Saturday, February 24, 2007

It's a long post, but the most important part is at the end

Ok, so I raced today, or at least showed up. With the wind, my lack of fitness (but I have lost 8 pounds) and having crashed yesterday, I didn't do too badly. Not sure how badly it was, but at least I finished when many quit. Now I just need to get out and ride myslef into shape, but another race looms tomorrow. I hope to do better.

On the way to and from Walburg, I used the new toll road to get to I35 from Mopac. Growing up in the northeast, land of tolls, I feel 75 cents each way for a more direct and less congested route was a steal. If you live in TX, use these roads. It's so much easier.

Now, here's something that strikes my heart. It's an article about a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam who finally is to get the Congressional Medal of Honor for a battle he was part of in 1965. Without him and his company, the 1st Cavalry's 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment would have been wiped off the earth. It's the battle the book We Were Soldiers Once...and Young and subsequent movie were based on.

All chopper pilots are heroes in the Army. As opposed to the guys on the ground, the pilots are going through a maelstrom of fire repeatedly, instead of just once. Plus, a chopper is a prime target. I owe my life to the pilots we had assigned to us, as they landed where they shouldn't or couldn't to get us out of trouble. Once, a pilot told me after we got back that his bird was"just a huge tree trimmer" when he saw me staring at leaves and branches hanging off it.

Never once did they refuse to come in, even when we told them the landing zone was too hot. Several times they even did low passes to draw fire so we could move to a safer position. I'm not sure if they were fearless or insane, as there's a fine line there, but they used to look at us SF guys and say we were crazy, and the feeling was mutual.

I've recounted a few experiences here of mine, but I'd not be able to do it without our pilots. I know that not everyone agrees with the wars right now, and I don't need to know your feelings. I just hope we drop our opinions and think of these brave guys. They deserve a lot more credit than they get. So to Major Bruce Crandall, I'm so happy you are finally recognized. Without men like you, many more of us wouldn't be here to congratulate you, and you have most hearfelt thanks.

Read the item here:

1 comment:

Capybaras United said...

Thanks for sharing your stories; they're fascinating and moving. Great work with the eight pounds!