Friday, February 09, 2007

My newest job, my newest passion, my newest blog.

There are several days worth of blogs to catch up on. Make sure you read them in order...

In late September I began a new job. Those of you who have read my blogs know that Imani Institute was betrayed by folks we trusted, and we lost our charter.

Because I am not a certified teacher, and because we didn't get the word until two weeks before the start of the school year, I was not able to be picked up by another school.

After chilling for a week or two and "regrouping", I was putting the word out amongst friends in the National Guard to see if there were any 'active duty special work' openings. Those can be a genuinely SWEET deal. I was approached by SFC Gradus from my National Guard unit to give the Honor Guard a try.

Several years ago, Congress decided that military funeral honors would be made available to ALL VETERANS, provided they were honorably discharged of course. No longer did it have to be some retired high-ranker, or someone Killed In Action. We now honor ALL WHO SERVED. The National Guard was tasked with making this happen.

Well...rather than having a million different Guard units out there doing funerals a million different ways, the Guard decided that each state would have a MFH (Military Funeral Honors) coordinator and central office, and that ALL states would follow the same Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for conducting funerals. To this end, an SOP was written and a school created at the National Guard Professional Education Center at Camp Robinson in Little Rock, AR. Writing the SOP and teaching the course are none other than soldiers from the 3rd US Infantry, "The Old Guard". For those of you who don't know...these are the guys who work at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C., and who set the HIGHEST standard for MFH. States send a few soldiers to the school each year and those soldiers are expected to come back and train the rest. These slots are very coveted.

Well...I've been doing funerals since mid-September and I work at LEAST five days a week on average, and this duty consumes me.

Recently, I earned one of the coveted slots at the school, and I am currently in Little Rock working my ass off.

This is NOT the old Chris Jones. There have been changes. This SGT Jones cares about being a soldier, he cares about being an NCO, and he cares about his current mission, the highest of honors.

These are his chronicles.


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