Happy Memorial Day


The above picture is the “Pentagonito” in Peru which is the diminutive form of the Spanish word for “Pentagon.”  Essentially what they’re saying is that this is Peru’s “little Pentagon.”

It’s out in San Borja and it’s one of the best places to go for a quiet jog in all of Lima.  There is a very nice running path all the way around the building, and there is very little traffic.  San Borja is one of the better places to live in Lima if you like the quiet life.
My wife’s father was in the Peruvian Navy and I have quite a few friends who served in the military both in Peru and the US.  The first one that comes to mind is my friend Gary who is in the Air Force.  I’ve known Gary since grade school, and about 7 or 8 years ago, he came down to Peru to visit me and see Machu Picchu.
Gary is probably the most intelligent person I’ve ever met.  He wasn’t our class valedictorian though, and honestly, I don’t know how any intelligent person can put up with the inevitable idiot teachers you’re going to have in High School enough to placate them into giving you your “A.”  I know that I butted heads with a lot of individuals I thought were talentless morons drunk on their power, and when I wouldn’t bow to their stupid will they gave me my “B+” or whatever just to mess with me.
This kind of goes to what people were discussing on this post.  Steelerfan in particular mentioned that people feel “entitled” and don’t want to do any work, and are resistant to “demeaning” jobs.  I think that’s an interesting point, but I also think we should explore what is a “demeaning” job.  Personally, I have no problem cleaning toilets and I don’t consider that “demeaning.”  But when my job is to supress my own intelligence because my “superior” is a frickin’ idiot, and that I get punished if I don’t do this, then I do find that “demeaning” and bad for our society as a whole.
In our class of 106 individuals, Gary graduated 4th, then was told by the guidance councilor that he wasn’t intelligent enough to go to college.  Gary ignored that and eventually graduated with a degree in Chemistry and minors in Physics, Math, Biology and Computer Science (he tended to take about 25 credits a semester).
He’d actually done his basic training during the summer of his Junior year in High School, and came to school on the first day as a senior dressed in his combat fatigues.  He eventually settled into the air force and at one point was the national expert on missile defense systems.  This had come about by accident because he just kept getting shipped off to solve various problems until it became clear he was the guy with the greatest overall understanding of US defense systems (I was going to post his picture, but after writing that last paragraph, I decided I better not).
Anyway, the last I heard, Gary was shipped out to Afghanistan.  He had been planning another trip to Peru to come and visit, but then his email went dead.  I’ve checked the web pages that list the names of fallen US soldiers in foreign countries, but I have never found his name.  This isn’t a person who would spontaneously decide that he didn’t want me in his life, something very strange is going on here.  I sincerely hope he’s OK.
If any of you have any suggestions as to who I could contact in the military to get to the bottom of where my friend is, please let me know.  And thank you to all of you who have served.


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