04 May 2009

Hooah, SF style

When it's not raining here, I enjoy talking a walk over my lunch break. My office is situated such that there are several different directions I can go and be sure to encounter at least one of the following: no stoplights (hence, no getting run over by cars running red lights); big hills; good people watching; gorgeous vistas; good coffee; and even all of the above in a couple cases.

Usually once a week, my wanderings take me to a certain green space near the SF Armed Forces Recruitment Center. I went by there today, and had the opportunity to talk with one of the Soldiers who worked there. Our paths crossed as he was on his way back to work, and I stopped to ask what it was like to work in SF (restraining myself enough to not ask if he got hazardous duty pay for being here.)

He was very friendly and - once realizing that I was not a Code Pink-er disguised in a red jacket - was happy to talk about his job and what it was like to be here. Though I'm not shocked, I'm still upset and disgusted that his answer to my question was what I suspected it might be: that yes, he (and his colleagues) do get harassed by the locals here; that random people would come up and cuss them out; etc. *Sigh*... this is such a beautiful city full of beautiful people capable of beautiful and wonderful things...and yet, at times, said beauty is but a thin veneer on smoldering ugliness and hatred. It makes me sad.

Anyway. We chatted for 15 minutes or so, and - even though I didn't outright ask him - he talked a little about his previous deployments and what they were like and what future deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan would look like for current active duty Soldiers - and he reassured me that they would not be 'so bad as I might think they are.' I don't care if that was the recruiter part of him talking or not - it was nice to hear.

I thanked him for his time and made sure that he knew (and to tell the other folks in the office) that at least THIS San Franciscan had nothing but respect and gratitude for them.

1 comment:

Buck said...

Most interesting, Katy. My experience... as a retired AF-type working in SFO... was my co-workers were genuinely interested in my experiences and were generally respectful... and dare I say it?... a little bit admiring. But then again, I worked with IT professionals, a class that is educated and somewhat worldly-wise. The general population, OTOH, is in an entirely different space. Too bad about that.