Monday, March 8, 2010

Fellow Soldier on the Bridge

This afternoon I took "lunch" at 4pm. I didn't have a bike with me so I ran back and forth across the Ben Franklin Bridge. Did I ever mention I have this thing for bridges? Anyway, I was running down the Philadelphia side of the bridge feeling good just about a half mile from the end of the 4-mile run when I passed a couple running up the walkway toward the New Jersey side. Just after I passed them I heard, "Hey Guss. . . Sergeant Gussman?" Actually, he almost said Gus Gus.

I was wearing one of my Alaska MEDEVAC t-shirts. The guy I passed was a chase pilot from the 1/150th stationed in Basrah. He was assigned to the Alaska MEDEVAC unit during the summer as a chase bird pilot. The first Charlie MEDEVAC company assigned to us in Iraq was an Alaska-based active Army unit that flew mission protected by a 1/150th air assault Blackhawk. The pilot (I forgot his name) was good friends with Sgt. Mareile Livingston, the motor pool admin NCO in Echo Company. Mareile has been calling me Gus Gus ever since I got assigned to Echo Company in 2007. She is a big fan of the animated Cinderella which has a mouse named Gus Gus. Mareile introduced me to the pilot in the Coalition DFAC in Iraq as Gus Gus.

Since I served with a Pennsylvania unit, I suppose I will be meeting people from the deployment for years to come.

Family Black Sheep Flies a MEDEVAC Blackhawk

Brooklyn-born Amira Talifi, (not her real name) is a helicopter pilot I served with in the Army National Guard. She is one of seven ch...