Now, I want you to do something for me...I want you to be completely honest with me. I know what you are thinking, “Oh, my gosh, what in the world is Bob going to ask?” “Is he going to ask, ‘Really, what was that Swedish tourist girl like forty years ago?’” No! It isn’t anything as drastic as that...but, it is no less important! Do you remember when we were all stationed there at Iraklion Air Station forty years ago...thirty-seven years ago...thirty-five years ago...and we used to complain about Iraklion Air Station and Crete? Tell me if I am mistaken, but didn’t we used to say things like, “I’ll be glad to leave the ‘Rock’(Crete) and go back to the ‘World’ (USA)?” Or, perhaps, it was something like, “I can’t wait to get off of this God-forsaken island and go back to the land of fast food and even faster women."
Now, I am not being critical...I used to say the EXACT same things, or perhaps even worse. After all, I was there for a total of two years, eight months! But, have you noticed how our perspective has changed over the years since we have been gone from Crete? Sometimes I think that we used to say the things that we did about I.A.S. and Crete, because it was in vogue. We wanted to be like our friends and say the things they said, so that we would be considered, “cool”. But, in the years that I have been gone, my attitude has changed, and I think that your attitude has probably changed as well. So, how do we reconcile the differences...the way that we felt when we were stationed on Crete, and the way that we feel now? I think that Nikos Kazantzakis, in his novel, ZORBA THE GREEK, summed it up very well, when he said, “While experiencing happiness, we have difficulty in being conscious of it. Only when the happiness is past and we look back on it do we suddenly realize - sometimes with astonishment - how happy we had been.”
Ha. Ha. I have to smile and laugh! Does that not sound like us today? When we were on stationed on Crete, we were truly not aware of just how happy we really had been, that is, until we had left Crete! And, now, when we look back on those wonderful days spent on Crete, we now realize, that for many of us, those were some of the happiest days of our existence!!!
Take care, stay well, and let me hear from you.
Your Friend and Fellow “Silent Warrior”,