From the Citizen Soldier side: At the police dept I work for, some officers really make a big deal about getting some holidays off. Some, who have little kids like Christmas off. Some who like to "party" like New Years eve off.
For me, I think back on some of the missions I had on some holidays. Many holidays I worked as a cop...a few I was over seas in the Army...and one or two I was called up in my old National Guard unit.
Did I mention that I used to be in a Combat Engineer unit? We were like a construction company with machine guns. We had big dump trucks, bull dozers, loaders, chain saws and we could blow shit up if we had to.
Now, a problem I'm having as I get older and closer to retirement is: All the years seem to run together. For something that I might say: "a few years ago..." might have actually been 10 years or so. I didn't write the shit down at the time, so I have to go by memory. But, let me tell you of the Russian River Flood I went to in....uhhhh....I think it was 1998 or maybe 99...or somewhere around that time.
The Russian River run through parts of Sonoma County, CA. It's a great place in the summer, not so great in the winter. There were and are several areas along the R. River where it floods.
Back in the 1980's they had a really big flood and the National Guard was famous for rescuing people with helicopters. For the flood I went to, were were told: "there will be no helicopters, just you guys in your dump trucks to rescue."
Let me tell you about the dump trucks. I first drove one of these beast in the 1989 earthquake. They were old 1968 ish vintage...made for Viet Nam. They had no heaters or A/C. They had 5 speed manual transmissions with high/ low all wheel drive etc. You had to know how to shift these things. The dump beds were operated by a couple of other levers and sometimes someone who didn't know what they were doing would grab one of those levers by mistake and start dumping a load of troops out of the back.
If you road in the back, there were wooden bench seats that were removed for dumping/ hauling jobs. It was like riding on a brick...very hard.
The trucks could go through about 3 feet of water if you did it right.
For this mission, we were given a "Warno" a few days before New Years Eve that our services would be needed. The County and the State was sure that the Russian River was going to flood-- without doubt!
We packed our duffel bags and loaded up like the Beverly Hillbillies and headed from our local companies to our Head Quarters... 579th Combat Engineers.
to be cont.