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November 20, 2006

So, why *does* the Arsenal of Argghhh! exist?

Lex has an excellent post that Fuzzy linked to yesterday, regarding Trolls.

In it, Lex notes what he's learned about some of the people who hang out at his place.

In my mind’s eye, I know the regulars here by what they love. CPT J is a warrior poet, his heart beats to the ancient rhythms. B2 and Sid saw the world as it once was, and think it still the best. Michelle likes a good sea story, Kris likes plane pr0n, Byron loves ships from the inside, Tim loves the whirl of the blades - prop or helo doesn’t matter - and the thrill of the hunt. Chap loves to think deep thoughts, while Skippy-san loves beer and (asian) women. Sim and Chris both like to fly, and they both love Oz, and who can blame them? unkawill loves heroes and the old ways, Brian and Nose like it when the pilots synch the props and remember fondly the stories of their youth. Subsunk loves the good fight and is a man after my own heart, FbL loves doing good, while AFSister likes to flirt but loves her boys. John Donovan loves him some guns, Buck still loves the Air Force even after all these years as Mark and Bill still love the Corps. Babs loves her young man Tim and would fight for him if it came to it and for my own part I’d never want to stand against her if it came to that, and there are many, many more and I don’t want to leave anyone out, but you get the point: I know you by what you love, and in a way I love you for it.

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John Donovan loves him some guns.


Excellent post, Lex. And you almost got me nailed.

I do love me some guns, ‘tis true. But I loves me the used guns… because of the warriors that *used* them.

Bring me no Arsenal-snazzy gleaming hunk of iron and wood, unless that’s all I can get.

Give me something that has hunkered in a hole with a fighting man. That hopped the hedge not knowing what was on the other side… that drew the steady bead or just blazed away in hopeless earnest.

Because it then becomes my connection to the warrior.

Marines on Tarawa.

Like these Marines at Tarawa, 63 years ago today.

It’s why I spent a long, hot, dark week in the bowels of the ex-USS John Rodgers, tripped excitedly through the Foxtrot moored in 'Dago, after having already clambered through the Midway.

Or I rejoice when an old warrior with a checkered past resurfaces. Or a weapon that figured in a clash of cultures, not just a clash of arms.

Why a jetsicle in the middle of nowhere, where once an air force base was will catch my eye, or that old german trench mortar standing forlorn in the once-bustling square of a now-dying town.

I wanna know how they computed the data.

It's why I'm as interested in the training devices as I am the real thing. Or how they ate. Or drank and passed the time. The people who cared for them.

Through them all I connect to the warriors who used them, and the people they touched. For good or ill, successful or no. They are my link to the past, and provide context to the future.

Like the Martini-Henrys on this wall, which provide a tangible link to this soldier and his mount, training for dismounted combat.

British soldier training his horse dor dismounted combat.

Just sayin’.

Oh, and because SWWBO sez it can.

Comments on So, why *does* the Arsenal of Argghhh! exist?
fdcol63 briefed on November 20, 2006 09:34 AM

Is it just me, or does this guy STILL look like a hotel bell hop? LOL

MajMike briefed on November 20, 2006 10:23 AM

why does it exist? because it CAN!

jim b briefed on November 20, 2006 10:45 AM

Hey neat that was sorta a "Best Of" show.

Sgt. B. briefed on November 20, 2006 11:07 AM

"First Night."

by Sgt. B. (1999)

The recovery vehicle had disappeared down the road in a cloud of diesel exhaust and the grin of the buddy who loaned its services. The neighbors, who had come out to gawk at this new "thing", had bid their "good-nights" and headed inside to eat dinner, watch "Jeopardy", or put the kids to bed.

The day faded into night, and the world filled with the serene silence that lay like a comforting blanket over all.

It sat there, a shape in the darkness, illuminated by only the light spilling off of the porch. Even in its dilapidated shape, it commanded respect, like an old soldier trying to straighten to the position of attention for the flag he fought for so long ago.

The newer vehicles around it seemed to bow to its presence, as if understanding that they served a daily and useful purpose, but this newcomer would perform a more noble deed; it would carry the stories of the past into the future...

I looked at this tired old survivor, and didn't think of the many hours it would take to get it up and running.

I'd do that tomorrow.

Not tonight...

Tonight was a night to rest. It was a night for me to shed all of the feelings of anxiety and worry that came with the recovery effort. A night for me to take a deep breath and accept that this old war-horse was all mine, with the title in my pocket.

Tonight was a night for the spirit of this vehicle to accept that it was now in the care of a pair of hands that would treat it with respect, and maybe even a little love.

It would never sit in a barn, covered in garbage.

It would never sit in the middle of a field, lonely and rotting away.

It would never feel the hands of some casual driver who looked at it as "just another farm truck".

It seemed to breathe a deep sigh of relief, a rescued soul...

Tonight was a night for ghosts.

A time for all those spirits of warriors past to find this vehicle, to invest in it their own stories, stories which would be revealed as I researched this truck's past decades of faithful service...

I watched it for a little while, and then put my hands on the dented hood.

I could feel the energy over the span of time.

How many hands had touched this very place?

I walked around it, my finger trailing along its fenders, its doors, its sides, its tailgate, all the while wondering at the places it had been, of the men and women it had carried, and of the events it had witnessed.

Here, in the darkness, I could almost see the faces of the young men, dressed out in their combat gear, riding in the back, on their way to meet their destiny, be it the front lines, or simply from the field to the chow hall.

Tomorrow I would begin to restore this diamond in the rough to its youthful livery.

Tomorrow I would work my will upon it.

Tonight, however, I would be still, and let it work its will upon me...

Kinda like that? The only difference is that my collection costs more to feed, as they are fully operational, and John's by neccessity, have been retired, ne'er to speak in anger again. (Well, most of 'em, anyways...) But the passion is still there...

lex briefed on November 20, 2006 01:48 PM

Well that's a great post back-atcha John. And I envy you them firearms too, as well as the lady in your life who green lights you for 'em.

We mostly seem to collect cats.

Beth briefed on November 21, 2006 07:33 AM

Lex, we seem to collect cats, also!!

lex briefed on November 21, 2006 05:12 PM

Well then, my sympathies. Pernicious habit, cat collecting.