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I guess my handle sort of gives me away. I ran away from home and joined the Army at 17, retired in 1987 with 22 years service, had three tours in Vietnam, two of them on tanks which are much larger than our Solsices. Last tour worked as a LRRP for an all volinteer outfit. That's where I got my second Purple Heart. I knew just how to do it after my first one! I'm still active as VP of the Blackhorse Assn. (11th Armored Cavalry Regiment) 2,500 of our active duty boys are now returning to Fort Irwin, Ca. (Barstow area) from Iraq. We are planning a welcome home celerbration in March and will be feeding all of the soldiers and there families with some great Texas chow supplied my the Odessa Chuck Wagon Gang of Odessa Texas. I'm also a writer, so if you want to hear my war stories you'll have to buy my books! I just completed Cowboy Dreams which I wrote for my son Billy. my site is Jackstoddard.com if you want to visit. :)
 

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First I'd like to thank all of you brothers/sisters in arms. Looks like I'm the youngest of the mil here. Here's my story. 8 years so far in the Air Force. F-16 crew chief(thus the screenname). Most of my career stationed in New Mexico, 1 year at Osan, ROK, and last year at Nellis, NV. Been TDY to all the fun places as well as Saudi, Kuwait, Doha, and Baghdad. Will probably do my 20 but it does have its trying times working for a "corporation" and not the military anymore.
 

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Well I may as well throw my story in here, although its far less interesting than some of the other posts on here.

I spent 4 years in the Army back in the late 80s and early 90s as an armor crewman on M1A1 tanks. Towards the end of my tour in Germany, East and West Germany just became one once again, the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse, and we suddenly found ourselves without an enemy to fight (although for some reason the brass seemed like they had an itch to go play in a sandbox). Anyway, we still had a "mission" to do, and as such, they sent us out to go play our semi-annual war games. You know, just in case. So after spending about a week in the mud, the typical, practical joke sessions began.

So one night, a buddy of mine and I were scheduled to pull security around where the tanks were holed up for the night. So just before 2am, we wandered over to the OP (observation post), relieved the two that were on duty, and settled down for a long night of watching for the "enemy". About 30 minutes into our 2 hour shift, we started hearing some rustling in the bushes around our post. We shined our red-lense flashlights around a bit and didn't see anything and chalked it up to a gopher or raccoon or some other form of small, furry, four legged creature. About 10 more minutes passed and we started hearing it again, but closer. We didn't pay much attention to it, but we kept hearing it a few minutes later. So again, we shined our flashlight around again, but instead of seeing nothing, we saw several pairs of red eyes staring back at us. My buddy and I decided that since we were apparently outnumbered, and since we had no "real" ammo, it was time to relocate the OP.

We got up and slowly moved away since we had NO idea what the heck was watching us, and moved our post about 100 yards closer to the tanks. Yep, this was a good spot, right next to the road, close to the protection of the tanks. Yes, a good tactical move! Or so we thought. About 10 minutes later, we started hearing the sounds again. Shined our flashlights around again, and yep, just what we though, red eyes staring back. We'd been overrun again! So again, we displaced and ended up moving the observation post to the front slope of one of the tanks! Shortly after performing that move, my tank commander sticks his head out of the tanks and asks what the hell we're doing on the tank and not at the OP. We calmly looked at him and informed him that we were attacked by an "unknown enemy" and were subsequently overrun. Just about that time, we found out what had overrun our position when this mama boarhog came walking up the road with her 5 kids in tow.

Now, I dont know if anyone else has any personal knowledge of German boarhogs, but let me tell you this. During night gunnery practice using thermal sights, we always used to mis-identify these boars for our tank targets at 1000 yards. This caused much dismay to the German civilians who had to go pick up the pieces after we sent a 120 millimeter main gun round through them.

Come to find out the next morning, the two guys we relieved from duty at 2am got a case of the munchies just before we got there. Being a good soldier, one of them was ready for this eventuality and prepared himself by bringing along 2 oranges. But what do you do with the orange peels? I mean, you dont want to mess up the OP by just dropping them there. Oh no, they wanted to be tidy and throw them about 10' away from the OP, into the bushes! But what about the boars who will be attracted by the smell of orange peels? Oh, well, we only have 10 minutes left, we'll let the relief deal with them!
 

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Mr Wizzard you didn't happen to serve with the 11th ACR in Fulda did you? And Falcon fixer 333 I live on Nellis and Washington Ave . You do know we got us a Solstice club started...look under regions, Pacfic. on this great site!
 

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Old Soldier said:
Mr Wizzard you didn't happen to serve with the 11th ACR in Fulda did you? And Falcon fixer 333 I live on Nellis and Washington Ave . You do know we got us a Solstice club started...look under regions, Pacfic. on this great site!
Old Soldier,

No, but I was stationed about 30 km away from Fulda in Wildflecken, 1/68 Armor. Spent several days playing around with the 11th ACR boys though! Definitely were chewing the same dirt.
 

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Old Soldier said:
Mr Wizzard you didn't happen to serve with the 11th ACR in Fulda did you? And Falcon fixer 333 I live on Nellis and Washington Ave . You do know we got us a Solstice club started...look under regions, Pacfic. on this great site!

Saw in another post you guys were trying to have a run to VoF. I don't have a Solstice yet but I might tag along on 2 wheels.
 

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Sounds good to me!
 

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I had always wanted to join the Army. My father was not a US citizen but he did two terms in Vietnam for the US. I always wanted to be like him.

After high school people kept talking me out of it. But after the Towers fell I felt it was my time to go. I had to lie about my phisical health in order to make it into the military.
I was going to be an Air traffic controler in the 101st airborn.
two months into bootcamp my back problems could not be hidden anymore.
I still didnt want to tell anyone and I was getting any sort of pain killers I could get my hands on. The anger I had from my back problems caused me to loose my cool on some other soldiers who pushed me over my limit.
I was sent to counceling and I came clean about my back problems and my reasons for wanting to join. .
I was let go with a clean slate. THey told me I was never there and nothing would ever show up.

Its been almost 4 years now. Its kills me to see my friends leave and go fight. I want to be there with them. I tend to get down on myself really bad when I think about this subject. Its the only thing I ever wanted to do in my life and I cant do it.
 

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Military Service

The long and the short of it;

I enlisted in the US Coast Guard (yes, its one of the FIVE military services) in 1969 and am still on active duty. I was 17 when I nlisted, too young for the draft. After boot camp, I was assigned to a remote station in the Pacific whih is as close as I came to being in the actual Viet Nam conflict. Iwas enlisted for 14 years working my way up to Chief Boatswain's Mate. I was a small boat coxswain (operated rescue boats) and a law enforcement boarding officer. May a few drug seizures and arrests but noting to write home about. I was appointed a Chief Warrant Officer in 1983 and went to OCS in 1986. As a commissioned officer I have served on several cutters (Coast Guard ships) and have commanded two of them. I was in comand of the fast patrol boat that led the invasion turned peaceful intervention in Haiti in 1994 as a lieutenant. Made commander 10 days before the world took a left hand turn up in New York and at the Pentagon. I have had many interesting assignments since then including a 6 month tour in Iraq last year (2004) training the new Iraqi Coastal Defense Force (navy and marine forces) in Baghdad, Taji and Basrah (Umm Qasr, Iraq). Strange work for a Coastie, i have got to say. Last year (2004-2005) I was assigned to the UN security and stabilization mission in Hait (MINUSTAH) as the deputy operations officer. Again, a strange job for a Coastie sailor. Over 36 years continous active duty with never (almost)a dull moment. it seams just when you think things might settle down, its hurricane season again!Stories up the wazoo, but who doesn't. Thanks for asking. Just got pack from training up at our training center in Yorktown, VA. 2200 mile round trip in the Solstice and she never missed a beat!!! Comfortable, fun, and cheap to feed! What a great car!
 

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Discussion Starter #70
ESB, that's a fine story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Many things are beyond our reach. You showed your true colors by giving it your best effort. Most of us (speaking for myself) have been content to just get by, but you went above and beyond. Good for you, you can sleep well at night knowing you gave your best.

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:
SGhS (Seven Grouphug Salute)

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Discussion Starter #71 (Edited)
pbskipper, another great story. Thanks.

Service in the Coast Guard has been of extreme importance since their inception. So many different jobs, from rescues, to drug interdiction, to immigration duties, to service in Iraq and Haiti, as you pointed out.

God bless you for your MANY years (36 so far) of service. I am impressed.

:patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot:
SFS (Seven Flag Salute)

PS: Is that Coast Guard station still there on the causeway? During shrimp season, get down there on the docks, under those bright lights, with a net and a styrofoam cooler, and fill it up with shrimp in about 15 minutes. I did that once, you just scoop them out of the water, no mess, no fuss!

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gizmo2004 said:
pbskipper, another great story. Thanks.

Service in the Coast Guard has been of extreme importance since their inception. So many different jobs, from rescues, to drug interdiction, to immigration duties, to service in Iraq and Haiti, as you pointed out.

God bless you for your MANY years (36 so far) of service. I am impressed.

:patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot:
SFS (Seven Flag Salute)

PS: Is that Coast Guard station still there on the causeway? During shrimp season, get down there on the docks, under those bright lights, with a net and a styrofoam cooler, and fill it up with shrimp in about 15 minutes. I did that once, you just scoop them out of the water, no mess, no fuss!

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If you are talking about Base Miami Beach on the McArthur Causeway, yes its still here. Since 9/11 you won't be allowed near it to shrimp, but its still there. Thank you for the kind words.

saw
 

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Been in the Navy since September, 1986. First ship was USS Iowa (BB-61). We deployed to the Mediterranean for 6 months 6 days after I reported aboard in September 1987. It was one of the coolest deployments ever. We went all over the Med for the first month or so. Then, the night before we were supposed to pull in to Marseilles, France we got diverted to Trondheim, Norway. Got to do the "Blue Nose," which basically means, "run around the deck naked while people throw icewater on you." This is done North of the Arctic Circle. We did it in November. It was not warm.
After Trondheim, we went to Marseilles, then through the Suez and on to Diego Garcia. On the way, we crossed the equator and did the "Shellback," which basically means (well, meant, since we can't do it this way anymore), " crawl around a deck covered with garbage while I beat you with a fire hose and make you eat foul, disgusting things." Man, those were the days. So we'd gone from North of the Artic Circle to South of the Equator in a span of about 30 days. How cool is that?
After that, we went to Oman and escorted reflagged Kuwaiti tankers through the Straits of Hormuz. We made runs 2-3 times a week for about 3 months. It was 103 days between our port visit in Diego Garcia and our next stop in Rota, Spain on the way home. We did get to meet Bob Hope and Miss America and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders though, so that was pretty cool.
My next job was on a Aegis cruiser, USS Normandy (CG-60). I was part of the commissioning (original) crew, also known as a "Plankowner." While I was on there, my team shot 26 Tomahawks during Desert Storm. Did a second deployment on the ship after that.
Next job was as an instructor in the schoolhouse. I made Chief Petty Officer while I was there in 1995.
After that, I served on the Destroyer Squadron Two-Three staff. This was the command made famous by Arleigh "Thirty-One-Knot" Burke during the Solomons campaign in WWII. Did two deployments with the staff, one embarked in USS Nimitz and one aboard USS Carl Vinson. Didn'[t get to shoot on the first one, but we did catch the tail end of Desert Fox on the second one.
My last tour was at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center where I worked as a database analyst and fleet tech support rep.
Since 2002 I've been aboard USS Mustin (DDG 89), a Aegis destroyer homeported in sunny San Diego. I've been with this one since shortly after she was put in the water, so now I'm the planKowner of two ships. We got back from our maiden deployment in August. I actually ordered Samantha while the ship was inport Manama, Bahrain. This last deployment was a blast. We went to Saipan C.N.M.I. and Penang, Malaysia on the way over, and Darwin N.T. Austrailia and Papeete, Tahiti on the way back.
The ship is shifting homeport to Yokosuka, Honshu, Japan in a few months, so Samantha is going to be (temporarily) orphaned. I was supposed to be on the ship until this time next year, but...I found out late last night that I was selected for Chief Warrant Officer, so it looks like I'll be back home in November.
Well, that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!
 

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Here's to Bob Hope, a true American hero!
 

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Old Soldier said:
Here's to Bob Hope, a true American hero!
:agree: x 7

:patriot: x 7


And twbaisch, that's a fantastic post, thank you. You have served on some fine ships. The Iowa, geez, I would love to visit her and walk those decks.

I got my blue nose (in August, thank goodness) and a very minor ceremony. I loved Rota, watched some teenagers do the flamenco on the sand. I ate boiled snails at a restaurant on the beach there, in the company of two pretty senoritas and my shipmate.

God bless you for your fine service and congratulations on Chief Warrant Officer. You finish your 20 in September this year, staying in for more?

Wouldn't it be cool to ship Samantha over there so the Japs could see what a beautiful sports car looks like? :)

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I have been in uniform since i was 14. Left for military Academy in Wood Stock VA. Graduated at 17 a year early. Had my mother sign a waiver so i could get in at 17. Hit the fast track moving up in rank at a young age. was an 18 yr old Cpl. Got Married, we got pregnent. I got deployed to Iraq. Had My 19th birthday there. three weeks later. we were in an ambush. and hodgi got me. Lost my right eye, died from blood lose. But was revived By the Medi Vac. Return to states june 2004, went through multi surgerys. Have Been in medical hold trying to stay in ever since. I lost the fight with the doctors. and am being put in Disabled Vet catagory soon. The uniform is my life to be honest idk what im going to do. But im doing great for a kid my age. But the EYE loss is how im sure im going to be the youngest owner of a GXP. at least i have that to keep me chipper.lol

But here is a better explanation
Published July 11, 2004
War wounds
Bomb injury alters life of Olivet soldier

Advertisement

By Tracy Burton
Lansing State Journal

At 19, Shane Farlin is a disabled veteran of war.

Since he was just a boy, the Olivet native planned a future with the Army.

At 14, he enrolled in a military school. When he was 17, his mother signed a waiver so he could join the U.S. Army National Guard.

He started with the military part time because he was waiting for his high school sweetheart - now his wife, expecting their first child - to graduate from high school. He dreamed of becoming an officer one day.

"I've always wanted to be a leader," he said. "I love being in uniform. ... I think that's what I was supposed to do."

In January, Shane's unit was called to duty in Iraq.

While much is written about the 651 U.S. servicemembers killed in action since the war began, less is said about the 5,394 men and women who have been wounded in combat.

Men like Shane Farlin.

"And they don't tell you," Shane said, "that their lives are completely changed by it."

Blinded by explosion

It's May 25, a little over a month since Army Spc. Shane Farlin turned 19 - and his 69th day in Iraq.

Wearing a 50-pound bulletproof vest, he sweats in the 100-degree heat. His machine gun rests out the window.

Shane and his combat partner are in the second semitrailer in a convoy of 20, driving through Baghdad on their way back from a routine supply mission in Fallujah.

The vehicles, from the U.S. Army National Guard's Howell-based 1462nd Transportation Company, slow to about 25 mph as they approach the exit ramp off the highway.

Shane, riding passenger, notices black scorch marks in a drainage ditch. The enemy found a new spot to light off roadside bombs, he figures.

Suddenly, the silence is broken by an explosion and then the sound of Shane's screams. The force jolts him back in his seat.

"It was like getting hit in the face with a baseball bat," Shane recalls.

An explosive device has blasted through the side of his truck, blinding him.

"My eyes, my eyes!" Shane screams.

He falls onto his partner, grabbing for her arm.

"The blood that came down was just like a blanket," he says. "It was all warm and thick and pouring all over."

His partner steps on the gas and speeds ahead, as they've been trained to do. After a few minutes she stops, pulls Shane out and lays him on the ground.

He can feel the warmth of the pavement beneath him. The voices around him are getting louder and louder.

"I could hear people calling for a medic," Shane says. "The medic came. His first words were 'Oh, my God.' "

Shane hears explosions going off and listens helplessly as his fellow soldiers scurry around, yelling. They are under attack.

Shane screams for his machine gun, wanting to pitch in.

But he can't. His body is getting weak as blood leaks through the gauze onto his cheeks, soaking his desert camouflage uniform.

He can hear the helicopter getting closer.

Unable to see, Shane yells to whoever is nearby: "Tell my wife I love her and my baby."

Delivering the news

Shane wakes up in a hospital in Iraq.

Hearing Arabic-speaking doctors talking outside his room, he thinks he has been kidnapped.

An English-speaking doctor eventually comes and helps Shane call his wife, Jennafer, who is due to give birth to their son in August.

It is 6:30 a.m. in Olivet.

Shane tells Jennafer he is coming home. And that he's been attacked. And that he may lose his eye.

It's the first time his wife has ever heard him cry.

Then Jennafer passes the phone to Shane's mother, who cries with him.

Hours later, Shane is flown to a tent hospital back on his base, Anaconda, north of Baghdad.

He spends only a few hours there as nurses prepare him for a flight to Germany.

He throws up again and again, apologizing to the nurses.

On board, he lies on a stretcher, with wounded soldiers stacked above and below him.

Shane, the only member of his unit injured by the bomb, thinks about what happened to him. He refuses to let himself get angry or depressed: "You don't want to think like that, because it will eat you up."

At the military hospital in Germany, Shane regains sight in his left eye.

He stays there for a few days before being flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Horror of war

At Walter Reed, surgeons remove Shane's right eye.

He sees other young injured soldiers there, including one who has a chunk missing from his skull.

Another has one arm.

Another has lost both legs.

Another has a tube inserted in his throat to help him breathe. That soldier can't talk.

Shane's wife and parents arrive the next day.

"I wanted to just hug him and cry," Shane's mother, Trina, said, recalling the day she walked into a hospital full of injured soldiers.

"I couldn't count how many," she said, her eyes welling with tears.

"Nobody hears about them. ... Why?"

Planning for future

In Olivet, the community of 1,700 welcomed Shane and his family home in mid-June with a parade.

"I wish everyone could come home to that," Shane said as he walked through downtown recently.

Yellow ribbons reading "Support our troops" remain wound around dozens of tree trunks.

A woman riding her bicycle slowed down to yell, "Welcome home, Shane."

He didn't know her, but he gave her a shy smile.

Shane and Jennafer temporarily live with his mother. He speaks proudly of the three-bedroom home in Bellevue that the couple bought and plan to move to later this month.

"Now that I'm back, I'm getting everything back on track," he said. "The only thing I have to worry about is how to keep paying for it."

He and Jennafer are getting by with Shane's active duty military paychecks, but he doesn't know how long they'll keep coming. He's waiting to hear what assistance and pay he may be eligible for as a soldier wounded in war.

Shane also is waiting for his possessions to be sent from Iraq, including a $3,000 laptop for which he's still making payments to Best Buy.

Shane left Saturday for another trip to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington. This time, doctors will insert a lens painted to look and move like his left eye.

The shrapnel embedded in his forehead and arm looks like freckles. It may never go away.

The hardest part for Shane is accepting that his career with the Army may be over.

His first choice would be to continue serving his country.

If he can't, he plans to apply for a job as a drill sergeant at the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy in Battle Creek, the military school from which he graduated.

If that doesn't work out, he might go to college. He'd like to be a history teacher.

Regardless of what his future holds, Shane is determined to be the best dad possible as he and Jennafer continue to build their life together.

"He's home and alive," Jennafer said.

"I thank God for that."

Contact Tracy Burton at 377-1206 or [email protected].
 

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Shane, that is an amazing story. We of the Solstice Forum are honored to have you among us. I award you my famous

:patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot:
SFS (Seven Flag Salute)

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I guess this is as good a place to introduce myself. I enlisted in the Navy in 1991. I'm a Hospital Corpsman and have been doing this job my whole career. I don't have great war stories although I have seen some awesome places in the world. I have been stationed on a Ship in Japan and with a Marine Unit in Okinawa. I am lucky enough to be in a position now where I can share my experiences and teach new technicians the in's & out's of my field (psychiatry).
I'm shy...:lol:
I own a 06 Cobalt SS with a 2.0 Supercharged ECOTEC motor and love to learn....
 

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Doc.SS said:
I guess this is as good a place to introduce myself. I enlisted in the Navy in 1991. I'm a Hospital Corpsman and have been doing this job my whole career. I don't have great war stories although I have seen some awesome places in the world. I have been stationed on a Ship in Japan and with a Marine Unit in Okinawa. I am lucky enough to be in a position now where I can share my experiences and teach new technicians the in's & out's of my field (psychiatry).
I'm shy...:lol:
I own a 06 Cobalt SS with a 2.0 Supercharged ECOTEC motor and love to learn....
Nobody braver than a Corpsman!

I've read stories of Corpsmen/Medics in battle, going above and beyond the call of duty, not to kill but to save! Truly the finest of the military, in whatever branch they serve.

Double for you guys:
:grouphug: x 14

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