Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Friends of the Past

With Veteran's Day just past, actually at the time I'm writing this it is Veteran's Day, but anyway I thought I would share a "war" story with you.

There was a man named John, and he was my very good friend. He went to Korea, just like me, maybe a year or so before I did and he had ex-wife problems. Just like I was beginning to see for myself. My then wife left me and took my daughter, twice. the first time I went to go get her, the second I did not, and so John took it upon himself to come by, make sure I was ok, he was a true friend. There was a sense of camaraderie in the service that you just can't find very often in the civilian world. We worked together, we played together, hell, we got drunk together... It was a good point in my life. So we were out behind the military housing on a very cramped Fitzsimons Army Medical Center (the whole post was only 1 square mile)

From the picture if you look right, that was where the military housing was (yet to be built). And we had a thing for firing off model rockets. Which is no big deal, unless you have had a few to drink. Then it becomes "look what this drunk fool did" and that is pretty much what we did. On Christmas Day, we got the idea to "daisy chain" rocket engines, that is to have one go off right after another one has gone off. In theory, it works out great, in reality, not so much. The first engine worked no problem, however there was a delay in the firing of the second one, and in that delay, the rocket turned sideways so when the second engine finally did ignite, the rocket was parallel with the ground. And it was headed straight towards officer housing to the left (yet to be built) And the rocket was a 6 foot mean machine...

We never saw the mean machine again, we always snickered that it crashed into some old Colonel's wife's rose bushes or something like that.

But that isn't the only "rocket story", another time, it was during "Reveille" that evening and for whatever reason we were out shooting those dang rockets again...

We shot off a rocket and it looked ok, then a big gust of wind came by or something on rocket came off, and it sent the rocket on a crazy trajectory and came down right in front of the hospital (the big building in the picture). They were folding up the flag and all of that (a special detail that everyone gets do... I always got to fire the howitzer). Why didn't we wait until after? I have no idea... But we all got a bit of a chuckle out of that, And yes, through we were in civilian clothes, we still gave our respect to the flag. We christened that rocket "Rat on Acid". Nobody got hurt or demoted or anything else, the sergeant major of the post did see this particular rocket exercise. While he did not approve, he also did not disapprove it either. I think he was in utter bafflement as to what was going on. Which is always a good thing (right?... maybe) when you do something you might get in trouble for later.

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