We just lost 30+ Marines and a Navy medic in Iraq. Went down in a Sea Stallion., a CH-53 helicopter. Flash back. 38 years. Me. I Corps. Vietnam. Navy Seabee. (From "CB," Construction Battalion.) We are building "hardened camps" for US Army Special Forces teams, must move heavy equipment into the hinterlands. In 1967 a new tool arrives. You guessed it. The CH-53 Sea Stallion. A Big Deal. CBS News covers its arrival "in country." And it's about to take its first "operational" flight. Who's aboard? Me. We cruise inland, and get our baptism in fire, far sooner than we'd supposed. Nobody KIA, but all of us shaken up. My CO (Commanding Officer) offers me a Purple Heart, but I'd been nothing more than scratched by an errant shell that wobbled around the craft, thought it was bullshit, and turned it down. That was 38 years ago. The mighty CH-53 is still serving our courageous troops. My heart goes out to the Families & Friends of the KIAs.
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
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