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Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 in review

Tomorrow is New Year's eve.  I remember a few New Year's parties deployed and in the states.  They were wild, drunken affairs that normally lead to throwing up followed by the dry heaves and massive head aches!   I have the same feelings about the year 2013 even though I don't drink anymore!  The year we are leaving behind will give us that sick feeling for the rest of our lives.

For instance, tomorrow, my wife and I are going to the Commissary.  It is time for our two week shopping trip.  We have down this for 41 years.  I love my Commissary.  It saves us money on our food budget.  We get to shop with other military members and families, and I often run into old friends and shipmates.  But, the person in the Oval Office wants to take that benefit away from us!  He says it costs too much money to operate.  The truth is, of the $1.6 billion appropriated to the world wide Commissary system for all services, overseas and stateside, $900 million was returned last year. The remainder was used at low population bases that do not have a population capable of supporting a store.  Most overseas!!

We were promised that the Commissaries would be there for us, and he wants to break that contractual promise.  What, you think this is not a contract issue?!  When you reenlisted, your contract said "Benefits of Rate"!  That means, COLA's, Commissary, Health Care, Exchanges, Clubs, Base Access,  family health care, Legal Support, flights on MAC flights, and Military Burial!  These are guaranteed to us by a legal contract.  We won once at the Supreme Court and that is why we have TriCare for Life!  I guess we will have to go back to the Court!

Another one of those "Benefits of Rate" is our COLA's for retired members.  You may not remember, but when I joined the Navy in 1969, retired members were getting two COLA's a year!  That was reduced to one a year in the late 1970's.  But, to protect the Military members able to retire during the "Two COLA's a Month" period but that stayed on Active Duty, Senator John Tower of Texas, a Reserve master Chief Boatswain's Mate, placed the Tower Amendment into a Defense Appropriations bill.  So, those who retired later, received the benefit of those double COLA's on their retirement check.  Now, we will have to fight to reinstate our "Contractual Right" of our COLS without a friend in Congress.

Our Active Duty members went without a pay raise for three years!  That is money they will never recoup!   If the retired COLA reduction is permitted to stand, we will all be robbed for life.

There ave been other losses for those of us who serve.  For instance, the Marine Corp delayed making their female members meet the same physical standards as their male counterparts.  If you are going to be full up, combat member of the military, you must meet the same standards as the others.  Man, woman, gay, straight, regardless of race.  When the females were in the rear with the beer and the gear, they could meet lower physical standards.  Now that females are on the front lines, they must be required to meet the same physical and professional standards that men meet.  No waivers!

One more point.  If a male military member is over weight, can't pass PRT, or has any other issue, he is gone!  Regardless of time in service!!  Why, he can't hack it!  But a female get waivers?!  Bullshit!

I am getting that" I'm going to puke" feeling again!  Maybe I need to start drinking again!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Active duty, Retired, and Disabled Military Personnel on Food Stamps!

I have written about this before.  Back in the Carter years, even married, Active Duty E-7's qualified for Food Stamps.  I just watched a report on Fox Mews stating what I already knew.  We are back in sad shape again.  The recent reduction of 1% of the COLA on retired pay will further exacerbate this problem.  The "No Active Duty Pay Raise" for Military and Civil Service personnel has already had a terrible effect on our Military/Civilian team.  It is sad.

There are a number of volunteer charities like "Truckin for Troups" and Church Food Banks that are trying to fill in the gap.  But that is too little too late.  Just the same, as long as the Progressives have control of our government, there is little hope for any change.  The Progressives see those of us who served as their enemy.  Since we believe in and support the Constitution of the United States, we are "Bad" people and we should be controlled or irradiated.

Don't agree?   Then why does the VA send Federal Marshall's to confiscate the guns of any Vet diagnosed with PTSD?  Depression?  The reason is to marginalize us.  And they are succeeding!  That's why our disabled Vets are in the financial and physical shape they are in.  I see homeless Vets under bridges and on street corners all over Pensacola.  There is a large mission in Pensacola called "Loaves and Fishes" that reach the homeless of our area and they serve a large Veteran community.

What can we do?  Give to one of these charities that serve, DIRECTLY, the Homeless.  I recommend Church ran Charities because they do not have the overhead that other's have.  For instance, I know Loaves and Fishes have many Churches bringing in meals, at NO COST, and serving them.  Donating food to Church Food Banks is another good way to help.  If you have a friend or relative that is a Disabled Vet or a retired Military member.  Don't ask if they need help, you already know if they do or not.  If you think they do, help.  How, Buy their Christmas Turkey and all the fixings!  Give them a gift card to Walmart.  Find something they cannot afford to do but drastically need, like car repair, home repair, medical bill, food, and pay for it or some of it.  They are too proud to ask.  It will embarrass them to take the help, so you must insist!!

Being unable to provide for your family is one of the primary causes of suicide!  Their thought is;  "I am broken, I am a failure, I am worthless, my family would be better if I was dead!  See the pattern here?  Your act of love and charity may save a family and a life!

I can't change the direction of our Nation.  I can change the direction of one person's life, and that is what I am going to do.  I hope you join me.  In my Navy, shipmates help Shipmates!  When GMG 1 Red Mills was killed on the USS Benjamin Stoddard, off the coast of Vietnam, the students at Gun School at Great Lakes, gave $5000 dollars to his wife!  That was in 1972 when the Military, especially the junior Enlisted Personnel, did not make much.  We can do better than that.

So, in the spirit of giving and the tradition of being a true Shipmate, find a Vet in need and help.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

100,000 Thanks!

I started writing this blog to save my memories.  It has become much more than that for me.  You that read and reply to my wandering writing have become family to me.  I cherish you replies, whether you are agreeing or chastising me for being wrong or worse.  I have written about my career in the Navy, politics, and family.

I enjoy writing these recollections and thoughts.  It is my hope that what I write may be of use to you.  Either as a learning event, something to laugh at, or something that is thought provoking.  As the family of "Navy" folks, we have seen and done a lot!  And those stories should live on after I pass away.

So, I will continue to write, even though my memories are beginning to fade.  Still, I come up with stories from long ago, that are worth writing.

Thank you for being there for me.  I never thought this blog would ever reach over 100,00 views.  Truthfully, I never though I wrote or knew anything that 100,000 readers would find interesting!  Turns out, I was wrong.

Merry Christmas to each of you!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

51 Sailors stationed on the USS Ronald Reagan have cancer from the Fukishima Reactor

There are numerous news reports out that state that 51 Sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan that were involved with the aid to Japan's Fukishama nuclear reactor have already contracted cancers including brain cancer and leukemia.

First, this goes a long way to make the statement that the American Bluejacket is a hero.  In war, in peace, the American Bluejacket will risk their lives to aid their fellow man!  It is tragic that these personnel will most likely die from this cancer.  I hope the Navy, the U.S. Government, the government of Japan, and the Veteran's Administration, will offer aid to these victims of this tragedy and their surviving families!!

I would be willing to bet that most, if not all, of the men and women that went ashore to help the people of Japan, in their hour of need, were volunteers!!  In my experience, the more hard case sailor would still volunteer to help someone!

I ask you to part for these Sailors and their families.  I also ask you to contact your Congressman and ask him or her what they plan to do for these families!!  Nothing, is not an acceptable answer!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bore Clear!!

As a "Guns" type Gunner's Mate, that phrase is music to our ears.  "Bore Clear" means there is no round in the chamber of the gun.  It is always given after a "Cease Fire" order.  As the Mount Captain, it is your responsibility to pass this report to whoever is controlling the Gun.  In the old days it was "Plot".  Then the Gun Control Console Operator in CIC.  Now, I have no idea who the Mount Captain reports too!  Probably someone in Facebook.

Of course, "Foul Bore" means there IS a round left unfired in the Gun Bore.  Nit a good thing, especially if the Gun Barrel is HOT!  Then you have a "Hot Gun Issue"!  Trust me, "Hot Guns" DO cause explosions.  That is what killed GMG1 Red Mills on an Adams Class DDG off the coast of Vietnam.  I have written about that one before.

You cannot pull into port with a loaded gun barrel!  You must clear the bore before doing anything!  How?  By firing the projectile out of the barrel.  We first try retiring the powder charge that is in the gun.  We use alternate firing circuits.  In the old days, we used a "Stinger" which was a Ten Cap Blasting Machine with a rigid wire lead to place on the firing lead on the back of the breach block.  Way back, the 5"/38 and 3"/50 gun mounts had a manual firing treadle that actually let the percussion portion of the Case Combination Primer function instead of electric firing.  Now, there are no Case Combination Primers.  They did have a safety issue.  Of course, the 20MM and 40 MM guns were percussion fired in the old days.

A few years ago, I had a colonoscpy and when a friend of mine asked me how it went, I emailed him this report' "Bore Clear, no apparent casualties".  Once a Gunner's Mate, always a Gunner's Mate!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Don't piss down my neck and tell me it's raining!

The so called Bi-partisan budget deal the the House passed and the Senate will pass reduces the COLA of every military member that retires by 1% until they turn 62.  No catch up!  That is bad enough, but now I find out that ir also reduces the checks of those who are medically retired because of combat injury and also VA pensions for disabled veterans!

Congressmen and Senators get their entire salary as a pension with just one tour in office!  That is two years for a Congressman and 6 years for a Senator.  Even if they serve ONE day and quit!  They get COLA's, full medical for them and their family, and other perks!  I would think it would be better to cut their benefits instead of those of us who have served in combat.

Senator Joe Manchen of West Virginia was on Fox News today and sounded like the Progressive he is.  He said everyone needed to sacrifice to fix the budget problems.  What about Congress Joe!  And what IS sacrifice?  A lost leg, PTSD, paralyzed from the neck down?  Go to Hell Joe Manchen, you Commie bastard!!  You never served in uniform, so you don't count.  You hicks in West Virginia need to stop screwing your cousins and start electing reputable men, unlike your KKK Senator and Joe Manchen!

I have had my fill of the Progressives and their BS of "Everyone must Sacrifice".   They mean, "Everyone but them".  It is time that we stand up!!  If you did not call your Representative or Senator, you are part of the problem!  If you voted for one of these Progressives or RINO's, you should be shot!  Damn it, the bad guys are winning and we have but a scant chance of turning the tide!!  And if we don't get busy, that chance will evaporate.

Look, the Master Chief in me is screaming at the disrespect being rained down on my Brothers in Arms.  The Progressives have brought the entire budget issue on the back of the Military, active and retired.  We, in their estimation, are their enemy because we are loyal to the Constitution of the United States of America.  The Progressives and RINO's are NOT!!   I do not know how much more clear I can make this!   We are being treated as the enemy of the state.  This is only the beginning, this I know for sure!

So, it is your choice. Stand up and fight or lay down and be trampled like an old dog.  I for one, want to go out shooting.  At least I can take a few of the bastards with me.


Monday, December 16, 2013

You are relieved for cause!

All too often, we see the articles about a Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, or Command Master Chief being relieved for cause.   We read about the reasons leading to the decision to relieve the person but seldom do we see the outcome of the investigation.  There was the story about the  Captain of the Aircraft Carrier that was relieved because a training he did on Site TV offended some one.  That made big news.  But for the first time, an article in the Virginia Pilot tells; "The Rest of the Story" about a Commanding Officer accused wrongly of misconduct.

You need to read the article to get all the details, but the thumbnail sketch of the miscarriage of justice is that he was accused of dastardly deeds and an Admiral relieved him because he had lost "confidence" in his ability to lead.  A common reason to relieve a Commanding Officer.  Nit to mention that this Commanding Officer had 28 years of spotless service and was in his third Command position!

I do not know who or how the complaint came in, but the results of the investigation proved that the charges were unsupported!  The Admirals Board of Inquiry found no reason to relieve the Captain and recommended that he be permitted to continue his career.  Great, so let's put him back to complete his Command tour!  NO!  He gets sent to the Pentagon to ride a dusty desk in a inner ring office without windows, a telephone, or a computer!  He is still being punished.

And what about the person or persons that submitted the unsupported charges.  I guess they just go about their merry way!  No consequences for their false charges.  And what about the climate at that command?  Have we now set up an environment where, if you thing the Captain is too strict, we can get him fired by just making an anonymous call to the hot line?

I belies this Captain has been egregiously wronged!  I believe the Command he was Commanding Officer of owes him an apology and so does the Admiral that jumped the gun and fired him without justification.  Don't get me wrong, most of the "Relieved for Cause" cases are warranted.  But the Navy Leadership needs to make sure the reasons are sound before ruining a good Officer's or Master Chief's career,  This time, the Navy screwed up!

Friday, December 13, 2013

"Gold Rush"

I watch the television show "Gold Rush" and marvel at the way the show portrays the danger and technical difficulties of digging gold out of the ground.  Don't get me wrong, what they do is hard work, long hours, in a cold, unforgiving climate.  Except Todd who went to South America to waste money!   AS I watch this show, my mind goes back to what I did in the Navy.

I was a Gunner's Mate as you may know.  We maintained and operated the weapons systems on the ship.  I tell folks I worked on everything from .22 cal pistols to Nuclear Weapons!   That statement is mostly correct since I actually worked on an ASROC launcher on two ships.   But there was much more to the Gunner's Mate's responsibilities.   For instance, the stowage of all the ammunition on the ship was our responsibility.  That included the fire suppression system for the Magazines called "The Magazine Sprinkler System".   These systems were designed to flood the magazine they serviced from the deck to the overhead in one hour!  Believe me, that is a vast volume of water spraying from sprinkler heads in the overhead.  These systems had to be tested monthly and flushed quarterly.  Many Gunner's Mates made mistakes and had sprinkler systems sprinkle magazines!   The automated system to set off the sprinklers in the magazine used devices that could react to a slow rise in temperature or a rapid rise.  The Pneumatically Released Pilot Valve (PRP) was cantankerous at best!

I remember doing "Crash Backs" on the USS Leftwich.  This engineering evolution required the ship to go from full ahead to full reverse, all at once.  A DD 963 class ship, doing 32 knots ahead, could stop dead in the water in the length of the ship!  That was 563 feet!!   But that "Crash Back" caused the ship to vibrate violently and sea water would actually wash over the fantail and Missile Deck!!  Of course, I owned a few magazines in the aft portion of the ship.  Mount 52's Projectile Mag, Powder Mag, Staging Area, and the Loader Room all had automatic sprinkler systems.   I would always run back to those spaces to make sure nothing went wrong.

But the point of this post is to relay to you the stress of being the Leading Gunner's Mate.  There were tons of high explosive 5 inch projectiles and propelling charges.  Not to mention, ASROC missiles, NATO Sea Sparrow Missiles, Torpedoes, Small Arms Ammunition, CIWS Ammo, and Pyrotechnics and demolition charges.  I worried about the safety of the ammunition from the time it came aboard until we offloaded it.  The handling, stowage, and use, of the ammo was my responsibility.  Anything that happened related to the ammo, small arms, Gun Systems, was my responsibility and probably, in some manner, my fault.  Don't believe me?   If a ship runs aground, when the Commanding Officer is asleep, he is at fault!  He gets fired.  And his career is over.  Same for the Senior Gunner's Mate.  

Then there was the Gun Mounts that handled 5 inch ammunition at a rate to sustain a very rapid rate of fire.  For instance, I began my career on the MK 42 5 inch gun mounts.  They were originally designed to fire 40 rounds a minute!   The projectile weighed 75 pounds and the powder charge to propel the projectile weighed 44 pounds.  So a electronically controlled, hydraulically operated gun loading system was pretty rough on the ammo.  I saw nose fuzes ripped off projectiles, projectiles cracked open and the explosive charge exposed, powder cases ripped open and gun powder spread all over the gun loading system and gun pocket.  I also saw M2 Browning .50 cal mating guns blow th top cover off!  Being a Gunner's Mate was a dangerous, stressful, job!  And the stress was 24/7/365 for the entire time you were stationed on that ship.

Of course, then there was the issue of keeping track of all that ammo!  Much of it highly pilfer able!  And ammo and small arms were stolen from Navy ships.  In San Diego, in the late 1970's, three sailors, one of them a Gunner's Mate, stole a number of small arms off the Adams Class DDG they were on.   The took an M60 Machine Gun, a couple of M14's, pistols, ammo for the guns, and concussion grenades!  They took the weapons went to a Marina near LaJolla, and stole a sail boat.  The one problem with their plan was, they did not know how to sail.  They casted off and drifted in the harbor.  A Coast Guard boat came to their supposed rescue.  Imagine the surprise of the Coast Guard crew when the came to the rescue and found all those weapons!  Now imagine the Board of Inquiry that fried the Chief Gunner's Mate over his lax security of weapons and ammo!!

My point is, what civilians think is dangerous and stressful and what I experienced is miles apart.  A Trammel breaking down does not even approach the danger and stress of a Gun Mount blowing up!  But, I loved being a Gunner's Mate and I loved my career.  I miss both and dwell on the past all the time.  Hopefully, I will remember more stories.  

The "Budget Deal" is NO great deal for retired military!

Just like the Affordable Care Act, the recent Bi-partisan Budget Deal is turning out to be anything but good.   One of the ways Congress intends to reduce the budget deficit is to reduce the COLA for retired military members by 1% each year until the retiree turns 62!!  Naturally, the more your retirement check is, the more you loose.  But it is the Enlisted Military members that will be hurt the most!!

This is an insidious punishment!  Each year, the COLA would be reduced by 1%.  So the effects of the reduction are compounded each year!   It is the reverse of compound interest!!  The retired First Class will loose less that a retired Commander, but the First Class will be impacted even more because of the lower retirement check.

COLAs are already reduced.  How?  Gasoline, food, heating oil, and health care are already excluded from the COLA computation.  How can that be?  These are the real drivers of inflation.  These are the items that make up the majority of our monthly budget.  Yet, the "Suits" in Washington decided to exclude them from the computation of the Cost of Living adjustments.  So, the annual COLA does not even reflect the actual rise in the cost of living.  Then, the "Suits" want to lower that fantasy COLA by another 1% for retired military members under 62?!

Again, I ask, where is the righteous indignation from the Flag Officers, the Senior Enlisted Leaders, or even a service secretary?  Now the military service organizations will protest, but that is like a union protesting.  It is expected.

It is time that he senior leadership of our military, enlisted and officer, stop trying to get advanced and stop trying to be friends with the "Suits" and open their collective mouths to support the active and retired members of the military.

A long time ago, the "Suits" floated a retirement plan that withheld our retirement check until we turned 62!  Then, it was reduced the amount of our Social Security.  That did not go very far back in the early 1970's.  If this COLA reduction is signed into law, the "Suits" will dust off that old proposal and run it up the flag pole again!  Mark my words!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Reduce Military pensions to reduce the budget deficit?

I just read an article that states that our wonderful representatives in Congress are working on reducing the retirement pay of Military personnel and Civil Servants.  No where in that article was there even a thought of reducing the extravagant pensions of Senators and Congressmen!  That evidently is not a good idea in their estimation.

When retention is good, the Military always trims incentives to reenlist.  Reenlistment bonuses, special sea shore rotation deals, schools, and duty assignments have always been used to sweeten the pot for reenlistments.  When the ranks are healthy, these incentives are reduced or done away with completely.  But from what I read, some of the retention figures are not good.  For instance, Military pilots are at a premium!  Now think about it, if we loose a F/A 18 pilot after 6 years of service, we have to train a new "Nugget" to replace that pilot, and in six years, he or she may be able to be the replacement.  The bottom line is, we can never replace the experience of the vetted individual.  Another issue is, most of the men and women in the Military have combat experience.  That experience is impossible to replace.  I was the Command Master Chief of VA 55, an A-6 squadron for a brief period of time.   When they bombed Benghazi on the orders of President Reagan, to silence Khadafi, the Executive Officer was the ONLY Aviator that had combat experience!  Trust me, going into combat with all green personnel is like running into t cave in the dark!

Another issue is implied contracts.  When we join the Military, certain "Promises" are made to us by the Recruiter and in "Boot Camp" through training and publications.  One of these promises is our retirement program and the condition of retirement.  How that retirement compensation is computed, when the checks start, and how the COLA is computed.  Along with that promise was life time health care for the military member and their family!  Then there is the promise of Commissary and Exchange rights.  Of course, I have already informed you that the Administration is seriously contemplating closing all the stateside Commissaries!!

All in all, the prospect for the benefits of Military men and women is bleak!!  I encourage you to write, email, and call your Representatives and Senators and let them know your opinion of their disrespect for the contract they have with us!  Then, if they blow you off, vote against them in November 2014!  That is truly all the ammo we have!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Maybe what I believed in does not matter anymore!

I spend a lot of time thinking about the past.  I dream about the past, and talk about it most of the time.  I sometime aggravate my wife when I talk constantly about the Navy and my experiences.  I get frustrated when I look at the condition of the Navy, the small number of ships, the closing of the Commissaries, the threatened reduction of pay and benefits, and the resulting loss of skilled personnel.  All of these issues strike fear in my heart and serve to depress me.

But, what if I am the only one effected by these issues?  What if Commissaries, pay, ship numbers, combat capabilities, and retention, don't mean anything to today's Navy personnel?   While that possibility really scares me, it may be the truth.

I do not see or hear anyone complaining!  Not the CNO, or a Fleet Commander, or the MCPON, or any of eh Master Chiefs on the CNO's Advisory Committee.  No one!  So, maybe everything is OK with low pay, unisex uniforms, and long deployments on broken ships.

When I was the Force Master Chief of SURFLANT, I screamed loud and long when I thought the men and women I represented were being treated badly.  Every six months, the Navy Surgeon General, Admiral Lestage and I had a heated argument over PRT differences between 18 year old females and 36 year old males.  I also argued with the CNO himself over moving Sailors to Naval Station New York.  I was concerned about placing young Sailors in the middle of New York, drug salesmen all around, in a mid-rise apartment with our play grounds or secure parking.  The CNO told me it was above my pay grade and his!  But I still argued.

But now, there are no dissenting voices.  Only silence!  And silence can be deadly.  But, it appears, no one cares.

When shoring is a waste of time!

When I was the Command Master Chief of Attack Squadron 55 (VA 55) we were deployed to the Med.  We flew off of the USS Coral Sea.  Every so often, ship's company would go to General Quarters and drill on damage control.   Being a Destroyer sailor, damage control is near and dear to my heart.  Small ships can absorb amazing damage and still float, IF the crew can perform basic damage control principles.  Shoring a bulkhead to stop flooding, mitigate damage, can stop the conflagration of flooding.  I actually had to shore a bulkhead that had been stoves in, and two of the ship's ribs were cracked, by a rogue wave!  But on an aircraft carrier, there are spaces that stopping flooding is probably a waste of time.

During these General Quarters drills, the air wing has little to do.  I would go to the Ready Room and do nothing.   But once time, I wandered out into the passageway next to our Ready Room.  Now our Ready Room was in the small Island of the ship.  many decks above the waterline.  As I watched the Damage Control Team, I realized they were shoring a bulkhead!  In addition, they were using various D methods to slow leaks in the bulkhead.  Since this DC team was always located in the Island of the ship, it struck me as curious that they would be working on controlling flooding!  Why?  because if the water is up to the Island, you have already sunk!

And as the title states, shoring is a waste of time at that point.  Then I thought about the condition of our Navy.  We have a very small Navy.  Smaller that before World War I.  But our operational commitments are high.  Deployments are now 7-8 months on schedule and even longer if the world situation changes.  The administration wants to reduce pay and benefits, close stateside Commissaries, and limit advancement.  Ship building is not sufficient to keep up with decommissioning.  I can easily call the situation that our Navy is is, Conflagration.  In other words, the damage is spreading so quickly that we cannot get ahead of it!  We are sinking.  Yet, I see some of the leadership of the Navy, shoring a bulkhead on the 09 Deck!   Instead of taking on these life or death issues, they are worried about "Unisex" uniforms!

With just over 84 surface combatant ships in the U.S. Navy, we have reached the point where shoring is a waste of time.  It is clearly time to abandon the present direction of our Navy and retrench.   But someone has to take the lead and stand up for our Navy and our people.  I just don't see that happening.


Monday, December 2, 2013

More on benefit cuts!

Again, I was in the check out line at the Commissary and I read the headlines on the cover of Navy Time;  "Pay and benefit cuts!!  and Stateside Commissaries in the cross hairs"!   My question is, Why is this administration going after the men and women in the Uniform of our Country?  We have a fully voluntary military.  No conscription, no mandatory National service.  Every one in uniform since after the Vietnam war has been a volunteer!  Why would anyone want to reduce the pay and benefits of the less than 1% of Americans who volunteer to serve in the defense of our Nation?!?

Why don't we reduce the pay of those in Congress?  Why not reduce the number of staff members in Congress and the White House?   Why not do away with departments that do nothing?  Like the Department of Education?  But to zero in on those who voluntarily place their lives on the line for the defense of our Nation is ill-advised at best and treasonous at the worst!  

What impact will these cuts in pay and benefits have on retention and recruiting?  Every trained, experienced, person in uniform who get out at the end of his or her enlistment takes their training and experience with them.  The result is increased training costs!  The loss of mid-grade Officers in a problem now.  What will reductions in pay and benefits be?  And finally, where are the Flag Officers on this?  I have not heard ONE Flag Officer say anything for or against this policy!!  Sad!

All the technology in the world will not defend our Nation or win a war.  It takes men and women, in Uniform, ready to make the ultimate sacrifice, to defend America.  They deserve respect, adequate pay, and secure benefits.  What we promise them in the recruiter's office should be honored throughout their career!  To do less is a breach of promise!

So, what do we do?  Two things;  First:  Join the Fleet Reserve Association or another service related organization that lobbies for your rights!   Second; Call your Congressman and Senators and let them know that you strongly disagree with this blatant attack on our pay and benefits!!

Last thing, today at the check out line, the clerk "Scanned" my wife's ID card!!  That has never happened before.  Yes, they look at it to make sure we are authorized patrons.  But scanning takes you name and SSN!  I believe the administration is keeping track of who is using the Commissary.  Why, I can only guess.  But that guess is pretty sinister!  There is evil afoot!!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Mentors

I was blessed to have a number of men that took the time to teach me, raise me up, show me the ropes, and directly career, in the Navy.  Each of these men could have just taken care of their career and let me flounder.  But they didn't!  I have written about many of them at length.   But today, I spent about 45 minutes talking to an old friend.  She is the wife of one of my closest Navy friends and strongest mentors, Jim Smith.   Jim was an uncompromising man who loved the Navy and loved being a Gunner's Mate.  He had his standards, that were much higher tun the Navy's and anyone else's.  He held himself to these standards without waiver and expected the same from anyone he respected.  I was blessed to have Jim as a friend and mentor.  His widow has continued to be my friend, and even though I don't get out to California very often, I still call her at least once a year.

There were others,  that took the time to teach me.  Bill Mowery, Carl Morris, Corky Armendarez, Chief Sadowski, Senior Chief Rector, Eugene Fredericks, Bobby Garcia, Gary Babcock, and some who's names I forget. (Damn Lewy Body Dementia)  There were some civilians that helped mold me too.  Charlie Ford, Tom McKenna, (who was also a Master Chief Gunner's Mate, before I knew him) Dean Rehart, and others.  These me took an interest in me and my career.  They were honest with me and told me when I screwed up and how to do things better.  They always treated me with respect but they were always the teacher!  Again, they could have just worried about themselves, feathered their own nests.  But they didn't, and I benefited from their kindness and professionalism.

As my memory fails me, I still sit here and think about the great men that helped me succeed.  Many of them have passed on to their rewards, but they live in my memory.  I hope that today's Navy enlisted leaders do as much mentoring as I benefited from.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Navy as a fraternal organization

When I was in the Navy, it was more than a group of men joined together to fight a battle.  We were a group of men, in the same place, eating the same food, doing the same jobs, standing the same watches, and deploying to the same places.  We worked together, ate together, slept in the same types of berthing spaces, showered together, went on liberty together, and dealt with the same disappointments and successes.  We were all in the same club!

Evenings underway, we played cards together, we watched the movie on the mess decks, we told each other sea stories, talked about home, our cars, girls, and shared our future plans, no matter how impractical they were.  We were brothers in a fraternal organization, with it's own initiations, and dues!   That is why "Ship's Reunions" are so popular.

I don't see that camaraderie today.  The Navy stopped Chief's initiations.   Simple divisional initiation rites are outlawed as "Hazing".   Political correctness has robbed us of unit cohesion!

I understand why young men due ultra-heroic things in combat.  It is to protect and defend their "Brothers"!    They are so protective of their "Brothers" that they will jump on a grenade to protect them!  Death is not in their mind when they do this.  Only the parental urge to protect "Their own"!

I am concerned that breaking simple initiation rights may break down this protection reflex!  The mental feeling of not belonging will stop someone from the reflex action of defending the people around them.  Why?  Because they are not mine and I am not theirs!  We do not share any common initiation rite that gained us access to the family.  They are not my brothers and therefore, I will not risk anything to defend them.

I realize those of you who do not agree with initiations will disagree with me.  But take initiations away and look at how our sailors spend their off time.  Underway, we played cards, watched the only movie, together on the mess decks, told sea stories, and stories about our home town, school, or family.  Today, they play computer games, email home, chat with the wife or girl friend, and stay isolated fro anyone else on the ship!  Where is the personal connection?

Another thing that is missing is the Service Clubs.  The Chief's Club, the Acey-Duecy Club, the Fleet Club, even Officer's Clubs.  All of these are either dead or so diminished and patrolled by gestapo with Breathalyzers, that no one goes to the clubs.  No, I am not recommending we get drunk, but plenty of bonding was accomplished over a few beers!

When the USS Cole was attacked by the Islamic Homicide Bomber, one of the Gas Turbine Chiefs was trapped under the deck plates in one of the Main Engineering Spaces.  One of his junior personnel would NOT leave him, even though the space was flooding and was on fire, and even though the Chief ordered him to leave!  The sailor risked his life to save his Chief.   That is the type of brotherly love we need to foster.

How?  In this day of increasing isolation in the singular world of technology, we need to find a way to bring the crew back together.   I am open to suggestions.  I identified the problem, let's find the solution together.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Thanksgiving memory

I have written about this before but Thanksgiving is such a family time that it brings back memories.  I remember one Thanksgiving my first tour on the USS Stein.  We had just returned from a ten month WestPac cruise.  Linda and I were still newlyweds.  My Mom and Dad drove out to San Diego to see us an to celebrate Thanksgiving.  But, I had duty on Thanksgiving day.  So, I asked my Mom and Dad if they would like to have Thanksgiving on the ship?!  They were both thrilled.  But then, I began to worry.  My Mom had cancer surgery and radiation treatment.  She was a big woman and her mobility was not what it used to be.  I asked her if she would be alright navigating the steep ladders.  She told me in her most strident way that if she could not make it down the ladder, I would have to rig a pulley system to lower her down!   As it turned out, she had no difficulties with the ladders.

As we went through the chow line and came up to the serving line, my Mom squealed; "Look Addison, they have real turkeys!"   Addison was my Dad's name, and he was surprised too.  They both enjoyed their Thanksgiving dinner and the tour of the ship.  My Mom talked about that day until she died.

Another Navy Thanksgiving I remember happened after my Mom had passed away.  It was four years after the first Thanksgiving on the USS Stein.  I had done a tour at Great Lakes as an instructor at Gun School and the only way I could get back to San Diego was to accept orders back to the USS Stein.  So there I was again, on a ship I had commissioned and rode for three years.  My Dad came out to visit for Thanksgiving.  We had just come off another WestPAc deployment and I had just made Chief.   I was off Thanksgiving Day and we enjoyed Thanksgiving Day together at our home.  But I had duty on Friday.  So, I asked the Executive Officer if my Dad could come aboard for the day and stay over night.  He agreed, so we stood duty together.  The Command Master Chief, Eugene Fredericks, gave my Dad his bunk which was under mine.  That worked well.  During the day, I had responsibilities, so I was busy.  I left my Dad in the Chief's Quarters and went out to do my job.  I would check back every hour or so and my Dad would be gone!  I would ask where he was, an the answer always was, one of the Chiefs was giving him a tour of their spaces!  What a wonderful thing for them to do!  My Dad had an in-depth tour of the engineering spaces from MMCS Ferguson, CIC from Chief Robertson,  and other spaces and systems.  Later in the day, Dad told me how impressed he was with their level of knowledge and dedication!  I has swapped for the Mid-Watch on the Quarterdeck so I could be with Dad through the evening.  We hit the rack at 2200 and to me surprise, he went right to sleep.  When I got up for the Mid-Watch, he was fast asleep and slept until seven the next morning.

These are both very precious memories for me.  The Navy was an integral part of my life and my parents got to share that with me.  What more could I ask!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Old Shipmates

Today, I made a telephone call that I should have made a long time ago.  Most of you know I have a progressive neurological disease called Lewy Body Dementia.  It causes me memory loss and it causes me to live in the past.  I spend most of my time, thinking about my Navy career and old shipmates.  Some of those memories include things that I did wrong, disagreements, or even things I thought were disagreements.  My memory is far from perfect anymore.  In any case, my memory lead me to believe the last time Carl Morris and I talked, we had a disagreement.  So, I was reticent to call him.

Carl was a mentor and great friend.  He and I went to MK 42 "C" School in 1970.  Bill Mowery was in that class also.  Those two watched over me throughout my career.  It was Carl Morris that recommended me to be the GMG Detailer.  He helped Bill Mowery straighten out my Second Class debacle when we were all in "C" school.  Bill and Carl were both Chiefs then.  The both retired as Master Chiefs.  I owe my success to both of them.

So, the other day, I called Carl, to apologize for my argument with him a long while ago.  He was not home and I left a message.  Today, Carl returned my call.  We had a wonderful conversation.  We talked about being retired, old shipmates, the good times we both had in the Navy and working for the Navy after our uniform days and we talked about our Church homes and how Jesus had impacted our lives in such a positive way.  It was truly the best telephone call I have had in a long time.  I tried to apologize to Carl at the end and He told me, we never had a disagreement!  I was relieved!

Friends, shipmates, are the best part of being in the Navy and being alive.  I cherish every contact the I make.   There are shipmates that I long to make contact with but even the internet cannot help me.  But I needed desperately to talk to Carl and I am happy we connected.  He sounded great!  Thanks Charlie!!

What are going to take away next?!

I just read an article on Hamptonroads.com, the web site of the Virginia Pilot, the Tidewater area newspaper.  They quotes an article from Military times that the administration has asked for a plan to close 178 state side Commissaries!   The article went on to say the cuts were for budgetary reasons.  They also considered raising the Commissary surcharges and prices!

Pay freezes, below inflation cost of living adjustments, increased deployments, and lower maintenance and procurement funding.  If you can't see it, the Administration is destroying the United States Military and making us a third rate military power, unable to defend our country!

Moves like closing the Commissaries are directed at demoralizing the active duty and retired personnel with the end game being reduced retention, recruiting, and an overall loss is readiness.  While Mr. and Mrs. Obama pretend to like the military, appearing for photo ops with groups and dependents.  But the truth is, he hates those of us who have dedicated our lives to preserving the Constitution and our freedom.

The Commissaries help us stretch our pay checks and retirement checks.  It is a big benefit and the loss of the Commissaries will impose a hardship on active and retired personnel. But that is the apparent purpose of the cuts.

I never thought I would live to see the day that our government officials would turn against the military.   also never thought that Flag Officers of our military would stand by idly, while we are being decimated.  This is truly a sad time in America.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Unisex uniforms!

That's right!  It was the headline on Navy Times when I was in the Commissary this week.  Imagine this, unisex uniforms.  The Marine Corp told the liberals to go suck an egg when they wanted to change the male Marine cover.  But the Navy will roll over like an old dog.

So, as I understand "unisex", it means regardless of sex, we all wear the same thing.  I wonder how chest darts will work for males.  Of that part of the pants that is left bigger to hang the male equipment for a female.  Hell, maybe some of the females HAVE equipment!   What about under garments.  Will t-shirts be mandatory or a bra?  Silk bikini skivvies for men?!  Some may like that.  I was mad at MCPON Placket over the jumpers for females.  It did give us a good view of their cleavage.  But that is NOT what a military uniform should do.

AS the Surgeon General of the Navy used to remind me, females are build different than males.  I, for one, do not want women looking like men or men looking like women.   If Admiral Lestage was right, and he was a medical doctor, then women are designed by our maker as the weaker sex.  They are more gentle, are driven by feelings and not facts, and are prone to crying at the from of a hat.  They do less push ups, pull ups and slower times on the PRT than men of the same age.  I can go further if you have any other questions about the differences between men and women, but I think you know, even if you are gay!

Let's quit playing PC with the military and let men be men and women be women.  I do believe there should be no community closed to females.  If they can make the standard, and we don't lower the standard for females or homosexuals, then, let them play!  Equal is equal!!  I worked with a female tech rep on MK 45 gun mounts a decade or more ago.  She was an engineer and much smarter than I was.  She was not afraid of getting dirty and worked as hard as an man.  She would let us know when her body make up made some things impossible for her.  Once, I told her to crawl up the side of the gun, into the gun house, to check something, I don't remember.  I then went back to Mount 52.  When I returned I asked her for the results.  She told me she could not make it up to the gun house, because her chest was too big.  She did use a slang term for the protrusions on her chest.  I could agree with her and it was a foot reason.  Today, I could not make it up between the slide and the grunion.  Why, my belly is too big!  Same issue, just lower and less attractive.

Please don't dress our male like females or vise-a-versa.  I might get confused!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Freedom, Ford, Zumwalt, San Antonio, syndrome of our Navy

I have spent much time and typing skills discussing and lambasting the Navy's Engineering Duty Officer mafia over the types of ships they design and the capabilities that they mandate for the designs to incorporate.  Let's look at some of the more recent debacles.

The failures of the USS San Antonio class of LPD's is well documented.  This class of Amphibious Assault ship has not passed shock trials, is incapable of operating independently because it has no proven self-defense capability, and was designed with serious Damage Control short comings.  Millions and millions of repair dollars have been spent trying to make the first five ships even capable of deploying.

Again, I wrote about the LCS class ships a day ago and also in the past.  In short, it is a ship without a mission and without any open ocean capability.  We continue to build these useless ships in numbers that are unrealistic and unsustainable.

The Navy's newest Aircraft Carrier, the Gerald Ford, has been promoted as the "Transition Carrier" for technology.  It is designed to have a new "Electro Magnetic" catapult instead of the present steam catapult used for decades.  The ship has more untested technology designed into the plan that are costing millions of dollars in cost overruns.  These untested and unproven new technologies will make maintenance of this ship exponentially more expensive to operate and maintain.  Just the training pipeline costs for the personnel manning this ship in the out years will be unsustainable.

Then there is the new surface combatant.  The Zumwalt class DDG/CG is another "Star Trek" approach to building ships.  Electric drives, stealth hidden gun mounts, retractable communication antennas and search radar arrays will be a maintenance nightmare.  Just think, because of the "Environmental Wackos" we can no longer chip paint or even apply paint unless we are in an industrial environment and covered in a hermetically sealed envelope.  Steel ships operating in salt water rust!  I can just see the time when the Captain wants to engage a surface target with the new six inch gun, and the stealth covers won't open!!    Another issue with the Zumwalt class is that the plan is to only build three of these ships.  We have learned this lesson before.  Small numbers of ships in any class makes them more expensive to man, maintain, and repair.  But, the brainacks in the ED Community refuse to even consult the lessons of the past.

Each one of these ships suffer from the design by dream!  Yes, we must keep up with technology.  But that new technology must be tested in an operational environment before placing it on an operational ship.  The Navy used to test combat systems on a test ship named the USS Norton Sound.   But, ignoring past lessons, we stumble blindly into the future.  SO, it is fair to say that we will have the same issues with the Ford and the Zumwalt that we have had with the LCS class and the LPD class ships.

With a Navy as enemic and puny as we now have, it is paramount that every ship be able to maintained and operated in an economic, optimal, manner.  But our recent track record on ship design shows the exact opposite.  I wonder when the "Suits" in the Navy and The Department of Defense will realize this?  I hope it's not to late to recover.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The USS Freedom, broke again!

I have written before about the LCS class ships and their uselessness.  Some brain surgeon with gold braid or a $5000 suit decided to deploy a ship with NO BLUE WATER CAPABILITY  to WestPac!!  What a nimrod!  A ship designed without underway replenishment capabilities.  With only seven days of stores and fuel, if the go slow.  A ship that did not and can not pass "Shock Trials".  A ship that shows in it's design and capability the utter weakness of the United States Navy!  A ship that is the "Poster Child" for the incompetence of the Navy Engineering Duty community and their civilian lap dogs in NAVSEA!  

We have wasted Billions of tax payer's dollars on a class of ships that could not fight it's way out of a paper bag in a bathtub!  And some Feather Merchant deploys that class of ship to WestPac!  Do you get the idea that I am angry?!  Why, because I feel for the good American Bluejackets that are stationed on this overgrown, Bayliner.  They are working as hard as they can, ridicules long hours,  begging to parts, trying to make any part they can on their own, just to salvage their own professional pride, not to mention the pride of the Navy.  We do not break down and need help in a foreign port.  Especially one controlled by our enemies!

A while ago, I gave you the numbers.  We have less that 80 surface combatant ships in the United States, Navy!   If you do not agree with me, count them yourself.  Remember, the FFG7 class had their masculinity removed when NAVSEA took the Mk13 Mod 4 Missile Launchers off.  They have a 76 mm gun, mounted backwards so it cannot shoot forward, no ASW and no AAW capability.  So they don't count.  We have ruled out the LCS by design.  That leaves Burke Class DDG's and CG51 Class cruisers that are getting tired! Nothing else.

The Gators cannot decent themselves well enough be offensive and the Aircraft Carriers are Airplane Tenders!  Once the Air Wing flies off, the ship is defenseless!  CIWS!  RAM!  Untested, short-range, and NEVER operated in AIR READY!!  Look at the record on the USS Stark!  The CIWS was not ready to fire and an EXOCET took them out.  Not even a "Pop Up" EXOCET, but a skimmer!   We no longer have a blue water Navy.  And our enemies know it.  That's why China built an Aircraft Carrier and why the Soviet Union is building ships and submarines i record numbers not seen since the cold war of the 1960's!!

I realize I am a stupid enlisted man and my opinion does not count.  I ale realize I am a voice, crying in the wilderness.  But, maybe, someone, will hear, before we are completely unarmed and over ran. I probably need to remind you that Nikita Krustov said in the United Nations, in 1963;  "We will bury you", without firing a shot and from within!!  Looks like he was right!  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

HERE WE GO AGAIN!

I just read an article about Secretary of Defense Hagel's plan to reduce pay and benefits of active duty personnel and retirees and use that money to build the military.  My first question was, how much of a reduction?  Trust me, a $100 a month reduction would not even bring in enough money to enough money to build one Navy destroyer!   So reducing the pay an benefits of those who served to ensure readiness is a fools folly!

So, if that is not Mr. Hagel's reasoning, what is?  My guess is to demoralize the military personal so they will leave the service!  That with reduced training funds will further hollow out our military by decimating our experience base!

But there is another point here.  Historically, the military personnel have never been paid adequately for what they do.  Operational forces are gone more than they are home!   Even when they are not deployed to a combat zone, they are involved in high intensity training, away from home.  The average time home for an operational Navy ship is 6 months out of 36 months!!   They do not get paid overtime.  They work 20 hours a day counting underway watches.  And are available 24/7/365 without further compensation.  Trust me, in industry, their pay would be two to three times what the make.

Now, Congress is looking at ways to decrease the Military retirement compensation!!  Early retirement is mandatory because being in an operational unit is a "Young Person's" sport.  Trust me!  Yes, tree are a few supermen like Master Chief Rudy Boesch!  But they are few and far between.

So, if we reduce the pay and retirement compensation, who will be in the military.  Look back at the last time we went through pay reductions and retirement changes.  In the years after the Vietnam war, there were two types of people in the military.  Those who really loved our Country and wanted to serve and those who could not do anything else!  We had a severe shortage of mid-grade enlisted and officers.  We had a severe experience gap and we had ships that could not get underway because of manpower shortages!  That is where we are headed again.
 
Cut the military is the climate in Washington at present.  It will take a complete change of Senators and Representatives to cure this issue.  And since incumbents are reelected most of the time, I don't see a change on the horizon.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Veteran's Day memories

Veteran's Day always leaves me thinking about my shipmates and the fun, dangerous, and crazy things we did.  I remember those shipmates who accomplished things we all thought were impossible.

For instance, I remember GMGC Harold "Suitcase" Simpson.  A mountain of a man who could how a 5"/54 projectile up by the nose fuze, straight out from his arm, in both hands, at the same time.  A man few were foolish enough to trifle with.

There was GMCM Jim Smith who went back on sea duty and deployed to WestPac on an Adams Class DDG, three months after a Quadruple Bypass!! His cardiologist wanted to medically retire him.  But Jim was not ready to retire and found a ship that was very glad to have him.   He served 7 more years before he finally retired.  Typical for Jim, who lived life on his own terms, he died of a massive heart attack, 5 years after he retired.

Then there was ADCM Tom Schupe.  Tom was blown off the flight deck of an Aircraft Carrier by jet blast.  Falling, he broke his back!  But, a few months later, he was back on Sea Duty and served 36 years before he retired.  Tom served on the USS Forrestal when they had their epic fire.  And, one day when I was preaching on the Sunday before Veteran's Day, I commented on that fire and the fact that Senator John McCain was stationed on the Forrestal.  Tom piped up and said; "That was McCain falling on his ass as he jumped out of his plane that was on fire!"  Tom was a hard working man who loved anything that challenged him.  I knew him on active duty and as a Church member.

Another interesting character I became friends with was a Retired Master Chief Gunner's Mate who late became one of the first civilian Tech Reps for gun mounts, Tom McKenna.  He was known as "Filthy McNasty" because he had a rather straight foreword way of making his point.  I first met him, in a bar, in Bremerton, Washington.  Then Chief Mowery and I drove out to Tom's "Office" to talk bout our new gun mount on the USS Stein (DE 1065).  Mowery told me to get the ships vehicle and meet him on the Quarterdeck at 1300.  I was in dungarees and Mowery was in wash Khakis.  I thought Tom's office was on the base.  Wrong!  Mowery was giving me directions and we ended up parking behind a bar.  Chief Mowery then said; "Let's go!"  We had a great time, after Tom berated me for being uncomfortable for being in dungarees, in town, drinking!  But atom was an exceptional Gunner's Mate and a walking book of knowledge on any gun mount or missile launcher the Navy had ever had up to that date.  Tom died of Asbestosis a few years ago.

I had a great career and I knew some real characters who did more than anyone will ever know to ensure the freedom of our nation.  They did the impossible, without reward, decoration, or praise.  Yes, they were tough, drank too much, and were not polished.  But they were exactly what we needed.  Men!  In charge!  Unafraid! Undeterred!  I miss everyone of them!

P.S.  Thanks to my new GP, I have lost enough weight to fit, comfortably, into my Dress Blues.  So, since it was Veteran's Day, I thought it would be good to wear my Dress Blues to Church.  I was the only one in uniform even though there are many active and retired Military personnel in our congregation.   Not a problem, at least one of us was in uniform.  And, considering next February, I will be retired 25 years, it felt great to put my War Suit back on!  Remembering is more than a mental exercise, it requires action too!



Friday, November 8, 2013

Those who refuse t learn from history, are doomed to repeat it!

I certainly hope that saying is not NEW to you.  It must be to those who are in charge of our nation's government.  I just read on Drudge that Egypt is turning to Russia, (The Soviet Union) for support because we have turned our back on them.  Just a couple of decades ago, Egypt was a Soviet Union satellite.  Then Nasser turned to the United States for technical support and we had an ally.  Now it looks like history is going to repeat itself.

After World War One, we decimated the military.  Our Navy was full of old ships with ancient technology.  While the world's evil powers built a huge war machine.  We even sold scrap metal to Japan that they turned into ships and aircraft that were later used against us!  After the attack on Pearl Harbor, we started a historic rebuilding of our military.  But in 1941, we were very close to being over run and defeated.

The "kids" in the White House and the other "kids" in the cabinet positions have disarmed America, pissed off our friends, and deserted our closest friends.  We are in perolous times and without leadership.

I have told you before that I am very frightened for America's future.  The evidence I see backs that belief up!

Veteran's Day, rewind

Yesterday, I was out of line by describing some who served as "Feather Merchants".  I was wrong and I apologize. If you served, you are an honorable person and have my greatest and enduring respect.

As an attempt to further make amends, I must remind some of you that I suffer from a neurodegenerative disease called Lewy Body Dementia.  As a part of that, I suffer from "Sundowning".  I should never write on an emotional topic in the evening when this is causing me to be agitated and angry.

Again, I am sorry and I apologize to those who served that I have mistreated.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Veteran's Day 2013-corrected

Monday is Veteran's day, again.  Many parades, concerts, and free meals will happen in respect for our Veteran's.  Remember, Veteran's day is for those of us, the less that 1% of ALL Americans that served in the Armed Forces of the United States.  Memorial Day is a day to honor those who died in defense of our country.  Both are holidays that deserve reverence and respect.

That being said, please don't tell me;  "Thank you for your service."   I am a Veteran of the Vietnam era.  Civilians pissed on me and even the VA continues to treat us like we never served and if we did we were scabs on our Nation.  If you want to honor our service, join up and put on a uniform!  Serve HONORABLY for the length of you contract.  Deploy, be away from your families, work for no overtime, be in constant danger even when you are not collecting Hazard Pay, grow a set and do something other than lip syncing some meaningless; Thank you for your service!

The military let's everyone in now, regardless of sexual orientation, sex, color, religion, and I suspect brains!  I for one, have had my fill of rich entertainers pimping for "Wounded Warrior".  The whiny little supposed wife crying because her husband was wounded.  Get a life!  He is alive, functioning the best he can, and has the respect of his Country, which is more than we had.  We came home broken and destroyed and no body gave a shit.  Again, I am sick of the feigned concern. Next year, when we are not fighting anywhere and the wars have faded from the news, you will be pissing on us again.  Fight your own damn war next time!

We deployed, lived on less, trained without ceasing, lived in danger, not comfort, so that you could eat fast food, play video games, smoke dope, and be on you Mom and Dad's health insurance until you are 26?!  Again, don't talk to me!  Leave me alone.  And if you do give me that tired "Thank you for your service", don't be surprised if I kick you ass!   And yes, I still can!  Especially since the generation is a bunch of cream puffs!  Keep your fake sympathy.  I don't want or need it!

I removed the last paragraph, written last night, because I was wrong to denigrate the service of anyone who put on the uniform of the United States Military and served honorably.  I apologize for my tyrade.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A day at the car dealer is a good day to train an Ensign.

Today, we had an appointment at the car dealer to get the 60,000 mile service done.  While they had the car completely apart, I had them replace the brake pads also since they have 60,000 miles also.  It was a lengthy service and the dealers service department was busy.  The service writer is a retired Chief and a very personable person.  What would you expect from a Chief?  A young fellow came into the waiting area and sat down.  The "Chief" came through and told the young fellow that I was a retired Master Chief.  He immediately sat more upright in his chair as I asked him if he was in the Military.  He said; "Yes" as if I was a Drill Instructor.  I asked where and he told me, NAS Pensacola in Flight Training.

OK, a Nugget!  He was a recent OCS grad and I am sure that the quarter mastering had not worn off of his belt buckle yet.  To say he was green would be an understatement.  But he was nice and we began the talk with where, when, and how.  Where are you from, where did you go to college, what is you major, why did you join the Navy, what do you want to fly?   Since he was a "History Major" from a liberal college, I thought I would give him the other side of our history.  AS I did, I gave him book references, Internet sites for reference, and my own experiences of over 40 years married to the Navy.  He was a wonderful student and he offered some anecdotal evidence of his own.

It distressed me to learn that this young 20 something had no idea that Navy ships carried nuclear weapons in the 1950 -1990 era.  I guess we kept the secret pretty well!  He also had little knowledge of recent wars, like Libya, El Salvador/Nicaragua, Lebanon (83-84), Grenada, the Iran/Iraq war, or Desert Storm I.  He was willing to listen as I spilled out my knowledge of our exploits over the last three decades.  But I got the signal from my wife that I should shut up because he was falling asleep!

OK, I tried to educate him, but I had no fancy computer animations, no naked girls, and no Rap music!  But, I tried.  I probably should have tried using old "Sailor" language, but he looked a little gentle for that type of approach.   And, my wife would have stopped me much earlier!

He did have a good head on his shoulders as he was not trying to me "Mr. Top Gun".  Instead, he wanted to fly Helicopters.  More "Help" seats than F-18 seats I suspect.  Smart kid.

I believe the Navy can and will benefit from old guy like me training these new Officers on the Navy of the past.  Since our schools do not seem to teach them about our history, we should.  So, the next time you are in the Car Shop, chat up that young person in the waiting room.  He or she is probably a Nugget!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Navy Chow

Tonight, my wife and I made chicken cacciatore, from scratch.  Cooking has become one of our enjoyments in retirement.  As usual, this lead to a discussion on Navy chow.  My wife asked me if I had ever had chicken cacciatore in the Navy.  I told her the Chief Stew Burner on the USS Mullinnix was a Chief Commissary man Cornicelli!  Everything had tomato sauce on it!  And trust me, oatmeal with tomato sauce is not that appetizing in the morning.  Or any other time!  Cornicelli's cooking required some getting used too!

In general, I never had a bad meal on a Navy ship!  Some were not thing I like, since I don't like fish of any kind.  But everything was eatable.  When I was on the USS Caron, we ate like Kings!  The Chief Cook was MSC Al Williams.  He was, without a doubt, the BEST cook I ever experienced!  He baked everything from scratch, in port, home port, or overseas.  We had gourmet meals everyday.  I put on 30 pounds on that ship, in two years, because of Al!  How can I say this?  Have you ever lived somewhere where the cool baked Black Forrest Cake from scratch, once a week, every week?!  And it was not just for the Chiefs or the Officers,  it was for the entire crew!!  We ate good on the USS Caron.

When I was on the USS Coral Sea as part of VA 55, the Chief's mess was a closed mess.  That meant, we got paid for our meals and then had to manage our own food.  The Wardroom was the same way.  There was a Senior Chef Cook that looked over our feeding and the food was delicious!

As the Force Master Chief, I was invited to eat on many ships.  Again, I never had a meal that was not expertly made.  Some were courses I did not like, but all was good.  There was one thug I never liked.  Corn Chowder!!  The Commanding Officer on the USS Caron loved Corn Chowder.   Something we did not share.

So, our first attempt at chicken cacciatore was a walk down memory lane.  It was fun to remember Chief Cornicelli.  I was fun to remember how much I love the Navy!!  It was fun to remember how well the Navy took care of me.  Thanks!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Food stamps?

I just read an article bemoaning the low minimum wage and how those people need food stamps.  I have little sympathy for folks that make life style changes that lead them to a life on minimum wage.  I bring this up on this blog because when I was on active duty my family and the families of most enlisted personnel were eligible for food stamps!  That's correct.  Until I was promoted to Senior Chief (E-8) we were eligible for food stamps.  We never took them.  We had enough money to eat, live, have some fun, and still save a little.  No, we did not do Mani-Pedis, or tattoos, or fancy hair dos or expensive clothes.  But we had a good life, and we had fun.

People put themselves in bad life situations by making bad life decisions.  Not finishing school, getting in trouble with the law, drugs, alcohol abuse, children out of wedlock, or even having too may children.  Life does not happen to you, you choose how your life is going to be.

I wrote a previous post on how the Navy was a ladder out of poverty for me.  I was raised by a loving family that was not related to me.  We were lower middle class.  I learned that hard work paid off.  I started work at the age of 13.  I had a morning paper route, 7 days a week.  I picked tomatoes in a green house.  I started to work in a gas station when I was 15.  Did I do as well in High School as I could have?  No.  I quit school and joined the Navy.  That was the best decision I ever made.  I later received my GED diploma and earned a Bachelor's Degree.  I worked hard.  My wife is the consummate budgetier.  She could stretch our money more than anyone.  But we did not ask for help,  We made the decision to live within our means.

Minimum wage is for people starting out in the work force.  You get your job, work hard, do your best, and get a promotion that means you are no longer on minimum wage.  That is how it works.  If you are living on minimum wage, it is because you are not applying yourself, trying, or learning your job.  Moving from job to job is a recipe for low wages.

Another thought is, food stamps are for emergency situations, not a life style.  If you are on food stamps for more than a year, something is wrong, with you!  We have multiple generations that have lived on food stamps!  Why?  I know many men and women from the Navy that started in poverty and worked themselves up to a very good and secure life.  The key is , they decided to better their circumstances and they did.

So, leave the minimum wage alone, put a time limit on food stamps, and teach children the consequences of life style decisions.  If you are a doper, gang member, indiscriminate breeder, then you are doomed to poverty.  If you work hard, follow the rules, and use your God given talents, you will succeed.  It is just that simple.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tricks, jokes, and fun in the old days

We used to have a lot of fun in the Chief's Quarters back when I was in uniform.   Some of those pranks I have fond memories of.  For instance, there was a Chief that was trying desperately to loose weight when I was on the USS Stein and a young Chief.  He was dieting, running, and denying himself all pleasures of life.  He was using his web belt as his measure of weight loss.  What did some of the Chief's do?  Every couple of nights, as the weight loss Chief slept, they cut a small amount off his web belt!  Therefore, he thought he was not loosing weight.  That lasted for a couple of weeks.

Back when the first gas crisis hit, we had a Chief that went out and bought a real gas mixer car.  I do not remember what brand.  He was bragging all the time about his fantastic gas mileage.  So, some of the Chiefs on the USS Stein started bringing a gas can to work, and when the gas mileage Chief was busy on the ship, they would sneak out and put gas in his tank!  The result was some fantastic gas mileage.  The gas mileage Chief was bragging about tremendous, unrealistic, gas mileage.  Then, the Chiefs stopped putting gas in his tank.  The result?  The gas mileage Chief had his car in the dealer's shop complaining about the sudden drop in his gas mileage!!

We had a Senior Chief on a ship I was on that complained constantly about sailors that had their hair parted in the middle, their shirt sleeves rolled up, coveralls on out of the work space, and shower shoes on out of the compartment.  So, we worked out a prank;  One day, just as lunch started, the word was passed on the 1MC for this Senior Chief to report to Engineering Control.   The rest of us Chiefs put on coveralls, with rolled up sleeves, and shower shoes.  And those of us who had hair, parted it in the middle.  Then we all sat down and were eating when he returned to the Mess.  The Senior Chief did not think our parody of him was funny.  But we sure did!!

One other.  One night, the College Professor that was riding us was playing Pinochle in the Chief's Mess.  He got up to go to the Head.  One of the other players stacked the deck so the PACE Professor would have a double run and double aces around!  Needless to say, when the PACE instructor picked up his cards, he almost passed out with joy and excitement!

The Chief's Mess used to be a place of support, camaraderie,  team work, and a place for the Enlisted Leadership of the ship to blow off some steam.   The thing I miss most from my Active Duty days is the Chief's Mess.  That level of fellowship exists no other place in the world.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The 30th Anniversary of the Bombing of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut

It was 30 years ago today that Hezbollah killed 241 Marines and Navy personnel by using a massive suicide bomb.  This was the first Islamic terrorist attack on Americans.  It was also the first use of a gas intensified bomb in a terrorist attack.

Everyone knows about the Marines that were murdered, but few know about Chief Electronics Technician Michael W. Gorchinski of Evanston, Indiana.   He was stationed on the USS New Jersey (BB 62).  The ship was stationed off the coast of Lebanon ready to provide Naval Gun Fire Support.  The Marines on the beach were experiencing problems with their communications equipment and Chief Gorchinski was transported to the Marine barracks by helicopter to repair the issues.  Chief Gorchinski was in the barracks, working on the communication equipment when the Islamic terrorist set off the massive suicide bomb.

I write about this because his death and the death of the Navy Corpsmen who are always stationed with the Marines should not be forgotten.  Again, not to take away from the death of each Marine, but to compliment their sacrifice with the equal sacrifices made by Navy personnel.

The USS New Jersey Chief's Mess had an oil painting made depicting Chief Gorchinski.  That painting was  prominently displayed in the CPO Mess until the ship was decommissioned.  It was then transferred to the Chief's Club at the Washington Navy Yard.  With the demise of Navy Chief's Clubs, I no longer know the location of that tribute.

One other point you should know.  The person who founded Hezbollah, planned the attack on the Marine barracks 30 years ago, and supplied the explosives and the technology for the attack, was an Iranian Army Officer who is now the head of all Iranian Military forces!!  You need to know who your enemy is!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Education is broken, We need skilled workers?

I just heard a report that millions of 16-25 year olds are not in school and not employed.   A blind man on a galloping horse could have seen that!  But another report I saw stated that we need skilled workers and the people with the industrial skills are at an average age of 58!  This is the most telling statistic.

Our education system is turning our kids and young adults with no marketable skills, no discipline and no work ethic.  If we discipline them, the parents sue us.  Furthermore, today's kids are not interested i anything mechanical, electrical, or related to real work!  They are dumb as a stump and lazy as an old hound dog!

The Battleships like USS Alabama, USS Iowa, and the surface and submarine combatants of the era ending in 1960 we built so a "Farm Kid" could work on any system on them.  Why, because a farm kid could fix his bicycle, a tractor, a combine, fire a rifle, move heavy loads, all while being hot, or cold, and worked 22 of 24 hours a day!  Today's kids can do none of these but whats more, they don't want to.

The AirBus Company is building a plant in Alabama.  They have to set up a school to teach basic tools, mechanical basics, and electrical theory to our kids.  The school is already open and the plant is not even built.  Why does AirBus have to do this, or even want to?  They have to because America does not have a skilled workforce.  They want to because our labor is cheaper than that in Europe.

When I went to High School, we were offered technical skills training that lead to employment.  auto shop, carpentry, drafting, printing, electrician training.  Then, there were Apprentice Training programs offered by trade associations.  People did Apprenticeships, learned from the masters, and became the future tradesmen.  Now, everyone want to be the CEO of the company for a first job.

We have fed our children the pablum of "College" for success.  We shipped the jobs that required a strong back and a weak mind overseas.  Because of that, we have massive unemployment.  You cannot train everyone to be a computer specialist!  Some folks are not mentally equipped to do that level of work!!  That may include you and your kid.  So, stop spending your money on college and get them into a trade school.   We have educated pin heads that are not useful for anything!  College was never a job training program.  It was a finishing school for rich kids.  Just how many Lawyers do we need?!  They are all over television and on billboards now.

No, we need men and women who can install a turbine, repair a pump, rebuild a hydraulic valve block, replace the wheels on a locomotive, and do so under extreme conditions.  These skills and the Christian work ethic is what Americans need to relearn.  Now!

It is time American's learn to get their hands dirty and their shirts sweaty!  America was built on hard work and hard heads, not starched shirts and pretty smelling men wearing make-up and sporting mani-pedis!

PS;  After reading through this post a couple of times, I have one foot note.  If you want your children to be successful, employed, and independent, send them to a trade school to be a machinist, plumber, electrician, AC&R technician, with a minor in welding!    They will never be out of work, never poor, and they will never live in your basement!  Do not waste your money on college!  We have enough out of work college grads!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It is not the same Navy we belonged too!

I read an article today that stated that the Army was training troops that Christian organizations are "Hate Groups"because they do not support Gay rights!

When I was in the Navy, being Gay was an automatic discharge.  Of course, so was having a child out of wedlock.  It seems the rules we grew up with are now out of vogue!  It seems we have lost our moral direction.

Look at the design of the Human Body.  The male has a penis designed by our maker to be inserted in the female vagina for the impregnation of the female egg.  This act causes a child to be formed and, if all goes correctly, a child to be born.  Is sex enjoyable?  Yes!!  Should it be in the bonds of matrimony to ensure the child has the best chance of growing up as a fully functional adult?  Well, evidence proves that a child, male or female, that grows up in a two parent, one male, one female, family, has a far better chance of being a fully functional, adjusted, adult.   The maker did not make homosexuals.  Why?  There is no way of pro creation.  It's that simple.  Can we choose to play sexually with the members of the same sex?  We can also choose to play with ourselves.  Most do.

In the dark ages of morality, we were taught, laws were made, and the Military reinforced that homosexuality was wrong.  It still is!  But, without a moral compass, mankind runs a muck!  And we are really doing that now.  We "Hook Up" with anyone of any sex and any time.  We are slaves to our sex organs!  And now, the government encourages our perversion.  And the government, through the Military, is telling the troops that Christians are members of "Hate Groups" because we believe homosexuality is wrong.  Even though the Bible that the President takes his oath on calls homosexuality "an abomination to God."

No, it is truly NOT the Navy I joined and served.  It is  force for immorality instead of morality.  It is a force for evil instead of good.   It makes me sick to see the death of our society.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fire FIghting School

I don't know what brought this to mind, but I have been thinking about Fleet Fire Fighting School.  I know you all know, but if someone is new to the Navy, everyone on a Navy ship is in the Fire Department.   When I was in uniform,  we had to go to Fleet Fire FIghting School before every deployment.   It was also part of Pre-Commissionng Training.   Early in my career, Fire Fighting School was fairly primitive.  Tanks of fuel oil set on fire, the trainees walking on steel grate decking over that burning fuel, trying to put the fire out with mechanical foam being sucked out of a 5 gallon can through a hose called a "Donkey Dick" feeding into a 2 1/2 inch fire hose.  Mechanical foam was made from animal bones and emulsified.  It was all protien and we were told if we had to abandon ship, take a can of mechanical foam with you!  It was supposed to keep you alive, but ir stunk horribly!!

In any case, another part of Fire Fighting School was a trip through the tear gas house!  Do you remember now!?  The trip through the Gas House was not fun.  We entered with Mk V gas masks on, ran around the room and then we were ordered to take our masks off and shout something, I forget what.  We could not put our masks back on until everyone took their masks off!  Some people we less brave than others.  There were times I spent a long time in that room.

I remember one time, a young sailor off our ship would NOT go into the Gas House.  I had just got out of the Gas House and I saw the problem.  He was the last person to go.  Alone.  So, I asked him if he would go, if I went with him?  He finally agreed.   So, we went into the gas house, me for the second time in 5 minutes.  But, he got through the test and passed Fire Fighting School.  As for me, my sinusus were open for weeks after that!

There were other parts to Fire Fighting School like shoring a flooding compartment and then escaping from it through a scuttle with pouring water coming on top of you.  Oh, the water was freezing cold too!  But it was a great training week and I hope the Navy still required it.   I used that training in real life more than once, including shoring a bulkhead damaged a rogue wave in the Pacific.  This training saved lives and equipment.

So, I will go back to my wandering mind and maybe I will remember something else we can share.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Civil Servants are people too!

I have listened to enough talking heads to get the idea that America thinks those who work for the Government, (Civil Servants) are scabs on society!  Nothing could be farther from the truth!

I had the honor and pleasure to work for the U.S. Navy, as a Civil Servant,  for a Command that repaired and assessed all the systems on U.S. Navy ships, submarines, and aircraft carriers, world wide, with the exception of nuclear reactors, catapults, and arresting gear.  We traveled world wide, at a minutes notice, to places that are in the combat zones of the world.  Places you would never go. Places where they hate Americans!  We spent weeks even months underway on Navy ships, working many hours, some uncompensated, to repair systems that are intricate, complicated, and critical to the defense of America!

I was a supervisor for over ten years and sent the people who worked with overseas on weekends, children's birthday, anniversaries, and holidays, without notice.  Not once, in all those years did one person complain.  When we were not being paid for travel time, still. no one complained.  High grade Civilian Employees are not compensated at full time and a half for overtime.   In fact, a GS 13 makes less per hour on overtime than they make on regular time!!  Try that on on for size the next time you complain about a government worker.

What they do is dangerous!!  Working in Gun Mounts, Engineering Spaces, High Pressure Hydraulic Systems, Radars, antennas on the mast, inside SONAR domes.  Places most of you never knew existed but would not have the balls to go if you did know.  They risk their life getting to the job!  Have you ever been dropped out of a helicopter in a horse collar on a quarter inch cable, 150 feet above a ship doing 18 knots!  I have!  How about getting shifted from one ship to another while they were steaming at 18 knots through rough seas, on a rope held tense by 12 people?  That is called "High Line"  How about working in Bahrain, a Sunni and Shiite contested country?  Or Djbouti, the home of the Somali pirates?

The Men and women I worked with for 20 years and benefited from for the 20 years before that are patriots who make much less than they could in the private sector.  I know what we pay Defense Contractors and our Civil Servants are poor compared to them.  The sacrifice for the benefit of the defense of our Nation.  Time, promotion, money, and even their lives.  The Civil Servants I know are the bedrock of our Military and I am sick of hearing how bad, lazy, over paid, they are.  If you have not walked in their shoes, shut up.  If you know I am right, say so, to everyone you know and even those you don't know who are bad mouthing these patriots.

Without the Civilian Infrastructure, the Military would not work!  That is the truth!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Browning Automatic Rifle

A friend of mine sent me an article about the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR).  This was the FIRST American Squad Automatic Weapon.  Built because of the demands of World War One.  It was a spectacular weapon for the time and it saw service well into the Vietnam War.  It fired the 30-06 caliber cartridge and was formidable.  I believe the cyclic rate of fire was 450-500 rounds per minute.  But the 20 round box magazine slowed that down.  Good!   Because even though the barrel was much more stout than the M 60 barrel, it still would be easy to melt down at that rate of fire.

But his wonderful article reminded me of the Practical Factors test we had to go through on the USS Mullinnix (DD 944) when four of us we getting ready for the GMG3 test in 1970.  We had a large Ship's Armory with a wide variety of weapons.  We had an Armory of World War Two weapons.  Everything from the .30 caliber machine gun to the M1 Carbine.  Thompson Sub-Machine Guns, BAR, M1 Garrand,  AN-M8 Pyro Pistols, and of course, the 1911A1 .45 cal pistol.

Our Practical Factors test was, one of every weapon we had was detail stripped.  The metal parts were placed in a large trash can full of Dry Cleaning Solvent (PD-680).  The wood stocks were piles against a bulkhead in the space.   Each one of us had to pick a single piece out of the trash can, identify it by weapon, function, and where it went in the assembly.  Then it was placed with the stock that it belonged to.  When two pieces that were connected, we had to make that connection!  Trust me. it was intense and nerve racking.  Especially when there were five First Glass Gunner's Mates harassing us during the process!

All of us made it through that test.  And I was a better Gunner's Mate because of that test.  I was later an armorer on the USS Stein and that training helped me pass many formal PMS Inspections.  IN those days, a Gun Deck in a PMS Inspection would result in reduction in rate!  My previous training  helped me advance and I thank those who taught me,tested me, and approved me.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hot belt buckle!

I just cam in from cooking a couple of turkey burgers on the gas grill.  Hey!  They taste good and agree with my low carbohydrate diet.  In any case, I was thinking about past Navy experiences and that brought a comical incident to mind.

When I was on the USS Caron, we had one of our many Ship's Picnics at Fleet Rec Park off Taussig Boulevard in Norfolk.  It was a warm day and I decided to take my turn cooking hamburgers on the large, brick charcoal grill.  This grill was made for large ship's picnics!  And, it was HOT, HOT, HOT!!

I was wearing Levis with a large brass belt buckle about 4" x 2".  The belt buckle was shaped to spell out NAVY.  A fitting belt buckle for a Master Chief Gunner's Mate and Command Master Chief.   But what I did not know was, the HOT grill was making my Navy belt buckle HOT also.  As I stepped back from the grill to take a break and wipe the sweat off my brow, I placed a hand on my waist, hooking a thumb behind my belt.  My other four fingers wrapped over the belt buckle, for a second!!  I actually raised a burn blaster on my fingers!

That's the last time I wore that belt buckle to cook on a grill!  And yes, I still have it!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The news is, the UN is destroying the Syrian held chemical weapons. How?!

The media is reporting, including the so called independent Fox News, that the UN inspectors are destroying the chemical weapons held by Syria.  How is that?  Since the destruction of the Soviet and American chemical weapons required special ovens, large contracts, and decades to even put a dent in the inventory of either Nation.  I am saying nothing SECRET here, just what the News has reported over the last ten years or so.

SO, I am to believe a hand full of UN pencil necked geeks are destroying what American defense contractors are getting millions of dollars and decades of time to accomplish.   Either the contractors are ripping off the American Taxpayer or the UN is telling the biggest fib since Neville Chamberland said Hitler was a good guy and was only misunderstood!

When you hear or read a report, no matter what the topic or source, question it!  Look at past reporting, use your head, do your own research, ask someone who knows, but never take anything at face value!!

The Progressives who are in charge of our government, lock, stock, and barrel, are not telling the truth and you should know that.

If you disagree with me, and have facts to back up your position, I will publish it.  If not, shut up and learn.  I know more than most and that includes the idiot in the White House!

The Commissaries are open again!

Today, on Hamptonroads.com, I read that the Commissaries are open again!  I did not know that a  budget deal had been reached and that the House and Senate passed the budget and the President signed the Bill into law.  How did I miss that?  Oh, I didn't!!

How can it be the right thing to do, to close all of the Commissaries, worldwide, one day and it's OK to reopen them the next day?  I will answer that, it's NOT!!  The President decided to make this hurt the Military first and the American people in general second.  He hates America!!  His actions show that fact!

And while I am fired up, did you see the story that the two octogenarians were told to leave the house they own, on land, leased to them by the Park Service, because of the budget issues?  How is that related to the budget?  If that is OK, why not evict every Service Member from Military housing?!!  Same thing, except they are only renters!!  This is just plain stupid.

I am sick and tired of the Military being singled out for punishment, hate, and disrespect, by this President and the Democrat Party. (Progressives)  We are OK for photo ops, killing someone the politicians want dead, or delivering meals to some city destroyed by a hurricane.  But we are to be silent, two steps behind, and our heads lowered in submission to the Emperor!

Our freedoms are being taken away by the droves.  Freedom of the press is gone.  Our personal freedom is gone, since all of out telephone calls cell calls, computer key strokes, and faces are being tracked 24/7/365!  There is also the story about the Grocer in UP Michigan, whose entire savings account was confiscated without charge, trial, or appeal!!  How does that grab you.

Look, if you don't think we are two seconds away from becoming a Muslim centric, Socialist Nation, you need to have a window installed in your stomach so you can see out!!  The end is not near, it is here!  Just kill me not!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The END of American exceptionalism

All of you must know that President Obama shut down the Blue Angels, the Air Force Thunder birds, the Army Precision Parachute Team, and other U.S. Military demonstration units, because; He says, Budget Constraints.  The President also stopped tours of the White House!

Additionally, I just read that another city has shutdown it's annual Air Show.   Now all this is curious.  First of all, each city that hosts the Blue Angles pays for their fuel expenditure!  Second, each city reaps a large bounty in taxes, fees, jobs, and revenue, because of these air shows.  Third, these demonstration teams raise PRIDE in America's Military and in our Country in general.  We can't have that, can we?

Now, the partial shutdown of our government is closing the Military monuments, museums, cemeteries, and Memorials.  It seems our Muslim President does not believe in America's exceptionalism.   Nor does he respect those serving in our Military.  He has done everything to hurt the active and retired Military personnel.  He has even CLOSED the Commissaries during this shut down!  This has never been done before!

In a way, President Obama is acting just like the Muslim Brotherhood.  When they took over Egypt, the Brotherhood looted Egypt's museums, destroyed ancient mummy's and other artifacts.  They do not respect or find value in anything that shows another religion's accomplishments!

I believe, like the Blue Angels, many of these facilities will never open again!   There will never be a Blue Angles flight, and Obama will continue to destroy America's defenses until we are no longer capable of defending ourselves.  Then, like other countries, the Muslims will take over openly, and freedom will die.

That's how I see it!

Monday, September 30, 2013

The looming Government shutdown

There is plenty of panic ad angst being spread about the possible Government shutdown.   And some of it is accurate.  But some is just political theater!  I was a Civil Servant during the last actual Government shutdown and it was stressful and comical at the same time!

Let me relate my personal story of the last shutdown.  I was the Program Manager for the East Coast shipboard assessment programs.   I traveled from Norfolk Virginia to Port Hueneme California on Monday for a meeting with our West Coast counterparts and the Program Manager from Washington D.C.  We all arrived Monday evening and got settled into our hotel rooms.   We awoke on Tuesday morning to telephone calls from our respective Commands ordering all of us to return   home and furlough.  That one decision struck me as stupid, short sighted, and political.  The meeting was scheduled for almost a year, we had already expended the money to travel to our destination, and we were now being ordered to return home spending more money, without accomplishing our mission!

All of us told our respective Commands that we would stay and complete our mission, without pay!!  That offer was denied!  That was another shortsighted decision.  We were ready to work straight through to get our mission done and then return home at no additional cost to the Government.   But, we were denied.

Upon our return, we were handed our Furlough Letters and sent home.  The Furlough Letter actually threatened us with a $10,000 fine if we even stepped on Government property while furloughed!

So, for the first time in my life, I had been FIRED!  At least, that is how I felt.  Not job, no money coming in, the same amount of bills, I was in trouble!!  I even went looking for another job!

I really do not remember how long we were furloughed.  I believe it was less than 5 days.  But here comes the really comedy of this political theater.  Congress voted to pay us for the days we were furloughed!!  So, my period of "being fired" was actually a paid vacation!

But the real tragedy is, the Government paid for all of us to return to California to do what we needed to do, were on sight to do, and volunteered to do for free.  The Government paid twice the travel costs to accomplish that mission.  Decisions like that are why we have a deficit problem.  Our Government managers do not spend the taxpayers money in an intelligent manner.  I always thought of my Government budget as my money, since I paid taxes.  So, I tried not to waste it.  Why, because I did not want to pay MORE taxes.   But, I am a minority in that thought.

So, here we go again.  Maybe they will learn from the last time, but I doubt it.