Tank birthday, 47+ years

Minifoot77

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These Korean Generals must have gotten these medals for dancing because they haven't had a war there in 60 years.

North Korea.jpg
Is one of the medals for underwater basket weaving?
 
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Paul B

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OMG I got home 1:00 this morning from the Honor flight to DC. Our plane landed here about 11:30 last night. It was amazing and some of it was almost indescribable. I even had a Supermodel companion assigned to me who was really nice. I couldn't be happier but I will get back to this as we are having a bunch of company coming today. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:
 
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Paul B

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This homecoming was a very high point in my life. When people come home from the service or war now they are greeted with respect and maybe a party, parade or at least an ice cream cone and are rightly so treated as Hero's. It was much different when we came home from Vietnam.

I ETSed (Got out of the Army) in April 1971. I left the jungle in Vietnam on the Cambodian border and got on a helicopter to go to another helicopter, then to a makeshift airfield, still in the jungle for the flight on a fixed wing airplane to a Tonsunut (spelling?) Air Force base in southern South Vietnam. I was still muddy.

I had to remove all my clothes and walk through a "tunnel" naked (so I wasn't carrying grenades or a duck) leave my weapons and got clean clothes (but no shower) to get on the TWA plane home. (I was better looking then)

In those days the flight attendants were all Supermodels but the return flight Home we didn't have any of them. The flight was 24 hours with a stop in Japan and Alaska where I called home and reversed the charges (no cell phones then so this was the first call home in a year)

The plane took off and went almost straight up so we didn't get shot down. I thought we were crashing and didn't realize commuter planes could take off on such an angle. We all gave a standing ovation. No movie, and we had a bologna sandwich on white bread, no mustard, lettuce mayonnaise LRS food, mysis or anything else for the 24 hours. They couldn't even spring for a movie, not even a Bugs Bunny Cartoon.

We landed in McGuire Air Force base in New Jersey at 2:00 am with no fanfare. I got out of the plane, got on my knees and kissed the ground.

They wouldn't wake up the clerks to sign us out so they thought we would quietly sit there for 5 hours. Of course we started yelling and tearing the place apart until they woke up some people.

My girlfriend, now wife, filled out many discharge papers so most of my information, including my 2 Bronze Stars and other medals on my DD 214 (discharge papers) was missing until about 25 years ago.

They gave us all a 15 cent subway token and we were out of the Army. There are no subways in New Jersey and none of us had any money because we didn't use real money in Nam. We had MPC which was "Monopoly money" and fell apart when it got wet.

(I was still dirty)

Most guys had to hitch home but my wife and family drove me the 80 or so miles home.
The guys that had to hitch hike had a hard time because Vietnam veterans were for the most part "disliked" then and some were spit on and cursed at. (I think that's why they took away our weapons and grenades) We didn't tell anyone we were in that war as it was looked down upon so there was no recognition and was kept quiet. College kids especially were mostly rioting, sort of like now.

Anyway now to present day. On Saturday an organization called The Honor Flight took 50 Veterans from WW2, Korea and Vietnam to Washington DC all expenses paid. We had to be at the airport at 3:00am. I was the first one there as I usually am because I am never late.
I have no idea how they got my name.

They said they were giving each Veteran a companion and wheelchair for the trip. The person they assigned to me was a Supermodel and extremely nice person. I didn't need the wheelchair but many of the guys were older and did. You could use it to carry any of your stuff. I didn't need it so I left it on the bus.
Me and companion.jpg




(notice my spit shined boots)

We walked through the empty airport until I heard this loud band with bag pipes. There were about a hundred people there at 5:00am thanking us, giving us cards, screaming and welcoming us. It was amazing and we didn't know anything about it. We took off at 6:00am for DC.

at airport at start.jpg



We landed in Washington and had a full day of touring the monuments like the WW2, Korera and Vietnam
This is WW2 Memorial

WW2 memorial.JPG



Korea
Korea Monument.JPG




And of course Viet Nam
At the Vietnam Memorial (where I have been to before) I took a picture of the part of the panel where about 40 the guys I was with died in a battle we were in called Fire Support Base Ilingworth which was in on April 1st 1970. I lost it a little there.

Viet Nam wall.JPG



We also went to the national Archives building where important documents like my book are kept. Oh, The Constitution and other documents are also housed there. The Constitution is housed in a 24 karat gold case with thick glass that is hermetically sealed with argon gas and has two armed guards around it with big guns.

Constitution.JPG


I asked one of the guards if I could take it outside in the daylight to see it better. He didn't think that was a good idea.

We all got on the bus to the almost hour long trip to the airport and they yelled out "Mail Call". They gave all of us a big bag of letters. Many were from grammar school kids with drawings and crossword puzzles, really, really nice. The rest of them were from friends.
Reading mail.jpg



And we have many life long friends. Before this trip my wife told our friends to send letters to the Honor Flight people just for this occasion. I got so many heartwarming letters many from lifelong friends plus my kids and Grand Kids.


On the flight back one guy stood up. He was one of the Companions and yelled out. "HEY VETERANS" I need help and started to sing in a beautiful baritone voice "God Bless America" where we all chimed in.

We landed about midnight at the airport near here. The airport was dead silent and empty. No one in sight so we figured that was the end of the trip and we would go find our cars in the pitch dark airport.

As we walked towards the exit, I heard in the distance bag pipe music and figured it was piped in airport music.

We walked through the glass doors one by one and OMG, this blasting bag pipe and drums filled the airport. There were at least 200 people there screaming thank Yous, giving us cards and cookies, old people. young people, grammar school kids and adults.
They had a band plus about 25 bag pipe players in full regalia. AT MIDNIGHT

They were taking pictures and as the music was blaring, flashlights were flashing, drums were drumming, Honor guards holding flags were saluting it was the best thing I ever experienced in my life. Now I feel I had my home coming and I am so grateful.
I have no idea where they got all these people at that hour but it was fantastic.
Changing guard.JPG
 
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fishybizzness

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This homecoming was a very high point in my life. When people come home from the service or war now they are greeted with respect and maybe a party, parade or at least an ice cream cone and are rightly so treated as Hero's. It was much different when we came home from Vietnam.

I ETSed (Got out of the Army) in April 1971. I left the jungle in Vietnam on the Cambodian border and got on a helicopter to go to another helicopter, then to a makeshift airfield, still in the jungle for the flight on a fixed wing airplane to a Tonsunut (spelling?) Air Force base in southern South Vietnam. I was still muddy.

I had to remove all my clothes and walk through a "tunnel" naked (so I wasn't carrying grenades or a duck) leave my weapons and got clean clothes (but no shower) to get on the TWA plane home. (I was better looking then)

In those days the flight attendants were all Supermodels but the return flight Home we didn't have any of them. The flight was 24 hours with a stop in Japan and Hawaii where I called home and reversed the charges (no cell phones then so this was the first call home in a year)

The plane took off and went almost straight up so we didn't get shot down. I thought we were crashing and didn't realize commuter planes could take off on such an angle. We all gave a standing ovation. No movie, and we had a bologna sandwich on white bread, no mustard, lettuce mayonnaise LRS food, mysis or anything else for the 24 hours. They couldn't even spring for a movie, not even a Bugs Bunny Cartoon.

We landed in McGuire Air Force base in New Jersey at 2:00 am with no fanfare. I got out of the plane, got on my knees and kissed the ground.

They wouldn't wake up the clerks to sign us out so they thought we would quietly sit there for 5 hours. Of course we started yelling and tearing the place apart until they woke up some people.

My girlfriend, now wife, filled out many discharge papers so most of my information, including my 2 Bronze Stars and other medals on my DD 214 (discharge papers) was missing until about 25 years ago.

They gave us all a 15 cent subway token and we were out of the Army. There are no subways in New Jersey and none of us had any money because we didn't use real money in Nam. We had MPC which was "Monopoly money" and fell apart when it got wet.

(I was still dirty)

Most guys had to hitch home but my wife and family drove me the 80 or so miles home.
The guys that had to hitch hike had a hard time because Vietnam veterans were for the most part "disliked" then and some were spit on and cursed at. (I think that's why they took away our weapons and grenades) We didn't tell anyone we were in that war as it was looked down upon so there was no recognition and was kept quiet. College kids especially were mostly rioting, sort of like now.

Anyway now to present day. On Saturday an organization called The Honor Flight took 50 Veterans from WW2, Korea and Vietnam to Washington DC all expenses paid. We had to be at the airport at 3:00am. I was the first one there as I usually am because I am never late.
I have no idea how they got my name.

They said they were giving each Veteran a companion and wheelchair for the trip. The person they assigned to me was a Supermodel and extremely nice person. I didn't need the wheelchair but many of the guys were older and did. You could use it to carry any of your stuff. I didn't need it so I left it on the bus.
Me and companion.jpg




(notice my spit shined boots)

We walked through the empty airport until I heard this loud band with bag pipes. There were about a hundred people there at 5:00am thanking us, giving us cards, screaming and welcoming us. It was amazing and we didn't know anything about it. We took off at 6:00am for DC.

at airport at start.jpg



We landed in Washington and had a full day of touring the monuments like the WW2, Korera and Vietnam
This is WW2 Memorial

WW2 memorial.JPG



Korea
Korea Monument.JPG




And of course Viet Nam
At the Vietnam Memorial (where I have been to before) I took a picture of the part of the panel where about 40 the guys I was with died in a battle we were in called Fire Support Base Ilingworth which was in on April 1st 1970. I lost it a little there.

Viet Nam wall.JPG



We also went to the national Archives building where important documents like my book are kept. Oh, The Constitution and other documents are also housed there. The Constitution is housed in a 24 karat gold case with thick glass that is hermetically sealed with argon gas and has two armed guards around it with big guns.

Constitution.JPG


I asked one of the guards if I could take it outside in the daylight to see it better. He didn't think that was a good idea.

We all got on the bus to the almost hour long trip to the airport and they yelled out "Mail Call". They gave all of us a big bag of letters. Many were from grammar school kids with drawings and crossword puzzles, really, really nice. The rest of them were from friends.
Reading mail.jpg



And we have many life long friends. Before this trip my wife told our friends to send letters to the Honor Flight people just for this occasion. I got so many heartwarming letters many from lifelong friends plus my kids and Grand Kids.


On the flight back one guy stood up. He was one of the Companions and yelled out. "HEY VETERANS" I need help and started to sing in a beautiful baritone voice "God Bless America" where we all chimed in.

We landed about midnight at the airport near here. The airport was dead silent and empty. No one in sight so we figured that was the end of the trip and we would go find our cars in the pitch dark airport.

As we walked towards the exit, I heard in the distance bag pipe music and figured it was piped in airport music.

We walked through the glass doors one by one and OMG, this blasting bag pipe and drums filled the airport. There were at least 200 people there screaming thank Yous, giving us cards and cookies, old people. young people, grammar school kids and adults.
They had a band plus about 25 bag pipe players in full regalia. AT MIDNIGHT

They were taking pictures and as the music was blaring, flashlights were flashing, drums were drumming, Honor guards holding flags were saluting it was the best thing I ever experienced in my life. Now I feel I had my home coming and I am so grateful.
I have no idea where they got all these people at that hour but it was fantastic.
Changing guard.JPG
Thank you for your service Paul! I wish there were more people like you in the world!
 

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Well done Paul. Glad you had the opportunity and took it. Bless you for doing what you did. Much respect!
 

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This homecoming was a very high point in my life. When people come home from the service or war now they are greeted with respect and maybe a party, parade or at least an ice cream cone and are rightly so treated as Hero's. It was much different when we came home from Vietnam.

I ETSed (Got out of the Army) in April 1971. I left the jungle in Vietnam on the Cambodian border and got on a helicopter to go to another helicopter, then to a makeshift airfield, still in the jungle for the flight on a fixed wing airplane to a Tonsunut (spelling?) Air Force base in southern South Vietnam. I was still muddy.

I had to remove all my clothes and walk through a "tunnel" naked (so I wasn't carrying grenades or a duck) leave my weapons and got clean clothes (but no shower) to get on the TWA plane home. (I was better looking then)

In those days the flight attendants were all Supermodels but the return flight Home we didn't have any of them. The flight was 24 hours with a stop in Japan and Alaska where I called home and reversed the charges (no cell phones then so this was the first call home in a year)

The plane took off and went almost straight up so we didn't get shot down. I thought we were crashing and didn't realize commuter planes could take off on such an angle. We all gave a standing ovation. No movie, and we had a bologna sandwich on white bread, no mustard, lettuce mayonnaise LRS food, mysis or anything else for the 24 hours. They couldn't even spring for a movie, not even a Bugs Bunny Cartoon.

We landed in McGuire Air Force base in New Jersey at 2:00 am with no fanfare. I got out of the plane, got on my knees and kissed the ground.

They wouldn't wake up the clerks to sign us out so they thought we would quietly sit there for 5 hours. Of course we started yelling and tearing the place apart until they woke up some people.

My girlfriend, now wife, filled out many discharge papers so most of my information, including my 2 Bronze Stars and other medals on my DD 214 (discharge papers) was missing until about 25 years ago.

They gave us all a 15 cent subway token and we were out of the Army. There are no subways in New Jersey and none of us had any money because we didn't use real money in Nam. We had MPC which was "Monopoly money" and fell apart when it got wet.

(I was still dirty)

Most guys had to hitch home but my wife and family drove me the 80 or so miles home.
The guys that had to hitch hike had a hard time because Vietnam veterans were for the most part "disliked" then and some were spit on and cursed at. (I think that's why they took away our weapons and grenades) We didn't tell anyone we were in that war as it was looked down upon so there was no recognition and was kept quiet. College kids especially were mostly rioting, sort of like now.

Anyway now to present day. On Saturday an organization called The Honor Flight took 50 Veterans from WW2, Korea and Vietnam to Washington DC all expenses paid. We had to be at the airport at 3:00am. I was the first one there as I usually am because I am never late.
I have no idea how they got my name.

They said they were giving each Veteran a companion and wheelchair for the trip. The person they assigned to me was a Supermodel and extremely nice person. I didn't need the wheelchair but many of the guys were older and did. You could use it to carry any of your stuff. I didn't need it so I left it on the bus.
Me and companion.jpg




(notice my spit shined boots)

We walked through the empty airport until I heard this loud band with bag pipes. There were about a hundred people there at 5:00am thanking us, giving us cards, screaming and welcoming us. It was amazing and we didn't know anything about it. We took off at 6:00am for DC.

at airport at start.jpg



We landed in Washington and had a full day of touring the monuments like the WW2, Korera and Vietnam
This is WW2 Memorial

WW2 memorial.JPG



Korea
Korea Monument.JPG




And of course Viet Nam
At the Vietnam Memorial (where I have been to before) I took a picture of the part of the panel where about 40 the guys I was with died in a battle we were in called Fire Support Base Ilingworth which was in on April 1st 1970. I lost it a little there.

Viet Nam wall.JPG



We also went to the national Archives building where important documents like my book are kept. Oh, The Constitution and other documents are also housed there. The Constitution is housed in a 24 karat gold case with thick glass that is hermetically sealed with argon gas and has two armed guards around it with big guns.

Constitution.JPG


I asked one of the guards if I could take it outside in the daylight to see it better. He didn't think that was a good idea.

We all got on the bus to the almost hour long trip to the airport and they yelled out "Mail Call". They gave all of us a big bag of letters. Many were from grammar school kids with drawings and crossword puzzles, really, really nice. The rest of them were from friends.
Reading mail.jpg



And we have many life long friends. Before this trip my wife told our friends to send letters to the Honor Flight people just for this occasion. I got so many heartwarming letters many from lifelong friends plus my kids and Grand Kids.


On the flight back one guy stood up. He was one of the Companions and yelled out. "HEY VETERANS" I need help and started to sing in a beautiful baritone voice "God Bless America" where we all chimed in.

We landed about midnight at the airport near here. The airport was dead silent and empty. No one in sight so we figured that was the end of the trip and we would go find our cars in the pitch dark airport.

As we walked towards the exit, I heard in the distance bag pipe music and figured it was piped in airport music.

We walked through the glass doors one by one and OMG, this blasting bag pipe and drums filled the airport. There were at least 200 people there screaming thank Yous, giving us cards and cookies, old people. young people, grammar school kids and adults.
They had a band plus about 25 bag pipe players in full regalia. AT MIDNIGHT

They were taking pictures and as the music was blaring, flashlights were flashing, drums were drumming, Honor guards holding flags were saluting it was the best thing I ever experienced in my life. Now I feel I had my home coming and I am so grateful.
I have no idea where they got all these people at that hour but it was fantastic.
Changing guard.JPG
Long over due Paul! Love it.
 

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Absolutely beautiful Paul.

You bring back fond memories of my grandfather (not because you are old...), who was a Navy Aviation Ordnanceman in WWII south pacific. He always called himself an "Aircraft Mechanic" to me, and we spent countless days of his retirement fishing in New England lakes, and the Long Island Sound for stripers and flounder during my younger years.

I didn't hear many stories from his service, probably for my benefit as a child, except his favorite one where he skipped a movie night with his squadron to hang back and hunt monkeys with a .50 cal machine gun to finally get them a nice meal to eat. I'm not sure that I can recall it properly here, more trees were harmed than monkeys, but it was a mess and he loved the story and so did I.
 

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Paul I gave you an insight into my grandfather’s days in the army serving as a dessert Rat as I said before he was caught up in a big explosion and got pieces of metal in his leg . I would like to finish the true story after this happened if that’s ok . He was put in a military hospital but somewhere abroad not the uk and he was there for a long time and a nurse helped him recover and got him back on his feet eventually he was fit and able to come back to the uk. My grandfather came home and was no longer in the army but he could not get the nurse out of his head that had helped him recover. After 6 months been at home his thoughts had not changed so he got a flight back to the hospital and found the nurse who looked after him . He told her what his feelings were for her and she flew back to the uk and Paul the nurse ended up my grandmother and the family tree started. It gives me so much happiness talking about my grandfather and grandmother both were really nice people that had seen things in war that others can only imagine. Hope you enjoyed the true story of my grandparents Paul
 
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Paul B

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Nano_Man. That is a great story, thanks for telling it. My wife's dad was wounded in the Pacific and spent a year in the hospital in Hawaii, but as far as I can tell, he didn't bring back his nurse but that would have been cool. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

Unless we were badly injured in Nam they put you on a helicopter to some semi rear area and patched you up enough to return you to service. If you were not fit for combat, they sent you to Japan, then home.

I got a bunch of shrapnel in me but none of it was big or deep so I just pulled the pieces out. When those mortars and rockets blow up, many tiny pieces of shrapnel fly off along with the big pieces and it's hard to avoid getting hit when everything is exploding. If my Captain would have noticed, I would have gotten a purple heart but we were really busy then and not thinking about medals. Staying alive seemed more important at the time. ::oops:

In movies when you see everybody running as bombs are exploding near them, that doesn't happen in real life. It's not just the shrapnel that kills or hurts you, the blast is much worse. It's the air that hits you sort of like hitting a wall in a speeding car.
When our 400 tons of artillery ammunition blew up, everyone on the firebase, including the NVA were all knocked out for about 10 minutes. Most of us got up, many never did.
 

Nano_Man

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Nano_Man. That is a great story, thanks for telling it. My wife's dad was wounded in the Pacific and spent a year in the hospital in Hawaii, but as far as I can tell, he didn't bring back his nurse but that would have been cool. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

Unless we were badly injured in Nam they put you on a helicopter to some semi rear area and patched you up enough to return you to service. If you were not fit for combat, they sent you to Japan, then home.

I got a bunch of shrapnel in me but none of it was big or deep so I just pulled the pieces out. When those mortars and rockets blow up, many tiny pieces of shrapnel fly off along with the big pieces and it's hard to avoid getting hit when everything is exploding. If my Captain would have noticed, I would have gotten a purple heart but we were really busy then and not thinking about medals. Staying alive seemed more important at the time. ::oops:

In movies when you see everybody running as bombs are exploding near them, that doesn't happen in real life. It's not just the shrapnel that kills or hurts you, the blast is much worse. It's the air that hits you sort of like hitting a wall in a speeding car.
When our 400 tons of artillery ammunition blew up, everyone on the firebase, including the NVA were all knocked out for about 10 minutes. Most of us got up, many never did.
Thanks for the insight of what you and many others went through. When my grandfather went to war he was in his prime. One photo he showed me he said the we’re not allowed to take photos but he did and it is of him sat with his fellow soldiers on a long bonnet truck and believe it or not a monkey on a rope that is why the photo sticks in my mind . Thanks Paul for letting me write my memories of my grandparents on your Thread
 
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Paul B

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Here in New York we have to get our cars inspected every year. Of course as I was going to have it done, my "Check Engine" light came on and it won't pass inspection like that.

I have the Code Reader that you plug into the computer port in the car and it tells you whats wrong and what turned on that light. It's normally a pollution thing so it won't pass inspection. The tool told me it is an outdoor temperature sensor that the computer needs to know for a couple of functions and it also tells you the outdoor temperature. On my Jeep Renegade it is in the passenger side mirror and Jeep wants about $500.00 to repair it, the repair shop about $450.00.

150 years ago I was a General Motors Mechanic and I basically won't let anyone touch my car unless it is warranty work or I just can't physically do it any more (I am not a young chicken any longer) But I will do most things myself. I am not a snowflake and know how to fix most things except maybe a nuclear submarine. I may have a little trouble with that.

Anyway, the bad part is a thing called a thermistor and is a tiny thing about half the size of an LED bulb. They are also very cheap, much less than a Copperband Butterfly. For $10.00 bucks they sent me about a hundred of them.

It changes resistance as the temperature changes and normally you would replace the entire mirror to fix this problem. But I am not a Jiboni so I just took apart the mirror and soldered in a new thermistor.

Here is the opened mirror.
Side mirror.jpg



And with the new thermistor soldered in. It sticks out on the bottom of the mirror in a little rubber boot. Problem solved.

Thermister.jpg
 
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Paul B

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Thank you for your service Paul! I wish there were more people like you in the world!
There are....I see a lot of bald people walking around. :oops:

except his favorite one where he skipped a movie night with his squadron to hang back and hunt monkeys with a .50 cal machine gun to finally get them a nice meal to eat. I'm not sure that I can recall it properly here, more trees were harmed than monkeys,
We also had a lot of monkeys. For the most part they are nasty pests. This one "Judy" would jump on you, take whatever you had in your pockets, usually cigarettes, tear them up, throw it in your face all in less than a second. A guy there had a tiny monkey called Crossbow. Crossbow was only a couple of inches tall and used to sit in his shirt pocket or climb on his steel helmet.

We didn't shoot any, not on purpose anyway.



Once in a clearing a big deer walked out in the open. About 6 guys started shooting at it with a 60 caliper machine gun and M-16s. The deer walked away seemingly unharmed but probably laughing. I told them, "The next time we get in a firefight, you guys just sit down and let me take care of it. You can't even hit a 250lb deer with a machine gun and I don't need you "protecting" me. :rolleyes:"

Not the same deer


Of course I preferred my duck DukDuk.



Once we were all getting on a fixed wing plane to go to another hellhole in the jungle and there was a General there talking to my Capt. He yelled at my Capt saying something like "What is that guy doing carrying that monkey and duck, this ain't Noah's Ark.

My Capt said to him, "Please Sir, don't say anything to Sgt. Baldassano, he builds us all sorts of cool things and I don't want to get him ticked off. I only know this because my Capt is now a retired Brigadier General and we are still friends so he tells me the things we did because I forgot almost everything.

Big Lizard.

"
 
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Paul B

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I just looked at the beginning of this thread in 2011. I don't think any of those people at that time are still in the hobby as I don't recognize anyone from then. :rolleyes:

My tank was running 40 years before that first post. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:
 
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Paul B

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So I got this new computer a few weeks ago and I love the thing. It looks and runs exactly like my 18 year old Windows 7 which was my criteria. Of course this new one has 6 times more computing power which is why I bought the thing. I may get my wife the same one today. She has a newish one but I can't even figure out how to save a picture of a clown gobi on it as it is way over my bald head.

Anyway, as I was transferring the old photos and articles from the old computer to this one I noticed that I wrote about 90 articles or stories, most of which had nothing to do with fish. I can't believe I wasted so much "ink" in these years since they invented computers.

If I get time, I will read those stories to see if I still agree with them. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:
 
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