For our Troops and supporters of the
At sea aboard USS George Washington, Jun. 30, 2002 Aviation Ordnancemen aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) unload bullets from an F-14 Tomcat assigned to the "Jolly Rogers" of Fighter Squadron One Zero Three (VF-103). Carriers, such as George Washington and her sister ships, allow the United States to bring air power where it's needed, when it's needed and for as long as it's needed without requiring any basing permission from another country. George Washington is based in Norfolk, Va., and is on a scheduled six-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Photographers Mate Airman Jessica Davis. [020630-N-3986D-006] Jun. 30, 2002
At sea aboard USS John C. Stennis, Feb. 18, 2002 Aviation Ordnancemen from "Checkmates" of Fighter Squadron Two One One (VF-211) aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) complete installation of a GBU-12 500 pound laser-guided bomb on an F-14A Tomcat fighter aircraft. John C. Stennis and her embarked Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW-9) are supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Quinton Jackson. [020218-N-8505J-735] Feb. 18, 2002
It was our normal Thursday morning business meeting at our real-estate office. No big deal. Before the meeting we hung around the bagel table, as usual, with our coffee. He stood aside, looking a little shy and awkward and very young, a new face in a room full of extroverted salespeople. An average looking guy, maybe 5 feet 8 inches. A clean-cut, sweet-faced kid. I went over to chat with him. Maybe he was a new salesman?
He said he was just back from Kabul, Afghanistan. A Marine. Our office (and a local school) had been supportive by sending letters to him and other troops, which he had posted on the American Embassy door in Kabul. He stood guard there for four months and was shot at daily.
He had come to our office to thank us for our support, for all the letters during those scary times. I couldn't believe my ears. He wanted to thank us? We should be thanking him. But how? How can I ever show him my appreciation?
At the end of the sales meeting, he stepped quietly forward, no incredible hulk. As a matter of fact, he looked for all the world 15 years old to me. (The older I get, the younger they look.)
This young Marine, this clean-faced boy, had no qualms stepping up to the plate and dodging bullets so that I might enjoy the freedom to live my peaceful life in the land of the free. No matter the risk. Suddenly the most stressful concerns of my life seemed as nothing, my complacency flew right out the window with his every word. Somewhere, somehow, he had taken the words honor, courage and commitment into his very soul and laid his life on the line daily for me and us. A man of principle. He wants to do it. Relishes it. And he came to thank us? For a few letters? I fought back the tears as he spoke so briefly and softly.
He walked forward to our manager and placed a properly folded American flag in his hands. It had flown over the Embassy. He said thanks again. You could hear a pin drop. As I looked around I saw red faces everywhere fighting back the tears.
In a heartbeat, my disillusionment with young people today quickly vanished. In ordinary homes, in ordinary towns, kids like him are growing up proud to be an American and willing to die for it. Wow. We'll frame the flag and put it in the lobby. He only came to my office once, for just a few minutes. But I realize I rubbed shoulders with greatness in the flesh and in the twinkling of an eye my life is forever changed. His name is Michael Mendez, a corporal in the USMC. We are a great nation. We know because the makings of it walked into my office that day.
Orange County Register, June 30, 2002
Golden Pen Award
I won't be around much again today. More cleaning. I'll BBL.
Have a great day!
We have gotten a letter, and a phone call since I last reported on Eric's boot camp experience, so I thought I'd give you a brief report.
He's one third of the way done, and says time is flying. Yesterday the whole squad had to run a mile, and they were told that the first 5 men in would get phone privileges tonight, and he said when he heard that, he had to win! He came in third, and called us last night! It was incredibly good to hear his voice, and his enthusiasm for what he was doing!
He's a little homesick, but says he tries not to think about home very much. He says he misses things like being able to jump in his car and go where he wants to, or just grabbing a can of pop when he wants to. He also said that you never realize what you have until you are away from it, and he thanked us for our love (OK, I cried a whole lot about that one!).
He loves the physical stuff, especially the obstacle course where he had to climb a wall with a rope. He also mentioned crawling around in wet sawdust as a fun activity (??). He's excited that they're going to learn hand-to-hand combat on Thursday, and will soon learn how to fire their M-16's (that's what he's been waiting for!).
He did say that because it was so hot today that they didn't do their PT outside......some humanity has obviously crept into the military! He also said that they would be marching up Misery and Agony hills (about 15K, I think), but they wouldn't be forced to run because some people had died doing it (good thinking).
The food, he says, is good.....they have chow 3 times a day, but he said he's never really full.......of course he's always eaten like a horse anyway (6'1", 155 lbs!), and with all the physical exertion, there would be no way to fill the boy up. They spend a whole lot of time cleaning, and a few days ago had to change from BDU's (Battle Dress Uniforms) to PT's (Physical Training) in 5 minutes, then line up, then change back to BDU's then line up, then change change back to PT's run upstairs and line up, then run downstairs, change back to BDU's and line up........he said he'd never worked up a sweat before changing clothes!
His Drill Sergeants (with one exception) have been 'awesome' (his word), and he hasn't been yelled at individually yet (who would yell at such a good boy anyway? LOL!)
He has been able to continue to witness to lots of the guys around him, and really feels as though he has grown spiritually because of this experience. He says he can feel all the prayer for him (thank you, friends!!!), and wants us to keep praying for the guys he's been able to share his faith with.
Praise the Lord for his faithfulness!!
Without ORDNANCE Naval Aviation is just another unscheduled airlines!!! This comes to you from an active duty Ordnanceman! We deliver death and destruction.
Labels on Ordnance:
"For headaches, take once."
"If found, wind up spring and hit nose with sledge-hammer to de-activate."
"If you can read this, you were too close."
Just wanted to give a bump to psyops' 4th of July quotes post: 4th of July quotes
Two ordies are holding a Sidewinder about waist-high while arguing with the plane captain, one on each end of the weapon.
I proceed to limbo under the missile--and it gets caught on PLAT TV.
I didn't live that one down...