MLP Veterans Thread

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Kris Ford, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. VerbalPuke

    VerbalPuke Senior Member

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    Us Crew Chiefs envied you guys doing NDI. I was an F-15 Crew Chief, and remember our expediter complaining about the morons on his line that couldn't do simple math for their JOAPs.

    It's amazing that I initially regretted joining and now that I'm out I consider it to be the best move I ever made professionally. I miss it, but not enough to re-enlist.
     
  2. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Started my Military career during college, serving in an Army Reserve Combat Engineer unit in Indiana (I seriously can't remember the unit).

    I was released to enlist active duty in the Air Force, which I did when I initially ran out of funds to finish my bachelors degree. I had my pick of jobs (what can I say I aced the ASVAB). Went in as a Comm and Computer Programming Specialist. Tech school actually had a large washout rate (40%).

    First and Last ACTIVE duty, duty station was HQ Strategic Communications Division at SAC Hedquarters, Offutt AFB outside Omaha Nebraska. I actually was an AFCC (Air Force Communications Command) Resource, assigned to SAC.

    First assignment was on the Command and Control systems that fed the SAC Underground Command Post (see below), first as a Security 'Officer', then a Sysprog. Worked on the project that developed, the first real time displays seen below. First day on the job, supervisor plopped a foot tall, old green form feed paper, printout of source for an assembler 'program' that searched out and monitored security weaknesses in the system, file security etc, that they couldn't get to work for the last 6 months. I had it working in a week and a half.

    [​IMG]

    Later, I moved over to the systems, that war gamed, planned and created our strategic nuclear attack plans and strike packages for our strategic forces (Minuteman, B52s etc). Worked with a few of you Navy pukes, as AF and USN coordinated forces here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Yes, I was a Cold Warrior. Proud of what we did, even if it wasn't front line, spec ops etc. I did several times have to escort a degaussed, sanded, former Top Secret data holding disk drive to D.C for final destruction at the Pentagon, lol. After I received my Tops Secret SIOP (Single Integrated Operational Plan) clearance I was approached by either Air Force OSI as a test, or Soviet spy (they never told me which), a few times, and again after I got an SCI additional clearance (Sensitive Compartmented Information) Designation.

    I was awarded the following for meritorious service. Not for any one thing, but "while serving in any capacity with the Air Force after March 24, 1958, shall have distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement and service. The degree of merit must be distinctive, though it need not be unique. Acts of courage which do not involve the voluntary risk of life required for the Soldier's Medal (or the Airman's Medal now authorized for the Air Force) may be considered for the Air Force Commendation Medal.". I guess I am proud of that.

    http://www.afpc.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/421870/air-force-commendation-medal/

    [​IMG]

    Our unit also was awarded the Organizational Excellence award 3 times while I was there
    http://www.afpc.af.mil/About-Us/Fac...50/air-force-organizational-excellence-award/

    So this with a couple of Oak Leaf clusters
    [​IMG]

    I made Senior Airman Below the Zone (had to compete for it), was a Distinguished Graduate (when that was the highest award, they have added others since) at NCO Preparatory School. LOL held a rank that no longer exists in my first 4 years (not common), "Buck" Sergeant. I was given a recommendation for OTS by a Capt, Lt Colonel, Colonel and Brig General.

    BUT, I decided to go into the civilian market and active reserves (for the money), turning down 18K reenlistment bonus (in the 80s). Often wondered how things would have turned out, if I had gone to OTS and career. Could be retired now. Ah well.

    Couldn't leave the country for 10 years after I was discharged, due to the clearances and information I had had access to and seen.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
  3. VerbalPuke

    VerbalPuke Senior Member

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  4. Greg's Guitars

    Greg's Guitars Senior Member

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  5. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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  6. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    I'm sober now..but then....
    upload_2017-9-22_12-56-40.jpeg
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. JCarno

    JCarno Senior Member

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    Turned 17 in Jan. 81 and was in Basic Training in Feb at Fort Jackson.
    Did AIT at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Think I was a 63 Gulf. Title was Fuel and Electronics Repair.
    Stationed at Husterhoeh Kaserne http://www.usarmygermany.com/Sont.htm?http&&&www.usarmygermany.com/USAREUR_City_Pirmasens.htm with the 546th Maint. Co.
    till 83.
    Unfortunately, I did not follow the wisdom and knowledge of the older and more experienced higher ups and became a "barracks rat" which means I did not travel and enjoy the Continent of Europe but stayed in the barracks and drank myself into oblivion almost nightly.
    The end result was a Chapter 9 which the actual description on my DD214 reads: "Alcohol abuse rehabilitation failure".
    At 19 when I was "let go" I didn't really give a crap. 18 years to retirement seemed like an eternity. It actually went by in the blink of an eye.
    These days, I regret it. When I think that I could have been retired for 16 years now I get a little pissed. Good thing I don't think about it that often.
    Had some great times in Germany, met alot of cool people and ultimately learned alot (besides how to drink) about life.
     
  8. QuicksilverSS

    QuicksilverSS Senior Member

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    God Bless all of our Vets. Each and one of y'all from all wars past and present!! You guys are what make America great!! Rock on!!
     
  9. TheX

    TheX Voice of Reason

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    Haha, I went beach det in the PI for two freakin years. I remember some of it, but they say I had a great time.
     
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  10. Tone deaf

    Tone deaf Senior Member

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    + a million
     
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  11. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Dang! By comparison I had a pretty sedate and boring enlistment....

    I am still glad I served, even in a small way.

    The discipline I was taught is still with me as is the value of honoring ones word, keeping a promise, not deserting a post or following through when others are counting on you. Stupid things like that. Helping others in need and never leaving anyone stranded. Stupid, outdated stuff by today's standards.

    Trust has always been a big thing to me. Like Kris said in his OP he considered himself a nobody, a face in the crowd among his mates.

    I was the same, but it still is nice to reflect back and know that no matter how meager my contribution may have been in the overall scheme of things, I did my best in effort and inspired and helped those around me.

    I guess it showed because one day in the motor pool The BMO (Battalion Maintenance Officer) turned to the driver for the Major in charge of our Battalion, whose Jeep he was trying to get signed out of motor pool as OK and fit for service, and said in front us 'Have Darrell take a look at it for you. If Darrell says its OK, it's OK'.

    I was shocked and, well, honored!

    It really showed for me when they decided to 'run me out' during the 80' recession when they were thinning the ranks.
    I got a General under Honorable conditions discharge.

    But when they called me to the Co's office that day people went nuts in my unit and even up in headquarters comm unit when they heard the news.

    One fella voiced very loudly his disbelief that they were getting rid of me. He thought that it was crazy and said so very loudly in his astonishment.

    The CO heard the uproar and came out of his office and asked my friend if he cared to join me.....He wasn't kidding.

    New to the unit he didn't know my history and only considered me an average mechanic so it was no loss to him to send me on my way.

    But my friends and sergeants who had worked with me over the years new the real story, and that made his comments much easier to take.
     
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  12. dave b

    dave b Senior Member

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    Ah yes. The navy and drinking. Drank my way around the world for almost ten years in the 70's/80's. Marine Engineer Tech, ret'd a Master Seamen, served on HMCS Huron DDH281 from 78-83 and HMCS Iroquois DDH280 from 83-86. Anti-submarine destroyers with two choppers aboard. Good times and lots of travel.

    On watch in the engine room. Tending the water-making evaporators I think, when this was taken. Would explain why I look like I'm in a bad mood Scan0001.jpg

    HMCS Huron. Sunk as a target several years ago in a joint Can/US exercise:(

    Taken in the Firth of Forth, off the coast of Scotland, around 1980
    Scan0004.jpg

    ...and doing what we did best. Drinking on the flight deck with my buddies. Pretty sure this was in Glasgow in 82/83. I'm wearing sunglasses.I still remember all their names, two have since passed away.

    Scan0005.jpg
     
  13. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Ha! You reminded me! the motor pool had 1 set up as our tow truck / recovery vehicle. It was huge next to the duce and a halfs!
    The tires alone were awe inspiring! It had the shovel attachment for the front like you see on excavators to hold it still and seemed as tall as a two story building. Just a monster of a truck.

    They had to start ours with a rag soaked in gasoline stuffed into the air intake along side the hood. :eek2:

    Go figure... Motor pool's own vehicle and neither the glow plug circuit or the ether blast system was working...:facepalm:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    THAT, sir... is freakin AMAZING! :bowdown
     
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  15. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Yeah, I can imagine that must have sucked to see your old ship used as cannon fodder and sunk as scrap.
     
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  16. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Ah yes!!!

    The humble forerunners of the future Moisture Vaporators! :laugh2:
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Tone deaf

    Tone deaf Senior Member

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  18. mtgguitar

    mtgguitar Senior Member

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    Retired CWO3, USMC.:)
     
  19. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi V.I.P. Member

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    I was in the Army 1973-1977. I was an electronic repairman, 33C (later reclassified 33S). I did Basic at Fort Dix NJ, got my electronics training at Fort Devens MA, and then went to the Panama Canal Zone. I got the National Defense (the Road Guard ribbon) just for showing up, and a Good Conduct ribbon. No combat. When I got out, I was a Spec5. I was all set to re-up, but my folks talked me out of it.
     
  20. Soul Tramp

    Soul Tramp Speaker Snob MLP Vendor V.I.P. Member

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    One of my greatest disappointments (in myself) is that I never joined the Air Force. Military service runs throughout my family, and I feel embarrassed to not be part of it.

    However, my wife is a combat vet, but not in any way you would be familiar with. She was one of the child soldiers that fought to defend her village of Dong Ha and the attached U.S. installations. While I was in high school complaining about my miserable life as a teenager she was patrolling the jungle at night hunting the enemy. Very few U.S. military personal knew these kids had their backs. They were trained by U.S. and ARVN personal. Dong Ha was on the DMZ and was a major logistics and staging point for U.S operations. Ollie North did a special on the Battle of Dong Ha. Because of its DMZ location it was a hotspot.

    She suffers PTSD and there is no support group for people like her. There is no one she can console with or share her story. For all that's been written about the Vietnam War, you'll never hear about these kids. Her story has never been told! What I find interesting is a fair amount has been written about the women and children of the North who kept the Ho Chi Minh Trail going. But nothing about the children soldiers in the South.

    She is always on the lookout for anyone who served in Dong Ha during the late 60's and early 70's.


    Xanh_soldier.jpg
     
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