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Jerzkid, God Bless you. Your humble service makes us all proud to be Americans. Selfless sacrifice to defend our country and give the oppressed the same opportunity for freedom = Hero :patriot:
 

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Thank you all for your gratitude. It is simply overwhelming to me. Please don't forget that I'm not the only service member on this forum, and IMHO, the last one that needs thanks. All of you veterans need to know that you are loved and supported. Also, lets make sure to keep MSG Mckee in our prayers until we hear from him again and until he comes home.
 

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oops!

I just realized I left out the irony I promised about the comparison of my grandfather and I. I will try to keep this one short.

My Grandfather was a Marine during the forgotten war, Korea. He fought at Chosin Resevoir under the command of the Great Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller. He was wounded at Chosin when a jeep he was in hit a landmine. He took shrapnel in his lower back. One of his very best friends, who happened to be sitting directly to his right, was killed. He was a field radio operator with 1bn, 2nd Marines, C co.

I served two tours in Iraq. I was wounded when my truck ran over what was determined to be 2 enemy placed, M-18 American Anti-tank mines (for those of you that are curious about how big a blast that is, it is 36 pounds of composition B). I broke the bottom 5 vertabrae in my lower back. One of my very best friends, who was sitting directly to my right, was killed. Attached to my unit and with us on the convoy that day, was 1bn, 2nd Marines, C co.

The similarities of our stories are scary to say the least. My grandfather passed away 9 years ago on the 26th of October. I know, and it's the only reason I can find, that he was the one that kept me alive. That's the only reason I am alive and I think our stories are so similar as a sign from him that he was there and he would keep me safe.

Ok, that's it. I just figured some people were curious about the irony I spoke of in my first post.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Well, jerzkid did what no one else in the Forum has been able to do.

He made me speechless!

There are no words to express my admiration for the way he has conducted his life. It amazes me how he has overcome adversity time and time again. How can a 57 year old man admire a young 23 year old boy? But I join the rest of you in saluting jerzkid.

Yes, he wrote a big post. This might qualify as the biggest single post in the Forum, in size and words. But I have never seen a post, I have never seen a story, I have never seen a book written in such an eloquent manner

I had seen a few indications that jerzkid had served his country. I thought about MSG McKee and what he is doing right now. Then I thought that there are certainly many more members who have given their time, their blood. That's when I decided to start this thread, to bring out those stories. And they started. Then came jerzkid's, and I was so pleased.

Some of you may be thinking: how can I tell my story after that? I encourage you to come on out and share with us. This is not a contest, not a game of one-upmanship. Each of you has done your part. Please continue this thread, for jerzkid, for Bart and for J.R., and for all the others who gave, are giving, and will give.

I'll restart it in the next post with my story. Bring it on!

Thanks, jerzkid! You are a :patriot: .




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Well, living in Miami and being classified 1A during the Vietnam conflict gave me the :willy: , so I went down and joined the United States Naval Reserve. They gave me a Monopoly card that said: stay out of the Navy for a year, so I went to weekly meetings and did my two weeks boot camp (yea, I know, that was such a long boot camp, but I suffered through it.) Then I went on two weeks of active duty and sailed from New Orleans to Veracruz and back.

After my year of freedom, during which I continued my college studies, so to speak, I went to induction or whatever it is called. Then they told me where I would be stationed: Key West, Florida. Oh, darn, how horrible. That must be 140, 150 miles from home. Those rats.

They dragged me on a 3 month cruise to northern Europe. I was forced to visit Spain, Germany, Denmark, England, and Scotland. I got my nose chalked in blue because we went north of the Arctic Circle. I understand the initiation for crossing the Equator is something you might like to forget. I suffered through my 22.5 months of active duty (yes, I got a Manpower Reduction pardon and left just before Christmas).

Well, someone had to defend those hippie girls in Key West, right?

So, come on, military and ex-military, tell us your stories. You can't be a bigger wimp than me! :)

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jerzkid, your story is unbelievable. As I read your story you have to understand that my son is in the Army stationed in Germany(he is a Medic)
I concider myself a pretty strong willed person, but I had a hard time fighting back my tears reading your story. I just want to say thank for all that you have done and one day we will meet and I would like to shake your hand a just say thanks!!!!!!!
 

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gizmo2004 said:
I understand the initiation for crossing the Equator is something you might like to forget.

It's called Shellbacks, and yes, you do want forget it. But it's so hard to forget something that you can smell three days later.
 

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Well my story starts in 1988 being tired and burned out from full time work and full time school I decided to join the us navy like my three brothers. On the 27 of December I left for boot camp in San Diego Ca and never looked back. The Rate or MOS for the other services also known as my chosen job was operations specialist, at the time I had no real idea what it really was but it did look cool on paper. After boot camp I was sent to Virginia beach for A school (basic rate knowledge) after three months.
1989-1992 OSSR/E1 USS Anchorage (LSD-36) My first deployment July 1989 still the best cruse of my career , six months Korea, Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand, Okinawa, and my first time to Hawaii. And I was home for Christmas that year. As some of you older folks know there was a first gulf war December 01 1990 the anchorage was deployed for desert storm and desert shield and some tome spent supporting the UN embargo on Iraqi oil shipment aka operation southern watch. That was a seven-month deployment and the first four months were underway no port calls. And if that was not enough we did humanitarian relief in Bangladesh on the way home, the hardest deployment ever

1992- 1996 as an OS2/E-5 USS John Paul Jones DDG-53 I received my first C school (advanced specialty in rate) tomahawk weapon systems 0332 NEC, and Aegis weapon system 0311 NEC one deployment Gulf cruse with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Battle Group. The cool thing was my older brother was on the Lincoln and we saw a lot of each other.

1996-1999 Afloat Planning Systems- Pacific. At the time I got these orders the detailer only knew he needed a 0322 NEC Tomahawk guy. Well that meant three years in Hawaii, had fun. Fourth deployment spent on the USS Kitty Hawk CV-63. This was staff duty, the only way to do six months hard time. During this time at APS-PAC I got to go underway on almost all of the West Coast Carriers. I must say it was a fun job, maybe the best job I ever had in the navy.

1999-2002Time for shore duty, this means I get a brake from working on ships. For Shore Duty I was assigned to work at a Military Processing Station in San Antonio TX from 1999-2002 and yes I was there during the attacks on Sept 11. the job I had there was as a processor for all of the services Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. I verified all of the paperwork and ensured eligibility for there service in the military.

2002-2003 OS1/E-6 USS George Philip FFG-12, this was a ship that was already on deployment when I got there, another grate cruse. Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, Okinawa, Darwin and Canes Australia, East Timor, and New Caledonia, after deployment the ship was decommissioned and mothballed.

2003- Present USS Rentz FFG-46, I have made two deployments on this ship both have bee counter Narco ops in the south east pacific first in 2003 net of eight tons of cocaine and then in 2005 none tons of cocaine. Upon return from the last deployment June 28 2005 I was sent TAD to the USNS Stockham to support the Global War on Terror. I am looking forward to getting home for Christmas this year, and my last tour for orders I retire in 2008. I guess in need to start looking for a job here soon. I cant wait to start earning over time again.
 

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GO_DRVN said:
I have what I consider to be one of the best jobs in the Army and that is being an Army Career Counselor...
In over 19 years of doing this particular job I am proud of the fact that I have never once run across a Soldier that thought that I screwed them over in the process of keeping them in the Army.
Your attitude makes you one of my role models. :cheers:
 

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jerzkid said:
(My Grandfather) was wounded at Chosin when a jeep he was in hit a landmine. He took shrapnel in his lower back. One of his very best friends, who happened to be sitting directly to his right, was killed. He was a field radio operator with 1bn, 2nd Marines, C co.

I was wounded when my truck ran over what was determined to be 2 enemy placed, M-18 American Anti-tank mines (for those of you that are curious about how big a blast that is, it is 36 pounds of composition B). I broke the bottom 5 vertabrae in my lower back. One of my very best friends, who was sitting directly to my right, was killed. Attached to my unit and with us on the convoy that day, was 1bn, 2nd Marines, C co.
:eek:

Who knows, but your experience is just too similar to your Grandfathers to be explained by mere coincidence. This is one of those incidents that makes me wonder if there are bigger things at play in the world than just simple cause and effect. That is spooky.
 

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http://heroesmemorial.blogspot.com/2004_08_01_heroesmemorial_archive.html

This is a blogspace dedicated to my friend Bart. If anyone is interested in his story, feel free to take a look. If you decide to leave a comment, please keep it brief and tasteful, keep in mind that his family looks at this page, it is not a forum.

A very deep and respectful thanks to Gizmo for uncovering this site, as it had been lost to me since September of last year. I actually finally emailed Jenn (the girl that posted a reply to me on there) tonight because of that.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Great post, jerzkid. I had already bookmarked that site and I was going to read each and every one of the entries. That will keep me away from The Forum for awhile (did I hear cheers in the background? :) )

Still looking for more stories from our military members, past AND present. MSG McKee, are you listening? geoff58, please return. And the rest of you, NOW HEAR THIS. TURN TO. TURN TO.

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Thank you, Thank you, thank you Gizmo! Because of your sleuthiness (is that a word, I guess it is now) I have made contact with a very close friend of Bart's. Without you I would have never found that site again and this would have never happened. Thanks buddy, I owe you a ton!
 

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WOW, that really makes my day! Thanks, Jerz.

Pardon me, but your Italian is showing in your signature!

I'm going to delete this post later, because it doesn't fit this thread.

But your post belongs, because it is SO related to this subject. War is hell, but it does make special friends of people.

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I am a little "superstitious" so I hate to tell my "military story," while still in Iraq. However, here is the very short version ... once I go home I will give more detail. ;)

1990 Joined Active Army as an Infantry TOW Gunner Fort Benning, GA
1991 Changed MOS to Bradley Fighting Vehicle Gunner Ft Carson, CO
1991-1992 Served in South Korea (Patrolled the DMZ 3 months)
1992-1994 Served at 24th ID (now 3rd ID) Fort Stewart, GA
ETSd from Active Army Jan 1994
1994-1995 Joined the AL National Guard and changed MOS to Avionics, which taught me to repair the electrical systems on Black Hawks and Apaches
1995-1996 Joined the US Army Reserve and changed MOS to Paralegal
1996-2000 Picked up for USAR Recruiting duty as an AGR (Active Guard Reserve) soldier and changed MOS again!
2000-2004 Chosen to be an AGR Career Counselor (new MOS for USAR)
2004-Present Gained a new skill 4R, which means I now am in charge of counseling Active Component soldiers whom are leaving the Army

Tidbits:Luckily, I have not been seriously injured to this point. My worse wreck (NOTHING compared to Jerzkid!) was during a "show of force" exercise in Egypt. I was gunning (Bradley Vehicle), so my barrel was pointed over the side and my NEW driver drove into a tank fighting position. We totaled the vehicle, which is a pretty tough vehicle, and were airlifted out. My neck was injured, due to my face being in the scope at time of impact; however, I did not break any bones (just stiff to this day).

I am currently in Iraq and my current job is not that "high speed" so I mainly sit at my desk 12 hours a day 6-7 days a week ... which allows me to chat with you guys. I am now visiting Soldiers throughout my Brigade and briefing them, so I have done a lot of flying (Black Hawks) and riding (up armored) and knock on wood ... no major problems.

As you can see, I cannot seem to keep a job! ;) :jester: I have been on Active duty now for almost 14 years plus about 18 months in the Reserves and have 6 MOSs and made E-8 (MSG) pretty fast. Overall, the Army has been good to me and I am working on my Master's Degree in Professional Counseling. They will pay for my PHD as well, so I cannot complain. :thumbs:

Side note: Married 16 1/2 years to my High School sweetheart. (Yep, married at 18 and joined the military) We have one daughter who is 14 and in High School (at an Academic Magnet High School). I can retire at 41 and will get my benefits then, because AGR pay is the same as Active Army pay. :thumbs:

My hat is off to ALL Soldiers, Past, Present, and Future! :patriot: :patriot: :patriot:​
 

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That was great, MSG McKee, thanks. You've done your duty, then you did your duty, and now you're doing your duty! SOI (Sergeant of Indecision) :)

Glad you have time for us, that's a lot of hours you're putting in. No time and a half, I'm sure. When are you coming home?

My brother had a similar story. Regular army, Florida National Guard, back to regular again. But he just turned 62 in October, and GUESS WHAT?

Yes, he's been getting a nice check for the previous two years. He'll soon start his SS check, and get to enjoy the rest of his life working part-time and perhaps getting married in the coming months. You didn't say anything about your marital status.

I'll be deleting this post later on too, because I don't want to detract from these great stories. Come on out, Vets and active. Even family members may have something to say about what relatives did. I'll make a post about my parents pretty soon too.

Thanks again, MSG McKee!

PS: If you want to add something minor to your post, I would suggest just to edit it. But if it's more than minor, another post would be appropriate.

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major geek...

Quick and dirty -

Enlisted in 1981
AF Basic in San Antonio
Air Traffic Control Radar Maintenance School at Keesler AFB, Biloxi
Stayed at Keesler for first permanent station doing maintenance on tech school equipment, 1981 - 1987
Lots and lots of night school
Picked up for commissioning program in 1986
Univ of Maryland, College Park for 3 years, Physics, 1987 - 1990
Back to San Antonio for Officer Training
Stayed in San Antonio at the AF Electronic Warfare Center doing modeling and sim for communications, 1990 - 1994
Off to Dayton OH, AF Institute of Technology for a Masters, Physics again, 1994 - 1995
Out to ABQ New Mex to the AF Research Lab managing development of very groovy directed energy weapons, 1995 - 1999
BACK to San Antonio to the Cryptologic Systems Group managing development of space crypto, 1999 - 2003
Retired, Nov 2003, 22+ years
Slimy contractor still in San Antonio, 2003 - present

That's my story and I'm sticking to it...
 

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Jerz,
Thanks for sharing and more important, thanks for your service! My son is A LT. in the Air Force and is getting ready for deployment to Pakistan in January. Not nearly as dangerous as what you've been through but still worrysome to my wife and I. Coming from a very small town where he graduated with 76 other kids, it's hard to believe that 7 of his classmates are in the srevices and all have seen duty in Iraq,Afganistan or the surrounding area, with some doing two tours. As a former Army Sgt. during Vietnam, I know how you feel! Thanks again.
 

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no hero here

Thanks, Giz for inviting me to this thread. It was 1965 and I had the misfortune of putting my high school sweetheart in a "family way." I was 18 years old and newly wedded (you did the "right thing" back then). I also got laid off and the due date was quickly approaching. We didn't have Medicaid back then, (you were actually accountable for your actions) so I figured the only way to care for my family and get decent health insurance was to join the Army. So in June 1965 I enlisted. My son was born in August the same year while I was in Basic in Fort Polk, LA.

Things worked out well, I got stationed at Fort Ord, CA for a year or so and passed the test for OCS. In May 1967, they made me an Officer and a Gentelman by an act of congress and sent me to Germany to monitor the agressisve actions of the Warsaw Pact. After three years, they sent me home and to this day I connot understand why I didn't get sent to 'Nam. Sure, I got shot at a couple of times by the East German and Russian Border Guards, but that was s**t compared to what my brothers went through in 'Nam. I lost a lot of good buddies over there and never have really forgiven the jerks in Washington for how they handled that mess. I see a lot of the same mismanagement going on today and only hope our Boy's won't be greeted with spit and "baby killer" that I put up with when I came home.

GI's, I love you guys, and I always hope I can be there for you.

Jonboy
 

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On this Veteran's Day, I just want to say thanks for serving to all my brothers (and sisters) in arms. I did 20 years in the Air Force, the last 10 in the SpecOps world and retired as a 1st Sgt in 1997.

I wasn't any kind of hero. But I sure got to hang around with a bunch of them.
 
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