Why Swear In at the Ball Game? The Politics of Baseball
Last night I saw something I had never witnessed at a baseball game at any level. My wife and I decided that we would treat her aunt and uncle to diner and a Washington Wild Things AAA baseball game at Consol Park, a great time to go Thirsty Thursday. (A dollar for soda, or a beer.) Minor League ball is a great way to spend a summer evening. What happened at around 6:50 PM took me by surprise.
As we all got settled in our seats after buying souvenirs, drinks, peanuts, and Crackerjacks, I saw a group of around 19 young men and one young lady gather in front of us on the third base dugout. They had matching light blue t-shits and jeans on, nothing unusual about them. Then three Marines in their dress blues approached the group. I thought maybe, they were going to sing the National Anthem, but is was then that the Public Announcer informed us what was about to take place. They were about to be sworn in, right there in front of God, and everyone in attendance.
Now as I said above I had never seen anything like this at a sporting event of any kind. As the P.A. announced what was going to happen the crowed clapped and cheered and my wife’s uncle who is retired from the army, (has a son who is getting ready to be re-deployed somewhere in the Middle East for the fifth time) also clapped. However, his facial expression was one of worry. I personally could not bring myself to even watch, knowing that some of them would not come home whole, or might not even come home.
After the ceremony was done and the playing of the National Anthem was over, I ask my wife if she wanted to go has a cigarette with me before the first pitch? When we got to the designated smoking area, she ask why I didn’t clap during the ceremony, and why I looked away from the field. It seems her mother and aunt mentioned this to her. I ask her if she really didn’t know? I ask her, if she remembered how the military recruiters went after out daughter when she was in the 10th grade with the lies and promises that would never be. Then when they did the same thing to our niece, telling her that they weren’t even fighting over in Iraq, and when fighting was the heaviest it had been. They also told her something that not only was wrong, but later I found out they were not allowed to do, they told her to sign over custody of her daughter to her mother for the time she was in the military. I was so happy that I was awake enough to keep the military at bay when it came to my daughter. I knew the things that had to be done while she was in school to make them leave her alone, and explained things to her so that she could make a wise choice when she was of age.
I don’t really know why they would have a Swearing in Ceremony at a sporting event where there would be a lot of impressionable kids. (snark) However, I do know some of those kids looked scared shitless. It was like they realized what they had done, and it was too late.
That brings up another question I have. Why is it the laws says that a person is not capable of making a sound judgment until they are twenty one, but they can decide if they want to die at the age of eighteen?
Oh yea, the Wild Things won 16 to 8. After a shaky start, and being down as much as 7-0 they staged a come back. And as far as the New Recruits, keep alert and keep your head down.</p.
ps. Keep your children safe and don’t become so wrapped up in patriotism that you let them become Cannon Fodder.