Originally posted by jerryd
Heard on tv more of CTARNG are going overseas, chopper maint. unit maybe as long as 18months for a tour hope they all make it back. The look on their faces brought back memories of when i was given orders for Nam, sort of a numb feeling, any of you vets remember that?
There were four of us stationed together who went through survial schools, the last being at Clark AFB. After finishing the course. we went to the Airman's Club and consumed a table full of beer. There were four slots for us to fill. 2 in Nam and 2 in Thailand. At some point we decided to flip coins to see who whould go where; odd man out. First flip was for Thailand. I didn't get it. Next was for Nam. I didn't get it. Next was heads - Thailand; tails - Nam. I flipped heads. My buddy drew Nam.
When we got back to base, we told our commander what we did. He looked at us and said, "I've never had this happen before. I'll honor your choices."
As it turned out, one guy who went to Nam was assigned to a base newspaper. He had it pretty good. The other guy in Thailand flew 30 missions and went home.
My buddy in Nam flew 100 missions and went home. We actually were in the air together on a mission over Cambodia. He in an O2-A FAC and me in an A1-E.
And, yes, he and I actually were in Cambodia in 1968.;f
How did it feel when the coin came up heads for me? At the time, pretty good. At times during my tours, I thought, "Why the hell did I volunteer for flight crew member. I'm a frigging photographer. I could have a cushy job stateside. Instead, I keep climbing into airplanes and go out to let badguys shoot at me."
The reality was, and is, what we did saved other Americans. Nothing feels better than that.
All four of us made it back. Luckily, when I added my takeoffs and my landings and divided by 2, the result was an even number. Others were not that lucky...
;? ;? ;?