Saturday, December 10, 2016

Armada coming up, and flipping switches I guess :-)

Saw and reposted this on Facebook:

Not strictly speaking true of course, I came to UIUC for 2 years, but then dropped out to enlist.  The rest?  Yeah, that part was true...  I drank a lot.  Now, being Scot/Irish and saying that puts my drinking on borderline alcoholic I'd guess, and so would my ex (she's a Psychiatrist, so professional opinion in her case).  But the lads in my unit drank a LOT.  Oddly only when we were not "in the field" or on Deployment, so that was never an issue.  We all had a fairly keen survival sense in a line combat company, and being so tightly knit we'd never voluntarily endanger each other.  I understand that was not always the case as we had some folks who were still in after serving in the 70's...  Very different Army, and why I'd never want a conscript force.  I think Heinlein said it best when he commented that "a nation that has to resort to enslaving it's populace is not worth saving" or something to that effect.  But we were all volunteers.  In any case, my driver was previously a minor league baseball player with insanely good reflexes and better than 20/20 vision.  He COULD actually hit targets with his M-16A2 out to 1000m...  Not sure how effective it would have been, we never really had to test that being part of an Armored Division with actual weapons to use at those ranges.  Me, I fire a LOT better on the move, and the old M-2 was pretty easy when you understood that you do not actually fire AT a target, but sweep the weapon across it while firing...  But in any case, in his example he'd drink a case of Bud Light every night.  Friday and Saturday that and a fifth of Tequila or Whiskey (NOT Scotch, so not Whisky :-)).  Every night.  But like flipping a switch, nothing at all when we hit the field.  Was kind of weird, but the whole field/Deployment mindset was really like flipping a switch with a lot of things changing and in general all of us becoming far more serious.  Well, perhaps "serious" is not really the right word.  Our humor was always a bit dark, but it got a LOT more so in those conditions...  It was all pre-internet for me and my generation, so in a lot of ways I think it made that transition a lot easier.  No real way to keep in constant contact with the real world when we were out and about...  Hell, for the most part we didn't even know where we were other than the grid coordinates that the new GPS system gave us...  THOSE were nice.  Having had the opportunity to call for fire (Artillery/Air support) on more than one occasion, that level of accuracy combined with my ability to correctly estimate distances from my position made things REALLY accurate there.  Being really good at math does have some practical applications :-)...    Not entirely sure where this was going, mostly remembering simpler but far less fun times I guess.

Might be "casualties"...  One of my people had a cardiac episode this week, still waiting on things like EKG and the like, but he is feeling a lot better.  Having done that particular thing myself a few years back, I'm keen to have him rest and recover fully before coming back...  Hopefully before I go in for cataract surgery next month of course, but if not, so be it.  Yes, injuries catching up to me and I get to have this done a full 20+ years before it "should" be necessary.  Looking forward to contacts/sunglasses again...  Oh, and clear vision...  But this looks like my Engineer will be back soon...  Was not really the case in the old days of course with some of my people actually dying on me...  :-)  That's part of my Army times I don't go into much, a lot of my time there was "less fun"...  Yeah, lot of it was boring, some of it made for funny stories ...  Maybe some day I'll actually write down the more interesting stuff...  Not now though.

Gearing up for an Armada event tomorrow.  Should be interesting, a group of us are driving over to Bloomington ...  Deciding on my standard Rebel Bomber list or my old standard Rebel Gun Line with Ackbar on "Home One" to lead them out...  Accuracy has become a lot more important with the Flotillas getting Scatter and the ability to just dodge an entire attack...  Leaning heavily toward the Gun Line as a more fun force...  The Bombers can be a pretty vicious one...  Not sure what the local scene there is, and I do not want to be to first to bring out so vicious a list...  Besides, I have the fleet painted...  Guess Mike and I will be posting pictures tomorrow...