22. September 2004 · Comments Off on Wow, How Blessed I am! · Categories: General

Who knew? That’s what I asked my wife of 40 years a few days ago. Who ever could have dreamed of the importance, nay, necessity(!) of a personal computer at home even 10 years ago? Then, it was just needed for writing on a manuscript that I started during Operation Desert Storm, in 1990. If you happened to be the A/C of a certain C130 from a certain base in CO, and you remember one of your crew sprawled out on top of a cargo pallet relentlessly pounding away on a cheap (radio shack) laptop, that was me. Nowadays, the computer is busy nearly all day. When I’m home, I’m busy reading, writing, or just browsing around. When she comes home, she jumps in, playing games for hours to destress from the day’s work in a busy medical practice. Yep, if the thing crashes (which it did last year) it’s an emergency of huge proportions!

That time in Desert Storm was important to me for reasons of which I was unaware until we came home. I was fortunate to be in the advance package, and was out there at the base when the rest of the fleet came in. As eighteen C130’s – Herky Birds – came in low over the Air Force Academy, then turned and passed near Cheyenne Mountain, over Fort Carson and Colorado Springs, and began touching down, my chest poked out to near the bursting point. My eyes swelled with tears and I have to admit I choked a bit, as the lead bird came up to the ramp flying Old Glory and the CO state flag. I could not but stand tall, at attention, holding my breath as the planes all lined up on the ramp, then at a radio signal from the AC of the lead bird, each cut all four engines at once! The crowd surged out onto the ramp, greeting fathers, husbands, brothers, sisters, and sons! Then we all retired to a hangar where the party of the decade awaited us. It was a proud and glorious day, A day never to forget, and a very special day for one who was also a veteran of another, mostly forgotten war in a distant land.

What did I get coming back from Southeast Asia? A warning that it was unsafe to wear my uniform off base! That not only from my first tour of duty there, but from each of FIVE unvolunteered assignments. I had (and have) not yet visited the Vietnam memorial in DC, just don’t think I could take the emotion. As many others, I fear I would again come up with the thought that plagued me for so long: Why did I come back and many, many others didn’t? And I wasn’t even in combat, except once when we were attacked by VC sappers; I nearly bought the farm in that dustup, but for the most part Iwas safely(?) in the Air Force.

That sunny spring day in 1991 did a lot to help me rid myself of much of the baggage that I didn’t even realize I still carried. You see, I came back from the final SEA assignment in 1972, got out of the service, attended college, got a job, and never really looked back. I did go back in later, first as a reservist, then back to AD, but I had a family, 2 kids to raise, and life was good for us. God blessed, and we are today very proud of two kids who have their own families and who are pursuing their own dreams. We nod and say, “we did something right!” Maybe I still carry some of the burden from Vietnam, but each year it gets lighter, and CONTRARY TO WHAT JOHN KERRY SAYS, I DID NOTHING,** NOT ONE IOTA** OF ANYTHING OF WHICH I AM ASHAMED IN VIETNAM OR ANY OTHER OF THE FEW COUNTRIES TO WHICH I WAS ASSIGNED IN THOSE DAYS….WE WERE AMERICAN FIGHTING MEN, DESCENDANTS OF A PROUD TRADITION, RIGHTEOUS AND RIGHT IN OUR DEEDS. MR. KERRY MAY HAVE COMMITTED ATROCITIES, AND IF HE DID, HE DESERVES TO BE SENT TO JAIL, NOT TO THE OVAL OFFICE!!!!

OK, I’ve said my Piece. I feel better, and I hope you do too. God bless you and yours!

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