Friday, November 10, 2006


Okay, I've cheated and left the television that's playing umteen war movies for the next two days. I need to make an entry on my Blog while it was on my mind. Veteran's Day brings up all sorts of memories of the 3 years, 10 months and 20 days spent on active duty. Memories of my military service alone could fill three or four chapters in Bob's Stupid Book of Things No One Wants to Know About.

One chapter would be devoted to Lyndon Johnson making a strong point, over and over, that the United States had no military presence in Cambodia. Knowing that a handful of B-52's from our outfit were temporary based in Cambodia and bombing the hell of out of North Vietnam, I questioned the integrity of our president. This serves up a point, just wait until George Bush is out of office. Then and only then will America learn about how really incompetent he was during his two terms of office, how he lied to the American people, that there really were horrible things that went on in Iraq and that secret torture was plied on innocent people.

One of the highlights of my military service was a flight to Southeast Asia on a KC-135 tanker. The tanker refueled several aircraft during our journey across the ocean including a B-52 which is pictured here.

Wow, 50 or 60,000 feet above the Pacific ocean, what a sight it was. I was able to sit in the tail of the tanker alongside the boom operator. It was his job to who manipulate the boom into the fuel hatch on the B-52. What skill.

Toward the end of my enlistment I was asked to become a helicopter pilot. Believe it or not, the only reason I declined this request was the extension of my service for an additional six years. My goal at that time was to leave the Air Force, attend college, earn a degree and enter law school. Training to fly helicopters for eventual duty in View Nam (the risk didn't bother me at the time) and remaining in the Air Force for another six years was not in the plans.

I regret not being trained to fly choppers in Viet Nam. Taking on chopper training would have delayed my education by another six years. At the time I was not willing to delay it any more that it already had been. What an experience it would have been. I wonder how my life would have changed if I had. Would I be here today?

What happened to a career in law? As they say, those that can - do. Those that can't teach. Long story short, it was a law school requirement glitch that I was not willing to hassle.

There are a lot of things to consider on the day that we appreciate those who served and especially those who lost their lives in battle. It could have easily been me.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States