November 17, 2003

You Asked, Sgt Hook Answers

Sgt Hook has answered your questions!

I have to say, in my opinion this is one of the best interviews yet...and not just because he says something nice about me. I'm even offering a money back guarantee if you disagree.

You. Read. Now. "And YES, that IS an order soldier!"

Why did you start a blog?

Two reasons really. First and foremost, after reading a couple of fantastic blogs (see next question) and figuring out what a blog actually is, I thought that this would be a great way to stay in touch with family and friends around the globe no matter where I happen to be at any give time.

Secondly, I’ve always harbored a strong desire to become a writer when I grow up, and I reasoned that blogging would help me to achieve such a lofty goal (writing, not growing up).

How did you find out blogs were around? Which were the first blogs you read?

While working on my Master’s degree, a professor sent me a link to a “blog” written by the now famous Lt in the sandbox. I first read Lt Smash and started thinking about how cool this blog thing was. Then I stumbled across DaGoddess, Electric Venom, and Sgt Stryker. I should add that Kate was instrumental in evolving Sgt Hook from Blogspot to MT and from experimenting with to actually blogging.

Do any bloggers influence you?

I find that I am influenced by several people, none of whom are bloggers. I am, however, inspired by Babalu Blog, Jennifer’s History and Stuff, and Blackfive.

Come on, seriously, the Jets?!

Must I remind you that the JETS were the AFC East Champs last season? If that isn’t enough, when I was a kid growing up in New York, Broadway Joe Namath was the man, hence I became a Jets fan and have been ever since. That and the fight song is pretty easy to memorize…J-E-T-S…JETS!…JETS!…JETS!

Any relation to the Captain? Do you think that crocodile was justified?

Funny you should ask. My father is a Commander (retired) in the United States Coast Guard and as skipper of his ship was often referred to as “Captain.” Alas, I am NOT related to the infamous Captain Hook of Peter Pan fame, and YES, the croc had his just desserts (pun intended). I’m reasonably sure that the melodic Doctor Hook is a distant cousin though, which might explain my being able to play a mean set of congas.

Why did you join the military?

Why for the money, right. Actually, there are two parts to this answer. The first addresses why I initially joined the Army, the second, why I continued to re-up.

I was a 23-year old college dropout on the verge of buying into a restaurant when I initially walked into the recruiter’s office. The restaurant deal went south real fast and I was tired of cooking my ass off for a couple of pretty good eateries in New York so I followed a long established urge to serve my country and called the United States Border Patrol. After hearing their exciting offer of sitting along deserted stretches of barren land with only cacti to talk to, I thought, “maybe the military.” Of course, the Coast Guard was my first choice having spent my entire life around it. I called the Commander (read Dad) and told him I’ve decided to follow in his footsteps and join the USCG. He talked me out of it (for reasons I’m still not sure of today but the Coast Guard is probably grateful for it) and into the Army. So I listened impatiently to the Army recruiter’s lengthy pitch, and finally said, “if you can pay off all of my gottdamned student loans and get me into the aviation field, I’ll join today.”

Three weeks later I was sitting in the barber’s chair having my head shaved. Hooah!

I have since reenlisted numerous times because I’ve found that there is nothing in life more rewarding than being a part of something greater than myself; that and the fact that I’ve traveled around the world and formed indescribable bonds between friends.

What is the best thing about a career in the military?

I’ve found that there is nothing in life more rewarding than being a part of something greater than myself; that and the fact that I’ve traveled around the world and formed indescribable bonds between friends.

What is the most difficult?

It is NOT the rain, mud, heat, freezing cold, lack of crappy food, cold coffee, sleepless days, or fucked up mission planning that I find most difficult. It is having to leave my family for extended periods of time to endure the aforementioned amenities that is most difficult.

There have been some comments that you'll be leaving. Will you be deploying soon?

Yes. Keeping in mind that “loose lips sink ships” let me say just this, I am deploying with my unit to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom in support of the Global War on Terror in early 2004 (how’s that for the party line?). Stay tuned to Sgt Hook for further updates.

How did you meet your wife? Please take this opportunity to tell us how
wonderful she is.

Mrs. Hook is this your question? O.K., some years ago I had the pleasure of serving this nation as a recruiter taking applications from America's sons and daughters who had expressed a desire to join the ranks of the United States Army.

Painfully aware of the fact that only 30 percent of all college freshman graduate with a 4-year degree, I set up a small table in the corner of the student lounge at a local college. Hey, one of the compelling reasons for me to join was to have my student loans paid off, so why not spread the wealth (pun intended). It never occurred to me that it would also be a great place to meet women- smart women. Then, as I was handing out flyers and answering questions I caught a glimpse of a knockout take-my-breath-away gottdamned gorgeous coed.

Suddenly oblivious to what the student in front of me was saying, I handed him a bunch of key chains and moved towards the goddess who had just come into the lounge.

Wearing my Dress Blue Uniform with all my colorful medals and my aviation crewmember wings, I stepped in front of her and introduced myself as the Army recruiter assigned to her college. I then asked, "Would you like to join the Army?" To which she replied, "No."

"Great," I said, "then would you like to join a soldier for dinner?" She didn't answer me, but her eyes sparkled and my heart skipped a beat or three as the bell rang and she walked backwards down the hall, and I stood rigid watching. She has made me happy ever since that day in the student lounge.

Do you two have "a song"?


What advice would you give to a groom-to-be?

Not knowing the “groom-to-be” or the “bride-to-be” I’m hesitant to give advice, so let me speak generally. As your heart throbs with love and lust, try to think about what it would be like to spend your days, nights, meals, ups, downs, and vacations with this woman after you’ve retired and your kids have grown and moved out on their own. Does it sound like fun? If yes, than marry her!

What about a father-to-be?

Pamper and love the hell out of the mother-to-be. Treat her like the goddess she is for she will soon deliver to you something you’ve never known before- unconditional love. Be there to hold mom’s hand (even if she breaks your thumb) and say stupid words of encouragement as she labors to bring your baby into the world and don’t be afraid to cry as you cut the umbilical cord. Then shut up and soak in the wonderfully beautiful moment that mother and child finally meet. Don’t worry, you’ll have ample time to bond with baby over the next couple of weeks, just make sure you take advantage of said time and bond. Sorry you asked for advice?

What are your three favorite movies?

Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, and Razor’s Edge.

Did you expect me to catch your Monty Python "unladen swallow" reference?

I fully expected you to catch it Jen. I was wondering how many of your readers caught what the hell we were talking about.

What kinds of things do you do in your free time, if you have any?

Free time? What’s that? I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids and if there is any “free time” left, I like to read, write, and cook.

Let's talk chocolate chip cookies. Nuts or no nuts?

Absolutely NO NUTS. I can’t stand nuts in my cookies, brownies, or casseroles. In a bowl on the bar are good to go though.

Ginger or MaryAnn?

Mary Ann, as long as she’s willing to put on that little French maid’s outfit once in awhile.

What do you think about kids today? Is our future safe in their hands?

To properly answer this question I ought to opine on what I think about the parents of kids today, but I’ll try to stay on topic. I’ve complete faith in our youth and their ability to grab the future by the horns and ride it successfully. And if they fail, it isn’t their fault, but ours.

If you could have breakfast with any 3 people who you have not had breakfast with before, who would they be?

George S. Patton, Ronald Reagan, and Audie Murphy.

You can trade lives with anyone for 48 hours. Who is it and why?

My grandfather Jack (God rest his soul) who at the age of 14 boarded a ship from Scotland sailing to the United States of America, alone. He was told that an uncle would meet him at Ellis Island and take him home to Pennsylvania and get him a job in the coalmines. He didn’t hesitate. He established the family that I know. He’s always been larger than life to me, and I’d love to know what it felt like to be him, even just for 48 hours.

Posted by Jennifer at November 17, 2003 12:00 AM


Wow. Yeah, Jen, that was a good one.

Posted by: Victor at November 17, 2003 07:17 AM

Great interview, thanks for taking the time to do that, both of you.

Posted by: Ted at November 17, 2003 08:38 AM

How can anyone NOT love this Sgt? A class act through and through.

Posted by: Val Prieto at November 17, 2003 12:51 PM