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Author Topic: The Saga Ends  (Read 1761 times)

Offline Sean McEntee

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The Saga Ends
« on: February 27, 2021, 09:44:23 PM »
         A few folks on here know already, but a few weeks ago, a medical evaluation board was initiated, and I will be medically retiring from the Army after 17 years.  The process takes about a year, so it will probably be closer to 18 years.

        I've been reflecting on the odyssey that has been my Army career in the past few weeks.  What an odyssey it has been: 3466.7 total flight hours ( 1927.3 hours on RQ-7B Shadows and 1539.4 hours on MQ-1C Gray Eagles), 47 hellfire engagements with a 97.87% hit rate (first shot was a miss, trying to shoot a guy on a motorcycle going about 70mph through some trees...live and learn), 3 deployments to Iraq, 3 deployments to Afghanistan.  The best part has been the non-quantifiable aspects.  I've traveled to many fascinating places (comfort and safety varies by location), met some incredible people, and lived adventures that I couldn't have begun to envision when Mom and Dad dropped me off at the recruiting station almost 17 years ago.  The Army traveling allowed me to fly models with a lot of cool people, both people that I've known for a long time, and new folks as well. and groups like the Cholla Choppers and the DMAA were extremely welcoming when I was stationed in their areas.  I'm also very thankful to all of you, for everyone's support and words of encouragement throughout the years.

        It's been a great adventure, but the adventures have left physical and mental scars, and I've spent a lot of time getting therapy for both in the past few years. It takes me way longer to get out of bed than a 37 year old should have to take, I'm on more prescription meds than Jimmy Carter.  I have alot of doctors and therapists that are very confident that my disability rating will be high. 

        The road ahead looks good.  Psychology has interested me in recent history.  I'm currently taking a certification course as a behavioral health technician.  After I get out, the plan is University of Colorado-Colorado Springs for a BSW in Social Work with a minor in Psychology, then a MA is Psychology with a sub-group in Trauma Resolution.  I think the future will include working as a clinical psychologist at a installation hospital or at a VA facility.  Not many veterans out there with trauma psychology backgrounds, and are in high demand.

        The time is also coming to sit down and build some models!

Cheers everyone!
Sean

Offline John Rist

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2021, 10:37:36 PM »
Sean,

Thank you for your service!!!!    y1    y1    y1    y1    #^    #^    #^
John Rist
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Offline pat king

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2021, 06:19:32 AM »
Sean,
I wish all the best for you going forward. I have confidence that you can achieve anything that you decide to do. Thanks for your service. Stay healthy.

Pat
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Offline Don Jenkins

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2021, 06:24:12 AM »
Godspeed young man!

Don

Offline Will Hinton

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2021, 10:36:13 AM »
Sean, mere words are not enough to thank you for your years of service and sacrifices both physical and emotional.  Youre choice for the future says so much about your character and I wish you more than the best.  However, going against what I said first, let me say those words anyway - THANK YOU! H^^
Will H., USN AT2 '58 - '62
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Offline ericrule

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2021, 10:45:13 AM »
Hey Sean;

So glad to hear that you are looking forward to your retirement.

All of us who have had the good luck to meet and know you realize what and outstanding person you are and how very much we honor you and the  many sacrifices you and your family have made for this country and it's citizens. I am sure that I am only one of the many who can say I am proud to know you.

Please enjoy the rest of your life, stay safe and happy my friend. You certainly deserve it!!!

I am proud to call you my friend.
Sincerely
Eric Rule

Offline Paul Walker

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2021, 11:00:04 AM »
Wish you the best Sean. Good luck in school.  (Some times it takes luck to find just the right instructor to motivate you in the best possible way)

Offline Fredvon4

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2021, 11:21:57 AM »
Sean was here at Ft Hood when I met him in person.

We chat on the phone and messenger occasionally.

Several times he called me from his middle east deployment location, just to BS.
When I was over there 90-91 communication back to the US was limited to about 10 minuets at an ATT satellite call center once a month.

I hope he is very successful in the schooling and future jobs in this field

My career caused more physical than mental problems. And of the two, the mental traumas are the most disturbing and debilitating.

I sure would have preferred my VA Mental Health teams would have had some "been there done that" insight and experience.

I know Dan McEntee is very proud of his son as he should be. Sean is a very successful Army NCO. I am sure his 18+ years of experience will ensure he is successful and productive citizen for the rest of his natural Life.

My wife and I certainly wish him all the best
"A good scare teaches more than good advice"

Fred von Gortler IV

Offline proparc

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2021, 01:16:00 PM »
Fantastic Sean!! You explained to us just what are Freedom cost. It doesn't come free. It is paid for with the lives and sacrifices of people like yourself, that are willing to give it to us. God bless you.
Milton "Proparc" Graham

Offline Air Master

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2021, 03:56:38 PM »
I'm glad you're making it out alive and able to function.  How come they won't give you another MOS so you can complete 20 years or are you disabled to where you can't do any military job? 

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2021, 04:33:29 PM »
Sean, it is great you have reached retirement and still with us.  Also glad you have your future planned out.  Amazing how fast time is when it is behind us.  How do we thank all of you young people for giving up your private life to serve our country.  So stay safe and hope to see you again down the road. H^^
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Offline Les McDonald

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2021, 05:16:38 PM »
Sean, Best of wishes for whatever comes your way in the future and thanks for all you've done in the past 17 years. We all appreciate that more than you'll ever know.
Great minds discuss ideas
Average minds discuss events
Small minds discuss people------
Eleanor Roosevelt

Offline Don Chandler

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2021, 06:18:51 PM »
Thank you for EVERYTHING you have done for this country!!

Don Chandler

ex 592nd signal Company, Berlin Brigade

Offline John Miller

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2021, 07:45:38 PM »
Sean, I always see you as the kid hanging out at the Sig Meet with his dad. What a road you have traveled since then. As a Veteran myself, let me say THANK YOU, for your service. You are about to finish this phase of your life, and begin the next one. It's good to see you have a plan. God bless you in your future endeavors, and I hope to see you, all grown up, at a flying field someday soon.

John Miller
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Offline Peter in Fairfax, VA

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2021, 09:06:07 PM »
Sean,

Thanks for your service and also sharing your experiences online.  If you ever in the Northern Virginia area, please do check in with us at our control line field.

Peter

Offline Paul Taylor

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2021, 09:54:41 PM »
Best of luck on this new chapter in life.

Thanks for your service and keeping us safe.
We are all proud to call you friend.
Paul

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Offline Bob Hunt

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2021, 06:28:12 AM »
From one RA Army guy to another; God Bless You. No words from any of us here can come even close to conveying the depth of thanks due to you for your service to your country.

I was also medically discharged from the Army back in 1968. While I was waiting for discharge I was assigned to be the AV (Audio/Visual) guy at Walton Army Hospital at Fort Dix. I had sustained a back injury in training (before finishing AIT and going to Jump School for which I had volunteered) and never made it to combat. While at Walton one of my duties was to take the camera cart to the burn and orthopedic wards and show movies to the soldiers there who had returned from Viet Nam. Their injuries were too devastating and too horrible to go into detail about here. So I can understand in some small way the mental anguish you are going through. Enough said about that, but some day we might meet over a liquid refreshment and exchange stories; it might be healing for both of us...   

On to a new life: When you are ready to start building and flying, give me a call and let me know what wing you need to get going. It would be my honor to make a wing for you, and consider it a thank you gift from all here at Stunt Hangar. We all love and respect you, Sean.  Thanks again for your service.

Bob Hunt
« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 05:14:16 AM by Bob Hunt »

Offline Sean McEntee

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2021, 07:29:20 AM »
I'm glad you're making it out alive and able to function.  How come they won't give you another MOS so you can complete 20 years or are you disabled to where you can't do any military job?

Without getting too deep into the weeds, I'm looking at 90-100% rating, based on other cases that my providers have seen.

From one RA Army guy to another; God Bless You. No words from any of us here can come even close to conveying the depth of thanks due to you for your service to your country.

I was also medically discharged from the Army back in 1968. While I was waiting for discharge I was assigned to be the AV (Audio/Visual) guy at Walton Army Hospital at Fort Dix. I had sustained a back injury in training (before finishing AIT and going to Jump School for which I had volunteered) and never made it to combat. While at Walton one of my duties was to take the camera cart to the burn and orthopedic wards and show movies to the soldiers there who had returned from Viet Nam. Their injuries are too devastating and too horrible to go into detail about here. So I can understand in some small way the mental anguish you are going through. Enough said about that, but some day we might meet over a liquid refreshment and exchange stories; it might be healing for both of us...   

On to a new life: When you are ready to start building and flying, give me a call and let me know what wing you need to get going. It would be my honor to make a wing for you, and consider it a thank you gift from all here at Stunt Hangar. We all love and respect you, Sean.  Thanks again for your service.

Bob Hunt

Hey Bob!

Ahhh..Airborne School.  I'm a 4 jump chump!  For the uninitiated, Soldiers who go to Airborne school, do their requisite 5 jumps but never get assigned to an Airborne unit are often referred to as a "5 jump chump".  I broke my fibula and dislocated my ankle on my 4th, so I didn't even get that far ;D .  In spite of that, I had a great time at Ft Benning.  I was there in the summer, so there were alot of ROTC and West Point cadets that I made friends with, a few really cool Infantry folks that had just graduated from OSUT.  Airborne school itself was really neat.  The Airborne school at Ft Benning is kind of a living museum--all of the training apparatuses are just as they were when the original classes went through in the 40s (we were even one of the few lucky classes with good weather on Tower week, and got to use the 250-foot tower), and even the original barracks were still in use, though they were replaced with new ones in recent history. Cant believe that was almost 16 years ago...

I'm still keeping busy through the myriad of doctors appointments.  One of my protégés just made Staff Sergeant, and recently took up a vacant platoon sergeant position.  He'll do well, just needs some seasoning and a bit of coaching.  Working with a few folks on their writing skills for things like performance evaluations and awards.  I joke that, even though the Army only requires a 10th grade reading level, many leaders require writing skills equivalent to a double-masters in English and poetry. And I jump in the GCS now and then, talk to the crews, and show them some of my tricks, tips, and tools of the trade.

Offline jfv

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2021, 09:37:52 AM »
Thank you for your service.
Jim Vigani

Offline Bootlegger

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2021, 10:42:11 AM »
 Sean I sent you a P/M
8th Air Force Veteran
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Offline AirClassix

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2021, 10:46:14 AM »
THANKS so very much for your service, Sean!  But did you need to remind us it's been 17 years!?!

You are held in high regard here, Best of Luck and God Bless you in your further journeys!

Dennis
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Offline Fredvon4

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2021, 11:02:10 AM »
For folks who don't know GCS is Ground Control Station. Sean flew a variety of unmanned aircraft in his career all over weight limit for the FCC hobby license....grin
"A good scare teaches more than good advice"

Fred von Gortler IV

Offline proparc

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2021, 11:52:54 AM »
Sean, you are going to be hard pressed to find something that can heal better then Control Line Stunt. Trust me on this, your talking to a guy who has been doing overhead eights since the age of seven, (true). There is something about building Control Line Stunt ships that has an almost unbelievable ability to make you feel better. The key here, is to stick to kits or scratch building, and stay away from ARF's while your trying to mend. Building these stunt ships has an almost unbelievable therapeutic benefit that actually not only helps you heal but, seems to make you emotionally,(and mentally) stronger. Stunt Flyers are TOUGH COOKIES!!
Milton "Proparc" Graham

Offline Skip Chernoff

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2021, 12:03:28 PM »
Thank you for your service,best of luck  in civilian life.

Offline RogerGreene

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2021, 01:10:55 PM »
Sean, thanks for your service. Now college, what a good challenge. And don't forget to relax and build an airplane.

All the best to you.

Roger Greene
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Offline Jim Carter

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2021, 02:05:52 PM »
 ;D ;D ;D  Allow me to add my congratulations on your upcoming retirement.  Although I retired after 21 years with the USAF, I still think you Army guys serve a purpose .... one of these days someone will figure out just what it is!!   %^@ LL~ LL~  CONGRATULATIONS!!

Jim

Offline John Paris

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2021, 08:06:55 PM »
Sean,
Congratulations on making it through with all of your original equipment.  Thank you for your service.  Good luck on the next stage of life.  When I got out and went back to school after the 8 year break picking up exactly where I left off it was amazing how much easier it was for me with the ability to focus better on the task at hand and a little disheartening to see so many without that focus.  I have all the confidence that you will breeze through what you need to do to make your next stage of life successful.
John
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Offline Dick Tyndall

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2021, 10:30:04 PM »
  Thank you for your sacrifice and service to our country.

              Dick Tyndall
              USAF 1969-1973
              F-100/F-111 Crew Chief

Offline Joe Ed Pederson

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2021, 11:14:46 AM »
Sean,

This country owes a special debt of gratitude to those who wear a combat patch (and in some cases have to choose which combat patch to wear).  You certainly have my gratitude and admiration for your service and many deployments.

Our older son (Missouri Air National Guard) was deployed to Afghanistan a few years ago.  They were taken under the wing of the 4th Infantry Division.  As a retired Army Chaplain I told him before he deployed to expect to hear the soldiers say when given a task or mission, "Too easy, First Sergeant, too easy."  The task or mission wasn't always easy, but that attitude, that outlook on life is one of the great gifts that I received from the Army, is greatly admired by my Air National Guard son (who is fighting to get to wear the 4th Infantry patch on his Air National Guard uniform), and it is clear it rubbed off on you as well.

May God bless you with healing in body, soul, and mind.

Show those wet-behind-the-ears students in college how to appreciate life, grasp it by the horns, and never give up as you study to prepare for your next life of service.

Chaplain (MAJ) Joe Ed Pederson (Retired)
US Army 



   
« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 01:01:58 PM by Joe Ed Pederson »

Offline L0U CRANE

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2021, 12:32:26 PM »
Sean,

There's little I can add to What's been offered so far, except that I join and support it. You do well all that you are involved in. Keep that going!

I'm proud to have known you here and have followed your experiences over the years. The future looks promising, and your ordeal will make you much more capable in helping those who need it. You've walked that road, unlike someone  who may mean well but is only academically prepared.

As much as we can, all of us are pulling for you.

I haven't see any other Cholla Choppers comment, yet, so I'll try to get word to them. (At this distance and in the circumstances, I haven't been to a Club meeting since early last year when the restrictions began.)

\LOU
\BEST\LOU

Offline SteveMoon

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2021, 12:57:12 PM »
Congratulations Sean and good luck in the future.
We hope to see you at Hobby Park for many more
DMAA contests.

Steve

Offline Steve Fitton

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2021, 04:06:11 PM »
Crud, you're not going to get to enjoy those brown shoes!!

Thank you for 17 years of service to this nation!
Steve

Offline Doug Moon

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2021, 09:24:50 PM »
Congratulations!!  It's been a long career and we certainly thank you for your service.  I loved the videos of your little rubber power stuff in the hangar.  Very Cool!  Hope to see you in Dallas again.

Doug Moon
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Offline Allen Goff

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2021, 08:28:59 AM »
Sean, let me add my "thanks for your service". Can't add anything new to what's already been said. Wishing you "happy trails ahead". y1

Blessings
Allen
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Offline Sean McEntee

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2021, 09:19:38 AM »
Thank you everyone, again, for all of your support, encouragement, and kind words.  The really mean alot.


THANKS so very much for your service, Sean!  But did you need to remind us it's been 17 years!?!

Dennis

Yes...if I have to sit and think "wow, has it really been that long?!", so do you! LL~

Sean flew a variety of unmanned aircraft in his career all over weight limit for the FCC hobby license....grin

And no registration!

Sean, you are going to be hard pressed to find something that can heal better then Control Line Stunt. Trust me on this, your talking to a guy who has been doing overhead eights since the age of seven, (true). There is something about building Control Line Stunt ships that has an almost unbelievable ability to make you feel better. The key here, is to stick to kits or scratch building, and stay away from ARF's while your trying to mend. Building these stunt ships has an almost unbelievable therapeutic benefit that actually not only helps you heal but, seems to make you emotionally,(and mentally) stronger. Stunt Flyers are TOUGH COOKIES!!

Sounds like you've never flown free flight!  I've come home from FF contests pretty tired and beat up from running into yucca plants while chasing models.  Building and flying any model is therapeutic.  I've got a Skylark and a Cal Smith "Frisky Pete" Old timer in bones that I need to finish up when I get all settled in.  Got a nifty idea for a serious stunt model as well.

Sean,

This country owes a special debt of gratitude to those who wear a combat patch (and in some cases have to choose which combat patch to wear).  You certainly have my gratitude and admiration for your service and many deployments.

Our older son (Missouri Air National Guard) was deployed to Afghanistan a few years ago.  They were taken under the wing of the 4th Infantry Division.  As a retired Army Chaplain I told him before he deployed to expect to hear the soldiers say when given a task or mission, "Too easy, First Sergeant, too easy."  The task or mission wasn't always easy, but that attitude, that outlook on life is one of the great gifts that I received from the Army, is greatly admired by my Air National Guard son (who is fighting to get to wear the 4th Infantry patch on his Air National Guard uniform), and it is clear it rubbed off on you as well.

May God bless you with healing in body, soul, and mind.

Show those wet-behind-the-ears students in college how to appreciate life, grasp it by the horns, and never give up as you study to prepare for your next life of service.

Chaplain (MAJ) Joe Ed Pederson (Retired)
US Army 


Steadfast and Loyal!  Except for about 4 years in 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, just about my whole career was spent in the 4th Infantry Division.  All of my days flying Shadow were in 1st Brigade Combat Team, and I'm currently in 4th Combat Aviation Brigade.  I can sing the 4th ID song in my sleep  LL~

I think my proudest "Too easy"  feat was on one of my last flights in Afghanistan on this last deployment.  I was out at our smoke pit, reviewing logbooks for an upcoming takeoff when our MBO came running out.  There were a bunch of Daesh fighters spotted in a nearby village with RPGs, Dishk heavy machine guns and recoilless rifles, and I'm assuming no other air asset in the area to go after them.  Normally it takes 3-4 hour from the start of the preflight to being on target, depending on how far away the target area is from the airfield.  Got really creative with the checklist, and bent a FEW departure rules in place for unmanned aircraft, but time from putting my cigarette out to getting a Hellfire off the rail was about an hour and a half.



;D ;D ;D  Allow me to add my congratulations on your upcoming retirement.  Although I retired after 21 years with the USAF, I still think you Army guys serve a purpose .... one of these days someone will figure out just what it is!!   %^@ LL~ LL~  CONGRATULATIONS!!

Jim

For those who don't know, "Air Force" is an acronym for:

Aint
It
Rough

Flying
Over
Real
Combat
Everyday

 LL~ LL~ LL~

Thanks Jim! 

Sean,

There's little I can add to What's been offered so far, except that I join and support it. You do well all that you are involved in. Keep that going!

I'm proud to have known you here and have followed your experiences over the years. The future looks promising, and your ordeal will make you much more capable in helping those who need it. You've walked that road, unlike someone  who may mean well but is only academically prepared.

As much as we can, all of us are pulling for you.

I haven't see any other Cholla Choppers comment, yet, so I'll try to get word to them. (At this distance and in the circumstances, I haven't been to a Club meeting since early last year when the restrictions began.)

\LOU

Lou lives pretty close to the Ft Huachuca gate in Sierra Vista, AZ.  When I went through the RQ-7 Shadow course in 2005, I was still a lowly private who, by virtue of both my rank and time in service, couldnt be trusted to go off post.  So Lou would come on post with some models, and we would fly in a parking lot by the barracks.  I remember several flights where I would look over and see a Drill Sergeant or two, parked outside the lot, with the classic Drill Sergeant stance of arms folded and brown hat just covering their eyes, but they never ran us off.  Lou also abducted me from post a few times to go to contests and club events up in Tucson.  Got to meet Bob Palmer at a Christmas gathering, which was super cool.  He also helped me thrash together an ARF Nobler for VSC that year. 

My branch manager was talking to me about being sent back down to Ft Huachuca as an instructor, but this MEB thing fired up and that was the end of that.

Lou thank you so much for all of your help and kindness!  You made my AIT experience much more bearable ;D

Crud, you're not going to get to enjoy those brown shoes!!

Thank you for 17 years of service to this nation!

Oh, I'm gonna wear em!  Thats going to be my daily uniform through the end.

About 10 years ago, the Army wanted to change it's service uniform (because the Army likes to change uniforms these days)from the green Class As.  In spite of many people--including myself--petitioning for the WWII "Pinks and Greens" uniform, the Army went with a dark blue uniform that was reminiscent of the post-civil war cavalry uniform.  Well, that uniform was eventually deemed "too formal", and really wasn't made to be worn regularly, as evident by the wearing out of 3 pairs of pants and a jacket over a 9 year period.  So Army did some more surveying and testing, and just last year, rolled out the Army Green Service Uniform.  Despite being rally tired of going out and buying new uniforms over the past 17 year, I was super excited to get these.  So many pilot heroes--and plain heroes in general--of mine wore that uniform.  It looks really nice, and my sets are currently getting altered and all of my patches, rank insignias and stripes are being sewn on.  Side note:  Besides airborne units, noone in the Army has had to shine any kind of footwear for about 15 years.  Boots are suede tan leather that just need to be cleaned periodically, and the black dress uniform shoes are pantend leather.  The AGSU shoes, however, are regular leather, and will require shining.  I was chatting with my 1SG the other day, and we were talking about the upcoming sh*t show at all of the Basic Training units, with privates being taught how to shine shoes by Drill Sergeants who have never shined shoes/boots themselves!  LL~



 

Offline Jim Svitko

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Re: The Saga Ends
« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2021, 12:24:37 PM »
Allow me to add my congratulations and I hope to see you again at a contest in Dallas.

I will never understand the military.  You, Sean, joined the Army and got to pilot drones.  When I joined the Air Force in '73, I had an A&P license and I hoped to get into something related to aircraft.  Did that happen?  Of course not!  I ended up a seismic data analyst to see who was testing nukes underground.  Go figure!


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