Just an old softie…

Dunno why this popped into my head this morning…

Back in March of ‘87, my unit deployed from Hawaii to South Korea for Team Spirit 87, a massive exercise of US and South Korean troops to show resolve in the face of any North Korean aggression. It was functionally the equivalent of REFORGER in Europe.

Anyway, we shipped what few vehicles we had via Air Force transport planes, but us grunts flew over on a charter flight 747 operated by Tower Air. It is a long flight to Korea from Hawaii (with a refueling stop in Japan) and so I took advantage of a pillow and blanket provided by the airline to snooze as much as I could on the trip over.

I liked that pillow and blanket so much, I stuffed ‘em in my carry-on when we left (I think the statute of limitations has expired).

Lemme tell you, that pillow was just about the best piece of gear I took with me on that trip. Small enough to fit nicely in my already overcrowded rucksack, it make sleeping on the ground far more tolerable than otherwise.

You gotta train hard, but you don’t have to practice being miserable.

5 thoughts on “Just an old softie…”

  1. “You gotta train hard, but you don’t have to practice being miserable.”

    That is such a profound statement about the Army life. At least for the “down range” types.

  2. I used a section of foam packing material I salvaged from a dunnage box in Graf . . . I think it might have been from 81mil mortar or 105mil artillery, as the cut outs on the segments were sizable. Secured that to my ruck frame with the bungee cords, providing some additional cushioning for all those mad dash ruck marches.

    Had that with me in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Kosovo, and all the nasty places in theater.

    The molle pack, however comma, did not like the idea of carrying something a Soldier would want . . . did not like the idea of carrying much of anything, these awkward, fragile pieces of junk are not even jump worthy.

    If the MICH was designed with Airborne operations first in mind, why would they take the molle pack if the frame regularly breaks on a ruck march?

    They were out of them when I got to The Fighting Irish, and the Supply Sergeant was apologizing they only had ALICE.

    I assured him that was just perfect, as “she” and I go back a long way . . .

    1. The main compartment of the molle rig is at least a quarter smaller than on the ALICE system, requiring the “Sleep System Carry Unit” read: Zonk! Sack bag. I got in trouble when I would not add the Zonk! carrier, since it bounces around on your bottom. I used a wubbie and poncho in the field.

      As well as the “Sustainment Pouches” read: saddle bags that get hung up on everything. These pouches are required, as well. Those accessory systems alone got it rejected for Airborne operations, as Jumpmasters assessed, in best case scenario, a Parachute Infantryman would have only three inches of clearence leading and trailing on the door of a Herky-Bird.

      A whole Stick of Cigarette Rolls anyone . . .?

      To say nothing of the fact the frames break under the glare of a 14-year-old girl bullying olympian frog . . .

    2. I guess there are more war profiteers than just colt out there . . .

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