Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Running On Empty"....another Vietnam Reunion beckons

"Running On Empty" 

And the "Summer of 69" 

The songs above are two of my favorites...great beats and lyrics....not a big fan of Jackson Browne and his left wing politics to say the least, but I always try to separate the actor or musician from their politics, if they are good....if they suck, then I'm not going to watch or listen to them anyway, and for sure won't spend a dime to buy or watch their products.

One of the reason I like both of these songs is they take me back to my days when the future, while not clear or defined, was definitely ahead of me...if I could manage to survive what lay ahead.  Also the year 1969 was prominent in both....that was the year I went to Vietnam, and like no other, the pre Vietnam tour and the post Vietnam days were the dividing line in my life.  No, not because I had some soul revival, or saw the world differently, but because I was 20 years old....and like Bryan Adams and Browne, the world was coming into focus, and what I believed in was slowly but surely in my forward looking view....both politically and would take a few more years of raising Hell, but at least by this time I was understanding what I thought life was all about.

Another Vietnam Reunion______

The past couple of years have seen more and more get togethers with fellow Vietnam Veterans, not only those Sky Cops from my Air Force Vietnam Days, but grunts, ground pounders, and squids, from those days as well, guys I have met at the past couple of Kokomo Reunions...

As I have stated on here many times in the past 4 and 1/2 years of postings...I was not a gung ho type military guy....I despised the Air Force and it's rules, regulations, as well as the spit and polish of the Security Police field...which is why I was much better off working Security as opposed to Law Enforcement, they could hide me there, and I could lay much lower in the boondocks frequented by Security than I could ever do in LE.  This makes it all the more strange that my favorite time in the Air Force was the 6 month stint working Law Enforcement, daylight shift to boot, at Nha Trang, RVN.  I was lucky enough to have a solid NCOIC, the late Phil Lange, and a good shift boss in Staff Sgt Melvin Sloan...they kept me out of the brass asses way, and allowed me to live my life and work within the rules laid down, without giving much in return.

Once I headed south to Tan Son Nhut....I was once again in Security, but at night, working 8pm to 6am....I could pretty much hide, whether it be in the bunkers, flightlines, towers, or the beverage and food patrol I ran with Blue Flight the last 3 months of my tour there...when I was discharged at Griffiss AFB in upstate New York in May 1972, I am not sure who was or the AF brass who were more than happy to see my leave, Buck sargent stripes and all....May 5, 1972, the day I walked out of the gate, was, to that point, the happiest day of my life.

Times change however, and now, some 40 years and more later...I embrace the time I spent in, it doesn't make me wax nostalgic and want to live those days again...I still hate the military life and rules, but I have gained a greater appreciation for those of us, most who would not have joined, if not for the draft coming after us.  It is with that in mind, I really enjoy, and I believe Patrica does as well, these get togethers we have.....with another one coming up in Dayton.

March 9th through 11th_____Hope Hotel

Just 5 months out from our VSPA Reunion in Dayton, which attracted some 200 or more guests, I am in the process of setting up another "Mini" Reunion back at Dayton and Wright-Patterson.  We last met two years ago at the Hope Hotel on base, after skipping a year because of the main reunion in Dayton last fall.   We have decided to toss another party this March.  How many will show, I do not know....but Patricia and I, along with at least Sam and Ruth Lewis from Virginia, and Doug Davis from Michigan will be there, as will others I am sure....once again we will down a few cold ones, break some bread, and let the BS fly.   As our numbers dwindle, these meetings become all the more important, before we all have faded away.

back later>>>>

Photos-The Defender Fortis Statue at the Air Force Museum is our usual meeting, greeting, and photo shooting stop at each of our Dayton Reunions....I doubt if I ever looked that sharp, spit, and polished, as that dude does.....Wayne Dezarn, shown with me at the statue, the late Larry Dotson, Mike Tillman, Rick Adams, my son Sam, and I held the first mini reunion at the museum for a few hours back in February 2007....the next two photos are from the frozen reunion in January 2009, and a bit warmer view from March 2010, inside the museum.  And these next two show my Nha Trang buddy Harry Bevan{right} and me...first in "That Summer of 69" then seeing each other for the first time in nearly 43 years at the Dayton Reunion last October...


Sarge Charlie said...

I salute you all..

PRH....... said...

Back at ya Sarge! :)

Mike from KY said...

I'll be there friday afternoon, probably in the bar!

PRH....... said...

Park yourself there Mike, I'll be along in short order if I don't beat you to it....