Military Tanks

22 Dec

It’s late in the morning, and I’m drinking a cup of black coffee that has turned cold because of how slowly I’ve been drinking it.  I’m sitting Indian style on my chair and editing a book on military tanks.

Normally, a weaponry book would get on my nerves.  I’d wonder what choices I’d made in my career that got me to the point that I’m editing books so far from my own gushy interests of literature and birds and art.

Today, though, I’m reminded of another morning.  I remember riding the bus into Manhattan with my dad, passing the Teaneck Armory, and my dad telling me about his days serving in the Greek army.  My dad’s rather private, a trait that runs deep in the family, and I had never really heard him talk about being in the army.  Even though it’s required of all Greek males to serve in the Greek army, the detail that my father served in the army never really cliqued in my mind.  It made me realize how some details in our lives slip away, forgotten until triggered by a source outside us.

Some stories we share over and over again, til the point our friends roll their eyes from having to hear it again.  Other stories we burrow away.  Maybe because they’re painful to remember.  Or maybe because they just seem insignificant.


4 Responses to “Military Tanks”

  1. Scott Davies December 22, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    So, you forgot to finish the story about how you got to editing a book about military tanks…..

    Just remember, many civilians think that anything military with tracks is a “tank.” Not so, a “Tank” is a very specialized weapons system whose primary mission (what it is designed to do) is to fight and destroy the enemy’s tanks. (before being an Army chaplain for 24 years, I was a Tank officer for 6 years) I’m also John Pattison’s uncle (by marriage).

    • Stephanie Nikolopoulos December 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

      Well, the book has the word “tank” in the title, so I’m confident that’s what it is. I ended up editing a book on military tanks simply because I work with the publisher on a regular basis. It’s actually a really fun book! It’s just strange sometimes to think that I edit books on military warfare. It’s not just tanks — I edit books on guns and fighter planes … you name it!

      Being a tank officer and army chaplain sounds like a really intense job! A while back I read the story of the Four Chaplains. They were Navy chaplains, but nonetheless it was an interesting story: I’m sure you have many stories from your time in the army.

      • Scott Davies December 23, 2011 at 7:06 am #

        Good morning Stephanie: Yes, all US military chaplains know the story about the four chaplains–if I remember correctly they were Army chaplains, the USS Dorchester was a troop transport and they were aboard the ship with their own troops. They serve as models for us all. The Army chaplain’s unofficial motto is “Cooperation without comprimise”.

        Yes, I have lots and lots of really good memories and lots of memorable moments. I spent most of my time assigned to combat oriented units like the Infantry–up in Alaska, I wasa paratrooper with the Green Berets and later whenI was older, with Paratrooper Military Police (the I discovered that the ground had gotten much harder in the interveneing years. I also got to go back to school and got another Master’s, this one in Marriage and Family Therapy and did that for 5 years, counseling soldiers and families full time in Alaska. So yes, it was a good career, spanning 30 years.

      • Stephanie Nikolopoulos December 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

        Are you a writer? With your military and counseling background, I think there are a lot of great opportunities for you to write a book!!

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