Saturday, July 9, 2011

Flying Army

Today I got up and put on my uniform at 5am.  I did not have a drill weekend, I flew on vacation to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  This family vacation is an annual event paid for by my very generous father-in-law Hall Crannell.  He flies the whole family to a vacation spot for a week.  He has three daughters with families, so with the kids, he buys 15 - 17 tickets depending on the year and rents the vacation place.  This year is Jackson Hole.  I have missed a few for work reasons.  The best one I missed was in 2006:  a cruise to Alaska from Vancouver!!!!  

Anyway, I flew in uniform which may or may not be the right thing to do, but I haven't asked and no one told me I shouldn't do it.  The practical advantages are obvious.  We flew from Philadelphia.  My wife, my sons and I were whisked past the waiting line for the security checks to the scanners.


On the first flight, I was seated next to a master sergeant going to annual training.  He said when he was going to wear the uniform on the return flight.  He enlisted in 1977, five years after I did, but long enough back in history that he ate C-rations for years.  We both agreed that people who complain about MREs should have to eat C-rations.


There were a few open seats on the first flight, but the flight from Chicago to Jackson Hole was overbooked and I was the only one with a seat assignment.  We all got seats, but in different parts of the plane.  The boys sat together and got a 12-year-old girl as the third person on the row.  The three of them had a great trip.  My wife got a seat alone where she could read.

A few minutes after take-off on the trip to Jackson Hole, the flight attendant asked me why I didn't want to sit in first class.  I told her no one asked me.  So she moved me up to the front of the plane.  I had already eaten so when they served the first class lunch, I brought the sandwich back to the boys.  They can always eat a second lunch.

In 22 months I will be a civilian again unless I get some kind of waiver to stay longer.  No more flying in uniform after that.

SPQR and America

Senatus Populusque Romanus The Senate and People of Rome Some of the soldiers I served with in Iraq talked about getting an SPQR tat...