06 November 2005

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 10 Nov 90

10 NOV 90

159204, 5T2, 1.9, 260, Peewee

Today was the Marine Corps Birthday. Got to the best thing on my birthday, fly! Peewee and I took off at 0745, flew BGen Brabham (CG 1st FSSG) around to see his combat support units in the field. First we went to the FAARP and dropped him off for 30 minutes. The aide brought us some cake, it was great. I have to say it was a beautiful day out in the sun, with my Huey, some M&Ms and a little bit of cake on the 215th birthday. The temps hover in the 90s these days, and the breeze is a little more steady. We took him to 2 more locations, then back to JNA. The best part of flying this morning was missing our own MAG-16 formation (mill about smartly in desert cammies). Or at least we thought we'd miss it. We managed to contribute to the festivities in our own little way. When we got to the field, they were still having the ceremony, over an hour and a half late. They were almost through as we came putting in..wop..wop..wop. 5 miles from the field, the tower asked if we had a "Code", or VIP on board. We told them to call our ops, didn't feel like broadcasting to the world "yea, we got a General back here..." Ops must have clued them in, because they cleared us in to land while the ceremony was going on. We landed 1/2 a mile away on a taxiway, luckily the Gen's driver was smart enough to come out and get him. Got rid of him, shut down until ceremony was breaking up. By that time there were 6 53s, 2 46s, a C-12 and a C-130 waiting for the pits. We turned up, slid over to the pits before everyone else even got started. Refueled, taxied in, shut down and went to eat birthday meal.
Finally some good chow, maybe even better than the other Marine Corps Ball dinners. Could be perspective. Onion soup, shrimp pasta, salad, corn on the cob, and steak with mushrooms. The steaks were marinated overnight, then grilled. All kinds of beverages, I picked Pepsi and a fake beer. For desert birthday cake and ice cream.
Back to the terminal, a short day for the Marines, 6 hours. Read letters, got 25 letters from Joan's elementary school. I'll write them back as a class. I think she read one of my letters to them, must have been the one where I mentioned being sick and them using human waste to fertilize the vegetables. Great! The life of a Marine.

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