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Memories...

Driving home two days ago, in evening twilight after the snow, I got hit hard with a sense of deja vu. Driving down the winding road in a blue-gray dusk with that glow that snow causes, it was like being on a winter maneuver rights CPX in the hills between Grafenwoehr and Wurzburg. But warmer, rather than being in an open-topped jeep, despondently holding that little hose of your passenger side heater box as it labored futilely against the coldest winter since the war.

It was easy to recall wearing a cold weather mask and headset, wreathed in the misty cloud of your breath, gloved hand on the M2, sticking out of the TC hatch of a M113A1. With your handy guide stick to whack the driver with since the intercom was intermittent.

That rumble-clatter-tink of tracks on cobblestone you feel in your gut. The smell of diesel sharp in the nostrils as the Germans nimbly dodged around you as you rumbled through their evening commutes and the rhythmic sparkle of your blippy light and the twinkling up and down the line of tracks as you repositioned for the evening maneuver stand-down and O-group for the next's days activities, thoughts of what congealed slop would be left of dinner by the time you got to it...

Good times. I miss that.

Well, in my mind I do.

I bet if I found myself doing it again I'd be a bitch-monster.

Heh.  Joe put this link in the German artillery post.  I think it's apt here!

9 Comments

Well, you do make it sound awfully pleasant. Except perhaps for the "congealed slop" part. But yeah, it's amazing how as we get older some of the stuff we hated while on active duty now seems pleasant.

There's days I actually miss the roar of a nearby Dash-60, as I struggle to disconnect the front radar scope from an F-4. In a t-shirt (for that was the only way to do it), in 10 degree weather, watching the snow coming in over the rice paddies in Korea.

Yup, good times. (Hey at least in the Air Force the chow was usually good.)
 
 The problem with war stories is you have to go through a war to get them.
 
I saw the snow and cold and thought of the armorer's walk over the river and through the woods on his anniversary a while back.  Anyone done the cold weather PCC/PCIs with him lately?
 
Nope!  I'm blissfully untrained, wearing sneakers and a sweater, with no disaster bag in the truck.

For you noobs who don't know the story...
 
And the song on the radio (in the video) was must better than that Vietnamese acid rock that guy in the dorm would play. But the wierdest thing was the guy from Winston baby talking his girlfriend (no relation to the former as I recall) in Vietnamese; their wedding dinner was fun.
 
How about the 2 am arrival at the railhead in Graff --, snow on the ground, colder than hell, the only sounds the rattling of tie-down chains and squeaking of boots in the snow that only happens in real cold -- nobody talking, everybody just doing their job a pinky-yellow light makes the whole scene surreal, then the first tank starts. I remember my mess team (yes it was that long ago) used to have hot coffee and sandwiches made out of a pancake with two link sausages rolled up in side. I'd go back tomorrow if I could. I wish my son could enjoy a peacetime Army like we had in the 60s in Europe
 
 I members that story well. One reason I said you needed that mergency kit in the truck in case it happened again. I'm sure Beth, at least, had the sense to put the coat in the truck for you.

Seriously, next time they might have to get Tuttle to lauch a SAR mission to find the remains. So bees careful out there on the plains.
 

Victor Alert at Hahn AB, FRG (ca. 1978): Mating a "Silver Bullet" to station 5 of an F-4E. It's so cold your fingers go numb in a few seconds without gloves, but the gloves won't fit through the silver dollar panels where we check the rack is locked; so my 2-man removes the panels while I keep my fingers warm in my armpit; I then have about 5 seconds to find and check the seer indicator beffore my fingers are too numb to feel anything.
- Yeah it sucked, but somthing about "owning" 15 megatons of artificial sunrise can make a 22 year old kid feel awfully important...

 
Funny the timing on this. I was standing in my backyard two days ago, nominally watching the hound do his business. There was a skim of snow on the ground and a bit on the bare bushes and the bull pines.
With my breath steaming away, I suddenly felt I was back on some farm track in Germany. The clean Winter air, the snow underfoot...it just seemed to be a place and time that is getting further and further away.
I half expected to hear the scrape of a d-handled shovel, the thump of a pick mattock, and my partner in the foxhole cursing the cold, the dirt, Germany, the Army, the platoon sergeant, the mess tent, ...
Hunter
Alaska