March 21, 2005

Judging a book by its cover

The 'cover' in Josh Barfield's case doesn't refer to the snaky tattoos on his arms or his penchant for heavy metal rock music, but to the distinctive Marine Corps headgear he wears to work. From the Marines web comes this Feed Trough story:
CAMP HURRICANE POINT, Ar Ramadi, Iraq (March 20, 2005) -- Patrolling the streets of the insurgent infested city here is probably the last place most people would expect to find a rock 'n' roll star.

However, that's just where you'll find Lance Cpl. Josh R. Barfield, lead singer and guitarist for up-and-coming metal band Blue Collar.

The 23-year-old Glendora, Calif., native and assault man with 1st Platoon, A Company, may not have reached international recognition for his music yet, but he does have a number of fans in his unit, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. Many of his fellow grunts consider him to be a top-notch performer who's destined for rock-star fame.
This old timer had almost lost hope for the next generation. It is a cliche to observe that adults through the ages have wrung their hands and lamented, "O tempore! O more!" at the sight of the youth of the day. I admit I was getting to that point. Music I didn't dig, pointless tattoos, dangerous piercings, jive talk I wasn't hep to, and the artifacts of a third-rate public education all had conspired to dry up my hope for the future.

Then I saw these same kids I thought were sucking air I might need, grow up and go to war. I'm impressed, grateful and a bit surprised. I had judged these books by their covers and found them wanting. As Chuck Berry said, "it goes to show you never can tell"!

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