The Big Guys would like to take a moment to honor the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. I have never served, but I have many family members and friends who have, and I am grateful for the sacrifice that each of them have made in order to protect our great nation.
From Those who Have Served
I thought I’d reach out to a couple of buddies that I know have served and see if they would answer some questions. Below are responses from Josh, who served in the Navy, and Neal, who served in the Army.
1. For what reason did you join the military?
To help out my parents and to help pay for school when I got out
I decided that just working wasn’t enough, and I wanted to do something that made a difference. I wanted to have a purpose.
2. In what branch did you serve?
3. How long were you enlisted?
5 years 1 day
4. Best thing about being in the branch you were in?
I WAS ON A SUB KINDA DIFFERENT THAN THE REST OF THE NAVY. CANT REALLY SEE TO MUCH FROM UNDER WATER. BUT YOU BECOME REAL GOOD FRIENDS WITH THE OTHER 90 OR SO GUYS ON BOARD. [Big Guy Note: He started typing all caps here.. I’m pretty sure he was trolling me so I would have to fix it for the post… showed him.]
There was order. A procedure for everything, and everyone knew where they fit in to the mission.
5. What’s the craziest (PG rated) story you can share?
WHEN WE HAD FLOODING [REDACTED] OR SO FEET BELOW THE SURFACE.
We were picking up a sling load that was supposed to be a diesel engine. I noticed someone had put a ruck sack and duffel bag in the sling. The LZ NCO [Landing Zone Non-Commissioned Officer] said that they had someone to add to the flight, and that it was his stuff. I recommended we pull his gear out of the sling load, but they didn’t want to have to have it re-certified. I had the passenger go to the other helicopter in our flight, and we picked up the sling load. The load however shifted in the net, and once we hit cruising altitude was oscillating out of control. At the point we lost our flight control computer we punched the load. It looked like Wile E Coyote falling from 500 feet to the dust. After landing, the guy asked me where to find his stuff… I didn’t have the heart to tell him so I send him to the TOC (Tactical Operations Center) to get the news. This was all under NVG [Night Vision Goggles], so the next morning when they went back to the site everything was gone.
Also at basic training: A private was talking to a drill sergeant in a low voice. The drill sergeant told him to: “Fall out of formation, go to the woodline, find and eat a mushroom, power up like Mario, and come back and talk to him in a man voice!”
6. What was the worst thing about being in the branch you were in?
THE HOURS YOU WORK AND HARDLY ANY DAYS OFF.
In 6 years in, I spent 1 year in Korea, 2 years in Afghanistan, and countless weeks away training.
7. Who’s your favorite “Big Guy”? Not necessarily someone on the site, but in life, in general?
THE ONE THAT SELLS BURGERS.
For Veterans day, I really think of CSM Kevin Griffin.
Join us and take a moment out of your day today to remember those who gave their all and for those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country, reflect on all of the wars and events that our country has overcome because of these heroes, and give thanks to those who have served and are currently serving in our military.
To Josh, Neal, and everyone who has served: Thank you for your service!