Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy February

January lasted about ten minutes.

If you are older you will understand what I mean by that.

If you are younger, you will wonder what I mean by that.

=============================================================Back in the day the military used to be pretty damned good to Scouts.

It seemed that every single year our Cub Scout Pack or Boy Scout Troop would go on some kind of military sponsered trip or tour.

As a Cub Scout I remember a couple of tours the Navy gave us. I got a pretty good tour of Wasp where I got conveniently lost with my pal Louie. As a result, the pair of us spent lunch in the Chief's mess gorging ourselves on doughnuts and ice cream instead of in the enlisted mass under the watchful eye of the Den mother who made everyone eat their vegetables.

The following year Louie and I took a tour of Old Ironsides and managed to sneak our way out of our tour groups and we asked the Officer of the Day if we could man our battle stations, he grinned and said "Sure, Kid."

Very shortly thereafter the pair of us sent the entire crew of the ship into a panic when we were spotted manning the fighting tops.

Later on in Boy Scouts we spent various weekends at a couple of Air Force bases, as well as a local Naval Air Station, and one year we spent three days in Quantico doing things and getting dirty with the Marines. Louie and I got to shoot M-1 rifles there and our marksmanship astonished the Gunnery Sergeant running the range.

I'll never forget the time we were getting a welcome talk from some long winded stuffy colonel at Pease AFB and Louie wide eyed asked the colonel if he was one of the pilots that shot King Kong off of the Empire State Building.

The services were pretty good to us. So good that an ACSOT went around to the effect that the Navy allowed a troop of Scouts into the uber-top secret reactor room of the newest nuclear sub, but the guard that cheerfully admitted the scouts told the admiral escorting the troop that if he entered, he would be shot! (ACSOT=ACrytocal Story Often Told)

The story went around for years and every once in a while it pops up again. I'm sure there is at least a grain of truth in it somewhere along the line.

I would imagine that the services still give tours to the Scouts, but I'd just bet you that there is a lot more looking at things and a whole lot less handling of equipment.

Back then, we would go hands on and get dirty as all hell. We handled rifles, machine guns, artillery pieces of all sorts and got to climb in and out of airplanes and tanks and all sorts of equipment. It was pretty neat.

On Wasp, they let us take turns playing with an anti-aircraft gun, spinning the wheels and traversing and elevating the barrels. We had a ball.

I'll bet that nowadays you just get things pointed out to you and are told to keep your grubby little paws off of everything.

Come to think of it, kids don't GET to have grubby little paws anymore because they don't allow the kids to put them anywhere where they will get them grubby. I suppose if they do touch anything that the Den Mothers will instantly wipe their little paws down with a quart of hand sanitizer. That ain't no fun.

I think I can dig out the stories I wrote a while ago about Base Quantico, Wasp and Old Ironsides and if I do, I'll post them here.

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

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