Military stories from past to present, both wars.

"Can I lick your Foam???"

March 11th, 2006 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

Dear Gang,
“Sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a mighty trip…” Flashback a couple of weeks to when I cleaned out my room in the tower and moved into one of our extra little white flimsy “Tornado Magnets” (if we lived in Texas), for the few days before we departed TQ for home. The bonus to the move was I no longer carried the brick around, thus it was harder for the new Col to track me down. Can I say that a sonic boom was heard around the Camp that weekend??? Yes, that was the sound of my quick release straps coming undone and this heavy pack, screaming down to mother earth at the speed of sound.
I have to admit that I was ready to go home as we started the process of a slow return. I remember my old boss saying that time scoots up to the point you are about to leave and then it comes to a grinding halt! There are many hurdles to jump before you will see your loved ones anytime soon and this is an example of what your week is like starting on Tuesday evening/Wed Morning.
First, show up at two in the morning to catch a flight out to another base. Now you could fly from my base to Kuwait, but they want you all together, so off we go. Remember that flying in the back of a CH 46 is cold and colder if it’s still winter time conditions in the desert. So I show up with my gortex jacket on under my flak Jacket, my fleece headliner and gloves and everything short of long johns on for this hour flight. My Ssgt and Sgt. are dressed the same and then my PFC shows up… LegHound has nothing on at all but his uniform and FlakVest. I’m concerned as I am standing there just freezing with the regular wind chill blasting from the North.
“LegHound, where the hell is your cold weather gear? You’re going to freeze your nuts off” He bows his chests out and says, “That’s OK Sir, I’m from Indiana and we’re tough.” I’m thinking that I have an Aunt who lives in Indiana and I don’t recall her mentioning that the state was plum full of idiots. Actually I was thinking of that John Wayne poster that hung over my old SgtMaj’s wall that said “Life’s tough… tougher when you’re stupid…” I tell him to put some on now or he’ll freeze to death. Come to find out, he mailed it home to make his load lighter.
Our chariot arrives a few minutes after I discover LegHound is in summer mode and it turns out they put us on an Army H 60. My visions of frozen snot sickles on LegHounds face evaporate, see, the H-60 can close the doors and the ride is VERY comfortable. Now I’m actually warm sitting there with all that gear on while simpleton next to me leans over and yells, “Sir, this isn’t bad at all, I feel great!!!” Well, God looks after Drunks, idiots and Marines this time…
You arrive at this next base around 4 in the morning, do the bag drag to a giant circus tent with 100 of your closet snoring friends racked out in 95 degree temperature , get a few hours of sleep. Say hi to your buddies there and then leave again the next night at 7pm. Oh sorry, form up at 7pm to bus up to the holding tents to fly out on some AirForce C130.
We load up in the back of the C 130 with all the engines roaring and sit there. Seems the Air Farce Loadmaster didn’t like the way the Marines had built their luggage pallets and made the guys load them a different way. I could almost imagine this crew sitting around at breakfast laughing about all the ways they could mess with the Marines on their way out. After 45 minutes, I see a Marine stand up on his red web seat and yell for the loadmaster who is wearing a big gray flight helmet. When this crewmember makes his way over to where Captain “X” is standing (see he’s very short and standing up was still shorter then the six foot crew chief) and in his New England slightly Ted Kennedy accent says VERY LOUDLY “I have to make a head call”, but from my side of the plane, it came out Blah, Blah, Blah, but to Airman Smuckatellie it sounds like “I have a head cold” Now flying with a head call is a serious thing so he leans over and says screaming at the little Captain “Can you hear me???” The Captain blinks a few times and says “yes”, Airman Smuckatellie says, “Can you clear your ears???” The Captain looks around at everyone who is now riveted to this conversation, “Yes, I can, but whaaaat doooessss this have to do with taking a PISS???”.
He takes him off the plane to pee behind the engines…all I can say is, don’t pee into the wind… We make it to Kuwait to go through customs there where they search all your bags, Xray them, put you through a full body search, minus the cavity check and you stay up another 24 hours before you leave on your freedom bird to go home.
Understand that we are flying through Shannon Ireland and they serve beer there at the transient bar. After six months in Iraq, drinking that piss water Non Alcoholic beer, the idea of a pint of Black and Tan is really appealing to me. Well, we land and the plane Captain (Guy is in charge of the announcements etc) stands up and tells everyone that after much debate, the Senior Grunt Col there has decided that we can’t have any beer because there is a rule somewhere out there that we aren’t allowed to drink in the airport in uniform. Turns out the Grunt SgtMaj named Jones or Brown or Smith told the Col this rule and was defending it left and right as the law of the land. I tried to impress upon him that this was probably intended for more stateside then here so PFC idiot didn’t get drunk in his uniform on the way home and beat the crap out of some pinko anti war protester. All of my pleas with these guys fell on deaf ears and I remembered something… Never argue with stupid people, they just drag you down to their level and beat you up with experience. No offense to the smart “Grunts” out there, but some of your brothers are real knuckle dragging fools. To add insult to injury, we go out there and the entire bar is full of Marines on their way over to Iraq and they were enjoying their last beer for awhile. Our poor guys were sitting across from these guys, wishing they too could just lick the foam off the glass. So SgtMaj, if you are reading this, know that you scored no points that day with me or the other 291 Marines on that plane for being just over the top stupid, and if you are ever on one of my flights you can forget about a first class upgrade.
Next time, I’ll tell you how to break the engine on a jet so that you can stay in Ireland and actually drink a nice beer or two…
life is good home now and I’m back into the routine of “Daddy”. I will also get to the story of hanging out with Capt B. on my way out of the Corps… We had a blast and here is a picture of us in the politically correct Marine Corps as we smoked out Cigars outside of the Generals building. Thanks for a great Day Capt B.!!!!
Take care and I’ll talk to you guys in a few days.