Nov 11, 2009

Veterans Day

This is a repost of an entry I wrote 2 years ago, November 11, 2007. I don't have anything better to say than this, so I will simply repeat it.

I am adding a video that I love at the end of this version, it is called "A Pittance of Time" by Terry Kelly. I think it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever watched.


In case you missed it, this is the 25th anniversary of the march in Washington DC to dedicate the Viet Nam memorial, better known as just "The Wall". When the wall was dedicated there was a lot of vets who came to try and heal the wounds of the past, some to remember lost buddies, some to try and bring closure to what happened over there. Here is the video from the march back in 1982 when the wall was dedicated:




When I entered the Navy It was 2 years after the war had ended, and I met a lot of guys who served during the war. One stands out to me, and I always remember him during memorial day and veterans day. He was the only friend I lost during my 4 years in the Navy. He was Lt Commander MacDonald, call sign Frosty. He flew A6 Intruders in the war, and later switched to S3 Vikings and I had the pleasure to control him on several occasion during anti-sub operations.

Frosty was the CAG, or Commander of the Air Group and he was also from Colorado. He grew up in Vail, so when we met up off ship we got along well, even though he was an officer and I was an enlisted guy. Frosty flew in Nam on several missions, having been shot down twice and eventually rescued. He told a story of hiding in a large bush waiting for a rescue helo while Viet Cong were probing the bushes all around him looking for him. He said a bayonet passed just in front of his head and then right behind him as he laid there hunkered down praying for rescue.

They moved on eventually and his helo found him and pulled him out. His second time shot down he made it out over the gulf of Tonkin and ejected into the water. He was picked up shortly without any problems.

After surviving all that, he was killed on a simple exercise in the Indian Ocean. The sea state had deteriorated into a nasty mix of wind and huge waves and the Kitty Hawk was recovering all it's aircraft. Despite being low on fuel, he orbited while the rest of his squadron were recovered before him. That was typical of him, leading by example. On final approach the back end of the carrier was heaving up and down due the enormous waves and he was matching it by going up and down with it. The carrier pitched up and stayed up on the wave as he dropped.

He couldn't correct fast enough and flew right into the back end of the Kitty Hawk.

So here's to you Frosty, I hope you are someplace better now.

Pittance of Time

12 comments:

  1. no words can express....thanks to all the veterns...you included!

    ReplyDelete
  2. oh man. That was something.


    My father retired as a captain. (JAG) I salute all veterans.

    ReplyDelete
  3. God bless those who served, forever and ever. Amen.

    Doc

    ReplyDelete
  4. Almost all of the men in my family have served in one war or another and I have friends my age who also served. Remembering them and what they have sacrificed for us and freedom is very important to me. Thanks for this post.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post and thank for serving me. Oddly, that's how my Dad always taught me. The things that he did were for me. Not anyone else, just me.

    And he also taught me to stand and put my hand on my heart when we sing our anthem and when a flag goes by in procession.

    I'm so grateful for what all of you did for me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks to Frosty, you and everyone who served. Freedom isn't free. Somebody pays for it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Happy Veterans Day, SkyDad. And THANK YOU!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. My dad and his 6 brothers all served during either WWII or the Korean War, and my oldest and youngest brothers served in the Navy in the mid-70's and 80's.

    Thank you, Frosty, and everyone who has served for our country!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. my father: korea and vietnam. my gratitude: to him, yourself, Frosty and to all those who have served. where ever they are.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is a wonderful tribute, SkyDad.

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Even years don't completely heal the empty space where a friend once was.

    Thank you for your service, and for sharing your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Too bad about Frosty. He sounds like a helluva guy. BTW, have you gotten Krakhauer's latest book yet?

    ReplyDelete
  12. The men in my family are Navy and/or sailors for generations back. I joined the Army - leave it to a girl to be contrary about things :) It was tough, but I loved it, and loved what I learned, and hope that I can pass along to my kids, whether they choose to serve in the military or not. Much of the leadership, respect, and responsibility translates well into civilian life - although not always in such a life or death manner as Frosty gave his life to demonstrate. (Not overlooking the civilians who serve the public! I know better, my dad served as a fireman in service, and sheriff's auxiliary as a civilian.) Bless you for your service. And thank you for sharing Frosty's story - he deserves to be remembered.

    ReplyDelete