Military stories from past to present, both wars.

Fun and Games

January 30th, 2006 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

Dear Gang,

Sometimes you try to find a laugh out of everyday ordinary events. There are folks out here who don’t have to try hard–it just happens. Yesterday , for example, we had some Army Blackhawks out front that needed fuel for their helicopters. They called me and requested what we call “Cold Fuel” (that’s where a truck brings out the gas while their engines are shut down). Not a problem, I find out how much and call the “Truck Stop” to bring the required fuel out. Now here is the fun part.

The truck arrives with two Marines. One pulls the hose out of the truck while his partner is up at the control panel. When the hose is fully extended next to the fuel port for the Army Crew chiefs to fuel the plane, the Marine on the control panel charges the hose with fuel. It’s not something you would notice or be able to see since it’s a big round hose, but once it’s charged and full of fuel, it weighs about 500 pounds. You normally would hook it up to the fuel port first then charge it. Are you catching my drift yet? These two big Army Crew chiefs go over to pick up this hose that only one Marine has just pulled out and they can hardly move it now. They call for the third guy to come over and help them. Sweat starts to glisten across their brows as they man-handle this hose up and maneuver it to the fuel portal on the side of the aircraft. These boys are tuckered out by the time it’s all said and done.

They disconnect the hose and the reel on the truck rewinds it back into the holder. Moving down a hundred feet they come to the next chopper. The second Marine pulls the hose back out again and the Army guys are looking at each other like, “Oh man, not again, what a pain!!!” Actually I think the words that came out were more like “The Son of a Bitch weighs a ton!!!” The young Marine is standing there watching them shaking their heads as they look at the hose. He moves them aside and says “let a Man do this” and acts like it’s a lot to move (but in reality, the hose isn’t charged or heavy) and connects the hose to the plane. “Ok, that’s how it’s done here,” he says. Then, he moves off and his partner charges the hose and fills the plane. The Crew chief, not to be out-done, takes it off and just about loses it because now the hose is charged and weighs 500 pounds again. Down it goes on to his steel-toed boots which extracts a fine explosion of choice #$%^&%$#* words. Once again, our Marine hero helps guide the retreating hose back into the truck. I don’t think the Army guys ever realized they were being had!!

We have a young Marine in the office who is smart, but falls for some of the games we play. The other day I was going to scavenge some pieces off an old wrecked Russian jet fighter out in the scrap yard. “Hey Leghound,” I call over to him as he is sitting at his post with a walkman on full blast. He turns around, eyes begging to get out of the office because I banned video games on the office television, and says, “Yes Sir?” I say, “the Gunny and I are going to pull some parts off of the old Russian Jet. Do you think you can go down to the Air Traffic Control guys and see if they have a left-handed metric crescent wrench?” He repeats the instructions and the fun begins.

An email had been sent out earlier to the different shops requesting young Leghound to be spun in circles on this errand. He ends up at two other shops, frustrated because no one seems to have a “left-handed metric crescent wrench, you know, the only kind you can use to work on those crappy Russian birds.” Disappointed, he returns empty-handed. “That’s Ok,” I tell him, “no big deal.” We waited a week and then tasked him with finding “100 yards of flightline.” He figured that one out pretty quick when they took him out to all the planes on the “Flightline” and he realized it’s not rope.

The classic today was when VMU (Unmanned Aerial Vechicle squadron) called over asking for a fifty-five gallon drum of “prop wash” to take care of their planes. Only this was a buddy of mine on the phone. We made it sound genuine so the bait was taken. “Hey Leghound, could you call over to the Squadron and see if they have some “prop wash” that they get from the rotors that we could use?” This took about 15 minutes until someone started laughing at him on the phone and busted our little fun. It’s definitely the end of the deployment when we play these games…

Now when you leave this place, sometimes you leave a little present behind for the next set of guys. One group put two cups of milk up in the rafters of the tent by the lights overhead. You couldn’t see the suckers up there, but after about 2 days of 112 out, the milk started to pump out the most insidious putrid smell as it wafted down to the occupants below. They thought there were dead rats or dogs under the floor boards until one sharp set of eyes spotted the cups up around the top of the tents. I know the homeward bound bubba’s were laughing all the way back to the states about that one and bets on how long it would take the others to find the source of the smell.

Then there are other surprises that you might find in your rack (bed) at night when you return. There is a Nurse here named Naomi, a petite very active nurse who is full of hot air and likes to pay visits to your room at night. Sometimes you are there and photo’s are taken while you sleep, and sometimes while you are on leave, these photo’s of Nurse Naomi keeping your bed warm will be mailed to your house. Even though she is full of hot air, strangely enough, she doesn’t say much. I have attached a picture of her above hanging out in the rafters waiting for the next victim to pounce on. I’m happy to say that the nurse is still a virgin as much as she tries and that is only because she stays away from the Grunts on base!!
Ah, life in Iraq. This makes it go by so much faster…take care and I’ll talk to you later. OOOOHhhhh RRRRRRhhhhaaaaaaa

Semper Fi,