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Showing posts from December, 2012

Stewie Caldwell and the Magic Roach Clip

One of my best friends when I was stationed at Hill Air Force Base in Utah was Stewart "Stewie" Caldwell.  He was a smart, funny kid from San Francisco with a bright yellow Superbeetle who smoked a lot of weed.  We worked in live fire munitions testing.  I worked connecting the missiles to the testing equipment, Stewie was one of the ammo handlers who brought the missiles to the test-firing range.


Stewie and I would hang out together in the barracks and went to Salt Lake City almost every weekend so he could resupply his stash and we could meet girls who were possibly more interested in Stewie's stash than in us.

On one of these trips, a sudden Rocky Mountain blizzard blew out of the west turning I-15 white with zero visibility.  Then the gas pedal broke.

The pedal!!!

It came apart and we were idling downhill trying to think of what to do and how to get off the road so we would not be crushed by a semi.  I am not sure which one of us came up with the idea, but the throt…

My Unit's Facebook Page Nearing 500 "Likes"

Over the holidays I will be putting captions on family photos.  The pictures were taken at the departure ceremony for Alpha Company and at our unit's Christmas party.

Here's the link if you haven't yet "Like"d the page.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy any other holidays you might like.

Neil

In Sunlight and Shadow by Mark Helprin

On the train to Philadelphia yesterday, I finished Mark Helpin's latest novel, In Sunlight and Shadow.  I came pretty close to crying.  Helprin is a soldier who writes love stories.  In this most recent book, the central love story was vivid, between two people iridescent with love.  The love story is set in New York, from the eastern end of Long Island to the reservoirs north of the city.  And it is a love story about New York City, set in the years just after World War 2.

For those who have read other of Helprin's books, this one is more down to earth.  The exaggerations in A Winter's Tale, in A Soldier of the Great War and A Dove of the East rival Mark Twain in being colossal and very American.  In Sunlight and Shadow, the hero lives for love and honor and finally is caught between the demands of both.  The same choice comes to the hero of many of Helprin's tales, but in the latest novel, the choice is more vivid and final.

If you think modern literary novels have …

Getting Promoted with a Splash!

Specialist Daniel Krott was promoted to Sergeant at formation today, December 8.  He is being led in pushups by his supervisor, SSG Elizabeth Barger.  Giving him the traditional ice-water shower for new Sergeants is SGT Joseph Diebert and SGT Jeff Guckin.



Three other sergeants read the NCO Creed to the company formation before the big splash.  PFC Robert Woodring on the left read the promotion order.  SGTs Jeana Frederick, Rene Kicklighter, and Francis League read the NCO Creed.


SGT Krott was promoted by CPT Aaron Lippy, 1SG Jeff Huttle and SSG Elizabeth Barger.


Alpha Company Flies to Training Base

On Friday afternoon I was standing on the south side of Muir Field on Fort Indiantown Gap PA watching eight Blackhawk helicopters take off together on their flight to their training base.  Alpha will train for deployment to Afghanistan when they arrive in Texas.

On this bright, clear afternoon I was standing with the families and friends of the eight aircrews flying away from home for a year.  Wives and Moms were the most obviously sad.  Fathers tried to remain composed, but a couple of the grandfathers were very emotional.

I took a lot of family pictures before the final ceremony and will post these on line soon.  If things had worked out differently, I might have been going to Texas with Alpha.

 Families  Flying to Texas

 Putting away the flags after the Blackhawks disappear from sight