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    Senior Member


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    Shooting, hiking, reading


  • Occupation
    USMC (ret)

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  1. Make your remaining time with him count, however long that may be. Yesterday was the 23rd anniversary of my Dad's passing, and there are so many things I wish I had asked him or told him before he died. You have the opportunity to do what I failed to do, Eric. I'll bet that racal has some excellent stories still untold. All the best to you both.
  2. I'll confess to mixed feelings on this. Very sad that thousands of innocents were killed and injured, through no fault of their own. Then there's the part of me that remembers October 1983, when some of my friends were serving in Beirut on an ill-conceived peacekeeping mission and were blown up by a truck bomb for no other reason than they were in the way. I don't remember the "good" people of Beirut going after those that sponsored the truck bomber and built the bomb. That part of me sheds no tears. Call me cynical and vindictive... I'll plead guilty.
  3. There are dangers inherent in military service even in peacetime or non-combat operations. This sea story was a good example with a happy ending, excepting the loss of a high dollar aircraft. The recent fatal accident with the amtrac off the California coast was another... with an entirely different, sadder result. Bottom line: the never ending quest for combat readiness is achieved only through tough, realistic training. As hard as we try to do things safely, there will always be risks... every time you take off in a plane or get underway from a pier. God bless all who wear/ have worn the nation’s cloth.
  4. Will be interesting to see what the accident investigation turns up?Human error? Mechanical malfunction? Too early to speculate, not knowing the vehicle age, refit history, and maintenance record, and the crew training record. I remember being flown in CH-46 helicopters before I retired in the '90s, and ALL of them were Vietnam "veterans"... and had the bullet hole patches to prove it. They were in the inventory for the better part of 50 years... the USMC definitely got their money's worth from those airframes. I imagine the USMC "reworked" the amtracs in a similar fashion. The current P-7 models have been in the inventory, in one form or another, since the '70s. Ironically, the WWII versions had open air troop compartments.
  5. Always hated floating in one of those... invariably overloaded, diesel fumes, no movement possible, tossed around by King Neptune. Everyone aboard should have had an inflatable life preserver, but actually getting everyone clear of a sinking vehicle is problematic. The force of the water rushing into a crowded troop compartment would be formidable. Prayers for the missing and injured... gratitude for the service of those who passed. Semper Fidelis.
  6. Call me crazy, but I think the American Bison is the most magnificent creature ever. I stop and stare — from a distance — at them whenever I happen to spot some. Always laugh at the idiots who want a selfie with them in the background and are punished for the effort. Easy to see why they were revered by the Native Americans. I can think of no other animal who embodies our character like the American Bison. YMMV.
  7. “Do not rotate, radiate, or operate electronic equipment while men are working aloft...” Frequently heard over the 1MC 😄
  8. Not a Twitter/Snapchat guy, and never gonna be. I text a lot with close friends and family, but I really like phone conversations. I like to hear the tone of voice of the caller on the other end. You can tell a lot by the tone: sincerity, indifference, boredom, excitement, condescension, regret, etc. Sometimes, when texting, I have to “read between the lines” to determine how the other person really feels. I hate hidden agendas, and they can be hidden easier via text.
  9. Hoping the best for you, Silentpoet.
  10. I’m a believer in American exceptionalism, but it’s pretty clear the rest of the world is laughing at us right now. Who would have thought our own citizens would be denied travel to other western countries? COVID is kicking our ass, and the economy may be getting another kick in the junk. We’re fighting each other about masks and social distancing. Just wait until we actually have a vaccine... the anti-vaxxers will be roaring about their freedom not to take it, the rest of us be damned. All of us have a dog in this fight, some of us more than one dog. Wife tested positive a week ago, and although I tested negative, I’m not moving out of the house. She’s got some mild symptoms, and we’re hoping that they stay that way. Tadbart’s ordeal was an eye-opener, because he’s younger and healthier than both of us. So we’re quarantined, which is nothing more than a mild pain in the rump. Coming together as a country to fight through this thing seems too much to ask. My late parents, children in the Great Depression and participants in WWII (Dad in the Navy in the Pacific, Mom on the homefront) would be ashamed of what their (our) country has become: the butt of jokes. Just glad they passed before it happened. My $.02.
  11. I sent her a PM once, thanking her for doing such a wonderful job as moderator... a hard job, akin to herding cats (sometimes tigers), but she used her exceptional “mom skills” to keep almost everyone relatively civilized. Her children received from her and Mr. VR the necessary core values to carry them through adulthood. We could only wish that every parent would emulate them.
  12. TXUSMC

    Hamburger Hill

    A terrible waste of good men. Half a century later, it appears we learned nothing. If you feel differently, look at the results: Vietnam is Communist, and Afghanistan is as always has been... a country ruled by feudal warlords and tribal chiefs dependent on their opium cash crop. Or venture down to the VA hospital and check out the Vietnam veterans still dying of Agent Orange and the Afghanistan veterans getting their prosthetics adjusted or their TBI being treated. I will always be proud of having worn the cloth of our nation, and always suspect of the resolve of our nation’s civilian leaders when they commit young Americans to combat. My $.02.
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