“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day





Cold, and windy.  Sometimes on Veterans Day, we go down to the adjacent county where a big steak house is owned by a veteran.  He gives everybody who served a free dinner today.  It's a good, long drive though and my wife and I were having a low energy day.  We just stayed home and watched some television by the fire.

So, for Veterans Day, I think I will just put up some random pictures from my Marine Corps days.



This was summer of 1973 at Fort Benning, Ga. I went down there to the Army airborne school on permissive orders. That means, I didn't get TAD and had to pay my own way down and back.

Most of the Marines from my reserve unit went, it was a peer pressure thing.

I did three jumps from C-130's, and two from C-141's. This picture is the one they take after you make your last jump, it's done on a fake aircraft fuselage.

It was very, very hot down there that summer, and having finished up I'd rather have gone back to the barracks and cleaned up, but they didn't ask you what you wanted to do.

Never jumped out of an airplane again.






My OCS platoon at Quantico, Virginia.    This was the summer of 1974.





HT-8 and the Bell Sea Ranger.  The winter of 1977 I think.



1976, The Basic School, Quantico, Virginia




Naples, Italy Nov.10 1984.  Marine Corps Birthday Ball.  AFSOUTH Officers Club.



Rifle Range, Camp Lejeune, N.C. I think this was 1977




Back at Quantico , Marine Corps Schools, 1981




Making the great leap from 2nd Lt. to 1st. Lt.  I think in 1977.



Korea, 1979


That's about enough down memory lane for this Veteran's Day.  Hope everybody has a good time and good memories today.






27 comments:

  1. 2nd try.
    Semper Fi my friend. Thank you, and may you have many more.

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    1. Thanks, J. Veterans Day is always a day of memories for me.

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  2. Thanks for your service and God bless you.

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  3. Great quote from George Orwell Harry! I loved seeing those photos, but felt a twinge of fright when you mentioned jumping out of those planes...how did you do it? I'm guessing the answer is you just do it, but my gosh, I'd have been terrified!

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    1. Rain, you get trained for two weeks, from towers, before you actually start jumping out of aircraft. By then, it's just automatic. Besides, if you try to stop at the door the jump master will kick you out anyway. I never saw anyone come down with the aircraft because they wouldn't jump.

      It's not being mean to kick someone out the door. The aircraft is moving right along, and to get everyone into the drop zone, the whole plane load has to unload like bullets going into a machine gun. Any delay would scatter the tail end of the troops into the trees and people would get hurt.

      I think you would have done just like the rest of us. Just do the routine that had been drilled into you, you wouldn't have time to be scared. In my day, I don't think women were trained as paratroops, but I am sure they must be now since they fill so many more billets in the tables of organization. The French dropped female nurses at Dien Bien Phu without any training at all!

      I haven't scanned all my photos from those days, and I lost some during a move, but I still have a good many old pictures. No digital cameras back in those days, it's all prints.

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  4. Lot of vets in my family. I came close to joining myself, but got into the Fire Service in 1977. Married in '79.

    I grew up watching 'nam on TV and by the time I hit my teens it seemed like I would have to go. However, it wrapped up before I got out of HS in '76. Three of uncles served there.

    I did have the pleasure of working with a lot of vets in the Fire Service. WWII, Korean and 'nam vets. Tough guys all, but the 'nam vets were all a bit bonkers. Being bonkers in the Fire Service is not really much of a drawback.

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    1. One of my brothers became a police officer when he got out of the Marines. He married a woman whose father had been a Marine and then became a fireman. I guess veterans tend to gravitate to jobs with some risk and with the same kind of unit organization they had in the service.

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  5. Thank you for your service. cold and windy here in the UP today also. got up to 30 degrees, snow and wind. have a good weekend.---ken

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    1. Ken, it's Sunday morning now, rain drizzling down and low clouds blocking the view here on the mountain top. We are just staying inside again today, it's cold out there.

      No snow for us yet, but it's getting near the end of November and we could get some any time.

      Thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it.

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  6. Happy birthday to the Corps, and I hope you had a wonderful day. Thank you for your service to all of us.

    I'm thinking of my grandfather today, WWII Navy vet and gunner on the USS Yarnall. He was there at Iwo Jima lobbing shells. His ship was nearly lost (not in combat), but rather by a cyclone. I remember him telling me the fear he felt over that near death episode. I admired his tenacity later in life, he taught me some damn good life lessons. --Troy

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    1. Troy, we have been staying home for a few days, just to rest up. I like to sit by the fire and read a book in my easy chair when the weather is cold outside.

      I know the Navy lost several destroyers in typhoons during the Pacific War. One of them was the U.S.S. Ward, that fired the shot at the Japanese midget submarine outside of Pearl Harbor on Dec.7, 1941. Destroyer men had a special panache in the Navy, like PT boat crews and submariners. Those were tough guys.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your pictures with us Harry. I hope you had a pleasant Veterans Day and I thank you for your service to this country. Jana

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    1. Hey, Jana. I'm glad you liked the pictures. I have a bunch of them in an old bureau downstairs I have never scanned. I want to start working on that so I can pass them on to my son and daughter.

      Veterans Day was nice for me, and for my wife. She is a Navy veteran, she was a Lt.J.G. when I married her. We didn't do anything special, I was feeling a little tired so we didn't try to make the trip down to the Steak House for the Veterans Day festivities. But we enjoy just sitting by the fire and being inside when it was cold and raining outside.

      Thanks for the kind thoughts. I hope everything is going well with you and that life out there is calm and peaceful.

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  8. I don't know if I could jump out of a plane. I know you had to do it. I'm such a chicken.

    Happy Veterans Day!

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    1. Alissa, you could do it. It's not a matter of courage at all, just good training.

      I don't think you are a chicken, not a bit. You work hard at a demanding job, you take good care of your husband and your children. Somebody lacking in "morale fiber" couldn't do that.

      Veterans Day is a nice day for M and I. We remember old friends and good times.

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  9. Happy belated USMC birthday (my stepson is also a Jarhead), and thank you for your service, from an old hillbilly squid!
    --Tennessee Budd

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    1. Always good to hear from an old Navy man. I spent months at sea on Gator Navy ships, did a 3 month cruise on the U.S.S. Bainbridge as a reservist before I got my commission, and spent a good amount of time on Puget Sound (she was Sixth Fleet Flagship as well as a destroyer tender back then, Admiral Martin commanding). Captain Crunch, who comes by here from time to time, served on the Puget Sound, and there's a Senior Chief and his wife who visit here once in awhile. I always felt very kindly toward the Navy. My dad was a sailor in WW2, and during my years in the Marine Corps, the Navy was always good to me.

      Always very good to hear from another veteran, Budd.

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  10. I don't know if I could jump out of a plane either. I can pilot one or fly in one if I'm copilot but otherwise I want my feet planted firmly on the ground.
    My Dad was in the 8th Air Force stationed somewhere in England in WW2. He never talked about it much. I think he lost a lot of buddies over there. It just amazes me what the Greatest Generation did and endured during that war.
    I was in College when the draft lottery was happening in the early 70s but my number was just high enough to avoid being drafted. Two of my College buddies weren't so fortunate. They gave their lives in Vietnam, one within hours of arriving.
    Thanks for your service Harry! I really enjoy your blog.

    Jack

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    1. Jack, thanks for writing. Like you, I would prefer flying an aircraft to jumping out of one, but you could easily do it if you had to. Strangely, I'm afraid of heights, and I dread working on a ladder. But when you are flying an aircraft, it isn't like that at all. As for jumping, it all happens so fast once the plane starts to unload, it's just automatic. Doesn't take any courage.

      Once in a while, I will see old veterans in town, with their ball caps that say "Korea" or "Viet Nam", but they are getting few and far between now. Time is passing and so are the men from those wars.

      I'm glad you like the blog. I don't come off the mountain a whole lot and when I do, I take care of whatever and don't mix much in town. So this gives me a way to interact with like minded people, and I enjoy it.

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  11. As usual every year, thank you for your service, Marine.

    And thanks for the pictures. One of the other Engineers I worked with at Boeing is a retired Ranger, and from our talks, a lot of those place names are familiar.

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    1. Thanks, Dr. J,

      I am going to start working on scanning some of my other old photos, so I can pass them on to my kids. I'm under no illusions as to what will happen to shoe boxes full of old paper photos when the kids have to "go through" the house when I check out. I'd like them to have the photos so scanning them will make that possible.

      Ever so often, I will hear from someone who had similar experiences to my own. Captain Crunch served on the U.S.S. Puget Sound, although not at the same time I did. Still, it gives you a link to that other person.

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    2. Understand 100% about being shipmates, even though you both weren't on her at the same time as she sailed.

      Most of my stuff is digital, as I lost all the old prints I had of things. Some of my friends have sent me replacements, and some have posted old pix on the web I've grabbed.

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  12. Thank you Harry for your service.. I always show the boys the pictures you post. They enjoy them a lot.

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  13. You and Senior Chief paid your dues, as well.

    It's like the old German military song:

    "To you, my friend, and you, my friend, and all of us together."

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  14. Harry - it's always hard to know what to say to a veteran. my friend and i were in town on friday and a fully-dressed veteran walked into the shop. i held the door open for him and then extended my hand to shake his. he noticed my beautiful "Lest We Forget" bracelet and shook my hand with both of his. i thanked him for his service and he thanked me for mine. i didn't tell him i ever served but somehow he just knew.

    it's strange but somehow we all recognize each other.

    Harry - i love all of those pics of you and your wife. get digging through your boxes and scan more of them please!

    sending love to you all! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, I know what you mean. I think of myself as old sometimes, but then I go to town and see these fellows with Korean war ball caps, and sometimes even further back. And you know that whatever life held for them afterwards, you and they share that experience and it makes you have a connection.

      I know exactly what you mean, and I admire how well you said it.

      I'm going to get to work on all the old photos I found in that bureau. I know they will get thrown away or lost if I don't, and I want my kids and their kids some day to have them.

      Hope everything is going well up there. I sure do enjoy the pictures of the river, and the beach, and the ocean, and your dinners you cook.....

      Rain is doing really well on her blog. I remember when you told me about it, and she had just started. Now she's going great guns...

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