By lex, on December 27th, 2010
This DADT tale ** leaves me with more questions than answers:
I am a retired U.S. Marine, having been drafted at the end of the Vietnam War. At one time, I commanded a squadron of 1,200 Marines and sailors. And, like many of my fellow veterans, I believed that the Clinton-era “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy worked well, enabling some fine Americans to serve this great nation…
At the end of the Vietnam War, I was a young first lieutenant flying the venerable F-4 Phantom jet…
Brannon’s bio * – which is charmingly self-promoting – lists him as an F-4 RIO. Has anyone ever heard of an officer being drafted to flight training? Because it is entirely new to my experience. And I, for one, have never heard of a 1200-man squadron. In my days, we would have called that a “wing”, and it would have been commanded by a full bird colonel, not an O-5.
Two years ago I was in Afghanistan as a defense contractor providing special resources to a forward base near the Hindu Kush mountain range. My bunker was next to a U.S. Air Force Air Police detachment. A young black Air Force enlisted woman, probably 19 years old and 110 pounds, walked by me on her way to a position on the line. She flashed me a dazzling all-American smile and said, “Good morning, sir.” On her shoulder was a 50-caliber machine-gun, a very heavy and effective weapon.
The Ma Deuce weighs 84 pounds by itself, nearly 130 with tripod and equipment. I’m about 200 pounds, fairly fit and stocky. I’d have a hard time carrying my body weight for any distance and flashing a smile.
I’m not questioning his main point, although I disagree with it. Nor am I calling him a liar. But if we were talking over a beer in the O Club, I’d be raising my left arm, the better to keep my wristwatch above and out of the BS.
Maybe – just maybe – the LA Times should have too.
* 10-16-2018 Link Gone; no replacements found – Ed.
** 10-16-2018 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.