Reveille: 'Why should I stop? No one else does.'

  • Published
  • By Mike McKito
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs
As I passed through the main gate recently on my way to work, Reveille began to play. I'm ashamed to admit that my first grumbling thought was, "Why should I stop? No one else does."

But I decided to stop, because we play "To the Colors" and that is the Air Force regulation, as found in AFI 34-1201. While I sat along the side of the road, several cars passed me by. I couldn't help but wonder if this was worth potentially getting rear-ended over.

I don't want to give a "holier-than-thou" impression about all this. The truth is, I'm probably like a lot of people who get to work early--I try to time my drive to beat the 6 a.m. Reveille call. And if I get caught, I find myself feeling irritated by having to sit in my car "wasting" time.

But on this morning, I began to feel a twinge of guilt as I sat in my car. I thought about all of those who gave their lives to ensure Reveille could continue to play on bases and posts. I'm sure they'd gladly trade places with me, if they could.

And those patriots who were dying in Vietnam while I served in Germany? What would they think?

And what about those who gave their lives serving with me in Desert Shield and Desert Storm? They paid the ultimate price for that short song interlude.

As the music came to its end, I saw another car pull over and stop. Was it patriotism? Tradition? Guilt? Only they knew.

But at least they stopped, when it seems almost no one else does. Some day maybe I, too, will join the indifferent majority and keep driving while Reveille is played.

But for now, I'm going to stop. After all, a few seconds of waiting is a small price to pay to show respect to so many others who paid a much, much higher price.

I can't get 'em up
I can't get 'em up
I can't get 'em up this morning;
I can't get 'em up
I can't get 'em up
I can't get 'em up at all!

And tho' the sun starts peeping,
And dawn has started creeping,
Those lazy bums keep sleeping,
They never hear my call!