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Archive for May, 2011

Remembering CW2 Carl Borchers and CW2 Marty Loving.                             Panel 3W, Row 68, Viet Memorial Wall

I was a long way from the helicopter that I crewed on my first tour in Viet Nam. Having a dual MOS, (Military Occupation Specialty), in both fix wing and rotary wing aircraft, I was now back in Long Thong North,Viet Nam as a tech inspector on the OV-1 Mohawk. This was a twin turboprop battlefield surveillance airplane used to locate the enemy with a lot of new technology. It flew at night using infrared, and side looking radar, along with some day time visual or photo  flights. Also, we had a one of a kind of airplane. It was mostly a glider with an engine. When I first arrived in the company, this YO-3A Quiet Star, (Nicked named YoYo), had 6 wooden blades, but later was changed to only 3 blades. The blades were powered by 12 drive belts. We like to kid the maintenance staff about having a large model plane with rubber bands. The observer that flew with the YoYo used a night vision periscope to find the enemy with great success.

 For sure it was a forerunner of a stealth plane, with it’s muffler running the length of the plane. It was such a quiet running plane, that it was very hard to hear it taxing along the taxi way. Since it flew at night, you had to be real careful when walking on the taxi ramp. It would be on you before you could hear the blades turning. I often said that it needed a horn to warn us that it was coming. Charlie never knew it was over him at night. Even when the plane was taking off, it was quiet. One night I saw one taking off, (002), and could barely hear it, when the engine quit. The pilot, (Captain Walker), had enough air speed to take it around and turn final, (remember I said it was a glider with an engine), but crash landed on a road outside the fence. He and his observer, a guy named Jim something, walked away. I remember that night because, the perimeter guards thought the noise of the crash was the enemy attacking us and opened up with everything they had. Me, I ran for the bunkers. I want to think that the tech inspector for the YoYo’s, told me that 002 flew again one day, but my memory has faded too much to remember for sure.

This June the 6th will mark the 40th anniversary of the last fight of 004, another YO-3A. I remember the next morning when I went to the chow hall for breakfast that a lot of the flight crews were all bunch together with somber looks on all their faces, and that’s when I learned that we had a plane go down during the night and now waiting to hear about survivors. It was just a short time before we learned that Borchers and Loving were killed in the crash. Loving was a short timer who flew the Mohawks, and wanted to fly with his friend in a YO-3A one time before he went home. I never learned what cause the crash, but it was not hostile fire. More than likely it was engine stoppage, since that plane had a history of that. That was a sad day for our company. I will never forget these guys, and wanted to remember them this Memorial Day. And that’s all I got to say about that, (to borrow a quote)…

Rest in peace guys.

David

2011

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Well, I haven’t paid for my beer yet.

I could think of a hundred other stories to go with the title I’ve selected for this story, and none of them would be true, but what fun would that be? Besides, it would be out of character for me to embellish or just make up a whopper, don’t you think so? On the other hand, to tell a story from my view point does not always match up with other eye witnesses of the same event. However, I tend to lean on my memory, being as sharp as it is and my eye for details. So this one is true.

This is more of a lesson in priorities than it is about an automobile. A person needs to have priorities in their life. I mean where would you be today if you failed to make certain things in your life a priority? You have made your chosen vocation a priority by getting up each and everyday and going to work. Or, taking care of your family. Maybe even placing God at the top of the list, which just happens to be my number one. If we are going to live in this world, we have to set some priorities. So what if the lady did placed a higher priority on paying for her beer than chasing down her run away car? Priorities are priorities right?

We were getting gas at a convenience store Saturday Night and I was parked on the store side of the pumps, where I proceeded to pump the gas. BJ and Candi were in the van, when they notice that a car was backing out of the parking spot right in front of the store. After watching it for a few seconds, Candi lets out a blood curling scream, “That car is going to hit us!!!” She opens her van door to escape, with BJ yelling to stay in the van. The car then made a miraculous turn within inches down the side of the van without touching it. The car stops backing up, where you could see no one was driving and after a couple of seconds started forward and comes back within inches again by our van. Once it cleared the van, Candi jumps out and races after the car to try to stop it, but stopping when she see another man and myself in hot pursuit. She then raced into the store and yells at the woman at the counter, “Hey lady your car is leaving without you!”   

The woman comes out the door and sees her car still rolling. She turns around and said, “I need to pay for my beer,” and goes back into the store. The car was stopped only inches from the rear of a pickup truck by the man in front of me, and we were just standing there with Candi and BJ going on how this woman went back in to pay for her beer, when she came back out. She had a 24 pack of Bud Lite, and with BJ asking her if she was crazy or drunk, she place beer in the back of her car and drove off.

You see what I mean? Priorities…

David

2011

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Lovebugs

Thank God for the automobile.

I saw my first lovebug today. Yep, it’s that time again when those pesky lovers take to the air en mass driven by some internal instinct to mate in public then commit suicide on your windshield. Honeymoon fly, march fly, kissingbug or double-headedbug, I don’t care what tag these small black bugs have for a handle, they are a real nuisance. They may be the auto-paint shops best friend, along with the billion dollar bugjuice remover industry, but I for one wish they had never met each other.

We have to thank God that He allowed man to think for himself and invent the automobile though. That wonderful hunk of metal on rubber seems destine to be the only real predator for the swarms that invade us in the spring and fall each year. Certainly no self-respecting bird would eat the foul tasting pest. Why millions of billions of the lovers are attracted to auto fumes and asphalt totally escapes my understanding. But where would we be if the auto did not kill the billions of trillions of  them daily. We would be over run the first day! They might even take over and run this country for themselves. Then where would we be? Kissingbug  for president maybe. Getting a little crazy there David. Ok, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And another thing, I know that it has been said that they came to us by way of Central America back in the forties, and that the University of Florida had nothing to do with it. But this member of the war bonnet clan doesn’t buy it. While it may be a myth to some, I choose to believe that they created them by manipulating the DNA, thinking that they could control the mosquito populations with this synthetic little creature. The result of a UF genetics experiment gone wrong! That my belief and I’m sticking to it. Don’t even try to confuse me with facts.

One thing for sure those Animalia, Arthropoda, Insecta, Pterygota, Neoptera, Endopterygota, Diptera, Nematocera, Bibionomorpha, Bibionoidea, Bibionidae, Plecia, double-headed, kissing, lovemaking pest are coming twice a year in May and September whether we like it or not.

Driver beware…

David

2011

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Every since I read “The Dash,” by Linda Ellis the first time, and the many times since then, I think about that poem whenever someone dies. Never has a poem given me cause to think about my life the way this one has. On our tombstones are the dates of our birth and death with a dash in between. It’s within that dash where we live or had lived. Good or bad, its all there in the dash. Our countries worst enemy, Osama Bin Laden, was killed on Sunday, and I can’t help but think about his “Dash.” A man filled with such hatred, that killing thousands of people gave him pleasure, has a dash that I wish God had never allowed to exist. But because he did live, thousands of people this world over saw their loveones dash cut short. One can only imagine where their dash would have carried them.

Because of him, thousands of service men and women were sent in harm way, and their story when told will always include part of him. The way he lived his dash touch millions, and history will not be kind to Osama Bin Laden. The lesson learned here is that history will judge us by how we live our dash. Linda said it so well:

 

“So when your eulogy is being read
With your lifes actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?”

 

I for one wish that I could remove the trash from my past, but there is no delete key on my dash. What I can do though is try to live my dash in such a way that not only my family and friends would be proud of me, but my Lord and Savior would also.

Linda said:

“What matters is how you live and love
And how you spend your dash.”

 

 

David

2011

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