I have noticed significant differences in the military and civilian sectors and am constantly reminded that I am no longer a Sergeant. Case in point, a few weeks ago I had to resign from my job before they could fire me. Sounds shitty, right? That’s because it is… But that’s a whole other story for a whole other day… For now I want to remain on the thread of last broadcast’s Core Value of the Week, Duty.

On the last broadcast we touched on something that kinda freaks me out. Again, if there is anyone who has any recognition or experience with spirituality or religion, the thought of being burned to death is synonymous with hell.

I hate to beat a dead horse but in a way, I kind of have to. We are doing this to empower other people in our same position. Other veterans. Other citizens. Other Americans. We are all in the same boat today as we were yesterday and unless we get our left hands talking to the right in a way that opens more possibilities for a better future, we are all destined to end up fifty years from now continually failing ourselves for not building that better future when we had the chance. Today is that chance. Today is our opportunity to start working for our future. I looked at Baker and said “What the fuck is a blog?” (Sorry Momma) And then I found this…


I thought to myself… I can do this.


The Presidio of Monterey sits on a bluff jutting north into Monterey Bay. Rolling hills, mature cypress and pine trees, and a healthy deer population are among its pleasures. To the south a few miles is Carmel-by-the-Sea, where Clint Eastwood was mayor during the last half of the 1980s. Further south is the rugged Big Sur coastline. Despite its breathtaking views and proximity to some highly coveted real estate, this garrison started as a rugged Spanish outpost in the late 1760s. The United States took control of the fort in 1846 during the Mexican-American War. Today the Presidio of Monterey hosts the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, where the Department of Defense and other federal agencies prep need-to-know types in languages and cultures that might come in handy during treaty negotiations, drug wars, Middle Eastern adventures, and other such matters. The Presidio, with its postcard-ready vistas, feels more like a college campus than a military base.

I had seen nothing sacred, and the things that were glorious had no glory and the sacrifices were like the stockyards at Chicago if nothing was done with the meat except to bury it. There were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of the places had dignity.
—Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

Any way you look at it, it’s a long way from Iraq. But Iraq is never far from Dave Ramos. He served two tours there as a combat medic—a 68W, or 68 Whiskey as they are known— and the experience, especially his second deployment, has bled into every aspect of his life.