30 March 2010

Oh My Gosh, SSG Grumpy is back!

My good friend, Seargent Grumpy finally did a post.  I was starting to think he had some kind of disorder or something, but give his blog a look over,  he's the person who got me started in this blog stuff....and he's one of the best soldiers I've ever worked with. 



26 March 2010

Are YOU a US Citizen?

From the Private Citizen side:  Last week I took a trip down to the US/ Mexican border area. It was really very strange to see how active the US Border Patrol was in the area.  I had been on a mission on the California/ Mexican border in the early 1990's,  but this was even stranger.  I was told by some folks that when I was going to drive “north” to go home, I would likely have to go through a Border Patrol check point.

Wow. I still recall the “Check Points” during my tour in Iraq. The purpose of both is about the same I guess, but I was just a little bit surprised to be stopped so far into the United States of America.

I was told that they might ask some “odd” questions, like “are you a US Citizen?”
I had to stop and think how I would honestly answer that question. I think I am. However, when the question has come up during official things—like jobs, military matters and finally applying for a pass port, the answer has been kind of fuzzy at best.

You see, I don’t have a “normal” birth certificate like most US Citizens have. But, I do have another document that should proved that I am in fact a US Citizen…it’s just that this document seems so rare and odd, that most public officials are totally confused by it.  You see, my mom and dad were US Citizens, but since my dad was in the US Air Force, I was not born in the US.  (does that mean I can't run for President?) 
I do have some other items that should prove I am a US Citizen.

Luckily, when I stopped at the US Border Patrol check point, I was not asked the question. Thank God, ‘cause that might have created more confusion and I’m not sure if they would have detained me and deported me back to England or not.

23 March 2010

Bubba’ and his new .45

As most of my regular readers know, I am funny guy except when it’s concerning firearm safety. If you do anything unsafe with a firearm around me, I will let you know what I think. I didn’t just learn this from books. I’ve seen too many “empty” firearms go off. Many of these “empty” firearms went off whilst I was in the Army, some in police work. It’s a real eye opener when you hear an “empty” gun go “BANG!”

Many years ago, while my Infantry company was on guard duty in West Berlin, Germany. We were on shift change at about Zero Dark Hours. Specialist Snuffy, who was issued a 1911A1, .45 Automatic Pistol and five rounds of 230 Grain Ball ammo, was fixin’ to hand over the weapon to his relief. The Sergeant of The Guard was there to do whatever the Sergeant of the Guards is supposed to do…and Snuffy hands the pistol to his relief.

His relief, who’s half asleep, takes the pistol, doesn’t check to see if there’s a magazine in the pistol, racks the slide, then pulls the trigger.


A very loud BANG. And a .45 caliber hole goes into the ceiling of the Berlin Headquarters building right next to the guard post.

Who screwed up?

All three soldiers screwed up. Snuffy was NOT supposed to put a magazine into the weapon. The Sergeant was supposed to insure the weapons were safely handled. And the idiot who took the weapon, should have made sure it was cleared before pulling the trigger. So, what happened? The soldier who pulled the trigger was charged 11cents for the bullet.

Modern times, last week:

I got to visit the great State of Arizona. One of the fun things I got to do there was to go shooting. For those who’ve never been to Arizona, it’s one of those states that is very “free” about citizens owning firearms. In most areas, a citizen can even walk around with an exposed pistol in a holster! Concealed Weapons Permits are much easier to get there than in California. This freedom can be very good. It can also allow persons who are totally retarded to own firearms.

Take a guy we call “Bubba.” He is the picture you see in the dictionary when you look up either “Retard” or “Redneck.” He IS the ultimate dumbass, who will eventually do something to stop his own gene pool from spreading further.

We were at a “gun range” in Arizona. It was just a dirt hill that the locals fire their guns at. Not a formal range, just a place to shoot. There are plenty of old TVs, microwaves and empty beer cans to shoot up. We were there checking out a few new guns and really enjoying ourselves when “Bubba” rolls up in his car. Along with Bubba were two Bubba Janes. Between the 3 of them, I think they had about 10 teeth, and the combined IQ of 20. Bubba gets out of his car, and I see he must weigh about 300 pounds. One Bubba Jane is as skinny as a crack whore and the other was even fatter than Bubba. I didn’t notice, because I try to avoid looking at things so gross, but the fat Bubba Jane had a cell phone shoved into her bra. My friend who noticed this cell phone holder thought it was pretty funny…I’m glad I didn’t look close enough to notice. (would you want to talk on that phone after it’d been in there?)

We had stopped shooting for a few minutes to watch what these mouth breathers were going to do. Bubba has a .45 pistol in a really crappy shoulder holster. He walks up to the old TV, pulls out the pistol and starts shooting. As far as I could tell, none of them had any hearing or eye protection.

Then Bubba hands the .45 to skinny crack whore looking Bubba Janes. She, with her finger on the trigger, walks up to the TV and fires a few rounds. I was trying so hard to not laugh, that I couldn’t tell if she hit anything. The fat Bubba Jane looks over where we were and ask: “whatch’ ya’ got, a 9MM?”

I looked at Bubba, and ask: “What do you have there, a 1911?” (what most of us call any .45 auto based on the original Colt military handgun.) Bubba says: “nope, it’s a Colt .45.”

So he had no idea of what he actually had.

Then he proceeds to tell me how he got it in a case, with the holster and 3 magazines for only a thousand bucks!

I asked if I could take a look at it. He walks over, and hands me his pistol. I was a little shocked that he handed it to me with the magazine in it and the slide closed--- so I assumed it was still loaded… as he was handing it to me, the barrel was pointed at his more than ample gut. I had a flash thought of what the 230 grain bullet would have done to all that fat.

On closer inspection, I could see rust and a lot of wear. But Bubba was very proud that he had spent $1,000 on a gun I might have given $250 for. It was beat and in poor shape. I might have been able to tear it apart and fix it up, but it would have taken me hours of work. It was a piece of shit.

I handed it back to Bubba and said: “Wow, you paid a thousand bucks…amazing.”

10 March 2010

The Seven Army Values

From the Soldier side:  For those who’ve served in the Modern American Army, you have been exposed to one of their programs called “Army Values.” To tell you the truth, when I first joined the Army, we didn’t have things like this. It was just expected that you would just know and do

The Seven Army Values
Loyalty, Duty, Respect. Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage

Today’s topic is going to cover a few of these values. In my National Guard unit we have soldiers who’ve deployed multiple times. One Joe who has been to Iraq 3 times! He changed to our job (MKR) and will go again later.  Another just joined my platoon. He was in Iraq for his one year tour and extended a second year. When he tried to stay a third year, they force him to go home for a while.

One (who is now in another state) was in the first Gulf War with the 82nd Airborne. Then he went to Bosnia and Iraq with us. He moved to another state and went to Afghanistan…. A four time vet!

We have several soldiers in my company who’ve already been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, but in another job duty. Now that they are qualified for our jobs, Mess Kit Repair, they are volunteering to go again!
Yep that's a CAB she's wearing

I think these are the people who know and understand the Army Values. I am proud to work with them and to know them.  I'm not normally one to spout this sort of thing, but shit, I love these soldiers.

04 March 2010

“Professionals” and those who just collect a paycheck...

Leave it to the "Pros?"

From the Cop and Soldier side: In the many years I’ve been both a cop and a Soldier, I have found that in both professions there are some folks who get paid to do the job, but are not professionals….and there are many who actually master the trades and are true professionals.

Take Firearms for example. No firearm was ever designed to enforce the law or win a war, they were only designed to help protect those who’s job it is to defend. (Can we explain that to the politicians? No weapon will win a war, it’ll always be the troops who do that.)
CI Roller showing rookie how Para LDA .45 shoots

Since I am a firearms instructor in both areas (police and army) I get to see varying degrees of competency. I’m not talking about the rookie cop or the new private who’ve just been issued their firearm, but I am talking about the people who’ve been in either profession for years, and still have no idea how to properly handle and shoot a weapon.

And, the problem compounds the longer these people stay in either business.  They continue to build on bad habits and lack of skill. 

My next few postings will be some stories about such folks.

In Telafar, Iraq 2005

Take “Norm” the cop. In the days I worked with him, we were still being issued the Smith & Wesson Model 66 Stainless Steel .357 Magnum revolvers. A fine weapon for it’s time, but lacking in that it only held 6 rounds, but almost idiot proof. But, remember my saying: “Whenever they make something Idiot Proof, they will always make a better Idiot to overcome the features.”

Norm liked to pull his pistol out whenever he could. In those days, nobody seemed to care…no citizen’s complaints and such. He’d pull it out so often, that we thought maybe he was afraid to deal with crime without it. “It’s not the gun that enforces the law, it’s the cop…the gun only protects the cop.”

Norm had so many negligent discharges that everybody was afraid to walk in front of him. One time he cranked off two rounds whilst kicking open a bathroom door and fired into the ceiling. The worst thing was, when the watch commander conducted a roll-call inspection two months later, Norm hadn’t replaced the two rounds he’d fired…thus only having four live bullets in his pistol. Does the word “retard” apply here?

More stories to follow….