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|Hail, to the Sky Gods!|
|So, this was one of the things I got to do for a while. Did a little jumping for a time. Although, we didn't really jump, we just walked out the door or off a ramp at the back of a helicopter or a plane. There are a few other ways to do it, but since I didn't do any of those, I won't go into them. It's nothing like sky diving, but in its own way, it's great. Plus, the landings are more fun! You have to keep yourself from landing on large rocks, fences, trash cans...people.||At least the day jumps were a little easier at times. Of course, that's up to debate amongst the Sky Gods, the Gold Wingers. It's more of a preference really. For some, lack of good illumination meant better landings because they wouldn't see the ground coming. Some hated not knowing what was coming. Oh, and in case you were wondering...yes, these two are WAY too close.|
This is a now-famous image of the Marines raising the flag on Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima during WWII in 1945. I was among a lucky few who had the honor of visiting Iwo Jima on its 50th anniversary in 1995. And for those of you who read some of my other pages, yes, '95 is the same year as the Banana Spider incident. It was at this island that the respect I held for all veterans of foreign wars soared to new heights that nothing can compare to. This island showed me how coourageous all those men really are. I can honestly say, that standing at the bottom of Mt. Suribachi, I stood in awe at the accomplishments of those men who put their lives on the line for a country that would some day come to hardly care about them.
|To think that we live in a country, where so many gave their lives to maintain the freedom that people now are so easy to take for granted, is a disgrace to what we call humanity. Of course, I don't put all the blame on the students in high school, either. Most of it leads from their parents and teachers, and the schools themselves. Not to mention the government. The government places no emphasis on taking care of the men and women who took care of us. They just don't care anymore. I wonder if they would feel any better if they ALL had served. I say all because I know some of them have. But I am more and more strongly beginning to believe that any and all government positions should be filled my veterans only. And if you're a woman thinks that's unfair, hush up. If you cared as much about women's rights as you claim to, you'd know there are more than enough women who have served valiantly for our country. And I find it amazing that they have been forgotten by the women of today who claim to be fighting "for them."|
|But, I digress. I'll stop with my opinions and get to the parts of my life in the Corps. This (LEFT) is a shooting badge worn by Marines in dress uniforms. Of course, they have to earn the badge in order to wear it. Expert is the highest you can get, with sharpshooter and marksman before it, respectively. Not to brag, or anything, but I was a Fifth Award Expert when I got out. Yea, me!
I was also an expert at the pistol. Although, it honestly took a lot of work for that. For some reason, I was never good on a pistol, to start. But, I eventually got better. For those that wonder, for the fifth award thingy, you add a bar that is similar to the "rifle expert" bar just under the expert bar and above the crossed rifles. So now you know.
|And this (RIGHT), my friends, is the USS Belleau Wood, LHA-3. This is one of the two ships I lived on for a time. I spent two months on this one. And half of it I spent on mess duty. I was pretty ticked about that at first, but it turned out to be an okay job for a while. Even if it was 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. But, you get used to it. This ship was big enough that you could never really tell it was moving. The only way I noticed was because, on mess duty, I could see puddles of water rolling across|
|a table or two. It was on this ship that I went to a few different countries for the first time. I think our first stop was Thailand. After that we went to Singapore. And then I think that was pretty much it. Most of the time was in Thailand because we had a field op there. I think it was Cobra Gold. I really don't remember. Anyway, in Singapore, I got to see Sheryl Crow perform at the Hard Rock Cafe. And a couple of my other friends also met Heather Locklear. Lucky turds. If I find a picture of the other ship I was on, I'll tell you what I did there.|
|CH-53E Super Stallion (LEFT) and CH-46 Sea Knight (RIGHT)|
|These are the two types of helicopters I had jumped out of at different times. I did other things out of them too. One of my more permanent memories was during a field op, we had to be inserted by chopper, and the 53 couldn't get enough room to touch down. So he hovered about a foot in the air and we ran out the back anyway.|
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