Russell MacLeod Middleton - Journey
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My Journey in Brief


While nearly half a million concertgoers left Max Yasgur's dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York, and Gulf Coast Mississippians began to assess the effect of the Category 5 hurricane, Camille, I joined 8.2 million of my peers in answering our country's call to defend the Constitution of the United States of America.


Robert Frost (1874-1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

1. The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


My mother was not as enthusiastic about my decision to join the military as I would have liked. She didn't want to risk losing her only son, the eldest of the eldest of the eldest of this branch of the Middleton family.

Unbeknownst to me until some thirty years later, while studying Scottish History, my decision may have been a foregone conclusion. In spite of mom's best efforts to raise a peace loving son, some four hundred fifty generations of highland blood course through my veins and I wanted to do the right thing. It was probably obvious to many that Vietnam was a lost cause and was already beginning to wind down. All I knew was that it was something I needed to do.

A few weeks into Basic Training when the moment came to specifically choose which Air Force career field I wished to pursue, I chose weapons (Aircraft Armament Systems Apprentice AFSC 46230) (closer to the pointed end of the stick). The nature/nurture argument has raged for longer than my short life, but the more I learn about who the Scottish people are the more I understand myself. This web page, Military Character of the Highlanders, clearly explains the character of the Highlander as a warrior, but a close reading will also reveal who the Highland Scots are as a people. Our sense of honour, loyalty, history and the land is beyond the ability of most non-Scots to understand, yet so deeply felt as to be part of our DNA. A sense of honour and hospitality so grievously violated at Glencoe over three centuries ago that it still raises tempers.




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