Too many off topic posts. Good job Kurt!
I talked to older man who has lived in the neighborhood since i could remember, he told me was going to have surgery on his hip. As a common courtesy i asked him how he got the injury.
His answer was Korea, his unit was pulled off the frontline to counter attack the South Korean section of the line that was overran by Chinese troops. When his unit got to the scene they were attacked by T-34s. He told me he threw a grenade at the tank and ran and was shot by a single bullet that went into both legs. He was placed on a half-track and used his shoe laces to stop the bleeding.
Talking to the guy was the highlight of my day.
My uncle is a proud veteran who served in the American Army from the mid 1980’s to the early 1990’s (cant remember exact years.) He was stationed in Korea, Germany, and fought in Operation Desert Storm.
In Korea he told me how he would drive American generals to a secret location where they would meet the North Koreans. The first meeting the Americans brought a small flag to be placed on the table; the next meeting the Americans brought the same flag but the North Koreans brought a bigger one of their own. Pretty soon the situation got to the point where the flags had to be hung outside! When he was not driving generals to off-the-record meetings he and his unit spent most of the time patrolling, and training along the DMZ. Every morning they would jog along the DMZ and if the wind was blowing south the North Koreans would fly a plane over head (on their side) and drop pamphlets saying: “We know who you are, We know where you live, We know where your family lives….” and attempt other scare tactics in writing.
In Germany my uncle patrolled the old Berlin Wall. While patrolling the wall, the Americans were not allowed to wear their name tags, or any other items that may give away their identity. He said the Russians would literally be with feet of their faces and often times they would taunt each other. During the winter the Russians were not as well clothed as the Americans and were not given cigarettes, so my uncle and other soldiers would taunt the Russians back by exhaling smoke in their direction.
In Operation Desert Storm my uncle was a tank Commander of an M1 Abrams tank. (Prior to Desert Storm he went back to the states to train at Fort Knocks to be a tank Commander.) In the first night of the operation my uncle and his tank crew were on perimeter guard duty when they saw a “humped shape”, with a “long looking barrel” come over a hill. Thinking it was an enemy tank and receiving confirmation to open fire, my uncle’s tank fired at the object and it disappeared. The shell hit its target but it did not make the same type of explosion it should have made when normal shells hit a tank, so slowly and cautiously they approached where the object had appeared. Looking around they saw that they blew up a herd of camels!! My uncle and his crew and a good laugh for the night, but the next day he told me was far from that. On day 2 of the operation my uncle and his other fellow tank commanders engaged the Iraqis in a tank battle. My uncle did not say much about the battle only that it was a slaughter for the Iraqis, (No American tanks had been destroyed.) He did remember one part of the battle that he hesitated to tell me about… As his tank fired at an enemy tank he remembers seeing the enemy crew literary being sucked out of the tank from the explosion and flying in the air…
After desert storm he finished his remaining years stationed in Germany, again, and now is Manager for a Valve repair company. I love my uncle, and its because of him that I am reminded that war is not fun.
I once read an amusing anecdote told by a military history professor at an American university. His father had fought in the Second World War, and in his classroom lectures he would sometimes mention his dad. Several years ago, however, he realized with a shock just how much of a generation gap there was between him and his students when he phrased his reference to his father a bit too vaguely (saying that he had served “in the war”) and one of his twenty-or-so-year-old students raised his hand and commented that “my Daddy was in Vietnam too.”
I feel the video would do it justice better than just me telling the story.