Friday, November 9, 2007

Veterans and Veterans Day





























Worked for an hour or so, filling in at the Honda Satellite plant in Greenville this morning....went out to lunch with Patricia, no school today, but she had work to do with her "no child left behind" stuff, that they now do...like it or not. Plus she came down with a nice sinus infection....ain't the change of weather great....Sam is heading home for an overnight stay...2 RVs delivered to Salt Lake, now a Diesel Toy Hauler is on it's way to Ocala, Florida....he'll stop at home tonight leave tomorrow, drop off Monday and fly into South Bend Tuesday, pick up his car and take a week or so off. Hal will be home Sunday as his finals are about ready to go....one more Quarter at Wright State, then it's on to U of Dayton for his Masters work......

The back felt good this morning, but now some hip and leg pain has returned...Ol' well...it's manageable.

Veterans_________ Sunday is Veterans Day...Thank a Vet for your freedom._____

Today is Vietnam Veteran Memorial Day today....our little Air Force Sky Cop group is in D.C. for the annual reunion, about 300 of our surviving 1000 members plus wives will be there and march Sunday in the parade....I am passing again this year, but if all goes well I will head to Albuquerque, New Mexico next October for the next one......too many things on the table this time, or so I tell myself.

http://www.vspa.com/



It's funny, you hear folks talk about Vets and Veterans, almost like we were one big group of gung ho heroes, that marched alike, looked alike, and thought alike....nope, hardly....we are good guys, bad guys, drunks, fighters, lovers, straight, gay, black, white, Hispanic, and Asian...and all in between and mixed. Got along with many, couldn't stand probably an equal amount, and didn't think a second thought about the rest....bottom line, we were and are a mixture of American life and it's people. Some of us got out, some got thrown out, some made it a career, some went on to college, others went back to work in the shops and factories....and sad to say, some went straight to the gutter....about 25% of the so-called homeless population are Vets...but you know what? It wasn't the military that put them there, at least not most....some guys could not handle the military, some thrived on the lifestyle.

I joined the Air Force in 1968...Why? Well you see, this was before the lottery numbered draft, and unless you were rich, going off to college, or a self professed "queen"....you were gonna get drafted. My cousin Jack Poling, let the draft take him....and it did, the kid that saved me from drowning down in Englewood, Florida, when we were 11 and 12 years old, well Jack's name can be found on that Wall this weekend, along with 58,000+ plus other names, guys that didn't make it back. My brother Mike's best friend, David "Kim" Deeter, his name is on that wall too.... both Jack and Kim were killed in 1968, the year I decided to join. Mike joined the Air Force at 17.....I went in the week after he was discharged.....no gung ho for the war guy was I, but I was not a draft dodger either...my dad would not have stood for that....and the truth is, I could not have stood myself. Right or wrong, I was going in.....did I like the Air Force? No, Hell no....I was never one to take orders....making me a bad choice for a spit and shine Air Force Security Policeman....but I survived my 4 years, including my year in Vietnam.....and even managed to get an Honorable Discharge...although a certain little scuffle with a Nazi like little First Lt....with 2 months to go...did get me an early out of 6 weeks, and the promised I would not re-enlist....lol, no chance of that for me.

Now, would I trade those 4 years, and the places and times I served...No, Hell no, I would not trade one minute(well maybe a couple of those days I would be dry heaving next to a B-52 after a rougher than usual night)....I am proud I served, and proud of those that served with me...even those I disliked as leaders and people in general.

The military(although few career guys) run deep in both sides of the family.....during my Genealogy research, I have found at least 16 Civil War Veterans...both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line....one dead at Chickamauga, one wounded at the same place...one missing, one deserted, one joined too young, was booted out, and rejoined 2 years later. One Houseworth died in WW1, another in WW2....my dad, his older brother, and my mom's brother all served in WW2....Uncle Bill DeVore(mom's brother) joined late in the war, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, got frostbite, and ended up being a guard of Nazi leader Goerning, in fact he was one of the guards around the time Goerning did himself in with by poison....dad served stateside as a aircraft mechanic with the new Army Air Force, he served in Colorado, California, and New Castle, Delaware, where he met mom......brother Mike was an Air Force Fire Protection guy, who ended up in Takili, Thailand, after a stint at McDill in Tampa....I ended up a Sky Cop at Dover, Delaware, Nha Trang, Saigon, and Griffiss, NY..... Patricia's dad Bill Callies served in the southeast Pacific region around Guadacanel from 1943-45.

We all served, some better than others, but serve we did.....I salute all those both living and passed that did likewise.
{photos..top to bottom...Grave of Maish Houseworth in Waldo, Ohio...Maish joined the Union Army at age 15, was found out and booted, he rejoined at 18, and was Waldo's oldest surviving Civil War Vet when he died during ww2 at age 98....John F. Housworth, my Uncle during WW2, me in my Air Force Cop School mug shot from San Antonio, Texas, My Aunt Eva and her husband Harry Anspaugh a WW2 vet, Dad's old stripes and Army Air Force patch(this are his and original, not repros), Camp Perry Ohio during WW2, and Dad, Stan Houseworth in 1943, home on leave at Scott, Ohio}

8 comments:

GUYK said...

Thanks Pat. You are right..we vets are the so called "Duke's mixture" of society. But one thing we all have in common is that we served. Some of us made it a career..some only through a first enlistment or in the case of the officers the service commitment. But we served.

When I enlisted in 1960 my friends and families were laying odds that I would not make it out of boot camp before I got kicked out..they figured my temper and lack of self discipline would do me under. But My Dad bet on me..he knew me and I knew that if I did get kicked out because of temper and lack of self discipline I could never go back home and face him..I would be too ashamed. It is all about a thing called honor..

The USAF was good to me and good for me. Where else could a ignorant country boy from the farms and ranches and oil patch of Oklahoma find a career that offered the upward mobility that was offered in the USAF..with the chance to see the world while at it!

I took advantage of the educational and retraining opportunities and learned that I was not as stupid as my teachers in school had led me to believe..and of course I learned some self discipline..and if I had it all to do over again there is no doubt that I would enlist just as I did when I was 18 years old..not a whole lot I would do different except maybe save my money instead of blowing it on houses and lots...houses of ill repute and lots of whiskey...

Mushy said...

Great post my brother!

BRUNO said...

I ain't adding ONE damned thing! Well, OK---maybe ONE little thing..."'Nuff said!"

Buck Pennington said...

Good stuff, Pat. It's a semi-strange thing, the way we used to be. By that I mean the feeling that we, nearly all of us, felt we owed the country something. And we served.

Now days? Not so much. And that's an ice-cold shame.

On the lighter side... I got every single Veterans Day off when I was in the AF and wasn't technically a veteran. Yet. And then I worked every single Veterans Day after I retired from the AF and went to work in the civilian world. None of the companies I worked for recognized the holiday.

pat houseworth said...

Upside Down....took a quick look at the Sarge Stripes and realized, I've got them upside down...lol! Things were different in WW2....

BRUNO said...

Ya' might have 'em upside-down, but ya' got ONE thing right for sure---his "attitude-cocked-style" hat! A real sign of the times!

My Dad done the same exact thing---and I STILL think it looks WAY "cool"!

Damn, I envy you guys, with your pictures! Only wish I could've saved more of mine, from the ravages of todays' "if it's dusty, throw it away!" relatives....

The Hermit said...

That's a pretty eloquent synopsis of what "veteran" means.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

You did good man. That was a great post. I love those old pictures.