US Army, Jul 1975-Halloween 1997. Initially Infantry, then Transportation. 2/1 Infantry, 497th Trans Co (no longer around), Special Troops Bn and commanded (and inactivated) 92nd Trans Co (Frankfurt 1980-1982), bunch of log staff puke jobs, Port Operations Officer/Bn XO in the Army TTU - Azores (no longer around), some more puke REMF jobs, ODS volunteer (3rd Army HQs), Commanded a Movement Control Team in Turkey (and inactivated), then the ultimate in REMF jobs: almost five years in the Pentagon. Sadly, it is still around...
U.S. Army Paratrooper. Vietnam 1st tour as a Point man and tunnel rat with the 173 rd Airborne Brigade, C Co. 2nd/503 rd. Airborne Inf. 66-67 and 2nd tour with the 82nd Airborne Division "A" Co. 1st/505th in 1968 as a Sniper. I wanted to be a Navy man like my Dad who was in the WWII but the closest I got was once being on a River Patrol Boat on the Mekong Delta in the Nam during a river assault. Man, those guy are crazy good.
US Navy, June 1962 - November 1965. Tin can sailor, USS Philip, DD498. Deck force, then Sonarman. Later I went into the Alaska National Guard as Watercraft Operator - getting to play with boats and getting paid to do it! But all things come to an end; the Governor decided he didn't want the boats so they went to the Washington Guard and I became the oldest grunt in the unit. Then somehow they lost all of my time, just credited me with my active duty Navy time and I went IRR, and eventually out. That was after the second time this happened as the first time a friend in Juneau used my LESs to straighten things out, but he was gone the second time.
And for my dad, US Navy 1940-1963. The Antietam, Bouganville, Oriskany, Bonnie Dick, Pine Island, Shangri-La (sp?), Coral Sea, America, and probably others I'm not aware of. Mustang 03. Buried off the Carl Vinson, 1985.
Grand Dad Enlisted in 1918, USN. Basic at Great Lakes, survived the Flu epidemic. Being a city boy, he had more imunity compared to the farm boys who were never exposed to germs. Blow torches to sterilize drinking fountains. A barracks had the heat turned off to become a morgue. Grandad carried the morbid stretchers.
I guess he was rewarded by being sent to Key West at the begining of submarine training. Tough duty,huh!
My experience was ironically similar. Sent to San Antonio in January. Viet-Nam peace accord signed the first day. Would not go to Asia unless accord fell through. Snowflakes bigger than your hand, snow banks, ice.... One airman dropped dead into a snow bank with undiagnosed pneumonia. Another cracked up and leaped off a fire escape 3 stories high. (he survived) All of us were sick, coughing up greenies.
Finished Law Enforcement later in spring.
My reward: Stationed at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida East coast, walking distance to some of the best surfing on the east coast Tough job, someone had to do it
Anyone here with the Fighting 69th? I served with the 198th light infantry in the Nam, 68-69 but the last few years I help a friend who supplies the Irish Wolfhound mascots that march with the 69th in the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City. The 69th is a great unit that was there helping on 9-11 and went to Iraq in Operation Wolfhound.
I'd like to speak of my paternal Father and his influence on me..
I never knew him, he left us when I was 2. All my mom would say is that he lived way beyond his means and that eventually lead to divorce. Mom remarried and I was adopted at age 4. I always was curious as to where he lived and wished to contact him. My mom said the last she heard of him was that he was in San-Fransico. At 18, myself and best friend planed an around the country road trip before going in the service. Me to the Air Force, and Micky to the Navy.
We slept in the car, cooked our meals on a compact Coleman single burner. Up the east coast. across the mid west, and into California sponging on a relative near San-Fransisco. Never was able to trace my biological father. Was checking phone books across the US. Leaving Cali, we took the southerly route and headed east on I-10, then on down on I-8 into Tucson. Ice on a florida car, both of us dead dog tired and for the first time decided to splurge on a motel room. $20. Kicking back after well needed hot showers and a couple of Coors I picked up a phone book. ("I'm getting chills as I type this") when I see my fathers name, number, and address! Way passed midnight I decided to call first thing in the morning.
The phone answered and I identified myself and inquired if he was my father. Almost instantly my Grandfather cried with joy. By some miracle he was less than 2 miles from our motel. We went to visit and catch up. He was overjoyed. I asked about my father and learned that my grandfather was a bitter, bitter, man, "I've not spoken to Harry in five years! But now I have a reason to break our silence and heal our relationship". Grandad slipped me a $50 when we departed. We stayed in touch and he came to Florida to visit. My father had comitted suicide by gun.
We kept touch and was contacted by Dad's boss. He had a layover in Miami and contacted me to meat him at the airport to fill in the gaps. He gave me a blueprint that my dad had made for a 'Perimeter Defense Shotgun. (It had traites of the Belgian FAL) It may have inspired the Daewoo 12 ga. Since childhood I was enamored with firearms and how they worked. Turns out my father was an engineering officer during WWII spending most of the war at Aberdeen. While there, he designed a sub machinegun named after him as the Asby Carbine.At war's end my father, with a huge team of engineers, entered Germany to glean whatever Axis armament technology they could their hands on. I have a copy of his patent. It went nowhere.
Before knowing this I had been a serious student of Small arms as soon as I could read. Talk about Karmah!
I went on to Law Enforcement but was still facinated with firearms. I designed little gatgets, had machine shops and platers build and finish the parts. Eventually I left law enforcement and went to work with a very small, but well connected to special ops company defense contractor. Eugene Stoner was an affiliated engineer with us. The history and stories he told were magic. He was the Guru of mechanical things. The things we came up with at our toy shop were staggering. From the most leathal, to the most bizarre were furnished to America's Special Ops Community. Some items were deadly evil, others were rather benign. I worked for them for several years but detoured for 16 years with an oceanographic submarine research foundation.
Submarines were my other obsesion. I've seen the Edmund Fitzgerald through deep water glass. I surveyed the wreak of the USN Monitor, and was present when it's turret was recovered. Inside the turret were the remains of sailors. Seen treasure wrecks in thousands of feet of water... A lot of boring stuff as well.
I have lived a fulfilled life, meeting presidents, Carter, Reagan and shaking Castros hand (and wondering how I could kill him and get away with it!) He was feeble, and was wearing elevator shoes. Castro was a SCUBA diver himself,
I truly believe that genes were at work for me. Thank you, God for all my adventures!
On the way home today I heard the Doobie Brothers' "China Road"..just south of San Antonio. It was the last week in Basic, March, 1973, on a Sunday and we were given the afternoon off. Dress Blues mandatory! Went to the enlisted club for the legendary 5 cent beers! The song cane up and heard it the first time. Raised my spirits of a fond memory! Couple of guys pushed the fool button and got KP.
I looked it up, and yes, China Road is just 12 miles southeast of San Antonio!
Active USAF 1968-79, weapons controller then pharmacy officer. Ten years inactive reserve then active reserve 1990-1997, Overseas in Turkey 72-74, and UK contingency hospital for Desert Storm support, 1991. Made Major during Desert Storm. Rules caught me and a couple of other officers in same situation, 27 years for pay purposes but not enough to make 06, Colonel so had to seperate 3 years before having enough "good" years for retirement and retirement benefits. The ten years inactive reserve counted for longevity but not for retirement.
Illinois National Guard, 11B40. Unit activated 13 May 1968 and sent to Chu Lai, Vietnam. As my brother was the supply clerk, I ended up in the 7th Infantry Division in Korea. Assigned as an inspector (78J or something MOS) I went to the DMZ on oral orders (blood relative, combat zone, all that, but there are few records of oral orders). Served in one way or another (riot duty, flood duty, active duty, overseas duty) from 1963 to 1971. BTW, when I was on the ROK DMZ and my brother was at Chu Lai, our youngest brother was learning Vietnamese for the USAF, where he served as an Airborne Voice Intercept Specialist and flew Air Intelligence for the Son Tay Raid.