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Dennis1209

War Stories

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4 hours ago, Dennis1209 said:

I was a crew chief and M-60 door gunner.

Ah yes, I was the M-60 gunner for my section in Germany. The trigger made it easy to operate as a semi-automatic rifle which explained my marksmanship with the thing. Easy as pie. I did have the opportunity to fire the .50 caliber M2 Browning mounted on a tripod which was quite the experience. The most interesting piece of military hardware I encountered while I was in were Stinger missiles; I was assigned to Artillery units (HHB) twice and both of those units featured platoons of Stinger-armed infantry.    

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4 hours ago, choir loft said:

I was in the Navy in those days.   We deployed to the Middle East twice, GITMO once and to South America once.   

While deployed along the coast of Africa heading back and forth to the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, we were issued the same orange pills you mentioned.   We also had to eat large salt tablets because of the oppressive desert heat.  When we had shore leave in parts of the Middle East we were told to avoid areas outside of certain cities that were occupied by Beduin folk.   They didn't care much for us 'unbelievers'.   I was enlisted in the Navy and found myself in the desert of Saudi Arabia doing guard duty with a member of the Saudi military.  Meanwhile a friend of mine enlisted in the Army and was assigned river boat duty in the Mekong Delta in Viet Nam.  Life is strange.

The Lord saved us from getting wacked by two, count 'em two, hurricanes while sailing home down the east coast of Africa toward the Cape of Good Hope.  As we sailed south, seas around us were mostly calm.  Everywhere else, both north and south of our track, was devastating storm and terrible seas.  It was so miraculous that our Captain, a declared atheist, admitted during an address to the crew that it nearly made him a believer in God.

I later learned that the man wasn't a career Navy man at all.  He was a CIA agent embedded in our command structure.  During our deployment to the Persian Gulf and western Indian Ocean he directed our ship and one other in an attempt to create an incident with the Russian Navy off the coast of Dijouti near the Horn of Africa.  This was attempted twice with both attempts failing.  I later learned the entire operation was being observed in a War Room in Japan.   I am very glad the Lord directed me to pray throughout the deployment for our safety.   To this day, I believe the operation failed because of Divine Providence.   Many good men would have died if it had succeeded as the waters at that time were infested with sharks and poisonous jelly fish so numerous you could almost walk to shore by stepping on their jelly-ish backs.

I am alive today along with many men because of the mercy and grace and direct intervention of God - in spite of the errant efforts of our own government to kill us all.   Praise God for His mercy.

that's me, hollering from the choir loft...

Hey choir loft,

You've certainly had some experiences yourself. I had intended to write a few of my memorable and funny moments; and lead into that there are no atheists in a fox hole, or in my case whizzing along in the air at 140 Knots with no cover to duck behind. I had thought there were more veterans here on Worthy that might want to go down memory lane and talk about their experiences? Guess not, so I'll return to my shell of solitude on the subject. 

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5 hours ago, Dennis1209 said:

Hey choir loft,

You've certainly had some experiences yourself. I had intended to write a few of my memorable and funny moments; and lead into that there are no atheists in a fox hole, or in my case whizzing along in the air at 140 Knots with no cover to duck behind. I had thought there were more veterans here on Worthy that might want to go down memory lane and talk about their experiences? Guess not, so I'll return to my shell of solitude on the subject. 


The Marine corps were largely up north, I corps, near the DMZ. I was in amtracks, amphibious,
would go  most terrains/water. As an untrained platoon Sgt, I worried a lot, extra hyper vigilant, unwanted responsibilities.
At the Dong Ha river, mortars and rockets showed up often enough to set your watches by.
I was always having to get the guys to fill more and more sand bags. A nearby hole to jump in.
Even in the Nam, I used my carpentry skills, and took used ammo crates and made a wooden square
fox hole with floor. No mud! Great, right.
God was with me even before He made Himself to dwell in me.
One night shouts of incoming got everybody grabbing rifles and manning the 50's, popping illuminations and jumping in our holes.
For whatever reason,*,  this night I jumped over my wood bunker and dived behind a close previous rocket crater to be with a buddy.
When morning came around and the sun came up, I was going around to check up on any casualties (none), when I passed by my
wood foxhole, I just stared for awhile and got down and looked close. Apparently, a rocket round hit right beside it,
caved it in squeezing the sides completely together, and was full of shrapnel holes and fragments.
Some dude snapped a shot of me staring at the hole, and I still have the picture.
  * God had a better plan for me. *




 

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On 10/13/2019 at 4:34 PM, Dennis1209 said:

Hey choir loft,

You've certainly had some experiences yourself. I had intended to write a few of my memorable and funny moments; and lead into that there are no atheists in a fox hole, or in my case whizzing along in the air at 140 Knots with no cover to duck behind. I had thought there were more veterans here on Worthy that might want to go down memory lane and talk about their experiences? Guess not, so I'll return to my shell of solitude on the subject. 

I suppose the fact that we survived those experiences many times as a result of divine providence is somewhat of a foreign experience to those who never found themselves at risk.  The riskiest thing most folks do in civilian life is to drive back and forth to work.

Once, back in the day, I attempted to describe another scenario before a crowd of civilian church folk, my words were generally disapproved.  I was personally rejected. No one approached afterward to thank me or introduce themselves.  They all, with one exception, turned their backs upon me.  That experience permanently colored my opinion of Christians.  I never really got it straight in my mind about why they reacted as they did.   

Bear in mind that in those days military people were generally treated like second class citizens.  I know I was.  It wasn't like today where there is a modicum of respect and gratitude.  There was none of that at all in those days - even in church.   I got more respect from Communists in their own country than I got from Americans on my own soil.  That's another strange story - also a major deliverance by divine providence too.  As you can imagine, that story also flies over the heads of those non-vets I tell it too.

There is also the lingering suspicion of doubt among those that hear my testimony - simply because it is so foreign to common everyday experience.   I often wonder at my own memories.  Did they really happen like that after all?  Unfortunately they did.  

I am not lying, but people still act as though I am.    I have given up trying to persuade and excuse what happened especially where the Lord was involved to deliver me and those who were with me.  Far from home, the fellow next to me was more important than those idiots back in the states anyway.  I don't think they understand that either.

that's me, hollering from the choir loft...

Edited by choir loft
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52 minutes ago, choir loft said:

I suppose the fact that we survived those experiences many times as a result of divine providence is somewhat of a foreign experience to those who never found themselves at risk.  The riskiest thing most folks do in civilian life is to drive back and forth to work.

Once, back in the day, I attempted to describe another scenario before a crowd of civilian church folk, my words were generally disapproved.  I was personally rejected. No one approached afterward to thank me or introduce themselves.  They all, with one exception, turned their backs upon me.  That experience permanently colored my opinion of Christians.  I never really got it straight in my mind about why they reacted as they did.   

Bear in mind that in those days military people were generally treated like second class citizens.  I know I was.  It wasn't like today where there is a modicum of respect and gratitude.  There was none of that at all in those days - even in church.   I got more respect from Communists in their own country than I got from Americans on my own soil.  That's another strange story - also a major deliverance by divine providence too.  As you can imagine, that story also flies over the heads of those non-vets I tell it too.

There is also the lingering suspicion of doubt among those that hear my testimony - simply because it is so foreign to common everyday experience.   I often wonder at my own memories.  Did they really happen like that after all?  Unfortunately they did.  

I am not lying, but people still act as though I am.    I have given up trying to persuade and excuse what happened especially where the Lord was involved to deliver me and those who were with me.  Far from home, the fellow next to me was more important than those idiots back in the states anyway.  I don't think they understand that either.

that's me, hollering from the choir loft...

I generally seldom if ever talk about my military experiences to anyone. Even the infrequent occasions I would write home, what could I say? I intended to keep this thread upbeat and tell interesting war stories and fairy tales so to speak, and how the Lord protected us and what He did for us. Not to bring back bad memories and old wounds.

Yep, apparently and fortunately times and attitudes have changed toward our service personnel. Have a few bad memories myself in airports and in public proudly wearing my class A uniform. And in civilian attire on leave or off base, sticking out like a sore thumb with the [identifier] barely any hair, and my adopted and learned military demeanor and conduct were give away's. 

There's an old military idiom I know most have heard in passing, "War is Hell". No it's not, not even remotely close. The greatest generation [the WW II veterans and patriots] are all but gone now. The Viet Nam era generation is starting this historical cycle all over again. It breaks my heart that a person that gives his or her last measure of self; puts his or her life on the line and valiantly and courageously serves this country [military, police, firemen, disaster workers, etc.] and eventually dies, that doesn't know Christ Jesus as their own personal Savior. I amend that last sentence to include every precious human soul.

At my ripe old age I think I ponder on things too much. I've heard many testimonies about people whom faced sudden imminent immediate death and no way out, they were certain this was the end of their existence. Many claim their whole entire lives flashed before them in detail in a twinkling of an eye. I can believe that. Does the twinkling of an eye remind us of something? The thief on the cross next to Jesus didn't have much time to live, he certainly had no time to demonstrate he repented of his sins, yet he was saved by the Grace of God. I've wondered, in that final second before one meets his or her eternal fate, if they called out to Jesus sincerely to save them???

 

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3 hours ago, Dennis1209 said:

There's an old military idiom I know most have heard in passing, "War is Hell". No it's not, not even remotely close.

Well then, how would you describe war?........
(Remember being told Viet Nam was not a war. Just a conflict, a police action.)
That's why we received extra combat pay, a dollar fifty per day extra.

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18 minutes ago, Sower said:

(Remember being told Viet Nam was not a war. Just a conflict, a police action.)

How about a Culture Exchanges ?

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On 10/15/2019 at 10:01 AM, Dennis1209 said:

I generally seldom if ever talk about my military experiences to anyone. Even the infrequent occasions I would write home, what could I say? I intended to keep this thread upbeat and tell interesting war stories and fairy tales so to speak, and how the Lord protected us and what He did for us. Not to bring back bad memories and old wounds.

* *  * *

At my ripe old age I think I ponder on things too much. I've heard many testimonies about people whom faced sudden imminent immediate death and no way out, they were certain this was the end of their existence. Many claim their whole entire lives flashed before them in detail in a twinkling of an eye. I can believe that. Does the twinkling of an eye remind us of something? The thief on the cross next to Jesus didn't have much time to live, he certainly had no time to demonstrate he repented of his sins, yet he was saved by the Grace of God. I've wondered, in that final second before one meets his or her eternal fate, if they called out to Jesus sincerely to save them???

 

It's been my experience that when a heart is hardened in life there is rarely a change in attitude even on one's death bed.   I have witnessed such things happen, but they are indeed rare.

I've tried to tell of things Christ did for me and those in my unit that saved lives in serious danger.  When God acts in such ways I believe they are more spectacular than the danger itself.  

Unfortunately even Christians are very jaded these days.  Attempts to share stories of deliverance often fall on ears that are plugged with disbelief - even in the church.   When a man has no personal experience with a thing, such as a civilian who has never gone in harm's way, they tend to doubt one's word as being overly boastful - even when I've forgotten a lot of the details.

The wonderful thing is that Christ is there to save "in every way a man can be saved" as the line from TITANIC goes.

There is little faith in such stories these days because there is little faith.

that's me, hollering from the choir loft...

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