I don't share much personal stuff often, so here's a little tid-bit.
Individual : Me, standing by the M936 Medium Wrecker. My truck ran like a scalded red-assed ape. When it comes to Wrecker Operation, I was pretty damn good at it. I had a knack for it. Whether it was looking at a vehicle to tell you how many snatch blocks it'll take to yank it out of a hole or if it was diagnosing the problem with the vehicle so I could fix it and not have to tow it, I knew the job well. Only the top 10 percent of Marines, those who are the best in their military specialties, ever get to attend the WTI training. I got asked to participate twice. I really enjoyed it.
Was nominated for a NAM but not awarded, for saving a Marine's life who had a heat stroke while hauling 9000 gallons of JP5 on a tandem tow LVS Trailer. I was his A-Driver at the time. Dude passes out as we are going down the highway in a rolling jet fuel bomb, through a damn intersection, into traffic. PUCKER FACTOR LEVEL 1000. All I could think of as were approaching the intersection is "hey, I know I'm pushing the imaginary passenger side brake but we ain't stopping!!" Right at that moment is when I looked over at him and he was passed smooth out, limp and slumped over against the door. The only thing that saved both of us from something bad was me jumping over the dog house in the cab to pull the Johnny Arm and flip the Jake Brake on. We stopped dead still in the middle of a high traffic intersection and I'm pretty sure when I got out of the cab I had to shake the leg on my coveralls to make sure I didn't shit myself. Thank God for baffles in fuel cons. I yanked him out of the cab, fireman carried him over to the ditch out of traffic, then hopped into the truck to get it out of the intersection safely, then whipped out a 5 gallon Jerrycan of water to begin cooling off my downed Marine podna. I stripped him down to his Skivvies in broad day light and poured water on him and forced him to drink a bit to to keep him hydrated as we waited for the ambulance to show up to haul his ass off to the hospital. Because of my swift and precise actions, he was saved and suffered minimal brain damage from his heat injury. That was one of the most scariest experiences of my life. When it's time to react, precious seconds cannot be wasted. You're welcome Dewayne, I hope you're doing well these days old friend.
The thought of this crossed my mind if we were to get hit:
Death by fire is not the way I want to go out...
Location : WTI (Weapons and Tactics Instructor) course at MCAS Yuma, somewhere off in the YPG.
Mission: The course consists of part classroom instruction combined with a rigorous flight curriculum and is intended to build communication between pilots and troops on the ground, so when they are performing a variety of real-world missions, such as transporting troops, providing close-air support, evacuating non-combatants and performing humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery efforts, they will work together smoothly and efficiently. Yes, I am still proficient in calling for fire via plane, mortar, or howitzer.
During the training, students are taught about a variety of weapons and how they are used, tactics and how best to utilize them together with other Marine aviation units, as well as command and control systems.