January 28, 2012

Honorary Knight

There are many things my 12 regular blog viewers probably don't know about me, despite my pathetic attempts to share.  Hopefully the really bad things remain unknown and the really funny things eventually get shared.  The rest of the "facts" about my life may or may not be that interesting, although I doubt they'd be as interesting as the really bad to really funny things.

This "fun fact" is neither bad nor funny: I'm an Honorary Knight.  Now some folks already know about one "Knighthood", but I've actually been made an Honorary Knight twice.

The first time was way back in 1996, practically a lifetime ago and on another continent.  The Implementation Forces (IFOR)  were nearing their 4th month in Bosnia and the Air Force decided to rotate all their personnel.  I was assigned to the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) at the 1st Armor Division.  Four months of weekly rotating shifts, nights and mid-shift, in a big festival tent near the Tuzla flight-line kind of sucked.  There were plenty of "regular" Air Force around on the other side of the post, but those REMFs were just a pain to deal with.  I especially remember the day when some TSgt was wandering around the chow hall with the brand new Load-Bearing Vest (LBV), but he couldn't be bothered to attach it to a web belt.  Instead he just had crap (Leatherman, electrical tape, etc) hanging off of the attachment straps.  Here we (the ROMADs and the Army grunts) couldn't get new equipment but some flight-line maintenance puke gets a new LBV?!  Even though everyone was due to rotate out after four months, I had to get out of the Division, so I extended my orders for two months.  They let me choose which battalion to go to.  I figured if anything was going to go down, there were two places that were the most likely.  One of those location, BrĨko, wasn't getting an experienced ETAC...and they were getting a fresh-out-of-school ALO.  I spent just shy of two months with 3-5 CAV before I had to leave Bosnia because the Air Force was adamant about not letting anyone stay in-country for six months and get a short-tour credit.

Before I left they gave me a Certificate of Appreciation and the Commander made me an Honorary Black Knight.  For the longest time I had a Bosnia 3-5 CAV t-shirt that had all the callsigns of everyone that served at Camp McGovern.  I remember being "Cowboy".  Actually all of the TACPs were Cowboy ##, I just don't remember my number.
Last summer I was again afforded an Honorary Knighthood, this time as an Honorary Knight of the Dinner Table.  The Knights of the Dinner Table, or KoDT, is actually a comic produced by friends of mine at Kenzer & Company.  Of course none of them started out as friends, I was just a player of HackMaster who eventually found my way to the comic.  It didn't occur to me for years that I had probably started reading KoDT years before when it appeared as a one-page strip in the old Dragon Magazines.  When Carolyn and I started playing we got active with our local HackMaster Association (HMA) chapter, which is a long story of its own.  At one point I was running demos for Kenzer & Company and when they needed someone to take over administrating for their demo teams (the HackPack) I volunteered.  That didn't last long because I realized that once I cleaned up the records my work was essentially done.  All I was doing was acting as a middle-man that really didn't contribute, actually slowing the process down.  With things streamlined, administration should be an hour a month job at the main office....so I fired myself.

I've written some things for KoDT and eventually I was asked to help coordinate the HMA tournaments at Origins and GenCon, something I've done for a few years now.  Carolyn an I have gone back to the KenzerCo office several times now to visit and help out.  When we go to Origins and GenCon we help staff the booth and assist with the tear-down.  Normally we don't fly out until the next day or we go back to Waukegan and help unload the truck.   

We enjoy being able to help out friends at Kenzer & Company and give back to the game we both enjoy so much.  For those of you who haven't played a Role Playing Game, or haven't checked out HackMaster (you really should!), playing is a social experience.  Slinging dice with friends is much more an event than it is a game.

This is why you don't let Jolly handle paper....


JollyRb said...

hey that document had to be hauled through the Seas of Perdition, over the Walls of Doom and through the Valley of Pestilence to deliver it into your palm. Just be glad I had it tucked inside my chainmail shirt and that it didn't get seered by Dragon's breath. ;)

Christopher Stogdill said...

Is that why it has your fingerprints all over the back and it smells like Old Granddad?