Freedom book. Hoffer was the brillant, ex-west coast longshoreman, philospher. Both are tremendous thinkers and though dated should be well read in our current day



LOLZ. That is all.

Al Spafford

Mr. Cumming, the "Freedom" book is by Dr Eric Fromm. Hoffer was a brilliant ex-west coast longshoreman, self-taught in philosphy. Both offered excellant social commentary and saddy are hardly read today--tgeur writings still relevant today.

Ken Roberts

Thanks for your comments everyone. Some interesting ideas. Effect of self selection - though regardless I think there is basis for proactive work. First two years as most important period coincides with what I have heard.

One factor not mentioned by others, but important I believe, is "what is my role". That is, not just the lack of structure in day (escape from freedom and such), but also need to have societal duties. Retired soldiers were in a tradition of service, and then are put at loose ends. Only some can fill in with family, hobbies etc. So it's not just the legion as solution. Should be asking retired to perform meaningful service; should pay too!


Glad to hear that men, at least men like the Colonel, don't automatically scratch women pushing fifty off their list of who's hot.;~)

William P. Fitzgerald III

Pat Lang,

Having stopped by this Posting on a semi-regular basis since it first appeared, I can report being inspired.

I have a whimsical military question for anyone who has an answer or comment. What's with the goofy unit designations that seem to be the style in the army these days? The favorites seem to be a few Indian tribes, an assortment of fierce creatures, and warlike expressions. I can visualize a mission statement something like, Pottawatomi Bn/Venus Flytrap Bde will attack with Vampire Bat Co on the left and Paiute Co on the right to secure Obj Perpetual, Enduring and Everlasting Freedom. A lame attempt at satire, no doubt, but it is something I've been wondering about.


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