war on terror
every year the memorial day holiday seems to come around with ever increasing speed. other holidays do too. it’s one of those getting older things. however, memorial day
is somehow a much more personal holiday to those of us who served in one of our never ending wars.
this first appeared a number of years ago and was re-run a couple of years ago. yeah, i have other tales of my time overseas like, the old west meets the old east, and others still unwritten. however, desire and and the muse must first meet for them to see daylight. which may or may not ever happen.
at any rate, happy memorial day to all who’ve served especially to all who gave everything. to my nam brothers and sisters, welcome home. once again.
while noodling around yesterday i came across the yahoo, and elsewhere, story of a young soldier over in the middle east who went to his firing position in his boxers and flip flops, during a fire fight. seems like the secretary of defense, robert gates, is all a gog over the situation. he’s happy about it. well, it’s memorial day weekend or more to the point, dead soldier weekend, and i guess they needed to sound pro troopers and military. plus, i’m sure folks everywhere are getting a kick out of the story.
it makes me think back to my time in nam. i’ve written any number of things about that experience here and other places. if you are a regular, i have no intention of bothering you with details you may or may not remember. if you aren’t a regular reader, you can always go through the archives or rummage through the vault. or just wait for me to trot the old stuff out again. but i digress.
while attached to macv advisory team 48, in nam, we had this major on the compound. he was either s-3 or s-1 or s-2. military jargon for stuff. not really important to this story. other than the fact, he got his pink boxers all tied up in a knot about us peons and other soldiers hitting our firing positions in levi’s and flip flops, bermuda shorts, flip flops and no shirt(my personal favorite) or other variations of civilian attire, or maybe just our regulation gi boxers and flip flops, during alerts.
yeah, civilian attire. it was macv and they didn’t care what you wore on the compound if you weren’t on duty or working. well, most of them. any the ways, this particular major was not happy about the way we fell out during those alerts. he made it his mission to see that we all hit our firing positions and bunkers in full regulation military gear. yes, sirree. no more of this civilian attire or gi boxer nonsense. there was a war going on after all, and said war, demanded we be properly dressed for the occasion because mr charlie might not like it. boy, howdy.
said major, even held a few ‘practice alerts’ and those ‘practice alerts’ weren’t over until he personally inspected each position to see if things were being done to his strict liking. yes, indeed. practice alerts for dress code violations in a war zone. no showing up with your weapon and ammo in boxers. nope, not for that major. not good enough. thank you jesus. thank you, lord, for some damn fine smoke and drink to help us all through the night.
well, we suffered through a couple of his practice alerts held in the middle of the night. a lot of pissed off troops and lifers as well. yeah, he wanted every swinging dick on board for his madness.
as it turned out, things were very quiet during the time of his practice alert stuff and everyone passed with flying colors. like what else were we gonna do? frag him? it was bullshit but it wasn’t worth a capital crime and/or offense.
one night, a few weeks after all the hoopla about the dress code and fighting charlie, i was working the night shift in the commo bunker. at the time, macv was using our commo bunker for their toc(tactical operation center) while their toc was getting a face-lift. charlie or the nva, lobbed a few rockets or mortars into our general vicinity.
the alert was sounded and it was all hands on deck. everyone was to go to their alert positions and deal with whatever in full military uniform. thankfully, due to the practice alerts, it was decided, by my signal sargent, my alert position would be in the commo bunker. lucky me, i was already up, working, in uniform, where i was supposed to be and with my m-16 and ammo. woo hoo!!
the incoming rocked my little world but i just opened my secret area door and casually leaned on the door jam to watch the deal go down. a total lapse of military protocol but whatever. i was probably somewhat loaded and had been listening to, ‘spooky tooth’, and reading porn at the time. another breech of protocol i’m sure.
on a side bar drift, the secret area was a perfect place to have a nice non-legal smoke. or take a nap. we had it set up so even if you were dead an alarm of sorts would wake you. though in hindsight it wasn’t necessary. incoming was incoming and could wake a dead man. count on it.
the drifts just keep on coming. WD40. the perfect weapon cleaner, for us lazy folks, was also a very good and efficient smoke cover-up. better than incense. yeah, ok. i did take my m-16 down to the firing pin assembly at regular intervals and properly cleaned it. so there. i could be a good soldier if i felt like it. my life depended upon it.
at any rate, i was just waiting for orders and THE word to send something to somebody somewhere about something or another via my secure radio teletype. real alerts were always something. some worse than others. but always angsty and an adrenaline rush regardless. while i was standing in my doorway watching stuff, in came the major of dress code and practice alert fame.
ah, yes, goddamn. he was resplendent in his steel pot, m-16, ammo, un-tied jungle boots, gi issued undershirt and boxers. yep. that’s it. nada mas. no one, of course, said a word about his poorly dressed alert apparel. lots of subtle snickering to be sure but not a word. after that night, it went back to come as you are for alerts, and the only thing that mattered was the m-16 or some other weapon with plenty of ammo when you got to where you were supposed to be.
it’s interesting to see how things have or haven’t changed. i wonder how melvin laird would have felt? or perhaps dean rusk? or macnamara? at any rate, it’s dead soldier day weekend. a time to say a prayer for those brothers in arms who never made it back. a time to say just how much you appreciate the sacrifice of those who didn’t come back and those who are serving or have served and did come back. whole or not. seems like none of us ever come back whole. a tragic veer if there ever was one.
dead soldier weekend. a proud american tradition since the civil war from whence it got it’s origins. you may not like war, this current one in particular. you may even be in the support the troops but not the war politically correct crowd. tell you what. god bless the child that wears his boxers to a fire fight. at least he showed up and was ready for trouble. god bless anyone who even shows up for the coming fire fights.
make no mistake, it’s not what you wear to a fight. it’s what you do when you get there. happy memorial day weekend!! light a candle for america.
i took my ride to the toyota dealer the other day. it was time for some scheduled maintenance and then there’s that ‘problem’ toyota is having which needed to be addressed as well. toyota has said any number of things about the ‘problem’. a problem which has lots of us folks wondering if the car we are riding in will be worth anything at all down the road. the safety issue doesn’t concern me that much. one, i know what to do. i knew that before toyota started yammering about what to do if the deal went down. two, given the number of their cars on the road and the number of times it’s occurred the odds are slim. and in my favor, well, so far, that anything is going to happen to me in particular. yeah, so far.
at any rate, the dealership i go to is owned by former football great, john elway. whenever i go there i’m always hoping it will be one of the days he’s actually at the place. i mean he has a parking spot out front with his name on it and the workers do say he does show up on occasion. i figure we could toss the old pigskin around out on the lawn or something. i could run a few patterns. well, make that sorta walk/run a few patterns and he could fire the pigskin at me. hopefully, not disabling me in the process. ah, dreams. and i’m drifting.
the place was busier than i’ve ever seen it. folks and cars stacked up everywhere. i’m sure that’s probably the scene at most toyota dealers all over the world. a madhouse. i had an appointment so things weren’t too bad, though the whole deal took much longer than usual. it gave me time to think about stuff while i read a bit and people watched. i was thinking, what if…
the tiny village was quiet except for the sound of the crackling fire. the smell of fatty lamb hung in the air as the platoon of green berets made their way out of the ville and on to the next. two men standing in a doorway smiled slightly as the soldiers moved further into the distance. once the troops were out of sight they moved back inside the hut and sat by the fire.
the americans are stupid.
yes, but we’ve always known that.
hand me the knife, i’m still hungry.
they were quiet as they started to eat again. the whole village remained quiet. their two guests were very important people and the villagers didn’t want to disturb them in any way. the men began talking again.
our plan is working. soon the others will follow.
we learned much from the north vietnamese. americans, as well as the rest of the world, have no patience. we have patience. and we have true believers on our side. believers who will do anything to make allah the one and only true god.
all praise to allah.
your plan to infiltrate capitalist corporations was brilliant and is working even better than expected.
yes, it took time but time is on our side. time and allah.
all praise to allah.
you know, my brother, when i first thought of it i couldn’t imagine that it was going to be this successful. i mean, a simple plan is always the best. several engineers in several different jobs in some of the biggest capitalist corporations in the world. a simple thing, several small glitches programed into and buried inside electronics and computers that are almost impossible to find. glitches that are beginning to bring down the auto giant toyota. soon, others will follow.
god is great. all praise to allah.
yeah, strange thoughts while sitting and waiting at my local toyota dealership.
i received this in an email this morning. i’m re-posting it here with no one’s permission. i doubt they’ll mind. except for probably, mr. obama.
You don’t have to be a military veteran to appreciate the sentiments expressed here. But, if you are, and have served our Country, or have close family who DID serve or IS serving, this message may have even greater clarity. Service personnel earn VERY LITTLE in comparison to what they sacrifice. My apology to anyone who simply feels that this is ‘right-winged diatribe!” Exam closely the spoken words.
Subject: Arrogant Americans
Arrogant Americans, Mr. President?
Peter Heck – Guest Columnist – 4/14/2009 7:50:00 AM
As I was sitting in church waiting for the start of the service, my grandpa came walking towards me pointing his finger. No matter how old I get, and no matter how long he’s been out of the U.S. Navy, that’s still an intimidating sight. As he approached me, his voice quivered as he said, “We saved that continent twice…how dare my president apologize for this country’s arrogance.” My grandpa is right. Americans need not apologize to the world for their arrogance; rather, Americans should apologize to their forefathers for the arrogance of their president.
Barack Obama’s first foreign trip as President of the United States has confirmed the naiveté so many of us feared during the election cycle. But worse than that, it has also demonstrated that our president suffers from either a complete misunderstanding of our heritage and history, or an utter contempt for it. Neither is excusable.
Garnering cheers from the French of all people, President Obama declared, “In America , there is a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” Consider that Obama spoke THESE words just 500 miles from the beaches of Normandy , where the sand is still stained with 65-year-old blood of “arrogant Americans.”
Indeed, columnist Mark Whittington observes, “One should remind Mr. Obama and the Europeans how America has ‘shown arrogance’ by saving Europe from itself innumerable times in the 20th Century. World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and the wars in the Balkans were largely resolved by American blood, treasure, and leadership.” But all that appears lost on the president’s seemingly insatiable quest to mend fences he imagines have been tarnished by the bullish George W. Bush.
If Obama wishes to continue trampling the presidential tradition of showing class to former office holders and publicly trash Bush for his own personal gain, so be it. But all Americans should make clear that no man – even if he is the president – will tarnish the legacy of those Americans who have gone before us. Ours is not a history of arrogance. It is a history of courage, self-sacrifice, and honor.
When abusive monarchs repressed the masses, Americans resisted and overthrew them. When misguided policies led to the unjust oppression of fellow citizens, Americans rebelled and overturned them. When millions of impoverished and destitute wretches sought a new beginning, Americans threw open the door and welcomed them. When imperial dictators were on the march, Americans surrendered their lives to stop them. When communist thugs threatened world peace, Americans bled to defeat them. When an entire continent was overwhelmed with famine and hunger, Americans gave of themselves to sustain it. When terrorist madmen killed the innocent and subjugated millions, Americans led the fight to topple them.
This is the legacy that generations of Americans have left. If President Obama seeks stronger relations with the world community, perhaps he should begin by reminding them of these very truths, rather than condemning his own countrymen on foreign shores.
This “obsessive need to put down his own country,” has caused blogger James Lewis to call President Obama a “stunningly ignorant man” who has evidently never spoken to a concentration camp survivor, a Cuban refugee, a boat person from Vietnam, a Soviet dissident, or a survivor of Mao’s purges.
Unfortunately, I can no longer bring myself to give Mr. Obama that benefit of the doubt. Not after looking at the pain in my grandpa’s eyes…a man who still carries shrapnel in his body from his service to this country.
As a student and teacher of history, I recognize that America has made mistakes…plenty of them, in fact. But one of the great things about our people has been their courage and humility in admitting and correcting those mistakes. God willing, they will prove that willingness again in four years and correct the mistake that is the presidency of Barack Obama.
the water crisis here in the great state of chaos continues as it begins the long slow slide into somebody actually doing something about it on a local and statewide basis. oh yeah. though the bread basket of the nation has been jumping on the farmers for a year or so, cutting back on their water rations. i guess lawns are more important than feeding a vast portion of the nation. but then what do i know? not much i’m sure.
the water infrastructure here is in total disarray. the main point of the whole fragile system is up in the sacramento/stockton delta area. billions need to be spent to fix it. the problem is a bi-polar mess. the dems and gop are both sad culprits in the chaos. we pay those hacks good money to take care of stuff. they take the money and don’t do anything other than piss everyone off. it’s been so for many a year. the last great water projects happened back in the early 60’s thanks to jerry brown’s dad, pat. i could tell you a story about the two of them but i won’t.
on an other note, i was talking to a local water guy this morning and he told me a tale of the current stimulus package dole out courtesy of uncle sam. the man has been involved in the water industry here in socal for a number of years in a supervisory capacity and a very bright guy as well. he told me trying to just figure out the whole convoluted process was mind numbing and stupid. no idea what was what or just how to go about it.
in my thinking that would, of course, figure. government gobbly goop to the nth degree brought on by those that would love nothing better than to make it the official language of a once great nation. but i digress. my water guy has no idea if the local water folks will get the modest $2.5 million grant. none. zip. zilch. nada. if a check shows up then the deal went down. if not. sin loi, charlie. a rather dumb ass way of doing biz but that seems to be the nature of the feds these sad end of times days.
ok. here’s a nice 180 turn. however, still water related. the current crop in power down dc way have their collective panties in a knot about the way the cia has been dealing with the current crop of terror dip-shits. fine. though i have no problem with anything they do in trying to find shit out. nothing. yep. deal with it.
let me harken back to that doomed and failed vietnam experience. failed for many a reason. but that ain’t why i’m here. nope. the langley boys had a way of dealing with the cong and nva regulars. terrorists to be sure. rape. kill. pillage. tax. impose will. scare. and otherwise totally fuck over folks. your ever friendly troops of mr wonderful, uncle ho.
the drifts pile up don’t they? the company guys had a way with the usual suspects. take a few of em up in a chopper to several thousand feet and ask em a question. no answer. toss one of em out. ask the question again. you get answers. if not, take a couple more of em up.
i personally have no problem with that action. none what so ever. they were women and children killers. pure and simple. just as the current crop are. sad little shits. fight fire with fire. simple as that.
whether it be water or a chopper way up above the trees, all is fair. it’s us or them. there is no compromise. we limp along in these end of times days. but then what do i know? not much i’m sure.
the stockton delta with crops.
the delta again and what usually happens after days of heavy rain.
vietnam and a chopper above the trees.