21 June 2009
Happy Father's Day...
From the "Son" side: I consider myself lucky. My dad taught me lots of useful stuff that kind of set the way of my life. He wasn't always the perfect dad, but he did try hard. He was in the US Air Force, so we moved alot. I kind of thought it was good and bad...I knew if I didn't like the school we were at...or the kids, not to worry because the Air Force liked to move it's people around often. Heck, I wasn't even born in this country!
His early days were in "TAC" (Tactical Air Command)...which were bases made up with old fighter wings---the idea was they'd scramble into the air on short notice and defend the country against any attacks. His later years were in "SAC" (Strategic Air Command)--which was made up of big ass bombers that were in the air 24 hours a day.
I got used to going to sleep with the sound of air craft in the air. I guess that's why when I bought a house, it was near a small air port---but no B52's taking off, not even a F-105.
Some things my dad taught me: how to fix stuff and how to shoot. When he first took my brother and me into the woods with a .22 rifle, our targets were cans, then small twigs on a tree. He taught me sight alignment, breathing control and trigger squeeze. Why was an Air Force guy such a good shot? Because when he was a kid, his family had no money. If he went hunting for rabbits, he had to bring back one rabbit for each round of .22 ammo he bought. He never missed.
When he went to Nam, he took over the weapons for his group of Airmen because as most of us know, the Air Force doesn't know shit about small arms. They have to buy expensive planes and spend millions of dollars to drop a few bombs. He came up with a very simple but effective way to get all the packing grease cleaned off all his brand new M-16s. He took over several bottles of whiskey to an Army grunt unit and traded for their labor. He made the grunts happy and he got his weapons ready for a fight if they ever needed them. He never talked much about "his war" but I know he hated his time there.
When I went in the Army, my dad said I was making a big mistake. Yep, he was right. The Air Force had all the best. If the Air Force built a new base, they'd build the flight line and golf course first---then ask for more money to build the rest. They had the best food, the best hospitals and some of the smartest people.
When I came home from the Army, my dad supported me going to college. He said he'd be happy if I just passed my classes because I'd be the first in our family to ever get a college degree. I did pass all my classes.
He died over 12 years ago. It took years to stop wanting to call him when something good or bad happened. I know he would have been my number one supporter on my deployments, but he missed all that drama.
Happy Father's Day Dad.
Today's photo: the Browning M-2 HB .50 machine gun. Yeah, I got to spend more of your tax payer's dollars.