31 December 2011

Happy New Year...Call for Fire...Flares...in the open

From the Soldier side:  Here it is New Years Eve and I am all relaxed and comfortable in my home.  I was thinking about the last 30 plus years and how many New Years Eves I’ve worked as cop…some just working DUI check points, some just “routine patrol” or the supervisor.  I guess the most unusual one’s I’ve had were the 2003-04 one in Bosnia.  That was pretty un-eventful. 
However, the 2004-05 New Year’s we spent in Fallujah, Iraq with the First Marine Division was the most unusual of all.  It was after the  Second Battle of Fallujah That was the time the US military was allowing the “good” citizens of Fallujah to return to their homes…or what was left of them.  It was estimated during the “battle” that about 75% of that city was destroyed.  (I got to go back a few months after that and get out and look around.  It looked like a real friggen’ war zone.)

(read about the battle here:    Second Battle of Fallujah     

On New Years Eve 2004, there was no electricity or lights in the City of Fallujah…so, the Marines had the US Army artillery units firing flares into the sky to provide light.  There is nothing like the sound of a 155 howitzer firing round after round. 
See here - M109 howitzer   

Each round would go up into the sky, explode, the let out a giant flare…the flares had parachutes on them to slow the fall…and they provide a heck of a lot of light until they hit the ground and went out.  It was one of the best fireworks displays I’ve ever seen on New Year’s Eve. 

I think they stopped around midnight, then we all went to sleep….but it was about the most different thing I’ve ever seen in my life. 
I keep saying, as long as nobody is shooting mortars and AKs at me, it's a good day. 

Did all the body armor and crap make my ass look fat?
Happy new year. 

22 December 2011

Christmas time in....Fallujah, Bosnia...and...

the Soldier  and the Cop side:  It’s that time of the year when half the population gets all happy and glad…and the other half seems to get all depressed and sad.  But my goal today is to bring a good story to all.
As some of my readers know, I retired from the police department in May…but I was asked to come back part time and help with some stuff.  I thought it was kind of funny when I heard about a young copper complaining about actually having to work on Christmas day. 
SFOR 14 Christmas and Eagle Base, Bosnia

I stopped and thought for a minute and tried in vain to bite my lip and not speak up…but you know how I am.  I just spoke what popped into my head:
“I worked 32 years as a cop and was happy to have had the job.  In all those years, where I was on the schedule to work the day Christmas came that year, I only asked for it off ONE TIME.  I worked every single holiday I was scheduled to work for 32 years….and I never complained.” 

However, looking back, working on Christmas in California as a police officer/ sergeant, wasn’t so bad.  What was really an adventure was working on Christmas day in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004.  Or, the year before in Bosnia.  Even that wasn’t so bad.  In Bosnia, we got the day off and had good chow in the mess hall.  In Iraq, the Marines we were working for gave us half the day off. 
...and Rumsfeld said all the vehicles we had in Iraq were properly armored...

But what really made things better on my deployments was all the nice things sent to us by family, friends and some folks I never had even met before.  Thanks for supporting the troops. 

Yesterday, I went out to run some errands.  As I was parking my truck, I parked next to a very nice 1967 Chevy…I noticed on the back the owner had placed a Viet Nam Vet sticker. 

As I was getting out of my truck, the Nam Vet was walking to his.  He saw my Iraq Vet sticker and he said: “Thanks for your service.” 

I looked at him and said: “Thanks for yours.” 

I think vets coming home these days do have some things to get over, but I think the public sure treats us a lot better than some of the past vets. 

Now, for those who may have to work this Christmas at some police department, stop your whining and be happy you have a good job and you’re not in some shithole like Iraq for Christmas….and we didn’t get overtime in the Army. 

Merry Christmas

19 December 2011

Baby UP!

NO Grandpa, I don't want my picture on your dumb blog!

18 December 2011

Troops pulling out of Iraq....

I don't usually post stuff about recent news...but this is exciting....(this is my excited look).

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The last convoy of U.S. soldiers pulled out of Iraq on Sunday, ending nearly nine years of war that cost almost 4,500 American and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives and left a country grappling with political uncertainty. The war launched in March 2003 with missiles striking Baghdad to oust President Saddam Hussein closes with a fragile democracy still facing insurgents, sectarian tensions and the challenge of defining its place in an Arab region in turmoil. The final column of around 100 mostly U.S. military MRAP armored vehicles carrying 500 U.S......

After spending 15 months of my life....doing useless training for 3 months, then spending a year there......My first question is:

Did we win? 

14 December 2011

Jesus Drives...and he's in a F-150

From the Cop side:  OK, another Jesus story.  I can’t recall the guy’s actual name, but thinking back before I semi retired, I don’t think he’s been around for many years…wonder what happened to him. 
(back in the late 1980's) About a few months after my last story about Jesus, I saw him walking around my beat.  Since I was a pretty pro-active copper, I had all his data in my pocket notebook, so I could check him for warrants without even having to stop him (to avoid harassment complaints). 

As Jesus was walking around his favorite place, a local college campus, I was advised by the dispatcher that he had a pretty good warrant for his arrest that needed to be served on him. 

Just as the dispatcher finished giving me the info over the radio, I lost sight of Jesus…again.  How did he do that disappearing act?  As I began cruising the area I’d last seen him, I saw an old POS (piece of shit) Ford F150 pass by with Jesus himself driving. 

As I turned my old Dodge Diplomat around to go after the truck, dispatch updated me with info that Jesus also had a suspended drivers license. 
Oh boy.   A warrant arrest and a suspended license arrest.... (I think that warrant was for something like $10,000, which was a lot in those days)

As I started to close in on Jesus and his POS truck, he tried to accelerate away from me.  Oh boy, I thought I was going to get in a pursuit with Jesus…which in those days was actually kind of fun--- before we had to fill out reams of paper. 

I activated my emergency lights and tapped the Federal siren a few times… I could see Jesus in the side mirrors of his truck and saw him looking back at me.  I knew he wasn’t going to out run me, but his truck could cause a lot of problems with other traffic. 

After a few blocks…now getting closer to the highway, Jesus was speeding up and I had the siren on continuous, which made it difficult for the dispatcher to hear me…all anybody could hear was SIREN and that got all the other cops and deputies scanning our freq to get excited and start heading towards Jesus….pretty soon, he was going to have more of my buddies than he’d know what to do with.  You can't outrun a Motorola radio. 

Then…all of a sudden he turned into a gas station and stopped at a gas pump.  As I pulled in behind him, Jesus got out and started pumping gas into his POS truck. 

I parked my rig, and walked up to him and said: “Can I see your license, registration and proof of insurance please.”

He handed me his library card.  I looked at the card, and said: “ehhhh, this is your library card, and by the way, your license is suspended.” 

Jesus started to walk to the door of his truck and said:”I’ll get it out of the truck.”
I grabbed his arms and applied the good old Peerless handcuffs, checking for proper tightness and double locking… and said: “Never mind, and you have a warrant to.”

I packed him up into the back of my car.  My cover officer parked the truck and I told Jesus he wasn’t allowed to drive. 

He went to jail….and was out by the next weekend.  He got to his truck and was pulled over that weekend by a kind of rookie cop at a nearby department.  Jesus pulled the same thing on that cop, but that cop allowed him to get into his truck to “look for the license he didn’t have.” 

In that incident, Jesus locked the doors and they had a stand off….which ended with a smarter cop coming along and breaking one of the truck windows and pulling Jesus’s ass out the door. 

I arrested Jesus many times over the next few years….each time it brought pleasure to my soul knowing I was doing a good service for the public---who never knew.   
I know...I'm going to hell. 

07 December 2011

...And He fed the thousands....a loaf of bread...

From the Cop side: Well, we’ve used the democratic process…and the next story (s?) is or are about dealing with Biblical type persons in police work.  I’m sure if you ask any cop who’s been on the job for more than a few minutes, they’ll have or are going to have a story of arresting somebody who looks and or acts like a character from the Bible. 
Now, please don’t think I’m trying to be sacrilegious, and I hope I don’t offend anybody (too much)…but I know I’m going to hell already. 

Many years ago…..
I was working the day watch on police patrol around a small college campus.  The campus was known for it’s magnetic like attractions for 5150’s (mentally ill people).  The nut jobs came to the college for all kinds of reasons, most of which had nothing to do with actually getting an education.  In some cases, they never even enrolled, but would just walk into a class or office and causing a disturbance. 
 I got dispatched to a Jesus sighting.  Well…I’m pretty sure he really wasn’t Jesus, but he kind of looked like him.  He was tall and thin…with long hair and long dark beard.  His clothes were ragged and dirty and he rarely took a bath. 

The one thing this guy could do that made me start to think he might have some kind of special powers was he could disappear into thin air.  I mean I’d get a call, and head over to where Jesus was.  I’d see him for a second…then POOF!  He’d be gone.  I never saw him walk on water, but I did check the nearby creeks just in case.     

On this one cool winter morning I got a call on Jesus again.  He was caught taking stuff from a mini mart and was last seen running towards the college campus….barefoot. 

I knew the only direct path Jesus would have to take to continue his flight from justice (in which other law enforcement members where in fresh pursuit).  I just parked my patrol car and waited….

There he was, running and shoving food into his mouth.  I wanted to wait and see if he turned the one loaf of bread into hundreds…but he was eating it too fast.  (He didn’t have any  fish.) 

The problem with running and trying to do almost anything else, including shoving food into your face, is it often causes a person to lose balance.  This did happen to Jesus and he fell….right in front of me. 
At this point, I was laughing so hard, I had a very difficult time getting out of my patrol car and walking over to where Jesus was laying prone on the ground with a loaf of bread scattered all around.  I was still waiting to see if he was going to turn the one loaf into many.  Didn’t happen. 

How disappointing.  Then I helped Jesus to his feet…still trying to control my laughter.
However, as soon as he was up, he broke loose and ran (he didn’t fly or anything like I might have expected)…then he was gone.

There was only one place he could have gone on the college…there was an all female dance class next to where we had been…he’d run into the class.

I walked into the dance class, and noticed several dance students pointing to the back of the class.  (They were all doing some kind of high stretch in a synchronized fashion)…and there was barefoot Jesue in the back dancing like a retard on an ice rink.  I did the habeas grabis on his arm, and applied the Peerless brand handcuffs in a proper manner as to not be too tight and double locked them. 

As I walked Jesus out of the class, I received applause from the students and the teacher.  I was still trying to control my laughter. 

As I took Jesus over to where the original crime had occurred, I found he was also a wanted man and he was not really Jesus.  I took him to jail and his Father didn’t come down and make bail. 

More to follow…. Jesus drives!         

06 December 2011

OK, you can VOTE on the next stories..

The CI Roller Dude gets stuck sometimes....I'm thinking of writing about either the Bibical figures I've arrested in my time or should I write about some of the lives I helped save? 

You vote, you decide...

02 December 2011

Guns Up!

From the Cop and Soldier side:  Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile…been busier than a one legged man at the World Cup Soccer Match. 

A funny thing happened to me the other day…since I started working part time at the Police Department I had retired from to help with some special things….the subject of guns came up.  The new police Chief asked me how many guns I had. 

I didn’t know.  I had to stop and count on my fingers….and toes…..and then I went home and opened my gun safe and found one I had forgotten my brother gave to me a few months ago….then I realized I might have a problem.

I checked to see if there was such a place as Gun aloholics  anonymous, but no such thing.  Then I thought back over the 30 plus years of police work and Army/ National Guard work….and how many times I was called upon to either run a range, or another officer would ask for me when they had taken an “odd gun” in and didn’t know how to unload it. 

And now, one of my part time jobs since retiring is teaching good citizens, cops and others how to shoot or shoot better.  So, did all those years of reading every gun book and magazine pay off? 

I like to shoot.  I like to teach others to shoot…and work on guns. 

We got a brand new 1911 .45 in the shop the other day…it was made by one of those custom makers that charge more than my first pickup truck cost….but worth every penny.  I picked the pistol up and somebody thought I was about to drool on it.  I couldn’t help it….
I guess I have a problem. 

When I teach firearms, the FIRST thing I cover is SAFETY.  I found a song that’s popular on the radio that discusses firearms safety….(you have to see the lyrics to get it.) 

 I don’t just shoot and teach on military and police firearms, but I love shooting almost anything.  I’m still working on collecting firearms from every country I’ve been to… or was carried by soldiers from other countries whom I worked with at some point.  I get some strange things…
                                          Can you figure out what kind of revolver this is?

One of the things I loved about running Army/National Guard weapons ranges was getting to shoot stuff for free.  Like the:  M249 SAW MACHINE GUN

And, the Future Best shot: