A right good story

One of my buddies from USS Last Ship is taking my spot when I leave.  He is also an HT2.  We were swapping sea stories and news of mutual friends one day, and I remembered a doozy of a knee slapper.  This is a good place to remind you I was more fresh air than snipe on the last ship.

I was on Shore Patrol with a Chinese-American EM.  She spoke Chinese.  I was picked because of my size.  She was very well endowed for a female of Chinese ancestry.  We were tsked with walking around and “showing the flag”.  Junior sailors could ask us for directions, or we could help them make proper decisions.

Late in the evening, the Officer in Charge (OIC) tasked us to wander into the various no-tell motels and herd the E-4 and junior back to the ship.  We walked into the first one, and the mama-san spoke to my partner in Chinese.  I speak about three words of Chinese.  I am fluent in pissed off though.  And EM1 sounded pretty pissed off when she replied.  We finished our assigned task and went back to patrolling. I asked her why she sounded angry when she was talking to the mama-san.

“HT1,” she said, “She thought I was a hooker!”

I cracked up.  Lucky for me my brain to mouth filter kicked in, or I would have probably been in trouble.  I wanted to point out that her extra large chest region may have led to that assumption, but I kept my mouth shut out of decency.  I laugh about that incident often.

Too few left

I am a fighting man.  Some of my brothers in arms have died.  Some from enemy action.  Some from suicide.  Some from accidents.  I saw something on www.rangerup.com today that made the memories come back.  I have an honor roll of sorts in my brain I revisit during Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, and when certain situations arise.  Here is what Ranger Up said:

For most people in America, or Britain, or Australia or Canada or any of our allies, the casualties are a brief moment on the news, never again to be thought of or considered. Only the families of the fallen are left to bear the weight of the loss…and of course us. We know what they gave up. We suffered the same pains, but somehow we came out okay. And they were so damn young.

Now for my .02 “They were so damn young”.

An Engineman I know died during the Cole bombing.  He was near my age, and I was green as hell at the time.  20 or 21 at the oldest.  We were classmates and friends at “A” school. I wrote a condolence letter to his family because he introduced me to them when they came to visit him.

An Ops Department bubba from my first ship died in a car wreck around ’02.  He also was near my age at the time.

The stress was too much for one of my deck ape buddies.  He hung himself in a line(rope for civvies) store room.

An Air Maintenance Chief that died in an ATV rollover accident.  I attended that funeral with the rest of the HT/DC shop because he had been the LCPO of our air det during deployment.

A Radioman from my current ship died in a car wreck.  A bit older than me, but still young.

Those that were older still bear mention in my personal honor roll.

A maternal great uncle and former(never ex) Marine.  He saw action in the WW2 island campaigns as a TOW gunner.

A paternal grandfather and Vietnam Vet.  Agent Orange complications finally caught up with him years after the war.  A true Marine, he fought to the end.  He taught me more by example about riding well, shooting straight, and speaking the truth than any man I know.

A cousin that was in the 82nd Airborne died in a motorcycle wreck in his hometown after chasing the Republican Guard all over Kuwait and Iraq.

Several kids from my hometown, mostly Marines, who I graduated with, died on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The punchline from the above article was that there are too few left.  Amen to that.  The above mentioned men are why you enjoy your freedoms today.  Remember them and those in their company of heroes.  We saw a WW2 vet today at the USS Midway.  I told Mrs. Snipe that there aren’t many of those men left.  I listened to him speak about being a Beachmaster during the war.  I was in awe.  The things those men did are legendary to me.  To them, it was just another fine Navy day.  Never forget, “..those who have gone before, to defend freedom and democracy around the world”.

That is all.  Fall out and carry out the plan of the day.

Navy SEALs

We have a phraase in Navy leadership.  It is “Don’t be afraid to call the baby ugly”.  It is a form of forceful backup.  Basically, right is right and wrong is wrong regardless of rank.  This Navy SEAL gets it.

Via http://moonbattery.com/?p=11507 is a rant of epic proportions.  My favorite part is here:

You do not speak for me or any American military man because though you may now be Commander in Chief, you are not the man to whom we can point our sons and say “This is the American dream, this is American exceptionalism, this is what I wish for your future”, because you Sir are NONE of these things. You Sir, are the antithesis of American Exceptionalism. Your idols are Saul Alinksi and Karl Marx and your revolutionary dreams and anti-American ideals poison your every policy. Your every action betrays the fact that in your soul you do not understand what it is to be an American, not what America truly is. Your agenda from the beginning has been to get rid of and kill everything that is and ever was American. You who so easily dismisses America’s greatness and bows to foreigners… YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME. YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR THE NAVY SEALS. YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR THE MILITARY MAN AND you SHALL NOT claim as your prize that which you have not earned. The Navy SEALS are NOT a campaign slogan to be bantered about for play. Nor are our accomplishments, including the demise of Osama Bin Laden, yours to claim.

Follow the link above.  It is a good rant.

“Those who have gone before”

As a sailor, I have memorized the Sailor’s Creed and recited it on several occasions.  My favorite part: I proudly represent the fighting spirit of the navy, and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.

While making the blogroll rounds today http://nicedoggie.net aka Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler has an excellent post about the Doolittle Raid.

From the comments: The Pacific War held one special significance for both sides, the Axis had dropped bombs on the homelands of both nations, and were repaid for that brutality by a combined force that ultimately led to the abandonment of a planned invasion of the Australian continent.   Lest we forget.

This was a time when military men were made of stern stuff.  The best paragraph:

Doolittle expected to be court-martialed when he returned stateside. He had lost all 16 planes and inflicted minimal damage in return. To his surprise he was instead promoted to Brigadier General and presented the Medal of Honor. The raid had shaken Japanese confidence and gave American morale a desperately needed boost. In their country’s darkest hour the Doolittle Raiders had shone as a beacon of hope. A more practical, and strategically vital, result though was that the raid forced the Japs to pull valuable fighter forces back to the home islands to defend against another raid. Concerned about the ability of America to strike deep into Japans defensive perimeter, Tojo decided that Japan needed to expand into the central Pacific. This decision led to the monumental Battle of Midway, from which the Imperial Japanese Navy never recovered

My thoughts:  The raid commander felt he had failed.  He lost planes and lost lives.  No leader feels that lightly.  However, the Japs now had to guard homebase.  He had succeeded amazingly.  The men that gave their lives did so for the greater good.  As stated above:  In their country’s darkest hour the Doolittle Raiders had shone as a beacon of hope

Hope can carry a person or a nation when all else has failed.  Hope carried the American Revolution.  I look at those men in awe.  As a professional sailor I wonder, “Would I be able to do that when my country calls?”

I will be there for you in your darkest hour.  I will keep the wolf at bay.  I will sacrifice the best years of my life to defend you and yours.  All I ask is that you use and cherish your freedoms.  Vote, carry your guns, and speak freely.  My shipmates and I are on the pointy end to make it so.  If you neglect your freedoms, our sacrifice is for naught.

“Woe betide the wolf when I stand guard at the door”.

Battle of Guam aka Liberation Day

Friends,

Tomorrow is Liberation Day, the 65th anniversary of the retaking of Guam from the Japanese.  Although heavily outnumbered, the provincial guard(forerunner of the National Guard), and the marine Corps military police detachment held out well.  I am certain that there were farmers with machetes holding out as well.  One man RM1 George Tweed, held out until rescue.  The other three sailors were captured and beheaded.  The Battle of Guam was a hard fought battle, This again, is a chapter of ” Those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.”

A story from my 12 Jan meme

One of the items in the meme I posted on 12 January asked if I had ever been to rehab and I said kinda.  Here is the story.  We were in Seal Beach dropping off our three unused weapons after the “shock and awe” portion of OIF.  In the course of the evening, I consumed many Irish Carbombs and pitchers of Coors light with my buddy.  A lot of patriotic folk were buying us booze.  I puked in the duty van that I had been put in by the MPA and the DCA.  The next mornig, I was still drunk enough that I passed out cleaning it up.  I got a three day stint in Alcohol Impact for my troubles.  That’s how!