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I came home last night and went looking for Luke. He was in his playroom surrounded by his toys. Luke has a lot of toys. He has action figures and Legos, trucks and cars, and I believe he has kept every McDonald's happy meal toy since he was 2. Given that he is now 5 just imagine the number of chicken nuggets he has put away in amassing his collection. Toys covered every square inch of rug and tile. Luke sat above the fray on the sofa, clicking away on his DS, while intermittently glancing at the TV to catch a rerun on the Disney channel. I asked him what had happened. He didn't respond, and so I asked him again.

When he finished the level on the DS game, he looked up at me with a question mark on his face. I pointed to the toys, and he told me he was looking for something and couldn't remember which container he had put it in, so he emptied them all. I asked if he had found it, and he replied that he hadn't, and couldn't even remember what it was he was looking for. I should have been mad, but he reminded me of me, and so I told him to pick up the room, and went upstairs to change. I came back about 20 minutes later. There was a new show on the TV, but other than that nothing much had changed. I asked him why he didn't pick anything up, and he said he needed help. I told him he made the mess, and so it was his to clean up, and went back upstairs to try to write this article. A half hour later I returned and found him on the sofa staring at the ceiling.

Although he still reminded me of me, I was beginning to get a bit agitated. I asked him why he hadn't started yet, and he said the mess was too big, he would never get it all done, and he needed help. I replied that I had addressed that question with the last visit, and every single toy needed to be put away or he'd lose his DS, possibly forever. Certain this would have the desired effect, I went back to my room still searching for a topic for the paper. Thirty minutes later, another visit, and still no action. I wasn't happy, and neither was he. I told him it was late, and he needed to go to bed, but he needed to at least make things a little better. On my next visit the room was nearly completely picked up.

We are in the home stretch now related to the BRAC moves. For most of us, the amount of work that still needs to be done is daunting. It can be hard to know where to start, when there is so much yet to do. While it would be nice if things could be perfect by August, that is not going to happen. Getting on and off the base will probably take longer, at least for awhile; parking will definitely be harder to find, and sorting out who sits where, is a puzzle yet to be solved. Our objective should not be perfection, but to make things better, even a little better every day from now until WRAMC arrives. If we do that, the room will be clean enough, and we will all maintain our sanity.

Commanding Officer

NSA Bethesda sends,

Captain Michael Malanoski