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

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!