Sunday, March 22, 2009
I meant to write this two weeks ago, but the craziness of leaving my civilian job, my guard job and personal matters just overcame me in a series of disaster after disaster. The last week of February is a blur of frustration of delays and last minute details. I was able to attend my Mother Lodge Army Lodge #1105 for the last stated meeting of the month the 24th of Feb, we had a lot of business to take care of and the District Deputy Grand Master came out for a visit, it was a full evening.
A quick history of Army Lodge, there was three lodges in the city of San Antonio at the turn of the century, they were Alamo #44, Anchor Lodge, Texas #8. Fort Sam Houston at the time was considered to be on the far side of town and was 45 minute commute one way to attend these lodges. A group of Army enlisted and officers along with some contractors was granted a charter as Army Lodge #1105 and meet in the meeting room above the old gymnasium. There they conferred degrees (mainly on military members) and for the first 10 years only military sat in the east. The lodge has been conferring degrees on military Masons and members of the community ever since. It at one time has members spread across the world serving this country 800 strong, members in the Navy, Army and Air Force. In 1929 they raised enough money to build their own building, which is situated right outside the now closed east gate of Fort Sam Houston.
If you have been reading this blog for a while you know that my Mother Lodge has been in turmoil since I was initiated over the repair of the roof. This turmoil has lasted three Worshipful Masters and caused a strain on the lodge, which has always been the elephant in the room. It was finally settled last month and the current sitting Worshipful Master started a series of initiatives to start repairing/renovating the lodge. The meeting on the 24th was to vote on all of these greatly needed repairs, to which I am happy to report where all approved and the renovations are starting this week! My personal hope is that Army Lodge #1105 will continue its tradition of granting more light to the Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines that pass through the gates of Fort Sam Houston and the greater San Antonio area. I hope that the new building repairs will invigorate not only our base membership, but the community as a whole, and might actually inspire the hope that was promised this past year by many a politicians.
After the meeting I meet the DDGM, who was former military (not unusual in Texas), the man is the nicest DDGM we have had during my short time in Freemasonry, and gave me a pin with the emblem of the current Grand Master, David Counts. He told me to put it somewhere to remind myself that I have brothers in Texas praying for me. I took the pin, just concerned that I wouldn’t lose it.
My second day here the Army issued me more gear than I had been issued in my 7 years in the Air Force, one the of the pieces of gear is an Assualt pack, which I have become dependent on for pretty much everything, I put the pin on the inside front pocket, as a reminder that Freemasonry lives inside of me, and that I have the support of brothers everywhere as I embark on this journey, serving this country.
The training itself can be frustrating, the Army “hurry up and wait” philosophy is wearing thin; thankfully we have nothing scheduled this morning (which is why I am able to finally update this blog). In 13 days I will have completed my weapons training (50 Cal, 240B, 249, MK19), IED detection, convoy operations and of course force protection. This training is paid for by the Army, to ensure my survivability while fulfilling their mission requirements.
I have been reading Masonic papers as a way to disengage my mind from the training, one of the papers “Masonry and World Peace” by Joseph Fort Newton he writes:
”What has Masonry to say, what can it do, in this hour of world crisis when the race is struggling through blood and fire toward something new, shaking off the shams, and coming face to face with the eternal necessities?”
I could post the rest, but I think the Master Masons reading this would have a good idea what he wrote.
Thank you for your prayers and well wishes, they are appreciated.