I Am Guilty of Stolen Valor

I don’t know quite how to say this, but I’ve high-stepped a line in the beach sand that a naval type should not, no not ever, cross. I’ve stolen someone else’s honor. All for my greedy fingered consumption. There exists a precise term for such an occurrence, stolen valor. And I am most certainly guilty of it. To my eternal shame.

My happenstance started innocently enough in pleasant, downtown Kearny Mesa. This afternoon. (Cue mild bird-watching music from the PBS archives.) For the unknowing, Kearny Mesa is home to a large population of Asian folks. And I like to shop their stores for all sorts of delicacies. I strolled the aisles of Murukai Japanese Food Market, looking for my favorite tea. I found it, Genmaicha, a curious creation of green tea and toasted rice. Slangly, it is known as popcorn tea, due to (yes) its popcorn-like flavor.

My day would not be complete without some gyozas, so those too went into my basket. And I ambled over to the already long line. Still in uniform, I did not rate a second look from anyone. Naval Air Station (NAS) Miramar sat once right ’round the corner and before the Marines thieved ‘er from us, hardy naval folks were a common sight. Now she is known by the scalawag name of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (MCAS Miramar), but that is a scuffle for ‘nother blogpost. I must confess my crime, free my gravy’d conscience from the cellar where it has cowered for the last three hours. Cold, shaken, and stunned.

To the front of the line I go: my tea and my beloved gyozas. The kid running the cash register did not offer me a bowed konichiwa like the last customer. Rather I get a casual: Good afternoon, Chief.

Now let me make it perfectly clear, the Chief I thought he was referring to, was the Chief employees all over the States sling, along with: boss, pardner, and hoss.

It did not dawn in my military mind that he thought me a dues-paying member of the Goat Locker. No Sir. I mean, No Chief. Never did that bright 100 Watt lightbulb (an old-school one without all the mercury) flicker magically above my shaved head. At least, not for the first two seconds.

What made my crime worse: I liked it. Is that so wrong? I smiled when the lightbulb finally sparked on. And when he told me: Have a good one, Chief, I did not (in good conscience) correct the boy. No, I sauntered out of Murukai Japanese Food Market: me, my popcorn tea, my gyozas, and finally a grin. Some smooth criminal I was. Guilty of stolen valor. Now which Goat Locker do I need to turn myself into?

Going 170 on a Motorcycle in Traffic

I pass MCAS Miramar on my way home everyday and often motorcycles rip by me. Mostly they are crotch rockets: Ducatis, Suzukis, Yamahas, Hondas, Kawasakis, you know. Yesterday, I was stuck in bumper-to-bumper and a Marine growled by on his white Duc going 85. No one else was moving, but him.

That may be fast, but it is only 1/2 the speed of Nikkolaus McCarthy:

But the man sped off again, and other troopers clocked him going as fast as 170 mph. Troopers eventually stopped him in New Paltz.

Police charged Nikkolaus McCarthy of Charlton with fleeing police,reckless driving, speeding and operating a motorcycle without a license.

Wow, he did not have a license? Dumb, but still, that is probably the least of his problems.