Sunday, November 10, 2019

Mos Eisley - Pre-Veteran's Day

A little switcheroo here to keep you Chanter's on your toes.  El Jefe (you know...that guy that usually has some Spanish moniker when I mention him?) wanted to post this Monday.  Why not, I think, this post is ready.  Let's rock our reader's world!

So.....As they say " On with the show".

Having gone undercover in the third worst WHOSAV* to report on the Air Order of Battle there, most of this expedition's stated goals have been accomplished.  The two remaining goals are fairly simple.  Visit the juvat clan's home at the time and visit the Air Force Memorial.

So, it's off to Springfield, we go.  First thing I noticed is although the roadways have been widened and most stoplights removed, yet traffic did not seem to be any better.  Second, there was a lot more houses around than were there twenty years ago.

I think those factors are related.

Anyhow, we safely made it to "our" house.  First impression as we turned on to the street, the trees were a lot bigger.  Duh!

The 3-Star's house on the corner still looked pretty stately.  The 2-Star's house midway down the Street had a car up on blocks, no wheels. Not a pretty sight.  The Major's house across the street from him was empty and looked like it had been for a while.

Our house?

Not too shabby, Owners are from Texas and had the appropriate Flags flying.  (Yes, Mrs J is a Packer Fan, she was born and raised in WI.)  A lot of fond familial memories are associated with that house.

So, that item crossed off our to do list, it was time for resuscitation.  As our final objective for the trip was to visit the Air Force Memorial, we headed North on 95 to Tyson's Corner where we ate at the Barrel and Bushel. A little frou-frou, but the food was pretty good. I had Chorizo Sliders and a nice Porter. Mrs J had Pork Belly Sliders, Brussel Sprouts and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  Little Juvat had a burger and a dark beer aged in a whiskey barrel.

His impression?

Adequately nourished, we mounted up and headed to our final objective.

Enroute, we passed another memory of our time in the area.

I can think of no fond memories of that place however.   Well, other than leaving it after my retirement ceremony.

And about this time, the battery on my phone went to zero.  Who knew that about 3 hours of near continuous photography would deplete it and require recharging and therefore bring a recharging cable?

Well...apparently...Not I.

So...the improvement in subsequent pictures in this post is a direct result of theft from Little Juvat and Mrs J.  I throw myself on the mercy of the court.

This memorial wasn't built when I left the area.  I thought it was fairly impressive.

It's really not hard to envision airplanes in a bomb burst formation here.

Some good words there.  Wish more people, especially those within, oh say, a few miles of the spot, followed them.

And of course, a list of people I hold dear.

Something I appreciated...unlike the National Museum of the US Air Force, They got them all.

So I'm standing there pondering when I notice some police cars with lights flashing heading off the freeway.  They're escorting some buses.  I wonder what's going on, but they pull into the parking lot.

It's an honor flight tour.  That made the day complete (well almost).  Buncha Warriors from past wars getting the respect they deserve.

Went over and shook a few hands.  Most were Vietnam era, but there were a couple of WWII folks (there was one bus that was all Female Vets, needless to say, Mrs J went to shake their hands)

But as I was standing looking at the scenery, I noticed something else close by and I thought of one thing more I needed to do.

So, we went over to Arlington.

And said hello to a good friend and mentor.  For those of you who don't understand the code below the dates.  SS is Silver Star, the 3rd highest award for Valor.  DFC is Distinguished Flying Cross. It is awarded for "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight" .  The 4OLC means he received 4 Oak Leaf Clusters for the DFC, meaning he received it 5 times.  AM & 18 OLC means he received the Air Medal 19 times.

Ed was a hero.

I found a video of his funeral , but that's not the way I remember him.

This is.

Ed is the Lieutenant popping the Champagne cork in the cockpit.  I saw this movie as a cadet and recognized him immediately when I met him at Holloman 10 years later.  He was my IP while I went through the Instructor program there.

Finally, Mrs J had been wearing a memorial bracelet for years.  When we went to the Arlington Visitor's center to find where Ed's grave site was, Mrs J asked them to check if the person on her bracelet was also buried there.  Turns out he was.  So after bidding Ed God Speed, we set out to search for Tech Sergeant Scott E. Duffman.

Sergeant Duffman, was a pararescueman killed in a helicopter accident in Afghanistan in 2007.

That's Mrs J's bracelet on his headstone.
However, his Bronze Star was awarded for Valor in a  previous engagement.

 His Citation reads:
Staff Sergeant Scott E. Duffman distinguished himself by heroism as Combat Search and Rescue Team Member, Task Force Eleven, Joint Special Operations Command while engaged in ground operations against the enemy at a classified location from 10 February 2002 to 17 April 2002.
During this period, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Sergeant Duffman demonstrated unparalleled professional skill, judgment and operational foresight during numerous special operations. Sergeant Duffman performed heroically, calmly and professionally during Combat Search and Rescue Operations while under fire from the enemy.
Sergeant Duffman's team conducted a daring rescue of fellow teammates who had sustained numerous casualties and after helicopters crashed while battling enemy forces for hours on a mountaintop. His bravery and immediate medical attention were essential to the recovery and safe evacuation of his wounded teammates.
Sergeant Duffman's team was exposed numerous times to intermittent enemy fire and the threat of enemy reinforcement at any moment. His heroic actions resulted in the recovery of multiple critically injured litter patients, one minimally injured patient, and several additional personnel.
On board the helicopter, Sergeant Duffman's exemplary medical knowledge was instrumental in stabilizing the injured patients and then transferring the patients at a remote landing site.
Sergeant Duffman's actions during this trying time deterred terrorist actions against United States forces and demonstrated America's resolve to recover friendly forces regardless of enemy strength.
Sergeant Duffman's professionalism and heroism are an example for others to follow. By his heroic actions and unselfish dedication to duty, Sergeant Huffman has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Rest in peace, Warriors

Mrs J and I are taking a little road trip for the next couple of weeks, in search of more posting ideas. Internet connectivity may be a bit shaky,  so responses to comments may be sparse.  I'm sure Beans can interject as needed.

*WHOSAV --> Wretched Hive of Scum and Villany 


  1. Well done and well timed juvat. Safe and enjoyable travels.

  2. Nice post, juvat. Hope you and Mrs. J have a safe journey.. glad you escaped the gravitational pull of the five side WHOSAV on your trip to northern VA, soon to deteriorate even faster after the last election.

    And Happy Birthday, USMC - 244 years today! Semper fidelis!

    1. Happy Birthday in deed!

      Reaching escape velocity seemed doubtful at times while stationed there. The photo above was just about closest point of approach and Little Juvat kept the velocity up, so escape was in little doubt.

      Thanks Tom.

  3. Replies
    1. Oh, they're all around. They just rarely make the news...until badly needed. But, you are right, they are heroic.

  4. My dad turned down a promotion and a full commission (he was an AF Reserve officer, for 20 years...) to avoid the WHOSAV. To quote another movie, he chose... wisely.

    I do like the AF Memorial, as it is visible from both ground and air. A very nice touch.

    As to bracelets, Mrs. Andrew has one from Vietnam. It is somewhere, I need to find it again. I know where it is, it is just about 3 boxes deep in the room of doom from moving.

    Very good post. A reminder that even Mordor on the Potomac has some good points besides the A&SM and UH.

    Looking forward to traveling through you and your lovely wife. Still generating a rant, it seems to be a slippery one.

    1. Heck, I volunteered to be a T-37 IP at Laughlin to avoid it. Nobody does that. They still sent me to that building. So, I understand and agree that he "chose wisely."

      The AF Memorial was much better done than I thought it would be, and the views were phenomenal.

      Thanks. Sarge once said "I would have written a short rant, but I don't have time."

  5. Given the number of times that I have visited DC, you'd think I'd have been up to the memorial for my own service by now. But I have not.

    But every time I see those rising curves of steel, I feel a moment of remembrance for the old uniform and those I served with, I need to get there.

    Very glad you got to visit Ras. I did that not too very long ago and though I'd never met the man, I knew so many like him. Yeah, I shed a tear for the Major, and left a nickel on the grass. I need to stop by and pay my respects to TSgt Duffman as well, some gave all...

    A very good post Juvat.

    1. Thanks, Sarge. At the airport. Apparently having your passport in your rear pants pocket lets the nice TSA agent give you a fairly personal patdown. DAMHIK.

  6. Great, timely post. Sandy, dusty post.
    I wore Tommy Sima's bracelet 'til he came back from the Hilton. Don't know what happened to him later but I'm glad I had him as a roomie at Itazuke in the Zash House. I can remember how excited he was to transition from the Hun to the Squat Bomber.
    Have a great trip, keep us posted. Thanks again.

    1. I wore Dave Mott’s under similar circumstances.

  7. Another outstanding post! Thank you!!

  8. Well, crap. A major burst of pollen here suddenly, Juvat. Especially when I espied that memorial bracelet resting atop TSGT Duffman's stone.

  9. God Bless them all.

    And thank you all for your service.....

  10. Good post, as usual. I agree with Dr. Jim, God Bless them all.

    My parents lived in Alrington for 39 of the last 41 years and my father and I finally made it to the Air Force memorial a couple of years ago after we had spent the day sailing on the Potamac. We agreed that it was a fitting memorial but I didn't recall the words writen there. He didn't like to get to close to the Pentagon either... Me, I never even had to visit that place much less work in it. Pacific Fleet baby!

  11. Fitting that there's room left on that marble for future MOH awardee names. We're not done over there, and we will continue to find such men.


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