Memorial Day

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Justa Jim, May 31, 2010.

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  1. Justa Jim

    Justa Jim Well-Known Member
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    To all the vets on the site "Thanks For Serving" and to the ones it may apply "Welcome Home".

    Jim
     
  2. minimark

    minimark Well-Known Member

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    Ditto,and a big thanks to their families too! Without the sacrifice that our soldiers have and are making, we wouldn't be enjoying the freedom to participate in a forum such as this.

    Thank You.

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
     
  3. lotsie

    lotsie Club Coordinator

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    I now have 2 countries that I hold a deep respect for those that serve to keep us safe.

    Mark
     
  4. Johngo

    Johngo New Member
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    Agreed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    I, for one, appreciate everything our troops have done and are doing, regardless of the politics behind their deployment.

    Well done and God Bless.
     
  5. Jason Montague

    Jason Montague New Member
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    Memorial Day Thanks

    :Thumbsup:Y'all are quite welcome. I had a blast(tee hee hee).:Thumbsup:
    1.) Operation 'Ernest Will' Persian Gulf winter 1987-88 Flying Night Helicopter Patrol from oil drilling barges : Hercules and Wimbrown. Diving Medical PA with the 5th SFG(A), on lone to 160th SOAR(US Army), on loan to HSL47 and others(US Navy). It was great. Absolutely no adult supervision at all.
    2.) Training 'Mujahadeen Guerrillas'Summer 1988 who were fighting the Russians in Afganistan while on loan to a civilian agency of our government. If you've seen the movie " Charlie Wilson's War "; I'm one of the guys with the round hat rolled up at the edges,the knee length shirt,full beard and, baggy pants whose avoiding the camera.:D
    3.) Operation 'Just Cause' Panama Winter 1989-90 with the 7th SFG(A).My lovely wife says that we were just rescuing Noriega. Actually it was more fun than that. Imagine being able to legally shoot every Federal COP in the country(because they are murdering Panamanian citizens and US citizens).Unfortunately,then we had to come home and watch Our Feds at 'Ruby Ridge' and 'Waco' and couldn't do a darn thing to stop it.:mad2::incazzato::mad5:
    4.) Operation 'Desert Storm' 1990-91. President Bush Sr sends us in but won't let us finish the job. Sooooooo.....President Bush Jr sends my son there in 2003 to finally get rid of Saddam Hussein. Politicians;they always leave the military with another war to fight.:mad2:
    :Thumbsup:Anyway,now it's the next generation's turn. I've had all the fun that I can stand.:devil::ihih:
    :cornut: Jason :cornut:
     
  6. minimetoo

    minimetoo New Member

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    I'd like to repost my Memorial Day traditional observance posted over the last several years on several sites. I am about to observe again a personal memorial to 6 men of my repair crew and the aircrew lost in a helicopter crash in DaNang in 1969. For almost 40 years it was so intensely personal that the only other person to know about it was my wife Sandy (but then she's always been there when I've awoke in the middle of the night weeping and sweaty as the fireball blows over me yet another time). But after 40 years I was moved to write it down for others. It has helped a lot to commit this ghost to paper as it were. It begins with a simple question...

    Do you have any Memorial Day observations that are important to you? I find that I am finally ready to write about mine. It's almost another Memorial Day and I know on that day I will be sitting at this keyboard with tears in my eyes from an yearly early morning ritual that I have imposed on myself since a helicopter crash 1969. As some of you have read on a few sites common to MINI drivers I served in that black abyss known as Vietnam or simply NAM to those of us who had the misfortune of serving there. For me my involvement in combat in NAM was purely accidental, I was a navy aircraft carrier guy. I was shot down over DaNang while coming from ship to shore in an unarmed chopper. I was the only survivor and the crash still haunts my dreams to this day (one of several flashbacks that I have, all from NAM).

    This is my flashback, this nightmare is simply known as the goddamn helicopter crash. My aircraft repair crew (6 men of various specialty aircraft maintenance rates) were being choppered from the USS Kitty Hawk to DaNang where one of our A7s had made an emergency landing with an unsafe nosegear light ("BINGOed" from the carrier landing pattern to the nearest shore based airfield). The nose gear crumpled on landing. We were sent to repair the plane, we had a new nose gear and all the pieces parts necessary to effect the repair jammed with us in the chopper. As we swung over the airfield at first light our unarmed chopper was riddled by unexpected ground fire. A couple a dozen kids in black pajamas (younger than I was at the time) armed with AK-47's were lying under cover on the ground at the end of the runway waiting for the first aircraft landing of the day - unfortunately that was us. The Pilot and CoPilot were mortally hit immediately, the engine shot up and dying, bullet holes were magically appearing everywhere while hydraulic fluid and jet fuel pissed all over the place. The Pilot lived long enough to auto rotate the chopper down, we hit the ground, very hard, with the aircrewman screaming at us to "get the f*** out now, use both sides, RUN like hell - now." I pushed 2 or 3 guys out the starboardside (right) door and followed them. The crewman wounded (I think) pushes the rest out the port side. We run for our lives. I tripped over something and go down hard. I glimpse the chopper rolling on to its port side, rotor blades still flailing then a huge explosion - I was out for a time. I stick my head up it's ...I'm sure I'm in hell now.... It was just a word before now it is seared into my mind , it is real and sitting before me - carnage - twisted, burning, flaming, bloody carnage. My head yanks up at a thought, where the bloody hell are the rest of my repair crew? As I stumble away from the burning wreckage I notice no other movement. I blank that just can't think about that. A long time later (long time being a relative phrase here) I'm grabbed by a corpsman, I have cuts and bruises nothing that won't heal. I look at her (yes a her a distinct memory) and ask how many she shakes her head, nobody else. My repair team, the wounded crewman, the Copilot and the Pilot were all killed in the crash when the helicopter exploded - I had tripped and was flat on my face in the muddy weeds (this is what I was told - had probably saved me) The last of the adrenaline leaves my body, the sight, the smell, the dizzying terror, the sense of "oh s*** this wasn't supposed to happen, parts of dead bodies (my own damn repair team - sorry guys) - the swirl and total confusion it was all there and it was all too much. I'm afraid I went a little nuts at this point and was heavily sedated for quite a long while. This is when I usually bolt straight upright and wake up in a cold sweat screaming ( the screaming has lessened over the years but the tears have not).

    So every year on Memorial Day, I get up way before dawn and drive to an old abandon Navy airbase that I know of south of Jacksonville Florida. I park at the end of the old runway and as the sun rises I work real hard at remembering the faces of my long dead repair crew. Over the years the names still come to my lips easily but the faces are getting harder and harder to remember. I think of it as my duty to remember what these young guys looked like, all in their 20's and all with their lives in front of them. I know, in some esoteric way, that they all had families that still remember them (I hope) on Memorial Day. But I ate and drank, laughed and cried with these guys for several years. We went on liberty together, we chased women together, we bitched and moaned together, especially about how our asses ended up at the wrong end of the earth in the South China Sea as members of the Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club. It could always be worse, I remember hearing many times, we could be located in country but no we were squids we don't go there.

    It usually takes several hours and a face red from weeping but their faces finally come to me again, and I remember - God rest their souls.

    I'll be there again tomorrow night - remembering.
     
  7. Justa Jim

    Justa Jim Well-Known Member
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  8. farkus

    farkus Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing minimetoo, Jason and Jim and thanks to all the veterans and to all those and their families that have made the ultimate sacrifice...
     
  9. JSart

    JSart New Member

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    Thank you Gentlemen for all you have done for me and the country and Freedom.
     
  10. T8rChick

    T8rChick Active Member

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    It's good to be reminded there's a reason for the day off. Thank you all.
     
  11. lotsie

    lotsie Club Coordinator

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    I'm thankful every day I'm free to say what I want. Even when I got nothing to say.

    Mark
     
  12. CHKMINI

    CHKMINI Club Coordinator
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    Outstanding signature!!!
     
  13. Batrugger

    Batrugger New Member

    May 13, 2009
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    Wow remind me too never mess with you :eek6:. That is quite the resume :Thumbsup:. I've been in the Army since 87, combat engineer and recruiter, and I only have a trip to Bosnia in 96 for a deployment. I only have a year and a half left before I retire though. I have loved my time in the service and would do it all over again. My oldest is in the National Guard, comsec equipment repair and my sister is an intelligence officer captain.
     

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