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Hi Everyone:

It has occurred to me to submit the following in this forum. I hope it is not too personal. However, I get the impression many of you are veterans and, obviously, gun aficionados too.

Something about the Covid-19 pandemic and all its domestic and geopolitical effects have made me very pensive about things lately including the following below.

First, some basic background. I am proudly the son and grandson of military pilots. My Dad was a Marine pilot and my Grandfather was U.S.A.A.F. He was awarded the Silver Star for something. I don't know what, but it was in the early part of the Southwest Pacific campaign. Perhaps action in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. He is mentioned in several publications (not all) for leading an element of B-17s in the Battle of Midway against the Akagi after surviving Pearl Harbor. He also flew with folks like Gen. Tinker - as in Tinker A.F.B. He also got a D.F.C. for flying an early B-17D on a round-trip reconnaissance mission from Midway to Wake Island and back (before G.P.S.). Unfortunately, he was killed in a crash in Cuba just months before the end of W.W.II. So ... I never knew him.

My Dad was a Vietnam helicopter pilot (at only 21 years of age) and later flew jets like Phantoms and Skyhawks. Lord knows what he experienced in Nam. He never talked about it except for one story about R.O.K.s getting overrun and holding their outpost. He flew H-34s and it's a miracle he was never wounded or killed.

I myself grew up loving aircraft and the military long before I knew about any of this. My first favorite toy was a helicopter called a Verti-Bird by Mattel. 

Most boys like cars. I liked airplanes. I wanted to be a pilot. Unfortunately for me, I was (incredibly) not aware of my Air Force heritage while growing up. If I had been, I could have applied to the Air Force Academy. Also, I've always been intimidated by the cost of civilian flight training.

Long story short, I got a flight slot with the Corps after college only to get my butt kicked and get injured at O.C.S. at Quantico. It's a "thrill" having at least four D.I.s screaming at you at the same time! This was during the ridiculous Clinton defense cuts so there was no recycling - just got sent home. I realize one disadvantage was not being prior enlisted like my Dad had been. All along I grew up shooting rifles and even learning to reload. I guess a point to all of this is I want you to know I'm not a draft dodger.

I wanted to serve, but it just didn't work out for me. Eventually, age limits catch-up with you. With passing years, I get a sense of how naïve I was by having belatedly learned of different ways I could have achieved my goals, but I just didn't know about them at the time.

Given the world's current situation and modern weapons capabilities, the war on terror, bullet injury x-rays I've seen; artillery, shrapnel, and bullet damage to the skeletons of W.W.II soldiers folks recover from the Eastern Front, seeing gun film footage of the horrific damage Luftwaffe fighters could inflict upon our bombers (before escorts arrived) .... such things cause me to engage my imagination and be glad I have not had to experience combat. 

I don't say that as a coward though. The paradox? I was willing to serve (and I still am), I'm a patriotic person, but I am also glad I haven't been shot at either. I am thankful to have experienced peace here in the U.S.A. my entire life because of the service of our veterans. I mean that! I am thankful for simply having shelter, food, clean water, clothes, transportation, good health, and work given what's happening these days with Covid-19, China, etc. The closest I've been to death are a couple of really close calls on the highway at night. I emerged from both situations without a scratch. One could have been a head-on collision due to a jerk coming into my lane in a no passing zone. The other ended with me spinning, rolling over, and coming to a sliding stop on the driver's side of my car because some idiot left a dead deer lying across the road.

If we really are heading toward an S.H.T.F. situation, I am willing to kill in self-defense. Like many of you, I own a Saiga .223 and a few 30-round magazines. However, I don't wish for trouble. I hope things work out and remain calm. However, my local grocery store has already had to use security to break-up a few fights between people - in an affluent town. 

I guess a paradox is this: the "military" part of me is willing to fight, but only if forced to. The "Christian" side of me hopes peace and civility remains despite returning to the American rat race.

Another paradox: I've been shooting all my life, I can reload, I've hunted a few times, and I'm even getting a custom rifle built. I've gotten to fire classic rifles like Garands at the gun range. I am familiar with arms. However, I don't know how to "soldier" like many of you do. I hope I get acquainted with you if stuff really does hit the fan in the near future. If not, I fear I'm a dead man despite being a good shot.

I hope this makes sense. 






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You've got a proud heritage. You joined the Corps, so you tried. No shame in that. You did more than most. 

As far as combat goes, almost none who served in combat are glad of it. Would we do it again? most would say yes.

... a little light reading....



All who put on our nation's uniform make a commitment and in fact, sign a blank check payable to our country for an amount up to and including their very lives.

Most would do it again.

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