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 Post subject: "It's tough being 19!"
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:25 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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Quote from SIL. Who is 19 going on 35... to hear him tell it. He & preppy daughter both say that on occasion... well preppy daughter just turned 21, so that's the age she uses for the saying now.

To which I do not reply as they simply would not comprehend what I would be trying to relate.

Maybe my example will make a tiny bit of sense here... Let me say at the outset I do not consider this a war story as there were no casualties. No wounded - no injuries - no shots fired - no nuttin but a little incoming mail...

Second tour in Viet Nam, things were not quite as hectic. IIRC, most of Uncle Ho's Boyz were down Cambodia way... I think - it's been a few years.

Anyway, most of 1970, I drove a gas truck & filled up construction equipment. Our compound was near Quang Tri in I Corps, and we lived in hootches as opposed to the underground bunkers @ Cam Lo near the DMZ. We lived across a ravine from a battery of Army 175 artillery pieces ( long tubes), and they would have fire missions any time of the day or night.

You'd be in the rack and hear a tiny, "Stand by!!! followed by outgoing rounds. The concussion of which would sometimes shatter light blubs depending on the angle of the big guns.

The human ability to adapt has always been an amazement to me. Like we could sleep right through a fire mission. But. The 1st incoming round was an entirely different story!

One fine night, my squad was on the move instantly after the first CHAM!!!. From a dead sleep to out the door, partially equipped in under 10 seconds! It was not like any movie you might have seen - there was nobody shouting "INCOMING"... no time for petty overstatement.

So everyone bailed from their racks, grabbing stuff like boots - flak jackets - pants - hard covers - rifles... and out into the company street where there was a sandbag shelter for every so many hootches ( can't recall the actual number now) They were infested with spideys as big as pie plates & centipedes larger than garter snakes... scorpions, too. Rats? Probably.

The shelter was pretty much full when the mortar/rocket attack siren sounded... for all the good it did. A few guys had flashlights - the E-7 in there had one & shined it around so people could see to lace their boots up - put shirts & pants on - whatever.

Then guys with smokes passed them around. "Wanna smoke?" "Sure." I think just about everybody had one whether they smoked or not. I didn't smoke, but it seemed a calming thing to do. I watched when people would light up & saw no anxiety to speak of - no wide eyes... I just recall a 'resolve' if that makes any sense.

WUMP!! The barrage neared. CHAM!! A close one, that. Dust drifted down from the sand bags that were resting on perforated steel planking ( PSP). At one point it sounded like hail or rain - which was frag or debris hitting the shelter, of course.

At the height of the barrage, the E-7 moved close to the exit and turned his flash light back on. "Okay, listen up." He didn't speak like a Sgt, but like someone offering helpful advice - which it was...

"This ain't gonna last much longer. You guys wearing flak jackets, zip & button 'em up if they ain't already. You'll be going right at whatever's coming. You un-ass the bunker, stay low while you run for the line. You'll miss some frag that way."

WUMP! WHAM!... the rounds were impacting farther away now.

"You get to the line and see 'em coming, shoot low. There's always a tendency to shoot high... you want to gut-shoot 'em if you can." Nothing atrocious here - the man was giving the best advice he knew.

Then the signal to head for the bunkers on the line. "Last one out buys breakfast", the Sgt quipped. A quick duck-walk to the exit & then a mad sprint toward the line, bent way over just like had been suggested. About halfway there, the all clear siren sounded. It was east to tell 2nd tour guys - they all kept sprinting toward their assigned bunker.

"Secure, secure!! Muster in your company street for roll call."

So it was really over. We fell in and came to attention for roll call. Everyone present. "Any wounded?" None. "Any injuries? No matter how slight?" Non of those, either. It was a prime scenario to cut one's self for a cheep purple heart, but that simply did not happen. Not only were there no casualties, there was very little actual damage. Some torn window screen - some construction material blown up & some holes in the ground, but that was about the extent of it.

"At ease!" The Capt. made a brief appearance. He seemed in a good mood and joked around. "Hey, Smith! Them white legs make a good target - wear yer pants next time!" ( much laughter over this) A few more remarks, and we were brought back to attention. "Fall out! Get some sleep - we got a big day coming up!"

Sleep? Sure. I wanted to. Then my knees started shaking. Always a couple hours afterward, that would happen. What a weenie! :-?

Oh, did I mention nearly everyone was 19? A few 18 year-olds & a couple geezers over 20, but most were 19. Going on 35. SW

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 Post subject: Re: "It's tough being 19!"
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:50 am 
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VA-75 Spook
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....sounds like a damn good sarge you had... ;) ....and I can relate :-? ....I have tried and tried without sounding insane ,to explain to the offspring(28,21,and 18) the numerous times I've been considered a weirdo to them when they "have stress"....and they they really dont know stress.....what their grandparents went thru escaping from the Germans in WW2....being 18 and getting an A-1 draft notice...the crap that followed......why I am as I am...what formed me then,what they consider 'quirks'.......... you,and a lot of others living thru a reality they havent experienced .......that they cant comprehend....clueless....may as well be talkin' Ferengi to them...I shut up-roll my eyes....turn away frustrated and disappointed,and hope that they they may someday understand without having to live thru such experiences....sometimes I think we have insulated them too well,so that if (God forbid) the SHTF here,that they'd not fall apart............................oh damn...there I go with one of my 'quirks' again.....rambling at the mouth and preachin'... :roll: :-?

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 Post subject: Re: "It's tough being 19!"
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:52 am 
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VA-75 Spook
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....oh.....forgot.....you didnt have John Kerry with you during that incident....??? ;)

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....Naj puška govori!....
.............deplorable typical "bitter clinger"....


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 Post subject: Re: "It's tough being 19!"
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:38 am 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:04 pm
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Location: North Antelope Coal Mine
I think Kerry was a National Oil Seal. ( I was not) And got a MoH for stumbling over an IED. :roll: You did something that umb-day where I was, you got a comboot bat applied to yer butt before the medevac got there. :wink: And called a few unkind names. :-o

What I wanted to convey here was that it was no big deal - "just another day at work" so to speak and one was expected to take it in stride. It really wasn't, but my little drama queen sure gets all revved up at some pretty trivial stuff. ;) And it very much sounds like you know what I mean. In preppy daughter's case, it's whining around about the "heavy responsibility" of being a parent". Well DUH! :old:

It's all a matter of perspective, I guess. :wndr:

I didn't have things so bad... I'm still around to babble on about it. :crzy: :crzy: :crzy: SW

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 Post subject: Re: "It's tough being 19!"
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:25 pm 
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VA-75 Spook
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....yes-I didnt mean to sound like I missed that,sorry-didnt mean to sidetrack....like you said we just did it because it was "another day at work",but when you look back at it ,you kind of suprise yourself that you looked at it that way,and that triggered the thought in my head of how the offspring would react these days,they whine so much about the simplest things... :rotflma: ...and there I go again-'babbling'.... :roll: :bigrin:

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 Post subject: Re: "It's tough being 19!"
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:12 pm 
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very well written Steve

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 Post subject: Re: "It's tough being 19!"
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:24 pm 
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Brigadier General
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thanks that put things in perspective for more than one preppy daughter [and son] ive shared this


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 Post subject: Re: "It's tough being 19!"
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:35 pm 
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SW

Asquare has said what I will say! Kids these days are more worried if Mom or Dad will buy them a car and heavens say put gas in it and pay the insurance!

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