Wednesday, November 11, 2015


I often mention old time family member on this day, in marking this day.  But you know what?  My brother is a Veteran.  A real one.  Not like me.  My veteran state is conferred on me by having worn a uniform and watched the first Gulf War on TV.

Commander T-Bolt (he is still in the Navy, past pension age too, just biding his time until the next the assignment and then will retire at the end of that) is what we'll call him, through in with the, duh, Navy in the early 90s.  His bigger, uglier, brother (me) was in ROTC, and Lil-Bolt had done that sort of stuff in High School JROTC, so why not?  He was better at Calculus than me so he even got the full ride scholarship.  I graduated from Virginia Tech, reported to the Naval Air Schools Command right as we won the Cold War, washed out of flight school, and was able to swear HIM in before getting mustered out myself.  He was a Supply Officer, and got a submarine billet, and, able to stick, where I, forever an Ensign, could not. 

Then he kept going.  Submarines.  Then the Abraham Lincoln.

9/11 happened. 

And EVERYBODY got sent to the sandbox eventually.  Including Navy Pork Chops like him.  Land billets.  Not safe ships.  He was smart and never left the FOB in Diwaniya (or however that is spelled... Iraq... where the sand is.  And the sun is only a few hundred yards overhead.)  This was in 2006, so the bad guys were actively lobbing stuff in.  But these bad guy were incompetent and rarely hit anything they were aiming at.  So he gets to spend a buncha nights ducked down in a cement culvert/bunker to keep from getting unlucky.  Because how was he to know if they were aiming at him, and thus he was safe, or aiming at something far away and thus he was in great great danger.

Being the supply officer he was also in charge of getting rid of trash.  But there was NO contractor or local able to haul off medical waste, so the pile kept on getting bigger with no solution in sight.  This problem was solved for him by the bad guys when a direct mortar hit caught the pile of trash on fire.  Yay.

And you know...  He got shot at more than any other relative of ours I know of besides my mothers father, whom the Japanese machine gunned on Peleliu.  We got some relatives that were in New York regiments in the Civil War.  Dunno how much they got shot at, as there is no family stories for that.  Another from that era server under Farragut.  I guess he got shot at some.

The only other known direct antecedent was Great Great Great Great Grandpa T-Bolt (same last name) that was just a southern Bavarian dairyman and cheesemaker that got sucked up by conscription and had to walk to Moscow and back with some short French dude.  So he prolly got shot at. 

Dad was out of the Air Force just before the Berlin Wall went up.  His brother was a hair too young for Korea.  Their dad, Paw Paw, was another Supply Officer in WWII.  Too only to carry a rifle and his vision was wretched.  Stayed in Jersey for the duration and after ended up a Major.  I don't know of any others about that served....  But it's a smallish family. 

No, my brother has 'seen' the most 'action' in any living memory of our family.  He probably has to work today.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Thanks for the history lesson, and thanks for your service!