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Friday, December 17, 2010


This slide show is a photographic tour of my personal quarters here at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Be sure to watch this slide show in "FULL SCREEN" mode.

As you can see from the photographs in this slide show, my brand new furnished apartment here at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Mississippi (i.e, the "Naval Home") is far more spacious than was my previous comfortably furnished room at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. (i.e., the "Soldiers' Home").

Ah, just look at the SIZE of that bed!

My personal quarters having been furnished with a sofa, armchair, and a kitchen, I can now comfortably entertain visitors (if I had any).

Note the wall to wall carpet and floor to ceiling windows.

In the ceiling of my latrine, there is a heat lamp, but nobody has yet told me what it's for, or how to use it.

On the wall of my latrine is a button that I have to push every morning, or else, someone will come looking to see if I passed away during the night.

In fact, in the short time since I've been here, there have already been several deaths.

Our local Veterans Administration Medical Center, our National Cemetery, and Keesler Air Force Base are within a few minutes drive, and representatives from local funeral homes visit here daily to solicit business.

In the slide show, did you notice the photograph of the open strongbox?

In the event of my death, that is where all of my important financial, military, educational, and organizational documents are stored, along with my Last Will and Testament and specific burial instructions.

(Actually, my Will and burial instructions need to be reviewed, revised, and updated - - - IF only I'd stop procrastinating.)

I want a Latter-day Saint funeral with military rites.

For some odd reason, the Armed Forces Retirement Home did not see fit to install cabinets underneath the sink in the latrine for storing cleaning supplies, and the medicine cabinet is very shallow, and won't accommodate but a few small toiletry items.

Surprisingly, a bathmat, towels, and washcloth were supplied for my latrine.

My closet is very small, but the large wooden wardrobe cabinet provides adequate additional space for storing clothing and other sundries.

Within the closet, is a wall safe with a programmable combination lock, but so far, I don't have any cash or valuables to put in the safe.

In a room on the main floor, there are lockable storage cages assigned to each resident for stowing luggage, boxes, or miscellaneous extras.

As an unexpected bonus, the Armed Forces Retirement Home paid for all of my personal belongings to be shipped here.

Unfortunately, because my quarters are located only on the third floor, and at the rear of this eight story building, I can barely glimpse the ocean from my balcony, although I do enjoy an excellent view of (mostly) CSX and Union Pacific freight trains as they pass by on the old Louisville and Nashville Railroad track.

(Once, I saw a mixed manifest freight train being pulled by Ferromex locomotives, and twice, I saw Kansas City Southern locomotives pulling flatcars loaded with camouflaged military vehicles.)

Each floor has a laundry room with two (02) washing machines and two (02) driers.

However, while I'm currently still able to do my own laundry, the pain in my back is becoming increasingly unbearable, and I wonder how much longer I have left before I'm no longer able to do even simple tasks such as laundry or changing the linen on my bed?

I've got medicine for the pain, but I avoid taking it, because it leaves me intoxicated and incapacitated.

Each floor also includes a dayroom with a large flat screen television connected to cable.

As for myself, I no longer subscribe to cable television, nor do I have a conventional land line telephone.

Instead, I get all of my television or movie entertainment on the Internet, via the Hulu (which is free, but has commercials) or NetFlix (which has no commercials, and costs ten dollars a month) web sites, and I enjoy the convenience of using a prepaid cell phone from the TracFone web site (i.e., mobility AND no monthly bill).

Ice dispensing machines are available on the fourth floor.

On each floor, at either end of the hallway, are floor to ceiling windows offering grand views (depending on which direction you're facing towards) of the Gulf of Mexico or the expanse of lush green forestry which almost totally conceals the residential neighborhoods of Gulfport and Biloxi.

The Armed Forces Retirement Home has its own private beach, with a pedestrian bridge crossing over the highway, so I plan to spend a lot of my time wading in the ocean (which is unusually shallow in this area), or strumming my guitar while lazily lolling about on the sand.

I am able to combat park my full sized four wheel drive pickup truck inside the garage beneath the building, and my vehicle now has a brand new Mississippi special license plate displaying the Bronze Star Medal.

I feel much safer here than I did in Washington, D.C., for three (03) reasons.

First, firearms are legal in Mississippi.

The District of Columbia continues to deliberately flout, circumvent, and outright negate the published decision of the Supreme Court of the United States by flagrantly imposing capricious municipal regulations effectively making it impossible for ordinary private citizens to own or carry personal firearms.

Second, the population of Gulfport and Biloxi is mostly White.

In the District of Columbia, the majority of the population are Negroes, and as a group, they seem to actually prefer living down to and perpetuating their own worst racial stereotypes of ignorance, filthiness, and violence.

As a result, murder in the District of Columbia is a daily occurrence, and the city's deterioration resembles an impoverished Third World war zone.

Third, it's easy to get around in Gulfport and Biloxi, with every convenience located just a short drive away.

In the District of Columbia megalopolitan area, constant traffic congestion, coupled with accidents and criminal activity, makes streets and roads frequently impassable or unnavigable, thus leaving any evacuation during an emergency out of the realm of possibility.

Because of these differences, I plan to become much more diligent in attending religious services at my local Gulfport Ward of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints.

About the only negative aspect of life here on the Gulf Coast in Mississippi, is that access on the Internet, via Cable One, is agonizingly slow, and it's unreasonably expensive.

Also, Mississippi has a sales tax that always catches me by surprise, and the cost of registering a personal vehicle in Mississippi is exorbitant.

An amusing aspect here at the Naval Home is that our Navy Exchange (i.e., what my beloved United States Army calls a "Post Exchange", or "PX") features an entire wall of floor to ceiling shelves filled to capacity with every variety, brand, and size of containers of whiskey.

Just across the hall, is "Fiddler's Green", where aged and infirm residents can freely imbibe, as they quietly reminisce in the comfortable darkness of our saloon.

I was surprised to see the United States Navy use the term, "Fiddler's Green", for I had always thought that was exclusively a traditional Cavalry term for the afterlife.

(As many of you know, while the majority of my military service was in the Signal Corps, during my final years in the United States Army, I proudly wore the spurs of a Cavalry scout.)

Aaaahh, but all in all, life here is so much better!

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