11Bravo10 Sam

I do so love flying. Not the crashing part but the actual flying. I have rules. I plan on one more rotary wing foray and then will forswear them for good. A good friend of our Hepatitis C survivors club- Sam- got some bad news on his surgery last week trying to eradicate his liver cancer. It’s said they didn’t get it all. Cancer sucks. Sam is probably not going to opt in to the 6 months of radiation/ puking to gain a year more pseudo-quality life. Ditto any chemotherapy, I suspect.

One temporary cure for these doldrums and certainly one for the bucket list is chopper hog hunting with a M-16 chopper-i.e. full auto.  My son was slated to do this with his buds for a bachelor party but it never materialized. Wild horses couldn’t drag me away from this project. Costs be damned. I’m bringing tracers for this gig if they don’t have any.

Texas Helicopter Hog Hunting

ca. 1969, near Xuan Loc, Vietnam

I  represent four door gunners from different eras of Vietnam before the VA. The oldest at 83, was flying in C-21s in 1963-64. The youngest is my age and from the more recent Huey era. One was a Marine in the old H 34s up in the north in a country that rhymes with “Mouse”. It’s pretty enervating flying at treetop level with a M 60 in a target-rich environment.  I remember one door gunner in 1970 who will remain nameless saying it rather coarsely like discussing fishing- “Either sex and no size restrictions, Bubba!”.

Well, now you can relive that era and stop trying to remember what it felt like. The best part is you’re doing a favor for plenty of disgruntled Texas farmers and helping the economy to boot by buying oodles of 5.56mm X 45mm ammo. It’s a win-win gig and no guilt. And shoot (no pun intended), if you like bacon, well boy howdy did you ever come to the right party. They ought to give their companies catchier names like  Will Fly For Bacon or Bacon R Us.

You sure can’t have much guilt doing this unless you’re just a dyed-in-the-wool mugwump who dislikes guns and prefer being a vegan. The downside is you’re going to need to rent an industrial freezer for all them pork chops, pork loin, pork shoulder, ribs and pork belly-especially if you’re a good deflection shooter and know/remember how to lead your target.

We’ll call it the Hogfest or the Hog Hugfest for Sam. Either way, I’m going to do this. Brad seems to be all in, too. There’s something timelessly enervating about having your feet planted back on a skid and more than a d-ring to hold on to again.

Incidentally, to all my Hugfesters who are still alive- we- Brad and I- had an impromptu Hugfest here this fall when we squeezed our apples. I didn’t advertise it and should have. Brad now lives in mid-Oregon and comes through fairly frequently so it was not a big, preplanned deal. This is the good picture. The rest were Brad pretending to try to kiss me. We’re like peas and carrots, me and Brad.

I’ll leave you with this lovely vignette. Image training the FNG how to fly and he’s a wee bit deaf.


About asknod

VA claims blogger
This entry was posted in 2015 Hugfest Gig Harbor Wash, From the footlocker, HCV Health, Humor, KP Veterans, Vietnam Disease Issues, Vietnam War history. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Calvin Winchell says:

    In 1974 I made a Marine Corp buddy who has now just completed over thirty years with united airlines but, back when he was fresh out from Vietnam and him and I worked at the Long Beach V.A. Hospital- he was learning to fly…well, he had to log many hours of flying and he and I would fly back and forth to Catalina island and god knows where! I was the only one stupid enough to get in the cockpit with him… I died laughing when I heard “I said flaps not landing gear” it reminded me of trips doing stalls, touch and go`s, and things i cant say here!!! I so love veterans and their crazy lives… never a dull moment!!! And if you`all need some extra personnel on that bacon expedition to Texas I would love to join the distinguished company… I might learn something???

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