My Stupidness in Germany

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13 minutes ago, dessa_dangerous said:

 

 War is hell.  Always has been, always will be.

 

That reminds me of the time I heard the two grandfathers of my oldest nanny kids talk about the war. The one who was captured by the Americans and said they were good to him, said he never wanted war again (Nie wieder Krieg!). I figure if he had been speaking English, he would have said just what you said. 

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On 10/04/2020, 18:20:45, racerken said:

Well, I’ve been in lockdown but working at the same time but during the idle time, I read and re-read your comments. 

 

Take away:

1.       I drink too much.  Yes, it’s true.  It makes me feel OK.

2.       I write when I’m drunk.  Yes, because I get emotional when I’m drunk.

3.       Definition:  I drink 1.5 bottle a day.

4.       I have regrets from the past.  Yes.  I never thought about it for decades. Drinking kills my past memory.

We all live with regrets, it's what we choose to do with them.  Your stories are interesting and if it helps you to share, then please continue to do so :)

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1 hour ago, JN53 said:

 

That reminds me of the time I heard the two grandfathers of my oldest nanny kids talk about the war. The one who was captured by the Americans and said they were good to him, said he never wanted war again (Nie wieder Krieg!). I figure if he had been speaking English, he would have said just what you said. 

When I was 18 and had just finished school in England and which had included doing German A Level, I found an ad in my Dad‘s Daily Express about jobs available in a factory in Bonn and wrote a letter.

I got the job and it was at Bonaval Werk, a factory making varnish.

 

I didn‘t understand the young workers with their dialect and I hated the chemical smells. Some of the young Germans started bullying me- including throwing me into a ( thankfully low ) vat of varnish. 
An older German worker spoke to me- he told me he had been a prisoner of war in England and had been grateful for his treatment there and for getting away from the war - so to speak.

 

He put in a word for me and a young German came to speak to me. He worked in the admin part of the factory and it turned out his sister was married to an English woman and living close to my home town in England.

The next day or so I was switched to an office job!

 

PS: funny how it all works out. A guy five years older than me, Mike,  „ had a word „ with the four bullies and all was quiet after that.😂

He was half local with the dialect and half Brummie with that dialect in English!

Long story - but at some stage we planned a trip to South America!

A year later, we both went back to England. A year or so later, I arrived at his mum‘s house in Birmingham- ready for the adventure.

His parents wouldn‘t let him go to such a „ dangerous place „- so I ended up there on my own.

Mike ended up at some stage in Berlin and died of AIDS.🙁

God, I miss him. He was a fun guy and a wonderful friend.

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All:  I was not a military combatant and I don't have PTSD.  I just have memories of my past and they have been chasing me thru these years and I never talked about this to anyone because if I did, they would label me as PTSD.  I never discharged a round with the exception of weapons qualifications, and I did end up carrying a AR with collapsable stock type firearm but that was because people started taking shots at us and the Marines demanded that I carry one.  It was not so heavy but the 300 rounds of ammunition was a drag.  I actually became attached to it and ended up taking an Armorers course so I could maintain the weapons in the squad.  I know, I'm totally becoming a grunt but that was to fit in because at the time, if you weren't one of them you were toast.  I could change the barrel of an M2 in record time.  

-----------------------------------------

I'm told that I was born outside of Tan Son Nhut airbase in Saigon but my mother won't talk to me about those days because she wants me to be All American.   To this day, we don't know what my father did but we did make it out on 01 May 1975 when it all came down.  We did not have to go to refugee camp in HK like most refugees.

 

About a week before we departed Vietnam, my parents were smashing all the jewelry and my job was to smash all the gold to sheets as thin as paper.  I did this well because I'm a fucking genius.  It was fun.  My father then returned home with a bunch of thermos container and we took them apart and wrapped the gold leaf around the steel internal flask.  He said each of us holds these thermoses because no one would ever suspect anything about thermoses.  We also stocked up on all of our spices because my father said we might eat boring American food so we have to remind ourselves that we are Vietnamese so gather spices. I remembered this well.  When we arrived at Travis AFB, the customs asked us for cash and whatever and my father claimed that we have nothing.  They checked. We passed.  To this day, I never thanked him for being so fucking smart.  We end up in SF living in the tenderloin and they stick us in a hotel with about 40 other refugees.  So we receive these books of food stamps and go to SAFEWAY!  Fucking A.  This store has everything, just like a PX.  My father is buying cartons of Marlboros but at check out they inform us that foodstamps don't pay for smokes or alcohol.  Bummer, but he had cash from the gold.  He exchanged it at some place in the tenderloin not far from city hall.  One day when I went to exchange some gold a police officer was attacked by someone and his neck was slashed.  I go into the store to exchange gold and the lady asked if I had anything to do with the wounded police officer outside.  I just stared at her, like WTF?  She just apologized and gave me the cash.  Life was not so fun but city life was great in SF.  Like nothing was a worry, unless you are fucking stupid to go out for a walk at night in the tenderloin.  

 

One day, a group of Laotians in the hotel said, we're going hunting.  I fucking laughed so hard but I realized that they were serious so I said, yeah, let's do this.  I think that's what they said, we are going to hunt for animals.  Again, lost in translation.  We board a bus for Golden Gate Park.  During the trip they explained to me that they went to the stores but there is no food but things that resemble food but different color and in some protection plastic, like mummys.  They were referring to plastic wrapped food...  They didn't understand how Americans shop.  These hill people like to pluck the feathers or it's not a meal.  I just learned that.

 

We go to some lake on, I think 36th avenue, and there are about 20 ducks just sitting around.  We quickly net them, grab them and shoot them with arrows.  FYI, never fuck with Laotians, they can hit you with an arrow while you are in a full run.  Mountain fighters.  Then they pick a hidden area in the bush and start skinning the birds, hang them and say, 'we return tomorrow'.  We do, blood is all drained, have a feast - they know how to party.  This goes on for about 3 months and one night I don't go because, I'm like bored.  The police arrest them. Go ahead and look this up in the SF Chronicle.  The police thought that some weird cult was conducting duck offerings to the god so a swat team waited for the Laotians.  HAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

After that, our building was assigned some lilly white volunteer from Boston that explained to us in Perfect English on how to shop using Food stamps that yes, you plastic packages contain chicken, beef, pigs, etc.  I told him in my fake limited english that they don't understand but the Laotians since they have no language that acting out a scene can only describe it.  This very nice gentleman gets on his hands and knees at a safeway and starts moooing and sooooweeeee.  Everyone is fucking cracking up, crying.  Bill, his name, knew that I set him up.  Bill not friendly to Kan anymore.  Bill had a one on one with me.  You help me and I help you.  So we start eating stupid fake birds from foster farms and not the free fat ducks from GG Park.  I thought, Americans are so stupid rich that they let the best food just float on by.

 

 

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Glass 2.

Spin forward.  Why on earth would I return to such a shit hole after being in SF?  I couldn't get a job.

 

Back to the mountains.  One day, we are on RR and go to the closest town which is like Tijuana but everyone has an AK47 with black teeth, selling girls, young girls.  It was a sad scene.  The streets smell like raw sewage.  Get it?  So I see one food stall with a line so I figure, this has got to be a good food stall.  When it's my turn I quickly realize it's one of the farmers that I saved!!!!  They mom takes me aside and feeds me and my grunts.  Let me tell you about southern red necks from Nawthan Flaarida, Nawleans, Bama.  You treat them like kin folk and feed them, now you have a guard.  These grunts hand them their cans of spam, candy, cigarettes (American ones, not the fake ones) and there is this strange bonding between rednecks and locals.  After that event, people stopped staring at us so much as if the message went out that we are not the bad guys.  I still had this feeling that we were always being watched.

 

Another day when we were just sitting around at camp shooting the shit.  Zing, Zing, clang clang... incoming rounds.  WTF.  I stood up like an idiot but no rounds were coming at me.  After about 5 minutes of the grunts firing at nothing, things were quiet.  They just stared at me.  We had a meeting that night.  They figured that since I was on their (the guys shooting at us) side that they needed to assist me more so they wouldn't be targets.  weird huh?  So the next day we triangulate another farm and they all go to the farmers hut with me and let me do the talking.  I inform them what is going to happen and I ask them where the gold is.  They look around themselves and hand me a bunch of jewelry and look really sad as if I'm stealing from them.  I tell them to smash it to a leaf and to wrap it in a thermos.  All mountain people have thermoses for their tea.  I tell them to get more of them and repeat so they can hide their wealth.  This grandma kisses my feet.  That made me cry.  The grunts just looked down to talk to their feet.  After this, we were never attacked but I kept my weapon because it made me feel safe.  The grunts treated me like an officer, calling me sir by accident.  The Gunny Sgt basically asked me what I thought and what they should do, etc.  It was kinda fun.  This went on.

 

We even taught the farmers to create fake fields that we would destroy.  This was genius.  Take coaxial cable, mount antennas in a fake field and call an air strike!  Now, the farmers were paying us cash.  We actually sold the coax to them at a 500% markup.  Again, Marines can get anything.  Zero casualties and everyone is happy.  We go to town, people welcome us.  It's really nice.

 

Then, on RR I meet the Canadian Marines.  This is a good story and actually happy, not weird bombing madness.

 

So these Canadians are on some UN mission to build infrastructure.  Whatever, Ay?  The Sgt Major...  Sinclair or something like that, invites me to hang with them because they are going to Chang Mai, wherever the F that is...  After riding in a truck for days, we arrive in a tourist town as if there is nothing going on.  I am just amazed at how life is so normal in Thailand.  So he decides that we take a trek with this tour group that offers elephant rides and all that stuff.  We go.  This is funny, we go to an opium field and I'm not so sure if I'm supposed to be happy or not but what the hay.  That night at the camp fire, the Thai farmer passes a pipe with opium and we all take one hit.

.

.

.

Now I know the meaning of life, the universe with all of the stars above me all make sense.  I can align myself with humanity and beyond.  This is an amazing out of body experience.  it gets cold so we all find some warmth.  So Warm.

 

In the morning, I smell shit, it's either cow or horse shit but it's all over me and I realize that we just all decided to sleep in a barn full of shit.  Come to think of it, the bacteria created heat and the heat kept us sleeping like a baby.  Down to the river to soak off an promise not to tell anyone about this.  NO one speaks of this and we just hump it back 2 days march to Chang Mai.  Truck back to our camp and the sgt major asks, 'would you do it again?'.  We all answer, Yes.  And that it why I almost justified taking out all the fields.  The irony of this drug war.  But we could not speak of this and I can't find anything online but of course, Bubba and company are long in their own lives today.  They can't even write.  I think that's why they were chosen.

 

Next I'm busted.

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I confess that I am in tears when I write this stuff because I have all this guilt.  So much guilt of the lives that I basically destroyed.  I'm not sure how many lives were affected but it can't be a good thing if one day napalm just sucked your entire lifes work.  To this day, I always shop at farmers markets and I really appreciate the produce that they provide.  I love farmers.  They know hard work and without them, we would all starve.  They are the true heroes to get us thru this war.  We are at war and I've been there.  We have to love one another or we will all perish.  Sorry to sound so negative but this is true, you have no idea how bad things can get but we can turn it around with just passion to help those around you.  Take my advice, Do good for your neighbors and those less fortunate.  I keep doing good things to strangers so that when it is my turn at the gates, someone will say, hey, that's the guy that saved me, spare him from hell.  

 

Unfortunately for me, I still have alot of giving to do to make up for the shit in the past.  

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On 2020-04-02, 8:15:46, john g. said:

 about 30 years ago, there was a terrible fire on the Underground in London at King’s Cross Station - and smoking on the Tube was immediately banned.

A couple of weeks later, I was on the Tube and a Rastafarian was smoking a spliff ( and I deliberately tried to inhale! Smelt good! ) An old lady remonstrated with him: 

 

“ excuse me, young man. Smoking is no longer allowed on the train.”

😂

Little did she REALLY know, methinks!

 

I am old enough to remember smoking indoors at restaurants, in shopping malls, smoker sections, asking “smoking or non?”, though I was still young when it was finally banned (in Canada, in the late 80s/early 90s). Large open spaces with ventilation systems, ok fine, doable. BUT what I really can’t wrap my mind around was that smoking was ever allowed in small cramped areas, like a subway, airplane waiting room or elevator. Like REALLY? Someone would really just light up in a cramped subway car and blow smoke all over everyone else?

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3 hours ago, dessa_dangerous said:

It's no mistake the US military encourages soldiers to get married.  Otherwise, everyone would just shoot themselves on the battlefield.

 

Unfortunately, many with PTSD wound up shooting their wives or beating them. Still happens on military bases a lot.

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11 minutes ago, alderhill said:

Someone would really just light up in a cramped subway car and blow smoke all over everyone else?

 

I saw a documentary about this fire.  It happened in 1987 and started on an escalator leading up from the train.  People would be coming up into the station and light up on the escalator on the way up.  So somebody dropped a match that fell down underneath the escalator and ignited the built up grease and wooden structure underneath.  The fire then blasted up the escalators and into the ticket hall.  

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OK, I'm writing this sober.

I admit I'm a PTSD in denial during the daytime.  I have to say this once a day now.  Out loud.

 

Back to the mountains.

There are several different teams all made up of pretty much the same operators so there are grunts for protection and a J2 package.  All of the intel and daily reports feed up to someone, somewhere.  One day the suit arrives in a helo, comes out, calls me for a debrief.  He has MP's with him.  This is not good.  He explains that USAID is here to better the lives of the villagers and farmers and means to first rid of the opium fields and second to provide aid so that they can establish a life growing food for consumption and not drugs.  I acknowledge this and state we're doing the first part but not the second part, not with Marines, we would need US Army corp of engineers to assist.  I'm told to shutup.  Rude.  He pulls out photos and they look nice.  Me and the marines speaking to farmers. Me and the marines assisting them to establish remote antenaes.  Me and the marines... you get the picture.  He recites USC title 18 or something like that because at this point I'm just waiting for the end of this boring as speech.

Charges:

Dick: Lying on an application.

Me:  I thought we went thru this already.

Dick: Shut up or I handcuff you.

Me:  For not finishing college?

Dick: Handcuff him.

Me: Ow.

Dick:  You apparently speak the language.

Me:  No, I speak Vietnamese, not whatever these people are speaking and I get into how the application asked, 'State any foreign languages'.  Well, if you're Vietnamese, Vietnamese is not foreign.  Further, I left Vietnam at the age of 15 and I was brought up in English schools so I'm what they call 'street level Vietnamese' which is not proper.  If the application had stated, 'List Languages other than English', then I agree, I lied.

Dick: hands me a copy of the application and it clearly stated, 'List other languages besides English'.

I laugh.  I'm such an idiot sometimes.  I think everything is a joke.  You know, if you fill out a job application for Grand Auto or Sears, you just lie or you won't get the job.  People on LinkedIn do this all the time. 'I was responsible for a 100M USD project that covered 6 continents, over 1000 engineers... and I'm 22 years old with a Associate degree for CCSF in bus maintenance'  You've seen these, I'm sure. 

So at this point I just shrug my should, make a pucker face and just give up.

This interrogation goes on for about 3 hours and just tell it all.  

They want to press charges on misappropriation of government property...  The Coax cable, the cost of flight time and ordnance, etc.  I never knew that a bomber can cost 100k a run.  Heck, I should have known that.  So, remember I'm a genius?  I recite the names and addresses of all the marines and their girlfriends.  I can prove that the US was conducting bombing runs in this country.  

Dick:  We know that.  We know all about your letters.

He actually slapped me.  

He can't charge me because although I acted as a FAC (Forward Air Controller), kind of...  I was not military and hence no accountability.  This makes me wonder...  Sooo....

Done.

I sign this document that doesn't allow me to discuss this for 20 years or go to jail... blah blah blah.  My employment is hereby terminated, blah blah blah.  He explains, now as a normal person, that they could prosecute me as a civilian but then they would have a PR shit storm on why USAID, Dept of Commerce, whatever is doing camping with guns on a mountain in some far off country that is not at war...

I'm still in handcuffs when they threw me aboard the helicopter and out I went.  I remember nodding at the marines.  Bubba yelled out, 'at least we didn't take a casualty, thanks hopsing'.  It turns out that other groups took casualties because the farmers and the buyers were not happy with them going around blowing shit up.

The marines got it worse, they were all bumped a rank down I'm told later, all disbanded and sent back to the states for crap duty.

I never kept up with them because I just returned to SF and invented a new life.  I told my family that we were working on infrastructure project and delivering seminars on how to grow and sell rice.  Bored them to death so they wouldn't ask so many questions.  My younger brother wonders why I always speak military when I meet a member of the military, 'what's your MO?', 'how often do you have to prepare for qualifications?', 'how many days were you in country', 'You were J2?  sounds like a boring job'.  He also wonders, whats the love affair and respect for white trash marines?  I just respond, dunno, i just do, watch your mouth because they are out there doing all the dirty work so you can enjoy your lazy ass job at the bank.  He's works in M & A preparing customer presentations.  After he got his job, my mom said, that's great, just like your older brothers first job.  AHAHAHAHA.

 

Oh yeah, I can never for the the USG again.  What a relief.

It all ended just like that.  Poof.

 

Thinking back what Ronald Reagan did was illegal but not a soul cared which I find very strange.  If I had control, I would have infiltrated the supply chain to follow the money and hit the people that were in charge of all logistics, planning, and financing.  USG of course would not do this because they know where it all leads to, government officials and major corporations.  So some smart guy thought, we'd just take out the source.  This is BS because on a good day, I could pin point so many targets that we don't have enough flights, nor ordnance, nor headcount to win this drug war.  I see it like an hour glass.  On the bottom you have a huge population of producers of raw materials, this feed to a smaller group of refineries to convert to product, this feeds to distribution network, upon entering the US or Europe, this then expands to distribution to the final customer delivery operations.  You take out the management team and all collapses.  Or, Americans, just stop using it but I know, you can't stop once you take one hit.  I took that one hit and I'm telling you at the time, I would have taken another hit the next evening.  You actually dream of that first high.  So, I guess, it's someone elses problem to fix this opiod problem but, heck read the news, 40 years later, the US opoid epidemic is made in the USA, delivered from Rite Aid directly to your sorry ass door. 

So we zapped all these poor farmers for nothing. 

Change of subject but this why I respect Germans because after an operation you're sent home and a tea bag or some weak pain killer (no opiods).  The attitude here is, 'of course it's painful, you just got cut open, sleep it off and take better care of yourself'.

 

Present day (when flying was the norm), when I'm sitting in first class and a bunch of uniformed dudes enter the plane, I tell the cabin attendant to buy them all round of anything or a food pack, anonymously and hand an AMEX card.  I get a smile and the best service on board.  It makes me feel good.  Sometimes at airports I see young dudes in uniform checking his wallet and seeing what he can afford so I just offer him to buy anything, it's on me.  3 out of 5 accept and I get a 'That is very much appreciated, SIR!' always a southern twang.

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I also pick up tabs for uniformed men and women in airports when I have the opportunity. They are so appreciative but not half as appreciative as I am of them.

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Once when I flew to the U.S., there was a young woman in the bathroom at the airport trying to wash her hair in the shitty sink where you pushed a button and got 5 seconds worth of water. She had just returned from Afghanistan and her S.O. was picking her up. I had her push the button and I gave her a good shampoo and then helped her dry it with the hand dryer. I was in no hurry. She looked great!

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5 hours ago, racerken said:

Roger that!

Just for fun- google the slang meaning of “ roger “ in British English!😂

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57 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

Once when I flew to the U.S., there was a young woman in the bathroom at the airport trying to wash her hair in the shitty sink where you pushed a button and got 5 seconds worth of water. She had just returned from Afghanistan and her S.O. was picking her up. I had her push the button and I gave her a good shampoo and then helped her dry it with the hand dryer. I was in no hurry. She looked great!

Brilliant story! Love it!💋💋💋💋

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1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

Once when I flew to the U.S., there was a young woman in the bathroom at the airport trying to wash her hair in the shitty sink where you pushed a button and got 5 seconds worth of water. She had just returned from Afghanistan and her S.O. was picking her up. I had her push the button and I gave her a good shampoo and then helped her dry it with the hand dryer. I was in no hurry. She looked great!

 

Was that a long -ish time ago?

 

Just because the UK started to send troops to a wind-down facility in Cyprus for a few days before flying them home, as a way of trying to address some of the issues racerken is left with, and trying to avoid the domestic/pub-based violence you refer to above. I have no idea how successful it has been, but am interested in whether the USA tries anything similar, or whether it is as you saw - straight from one reality to the other without even a proper shower in between.... 

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this is me with my dog.

 

Dogs:

 

Dogs attach to a group of men.  They basically patrol the area for rats and other non-invited guests.  Each tent has a dog.  You care for them and they look after you.  Everytime there were visitors either un invited or not, the dogs would bark.  When we used to get sniped, the dogs would warn us.  They were our eyes and ears.  When we'd go out on patrols, you carried more water for the dogs and you spoke to them and they knew what you were saying.  If the dog stopped to nap, we all napped. If the dog stopped, we all stopped.  If the dog didn't want to go out?  Well, I guess we aint goin out.  That was the rule.  The rednecks respected dogs so much that they'd fight over who got the dog to sleep on their cot.  The dog new that I was basically the eyes and ears so he always hung around my ankles.  I named him Simba.  Simba was  my best friend, aside from Bubba.  When we'd go into a village, Simba would sniff out everyone who had a firearm.  Yes, they can smell gun powder.  We'd just ask them to disarm and unchamber the weapon and all is cool.  They did. but they looked at Simba with respect.  He just sat there until I petted him.  Simba was my best friend and I really miss him because I had to leave him behind.  this is my last photo with him.  All dogs go to heaven and he is one bro.  To this day, I talk to dogs.  People think I'm crazy but they know what I'm saying.  One time Simba barked and bolted to our mortar hole which was a ditch so we all jumped out of our bunks and bolted with no questions asked.  in about a minute gunfire.  This guy could smell an ambush.  This was before we were nice to the farmers...  when we'd go out on patrols, Bubba used to guard Simba like his girlfriend.  When Simba would go up to someone, it was eyes and barrels on the subject.  Simba just sat in front of our target until he dropped his weapon.  This is really strange to talk about this now.  Anyway, I miss my friend.  Rule number one: never go on a patrol without Simba.  Simba knows all.  He's a gift from God.  If you have a dog, just talk to him.  He knows more than you do.  I swear allegiance to dogs and if I see anyone disrespecting a dog, I might zap you.  Well, not really because I don't have my stoner.  Simba was allowed to eat off of our plates all the time.  It was almost like a competition to see who Simba dined with.  Rednecks and dogs, I get it.  When other dogs would wander into our camp, Simba would fight them off as if to say, this is my camp, my boys, go find your own.  He got that right.

 

When we would return from patrols, Simba would sniff us all to make sure we were ok.  If some grunt was lonely or sad, Simba knew it.  Licking faces and barking made everyone feel good.  I could tell you now, if you disrespected Simba, good luck, picture a squad of marines basically digging you grave.  Respect, in a strange way, but respect.

 

When I departed in handcuffs, Simba was on the ground barking.  He was saying, 'see ya later'.  Now I'm sad.  PTSD over a dog.  Go figure.  

 

I remember that moment.  I hate war.  I did my part and failed.  I thought I was doing good but the system does not allow good.  Fuck it.  OK, I'm on wine 2.  

dog3.jpg

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40 minutes ago, john g. said:

Just for fun- google the slang meaning of “ roger “ in British English!😂

AHAHAHAAHA.  You made my day.  Happy Easter.  I meant that too!

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It has been a few years but I saw and still see a lot of people in uniform in the airports. That particular girl had a short stop in Germany from Afghanistan and then flew directly home Many have the same stories. I don't know when her last proper shower was and didn't ask. She just wanted to look good for her partner. I doubt any U.S. troops get any R & R in Cyprus or the like on their way home. They just want to get home.

 

ETA - Many that I see and talk to are either on their way home or off to boot camp.

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