Peregrin, upon his return from a year in Korea, was stationed at Ft. Huachuca in Arizona for two years, most of which son and I spent with him. Our first year there could easily be titled "The Year in Which a New Army Family Learns Base Rules." For example, the sameness of every single house is how things are preferred in the military.
Thus, when we planted pumpkins in our back yard and they took over our property, we were not the most popular family on the base. We were the subject of much higher level discussion, apparently, and it was decided that we would be allowed to keep the pumpkins as a form of helping ourselves, much like a garden might, but we were warned that the vines would have to be chopped and removed as soon as the gourds could be harvested. It was also suggested to us, strongly, that, in turn for this favor and leniency, we might take a few pumpkins or a pie to our base commander in gratitude.
When the pumpkins had turned orange and were about the size of cantaloupes, our leniency ended. We were ordered to harvest and clean up the yard. I would have liked to let them grow another couple of weeks but we weren't given a choice in the matter. We did as we were told. I don't remember if we gave any to the commander. I may have given a pie or two. I was not the most docile member of the community, often bristling at rules and orders that didn't seem fair to me.
My second year on base was better, but I was glad Peregrin decided not to make a career out of the military. One four-year stint was more than enough for me. Too many people don't realize that when one member of a family serves, the whole family serves with them, apart half the time and living within strict guidelines if together. The Army didn't just own him; it owned all three of us.
Veterans do deserve a lot of respect for the service they give to country. So do their families.