Field training there always involved lots of overnighters and, at roughly seven thousand feet, necessitated sleeping bags and "snivel gear" not needed overnight back in the tropical, sea-level training areas on Oahu.
Sleeping out "under the stars" takes on a whole new meaning when it's done at altitude and away from the lights and air pollution of civilization. Starlight, up there in the clear air, rivals that of a full moon.
The view of the Milky Way is breathtaking!
Astronomers tell us that our galaxy contains a couple hundred billion (with a "B") stars.
That, in the Colonel's Mississippi math, is a bunch.
More than a "take off your shoes to count" bunch.
Even more than the number of Bama Bandwagon Boors who have never been in a classroom in Tuscaloosa.
It wasn't until early in the last century that astronomers' telescopes revealed that what we previously thought was the universe was actually just one of a bunch of galaxies. What we call the Milky Way is actually just our view of one of the outer spiral arms (in which our insignificant solar system resides) of our galaxy.
The more powerful telescopes got, the more galaxies astronomers were able to see, and now they say that there are at least a hundred billion galaxies in the known universe.
That's a bunch of stars.
More than the number of all the mardi gras beads on all the strings around all the necks of all the LSU fans packed into their corndog-smellin' stadium over there in that third world nation masquerading as a State.
The "Big Bang" theory, popular for the moment in the equation-filled noggins of astronomers and astro-physicists, postulates that all of those stars --
The Colonel ain't got no equation-filled noggin. He ain't smart, and you can't make him.
But, he can accept the "Big Bang" as plausible. Even possible. Heck, even probable.
You see, the Colonel's God is big enough to have made all of that happen.
If there was a "Big Bang," there was the Colonel's God speaking its ignition.
The Colonel doesn't believe in coincidence or happenstance.
Everything that occurs -- that was, is, and will be -- was, is and will be by and for a reason.
The reason is God's Will.
Allow the Colonel to tell you just how great his God is.
That same God that spoke the universe into being -- by whatever means is the popular theory of man at the moment -- is still active in the swirling masses of stars in the the swirling masses of galaxies that make up the universe he
And yet, that same God's omnipotence and omnipresence allows Him to maintain watch over every cell and free radical in the Colonel's rapidly decomposing carcass.
The Colonel's God is not some non-resident landlord. He is present and personal.
But there's more.
The Colonel's God is not only omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
He is omnitemporal.
The Colonel will digress for a teachable moment to benefit the stray Bama and LSU fans whom may have stumbled upon this post while searching for tree-killing herbicides or corndog recipes, respectively.
The prefix omni comes from the Latin word meaning all or everything.
The word prefix has nothing to do with the mixing of herbicidal chemicals or corndog ingredients.
To be omnitemporal, in the Colonel's admittedly limited understanding, is to exist at once at all points in time.
Okay, here's how the Colonel wraps his meager collection of cognitive cells around the concept:
God -- as the Colonel types this missive -- is present at His creation of the universe (via Big Bang or whatever device); is present, in the present with the Colonel; and is present with the Colonel's grandson as he quarterbacks the Ole Miss Rebels to victory over Bama some time in the early 2030's.
God's omnitemporal omnipresence is what allows Him to be present at the crucifixion of His son, Jesus, for the eternal remission of our sins; and then be present to tell Moses a bunch of years previous to lay out the Tabernacle's elements in the shape of a cross.
And because Jesus is God, that same omnitemporal omnipresence allows Him to be present as the Commander of the Armies of Heaven at His return (See Revelations 19:11) and to be present with Joshua a bunch of years previous, as Joshua "fit the battle of Jericho" (See Joshua 5:13).
Ain't God Great!?!