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Good and Bad….

January 8, 2014
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Champions Again!
Photo from Yahoo

 

Hey Y’all

A late night post because I think I am coming down with something. I have been thinking about getting something out there in the blogosphere but since I am not feeling well, I wanted to be proactive. It is late and in my rush, please excuse any mistakes or typos.

 

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Interim Head Coach John Thompson. He is 2-0 as the Coach of the Red Wolves. Monday morning when the team returned to Arkansas, he was officially out of a job. He wasn’t retained by the newest Head Coach. It is a tough business.
Photo from Yahoo

 

The most important item is that my Red Wolves won the Go Daddy Bowl Sunday evening. Dramatically, they blocked a field goal attempt as time expired to preserve the 23-20 victory. A great game as the Ball State Cardinals scored a touchdown with 1:33 left to take a 20-16 lead. Arkansas State drove the length of the field to score with just 0:40 seconds left. Ball State drove back down aided with a personal foul with 0:02 second left for a 37 yard field goal attempt. It was a great game, well played by both teams.

 

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Another photo of the victory celebration.
Photo from ESPN

 

I have to point out that the 22 Seniors on the team played for 4 different head coaches. Those Seniors had a record of 32-19 going 4-8 in their Freshman year. The next three years they lead their team to three consecutive Bowl games winning the past two. For those who think the new generation is addicted to video games and self-serving behavior. I would use these 22 young men as my Exhibit A. They started completely over four times, with four different coaching staffs. None of the coaches were involved in recruiting these 22 young men. Additionally each new coach brought in a new group of recruits who were sold on the pitch of playing time at the expense of these 22 men. These 22 players didn’t quit, they didn’t allow themselves to be run off and they kept working on their craft. In the end, they did it right and played for each other as much or more than they played for a coach. I always suggest that we as a nation need to celebrate these types of young people. These are just the latest examples of young people who will continue everything that is right with this country.

 

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According to everyone who knows, I am qualified to fly this jet. Im still not sure about FLCH or VNAV.
Photo from Yahoo

 

Secondly, I completed training on Sunday. I don’t have much to say about the training right now except that I am glad it is over. I will say that I don’t think I have ever worked so hard for a pay cut in my life. Most of you don’t know, but I am no longer a Captain. I am back to the First Officer rank. The airlines operate on a strict seniority based system. And unfortunately, when my old airplane (727) was retired, I could not hold Captain on any other aircraft. So as of Sunday, I am officially a 757 FO, doing the walk around, pouring the Captain’s coffee, and watching the family budget much more closely. The good news is that on the FO seniority list, I am near the top and will get a much better line. All is well and I look forward to being able to pick some better trips again.

 

Guard in Iraq

One of the most famous photos from the Iraq war. The hand written message in the window of the truck reads “One weekend a month my ass.” That about sums it up for me.
Photo from Yahoo

 

Finally, I am reading the news about Al Qaida and their resurgence in Iraq. I am personally very disappointed about this turn of events. But I am not surprised. I think we all knew in 2003 how Iraq was going to turn out. I will always support the troops and I don’t think the troops were the ones who let the American public down. When I was there, I didn’t want to be there. I don’t know anyone who really wanted to be there, but in spite of a lack of desire. Everyone did their job to the best of the ability because we were not fighting for the Liberation of Iraq. We were fighting for each other. We had a job to do and collectively we did it well. I always put my faith in the American military. I knew that if I was in danger, someone I never met would risk their lives to come get me. Every C-130 crew I know would have done anything to get a wounded troop to a hospital. In the worst case we treated their remains with the highest honor, even the remains of those who were citizens of other countries.

There was never any doubt that the “Collation of the Willing” could win the war. We all thought that would be relatively easy and in hindsight it was over faster than the time it takes to train a pilot to fly a 757. We didn’t lose the war, we lost the peace. We all know the reasons so there is no need to re-ignite that debate. All that needs to be said is that war is not always the answer. But if war is the answer, then it must be total, complete devastation. I hate war but if a country isn’t going to fight to win, what is the point?

Over an eight year period, the United States was spending a billion dollars a week to conduct combat operations. 4,486 (2003-2012) American Service men gave their life in Iraq. Estimates average between 120-130 thousand Iraqi’s died a violent death because of the war and the civil war the erupted following the initial combat action. There is a lot of blood and treasure that will soon be thrown down the tubes. It is just sad.

 

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I thought about putting a picture of Al Qaeda celebrating the taking Fallujah and Ramadi. But I just cant do it. If you want to see them in action, go to CNN. There is more than enough to make you understand what they are all about. The question now is who will finish the fight? The men and women who did it ten years ago, or my kids? It is just sad.

 

Until next time, keep on rockin.

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From → life, military, politics

6 Comments
  1. Congrats on the Red Wolves! And finishing your training!!!! Way to go! Oh… the fall back to FO. Well… no worries. You’ll learn your plane with an experience 757 Captain and will upgrade again soon. I hope. Not sure on the retirements over there…but wishing you a speedy move left.
    Such a jump from 727 to 757. But you did it!!! Whooo Hooo!!!
    About the resurgence… I have not been on the news on the road… I did not know. Flying blindly around the world and over all the issues on the ground. I guess it’s time to get back to reality. 🙂 PS… check blog today and tell me which photo!

    • Karlene,

      Thanks for saying hi. I am proud of my little football team in Arkansas. They have done great considering all of the change in the program. I don’t do well with change but these kids did. I feel they should be acknowledged for that effort.

      After I struggled with the FMS, I spoke to several friends. They all asked how training was and I told them it was hard. They all asked if this was my first FMS experience and I said yes. They all patted me on the back and said it gets better. I will trust my friends, but I am still withholding judgment.

      I too am just starting to look outside the soda straw of training to see the world. I totally understand.

  2. Rob, congrats on finishing the training. With your military background, your writing and your pilot skills, you are one of the most interesting people I’ve met online. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the war and what is going on. I feel like the media is so biased I never know what the “truth” is in their reports. I appreciate your views from the inside.

    • Julie,

      Thank you for the wonderful compliment. I am not sure the real life me lives up to the statement but I am still flattered. By the way, I don’t know what the truth is anymore. I am not on the inside Actually I never was on the inside, I was just a tool in a drawer. Inside the drawer, it is just dark until it gets opened. Ha ha.

  3. Hey Rob,

    I hope the year is off to a good start, and I echo Julie’s sentiments. You are one of the most interesting people I’ve met, and it’s an honor to know you. Goodness, I couldn’t imagine piloting a plane…I have enough trouble driving. Plus, I’m sure I’d always leave the blinker on.

    • Swifty,

      Thanks for the best wishes and for echoing Julie’s comment. Like she is, you are too kind and I doubt that I can live up to that standard. But I agree that it is a honor to know you, you are a man of honor and integrity.

      Last night watching the news with my wife and they had a segment about self driving cars. I told her it will never work, the technology will not ever work with the common human. I am one of them by the way who has trouble driving. Safe in the air, a danger to all on the ground because there are less things to hit on the ground.

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