Friday, May 25, 2012

For My Fellow Veterans...

I know it's not Memorial Day yet, but I wanted to wish you all a happy Memorial Day weekend.

I served in the US Army in the early 90s during Desert Storm. Fortunately, I was never deployed overseas. Instead, I served stateside, doing basic training at Ft. Knox, KY; my AIT (job schooling known as Advanced Individual Training) at Ft. Eustis, VA; and serving my first duty station at Ft. Ord, CA (which is now defunct). I worked as a 68B (AKA 68-Bravo or Helicopter Powerplant Repairer) in the 1/123 Avn Regt. Delta Co. Together with one other 68B, I worked on a fleet of AH-1 Cobras, OH-58s, and a few UH-1 Hueys. In retrospect, those were some great times! Where else can a 19 or 20 year old remove, tear down, and rebuild various helicopter engines? Of course, the best part of the whole experience wasn't turning wrenches at all, but getting to go on the test flights afterward. Well, that was both exhilarating and scary. I mean, if you made a mistake and it broke down at any significant altitude, you couldn't pull over and park on a cloud.

The AH-1 Cobra gunship:
Turning wrenches on a Huey:
The gunner's seat in a Cobra. Where the engine mechanic sits during test flights:
I owe a lot to the military. I think I got a lot out of it. During my military service, I not only learned discipline and inner reliability, but I also learned something much more valuable: I learned to teach myself. I think with that kind of ability, you can go far. I won't recap my whole military experience here now. I want to save some juicy parts to post on Memorial Day. But, I will say that, in contrast to college experiences, the military is quite unique. These are men and women who've signed on the dotted line to put their lives on the line for our country's defense and freedom. Sure, they learn trades, receive money for college, and build long lasting friendships, but there's even more to it than that. Small nuances that make someone look inward, dig deep, and pull through harrowing situations.

Much of these fundamentals are learned during Basic Training. So, today, for all my fellow military veterans, I'd like to share something I'm sure will dredge up a lot of mixed emotions as well as memories. I want to share some cadences with you. As you listen to them, remember the road marches, the drills on the parade field, marching to and from the gas chamber during NBC (Nuclear/Biological/Chemical training), and the rifle range for BRM (Basic Rifle Marksmanship). Remember the trials and tribulations that broke you down and built you back up to be a fighting soldier on one of the world's greatest armed forces! Thank you for serving and let's take time to reflect on our fallen brethren in the military as well as in public safety.

We marched to a variation of this one quite a bit:

This is a very popular cadence that I'm sure many of you will recall:

Thanks for stopping by. I hope your enjoyed you visit.


  1. Good insight. Veterans automatically have my respect.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, anonymous. I appreciate it and hope you enjoyed your visit.

  3. My fellow 7th ID Lightfighters......i was a 67y... Cobra mechanic..... I left planet ord in 91...... Im still carrying the torch up here in Washington State..... The 7th ID is still active at JBLM, the old ft lewis.... im no longer in the Army but still have contacts from back in the day...feel free to drop by my military site.... maybe we all should contribute our photos from back in the day. .. I also own the domain Cheers Gehrmann-

    1. I have a lot of fond memories from my time at Ft. Ord. Those were formative years that helped shape and influence the rest of my life. I wish I still had pictures from my military days, but, unfortunately, they were casualties of a nasty divorce. I think a picture repository is great idea. I'd definitely like to see pictures of the old base. Hell, I'd like to reconnect with some of the guys I served with!

  4. I remember being in A Co. 1-123 Avn. Regt.,Mooseheads, from 90-93. I was one of the last members of Lightning Attack battlion. I do have some great memories. I still reflect on the memories from Fort Ord. Most are great memories and a couple I wish I could relive. But I feel it made me a better person in the long run.
    Wings of the Bayonet.