Military stories from past to present, both wars.

Shhhhh, guess whose birthday is coming up!

November 28th, 2007 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

Hi everyone!
This is Taco’s Mama, and I wanted to alert you that Taco’s birthday is this Friday so swamp him with greetings in the comment section! He doesn’t know I’m posting this so don’t be surprised to hear the hollering all the way from Texas to Virginia when he finds out what I’ve done (at the urging of the Church Ladies, of course!!). Let’s have some fun!!

Hugs to all!
Taco’s Mama

He hasn’t changed much since he was four and eight years old–mischievous as usual!!!

Hey Guys,
I want to thank you all for the awesome Birthday wishes and also thanks to my Momma Taco for the nice surprise! I’ve been in the simulators battling flaming engines and thunderstorms as part of the nine month check that all airline pilots must undergo to continue to fly.

It’s funny though, I was thinking back to my tenth birthday, when we lived in Little Creek Virginia on the Naval Amphibious Base next to lake Bradford. My Dad was out to sea on the U.S.S. San Diego, a supply ship plying the Atlantic Ocean, so he missed the party where we terrorized our neighborhood for a few hours. When we had my birthday party, my uncle Bruce who flew F-14’s at the time and took after my Grandfather, six foot seven, joined us. His call sign was “Big Bird” due to his size and I was always bugging him to take me flying in his Cherokee 140 that he ended up selling to me years later. Bruce went down to his boys in the Flight Riggers shop and grabbed a bunch of stuff that they had “Surveyed” a term in the military that means it’s trash and would be chucked. So after we blew out the candles on the cake, Bruce starts pulling out all sorts of cool stuff. Mind you, we lived on a military base and played Army in the woods every chance we had so when he gave me all this survival equipment that a jet pilot would wear, I was in seventh heaven!!

The SV-2, survival vest contained a compass, the standard survival knife (very cool) a signal mirror, sea dye markers, shark repellant, and survival flares. This was going to elevate me to the top of being super cool with my friends when they saw all of this. Bruce then took me outside to demonstrate the flares. They were about the size of a soda can, a bit thinner though, and he showed me that if it was night time and you were splashing around in the ocean, you could tell which end was the night flare because of the bumps around the edge. He pulls the tab fires up these flares. Now when these things ignite up, they spew out a flame about three feet long. It lit up my backyard and probably made the neighbors wonder what the hell was going on over there…

After about four of these burned out we flipped them over to do the day portion. When he pulled the tabs on these, orange smoke started pouring out. I mean the whole backyard filled up with smoke and it began to spread out from the back side of the house to the street. By the third and fourth flare, our whole section of the neighborhood was cloaked in an orange mist that would make Steven King proud. What was neat for a ten year old, but didn’t impress the local cops or MP’s who were driving around with their search lights on looking for the source of this smoke. My Uncle ushered me back inside the house as he tossed the spent flares into the trash. Then he giggled like a school girl as he drank beer and watched the keystone cops frantically drive around outside. We never got in trouble for that one, but the following summer when I let the sea dye markers out into the ocean at the Officers beach and all the kids and their parents came out of the water stained bright red, well that was a different story.

Those are some great birthday memories which made a lasting impression in my minds eye. Thanks again for the birthday wishes you guys, you made my day! If any of you are flying from DFW to LAX the next three nights and returning at five in the morning (LA all nighter) look up front and say hello.

Semper Fi, Taco