Wednesday, March 25, 2009


PeaGreen sent me a computer letter this morning that was just really funny. And it is very telling of the attitude of our US military. I'll put it on here, and THEN deal with the touching & troubling stuff.


Send 'em Up!

In addition to communicating with the local Air Traffic Control facility, all aircraft in the Persian Gulf AOR are required to give the Iranian Air Defense Radar (military) a ten minute 'heads up' if they will be transiting Iranian airspace.

This is a common procedure for commercial aircraft and involves giving them your call sign, transponder code, type of aircraft, and points of origin and destination.

I just flew with a guy who overheard this conversation on the VHF Guard (emergency) frequency 121.5 MHz while flying from Europe to Dubai . It's too good not to pass along.

The conversation went like this...

Iranian Air Defense Radar: 'Unknown aircraft you are in Iranian airspace. Identify yourself.'

Aircraft: 'This is a United States aircraft. I am in Iraqi airspace.'

Air Defense Radar: 'You are in Iranian airspace. If you do not depart our airspace we will launch interceptor aircraft!'

Aircraft: 'This is a United States Marine Corps FA-18 fighter. Send 'em up, I'll wait!'

Air Defense Radar: (no response ... total silence)


As I was listening to my local talk radio station this morning, a Vietnam Vet called in to the host and had a quote, and a news item to share in response to a troubled young soldier that had called in earlier. I'll get to that troubled young soldier in a minute...

You could tell that the ole boy was choking back tears as he spoke to the host. (Paraphrased) "I want to speak to that young soldier that called earlier. I never understood this until I went to Vietnam, but somebody once said, 'For those who have FOUGHT for it, FREEDOM has a different flavor than for those that have not.' " He continued, "I was in Huntsville, Alabama last week to visit the kids and grandkids, and had a big old time! But when I was there, the local news was reporting about one of my brother Vietnam vets that had been buried in a pauper's grave. When it was discovered, veterans groups, and the citizens of Huntsville took action to make this right. It was a great honor for me to be able to attend his reburial on Saturday before I came back home, and something I'll never forget."

I looked on the computer, and found this article from the Huntsville, Alabama newspaper about the whole deal. But a couple of quotes:

A decorated Vietnam veteran buried with at least two other people in a pauper's grave late last year will be exhumed today and buried again on Saturday, with full military honors. Blendon Jones died of a heart attack, alone in his Madison County home in October.


At the exhumation, Patriot Guard riders will "make a human wall" to prevent onlookers from seeing him being transferred from the ground to a hearse.

"Lee and I hosted the (WAFF) Veteran's Day parade last year, and I'm on her short list of people to call when something like this comes up," said Bennett, who is the president of the Redstone Arsenal chapter of the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Association.

"I have four brothers who are all Vietnam War-era veterans, and I really cannot bear the thought of one of those veterans being dishonored. I knew I could help make it right."

Several individuals, organizations and military groups are donating to pay the $4,000 to $5,000 it will cost for Jones' exhumation and burial. He could have been buried in the National Cemetery at no cost, but Bennett said it is worth the expense so Jones' loved ones can have his grave here and be able to visit it often.

"A human wall to prevent onlookers from seeing him being transferred from the ground to a hearse." That is deeper than my brain digs... Man, ya' just gotta love those bikers!!! And those VETS! And especially those VET BIKERS! God, I love 'em!


What started this whole thread in my head was the (let me get my word book...) aforementioned call to the radio program from a young soldier. Once again, I'm paraphrasing:

"I was raised as a son of a soldier. A soldier is all I ever wanted to be. I joined up at age 17, and I am living my dream. It was my dream to be a soldier, and I love what I do. I love America, and I love FREEDOM! When I hear people complain about some guy making a million dollars a year it really pisses me off! That's what I'm fighting for! If some guy's dream is to make a million dollars a year, I'm proud to be living out my dream to help make his dream come true, Dammit!"

"I make 43,000 dollars a year living out my dream. I'd probably do it even if it didn't pay so well. I am about to head back to Afghanistan, and sometimes I wonder 'what in the hell am I doing?' I go fight for the freedom of the guy whose dream is to get rich...and then the government takes half of what he earned, living out his dream, to give to some jerk whose dream is to lay on the couch all day, make babies all night, and go vote for people that will make sure he can keep living his lazy-ass dream...even if he doesn't realize what a slave he is to them."

The young soldier was passionate, and I can't remember all that he said. But it hit me like a doe tying up with a Peterbilt.

My friends, there really are "two Americas."

And there are "two wars." I must admit that I was convicted by this young soldier's heartfelt frustration. Our military men and women are charged with winning the war against FREEDOM against enemies "foreign." US civilians are charged with winning the war against FREEDOM against enemies "domestic." We must fight as bravely for them as they do for us...


  1. Being a Military retiree, I think (or at least Hope) that I understand. I fought for your right to burn the flag and stand on the corner and curse our country. Don't expect me to understand, I'll just keep on supporting those that continue the fight for your rights. In the Constitutio it does not say fair, it says equal. MUD, COL (Ret)

  2. MUD, Thank you for your service to US. I mean it. It is hard for us guys that never wore the uniform to wrap our brains around that kind of loyalty to The Constitution, and love for the American people.

    My oldest son is USAF (Chinese Linguist), and my third son's goal is to enter after college.

    When I hear guys like this young soldier I mentioned...and my sons, it really makes me proud to know such people. The young soldier was not intending for one moment to call it quits. He was completely upset with the system that penalizes those going after their dream. But he made it clear that his loyalty was to those that might even hate him, and despise what he does.

    A rare crowd you fellows are. Thank you again.


Don't cuss nobody out, okay?