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The Navy's traditions live on in the hearts of those who serve

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A story about holding your liquor.

When I was Force Master Chief at SURFLANT, it was a different time in the military and the Navy in particular.  Drinking  was not only accepted, it was encouraged.  As a matter of fact, it was a requirement in some ratings.  In any case, this story happened during the Christmas season.  We had a tradition at SURFLANT of having a door decorating contest.  The Admiral and the Chief of Staff were the judges.  Bribes were encouraged and those bribes could be anything.  Booze, ice cream, exotic dancers, candy, cake, did I mention BOOZE?  You get the idea.  In any case the last Friday before  the Christmas leave period was the judging of the doors.  Now SURFLANT is spread out over three buildings, so this judging took a while.  During the judging, the Flag Writer, a Senior Chief, came up to the Admiral and discreetly whispered in his ear that the Chief of Staff had been selected for Admiral!!  The door we were judging had a bribe for the judges of Ever Clear!  The Admiral announced that the Chief of Staff had been selected for promotion to Admiral and the final part of that selection was to make sure the Chief of Staff, a Captain, could hold his liquor.  He told the COS that the test was, he had to drink three fingers of the Ever Clear, straight down, and then immediately count to TEN!  Then the Admiral said;  " I will show you how it is done."  And he proceeded to drink the three fingers of Ever Clear straight down and then, very loudly count to TEN.  Then, the Admiral poured the three fingers of Ever Clear for the COS.  He tried to beg off by saying, he did not want to be an Admiral that badly, but the Admiral talked him into the test.  The COS drank his three fingers of Ever Clear down, slower than the Admiral, and then hoarsely counted to TEN.  Then the Chief of Staff looked at me but I told him;  "I got my stars already!"

That was a fun Christmas and a great way to bring the staff together.  But, in today's Navy, we would all be fired!!

The GREAT Depression

My parents lived, as adults, through the Crash of 1929 and the :Great Depression".  As an adult college student, after my Navy career, I researched and wrote a paper on the events that lead up to the "Great Depression".   Remember the often quoted phrase;  " Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."   Let's look at what I learned.

Starting in 1926, the economy was going down hill. Employment was on a roller coaster trip, but mostly going down hill, with short spurts of growth.  Those growth spurts could be directly tracked to a few very rich men, buying stocks that were fundamentally worthless, to prop up a failing stock market.  Rockefeller, Crock, and a few other men would buy, when the market was slipping badly.  This worked, or more correctly, delayed the inevitable, until they ran out of money in 1929.  The market then crashed, BIG!

Now, look at today's news.  The Federal Reserve, a group of rich men, who use money they print, without backing of anything of value, poured billions of dollars into the world banks.  The result. today the stock market was up almost 500 points!   The question is, what happens to the value of our dollar when the Fed prints billions of Monopoly money and spreads it around the globe?   I will tell you, you money in your bank account, your 401K, your Roth, your mattress, is worth a lot less.  But the real question is, when will the Fed run out of ink and paper?  And then, when they do, we will see a crash that makes 1929 look like a toy car falling off the coffee table!

My parents?  They are gone now, but in 1929, my Dad had a great job that endured the depression.  He drove street car in Cleveland, Ohio.  On his route was a street corner comedian that was always at the same place on Euclid Avenue everyday.  Who was that?  Bob Hope.  The moral to this story is, you had better learn to tell jokes or drive a bus.  Everythiong else in in danger.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

British hostages in Iran!?

Does that sound like deijavu all over again?  It does to me.  We have the second act of Jimmy Carter in the White House, the liberals are trying to decimate the military, and Europe is self-destructing.  Iran is lead by Islamic Radicals that now may have the "Bomb"!  They have been emboldened by world events and a weakened America and they decided to stir the pot.  The Iranian Leaders see a chance to destroy Israel because of the President's tepid support of Israel.  The world is perched on the precipice of war.  This is one more step towards that war.  If there are British hostages in Iran, I fear this may be the final step.

As I told my wife on the telephone, before we ran the "Line of Death" of Libya; "Watch the news, this is going to be big!"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

There are NO NATO troops!

I remember a movie with Tom Hanks where he tells a female baseball player; "There is no crying in baseball!".  Well, there are no NATO troops, helicopters, ships, fighters, NOTHING!  Just like there are no United Nations Troops, helicopters ships, fighters, bombs, or peace keepers!  I am getting plenty aggravated with the news media and their stories about these fictitious fighting forces.  Those troops and equipment come from allied countries, mostly the United States.  They joined their respective military forces to fight for and represent their countries.  There is NO world government, regardless of what the liberal media wants to portray to you. In our enlistment oath, there is no loyality sworn to NATO, the United Nations, or any other country.  We solemnly swear to "support and defend, the Constitution of the United States".  Our fighting forces may be under the command or on loan to one of these ficticious "World Forces", an action that I believe is against the Constitution, but they are AMERICANS!  By representing them as NATO of United Nations troops, we hide their deaths in obscurity.  Furthermore, we hide the cost of those excursions in the same foggy obscurity.

I want the news media to report on the actions of our troops and our allies, by nation and by name.  To do less is deceit at  the least and collusion to deceive.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with precious memories for me. It is the day I met my wife.  I asked her to marry me the next day.  This is our 39th Thanksgiving together!  I also have a precious memory of my Mom and Day.  I had just returned from a western Pacific/Viet Nam cruise.  My wife and I were newly weds, my parents came to see us in San Diego, and I had duty on the ship on Thanksgiving day.  I suggested that my Mom, Dad, and Wife, come on board for dinner.  Then I though again, worrying that my Mom, who had cancer surgery a few years before and was not a nimble as she once was, would have troubles with the ladders on the ship.  No, said, absolutely not, she was going to eat Thanksgiving dinner on the USS Stein if I had to lower her to the mess decks with a rope!  As it turned out, she did great with the steep ladders.  As chow was served and we proceeded through the chow line, I can still hear Mom say; "Look Addison, they have real turkey!"  That was a precious, wonderful, day that will live in my memory forever.

Another Thanksgiving memory occurred after my Mom had passed away.  My Dad came to San Diego to visit, and I was again on the USS Stein.  My second tour on her.  I had duty the day after Thanksgiving, and I had just made Chief the preceding September.  I asked the Ship's Executive Officer if my Dad could spend the day on board with me.  He agreed, so Dad stood duty with me.  Of course, I had duties to attend to, so, I would leave Dad in the Chief's Mess, and go do my job.  I would hurry back to the Mess only to find my Dad off touring a different part of the ship with one of the Chief's.  They all adopted my Dad for the day.  He received in depth tours of the entire ship, including the engineering spaces.  He was amazed!  He went to sleep that nigh in the Command Master Chief's bunk and slept all night.  I had the Mid Watch on the Quarterdeck, while he slept.  Dad and I had a wonderful day together.  I miss Mom and Dad terribly, but their memories are still strong.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The new Hypersonic Bomb. What good is it?

I read an article today that our military successfully tested a hypersonic bomb that can hit any where in the world in an hour.  Wow!!  From reading the article, I deduce that it is not a rocket, or at least glides free flight, guided by preset targeting information, to it's intended target.  Again, Wow.  This is the best thing since Tomahawk!  I also saw an article that the Air Force took delivery of six of the largest bunker buster bombs ever made.  I believe the stated explosive charge was 30,000 pounds of explosives.  Probably enhanced with pressurized gas.  Again, wow.

But, what good are they?  We have bunkers and magazines full of nuclear weapons, submarines carrying multi warhead Trident ICBM missiles, Tomahawk missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and other weapons of mass destruction that I don't even know about.  We have been fighting in Afghanistan for over ten years.  Lost countless American lives, physically and mentally crippled thousands more, and left thousands of widows and parentless children.  All this because we refused to learn from history.  The Soviet Union was defeated in Afghanistan in four years or so, and left with their tail between their legs.  What made us think we could win a war in an area of the world that is not a real country, has been engaged in tribal warfare since the Middle Ages, and is populated with people complete happy and comfortable with living in the Eleventh Century?  If we were really determined to wipe out the Taliban we would not have sent the first military man there.  We would have sent a Nuclear weapon on a missile, and ended their existence!

SO, all the "Wow" weapons in the world are useless unless you have the determination to use them.  That is why the Israelis and the Soviets are so respected in the world.  Both of these countries will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who attacks them or kills one of their citizens.  I once wrote about what happened in Beirut when some of the insurgents killed a Soviet Diplomat.  The remaining insurgents NEVER touched a Soviet person again.   If we want to be respected in the world community again, and I am not sure those in leadership today want to be, but if we do, we must show overwhelming strength and determination to protect our people and our interests at any cost.  On September 12, 2001, we should have bombed Afghanistan into the stone age!  That would have settled it once and for all.  Our economy would be better, our troops safe, and the world would have been kissing our ring!  Instead, we are kissing their ass.  The bad guys of the world only understand total destruction delivered quickly and with decisive action.  It is time for America and her leaders to grow a set!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

You can't fight every war!

I see, in the news, that the candidates for the Presidency, except Congressman Ron Paul, want to use military force against Iran over their supposed, but publicly undocumented quest for nuclear weapons.  Let me tell these arm chair, never served a day in their life in uniform, never been in harms way, never shot anyone, never had ANY type of weapon pointed at them, CHICKEN HAWKS, that we do not have enough military might to fight every battle in the world.  Our military has been at war, actively in the field, for over 10 years!  Our men have been deployed time after time.  They are worn out!  When they are home, they are under the constant barrage of political news reports that they are making too much money, are being given too good a benefits package, and are permitted to retire to young with too much money!   Try going to war, every other year, for 13 months, people trying to kill you 24/7.  No rest, no breaks, no home!  Being in the military is hard.   If it was easy, everyone would do it!  And as a career Soldier, Marine, Sailor, Airman, the stress level is multiplied exponentially.  Yes, they try to make it look easy, we even even recruit females, gays, and old guys.  But, most of them are in the rear with the beer and the gear, trust me.  The guys on the pointy end of the spear are battle hardened men with brass balls. All that being said, our military men are tired, even fatigued!  Our equipment needs refreshed at best and probably replaced all together!

So, my advice is, set this one out, you Chicken Hawks.  Or, go fight it yourselves, and let the professional military men critique your performance!    

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A PERFECT Veteran's Day event!

Today, I attended a Veteran's Day breakfast hosted by the Gulf Breeze Middle School in Gulf Breeze Florida.  My youngest Grandson attends that school and this event was superb!!  There were 110 people in attendance and a large number of silver haired veterans.  The students did the majority of the work including the cooking!  My wife and I sat with my Grandson and a friend of his, who cooked the eggs.  I was very impressed with the demeanor of the students.  Remember, these young people are 11-13 years old.  They were honestly interested in the Vets and what they did for our country.  They were respectful, fun, young people to be with and I was very impressed.   But what impressed me even more was the emotional speech made by the Principal of the school.  He explained that they were trying to help the students understand the sacrifice of the Vets and what they went through as service members.  There was a very apparent respect for those who served and I appreciated it, as all the other Vets did.

So, while I tend to be depressed on Veteran's Day, this year, I have found a reason to be hopeful for our future.  That ope is found in the students and staff of Gulf Breeze Middle School.  Thanks!  I needed that.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Veteran's Day, 2011

Here it is, Veteran's Day, again!  Where did this year go? It has been a year of change for me, but it only seems about two days long!  I see that a number of national chain restaurants are offering Veterans a free meal.  Mighty nice of them, considering they don't like us most of the time.  Yes, when we are fighting the bad guys, we are OK with the civilian populace.  But, when peace ensues, we are held in disdain!  Our disabilities from our service to our nation are considered "Dirty" and "Disgusting".  Look at the VA Hospital system!  Now there is a good place to go die!  And the Nation's premier Veteran's Cemetery, Arlington, can't even get the right remains in the correct grave!  I also read an article that the remains of Servicemen killed in action are being miss handles, desecrated, and even, parts of the bodies taken or lost!  Yes, they really care about the warriors of this nation.  I am completely disgusted with the whole topic!

How am I going to celebrate Veteran's Day?  I am going to put on my Wash Khaki uniform, which the Navy saw fit to replace with those Faggot Blue camouflage girlie uniforms, and drink beer until I can't remember why I am disgusted!  That should take all day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Just WHO is the enemy in the war we are fighting?

I just read an article on DRUDGE about a Texas fire arms instructor who refuses to teach Muslims how to fire weapons.  I did this on a break from unpacking from our recent move.

My first reply was "Yes, I agree!".  But on second review, I have questions about that emotion.  Yes, the Muslim faith seems to be at the center of every war, insurrection, and massacre in the world.  And yes, their religious writings, the Koran, does state that anyone who will not convert to the Muslim faith must be killed.  But, does that mean we should treat everyone of the Muslim faith as the enemy?

I have lived for a long time by the mantra that everyone is my friend until they prove otherwise.  This is not a good mantra for those in combat.  But as a civilian, dealing with mostly civilians and feather merchants in uniform, (ie the ED Community) it has served me well.  Just the same, it seems that every Muslim Nation is trying to destroy America.  The results of the supposed Muslim Spring is a number of nations under new leadership swearing allegiance to Sharia Law!  Egypt has recently stated that their laws will be based on Sharia law and have already legalized polygamy!

But, back to the question, should we Americans treat ALL Muslims in our country as our enemy?  I remember what William Randolph Hearst and the Hearst Newspapers did to the American Japanese population during World War Two.  His premise was all Japanese are the enemy and even tough they are American citizens, some of them second and third generation Americans, since they are of Japanese decent, they are a threat to our security and henceforth, they were  interned in camps!  We can see, with the 20/20 hid sight afforded by history, that the internment of these Americans was wrong.

So, using history as our teacher, my answer is;  We should treat everyone who lives in America LEGALLY, as loyal residents of our country.  Until an individual, not a group,   shows us otherwise.  To do less would go against the moral fiber of our country.