Monday, November 11, 2019

Veterans' Day weekend at an Appleseed...

   One of the best parts of being just an old man, is sharing with those that aren't. I was signed up and went to the Appleseed in Redmond to help. Saturday was a bit tough, the water was often falling the Sun was cloud covered but we soldiered on. I got to tell the Second Strike of the match and private Hosmer and Captain Davis died and Luther Blanchard would be wounded and the Revolutionary War hadn't begun yet, leave the audience hanging waiting for the third strike of the match, when it would.
    Will got his Shoot Boss hat, which talented man he is he had crafted to fit him. Looks very good on him. He had his family supporting, and they all had nice Appleseed sweatshirts for the day. Ben and Leanna had come up from Vancouver, WA. Good to work with them again. I will be going down to Douglas Ridge Rifle Club to learn some Pistol Seed training later this month. We picked up another volunteer, and a new Orange Hat was presented on Sunday.
     Our first day of the event was wet and cool, which to shooters that have to lay down in water is cold, no drying out possible. Sunday was better, the clouds would be fleeting and everything seemed to dry a bit, and we felt warm. Reviewed on Sunday was quick and complete and the shooters got to cranking out better groups and higher scores as the day went on.  By the afternoon, we were hollering out loud HUZZAHS! for all the Riflemen scores and Cleaned Redcoat targets. It did seem to rain success upon the shooters, made me think we must have had a lot of ringers or repeat Appleseeders, but it was just magic. Cleaned up and got to drive home in the daylight, the message of John Adams and those days shared with the shooters of our future.  All about Liberty, gentle readers.

Napping while waiting in barracks for Yom Kipper War 1973
   Today is Veterans Day, and I have been posting pictures of my military veteran moments on Face book.  It has been fun, will go back to normal and family and such on Friday probably. As I was scanning through my digital photo album I ran across this October 1973 photo, a candid shot from the upper bunk of the NCO's room. I don't remember who took it. We had been alerted and assembled to respond to the Yom Kipper War (which hadn't been named yet). Like most military gatherings, at a certain point it is 'hurry up and wait'. The rumor mill said one American Airborne Division was going to confront seven Soviet Airborne divisions in the Sinai or Egypt. I wonder if the coming end of the Vietnam War had much to do with the American response, remember talking to a Ft Sill Sergeant that got his self propelled gun ready to deploy and then lost it to the Israelis until it could be replaced by another six or more months later.  We never got to find out if the 82nd could handle all those Soviet paratroopers, thank God, and maybe there were better heads than mine? But reading the Wikipedia article reminds me 'they serve who only stand and watch' or sleep under a magazine waiting for glory.

   Lots of Veterans in my family and our history, I was really unhappy with our nation and the treatment after I came back from Vietnam, I was honored to serve and others had painted us black and ugly. Bad enough that our great grandchildren will never know how proud I was to serve, the country drove me to stay around for the next one because I couldn't really talk to those civilians. I remember telling a war story to a family audience at my mother's home and as I blurted out the f-word for effect my mind had flashing red alarm lights going off - right in front of my mother! I stopped using vulgarity in my conversation, until it would enhance my life. But nothing ever happened to me is always going to be my best war story. I wrote an essay title "Secret Hero" and read it at my father's memorial, but I figured everyone that risks everything for a cause is a hero, even when they don't pay the price. The hard part is coming home and being a gentle person, making a family and building a better future and at the end of a fine productive life you will be remembered for all your best. No medal nor marches needed, just surrounded by your good life and loves.


  1. Replies
    1. Always my honor to have served as best I could, for all we do hold dear.