OPINION
Big Fat Daddy's Articles » Page 2
April 22, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
Germany has a lot of forests.  Some parts of Germany have been under a forestation program for literally hundreds of years.  They are very fond of their trees.  There are some wild areas; not many, but I spent some time in a rain forest near Wurzburg...it had ferns and everything, it was very cool.  By far, though, most of Germany's forests look like parks.  They keep the ground clear of brush and limbs.  One way they do that is kinda cool:  they let the po...
April 20, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
More than half of Fort Ord in on the coastal side of the hills.  The weather is mild almost year round.  I have seen temperatures in the high thirties one winter, and sometimes the summer temps will climb into the low eighties.  But most of the time, it is a very comfortable place to live.  When we left on convoys or other missions, it almost always meant driving east to catch one of the major arteries to go north or south, or one of the state highways that went east.  F...
April 1, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
  There was a split in our platoon:  the Support Platoon of the 2nd Squadron, 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment (or "Fuel and Lube", as everyone referred to it),  stationed in the little spa town of Bad Kissingen so far north in Bavaria it was almost in Franconia.  The split was one of age.  I got there early in December of 1964 when I was still 17.  At the time, the Selective Service was drafting young men at age 21 years, six months.  Plus any older men who ha...
March 30, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
We arrived on the scene just moments after the wreck.  Rookie and I were riding together because his jeep was in the shop.  Our convoy was running behind another instructor team's group on a stretch in the hills on the eastern edge of Fort Ord where two of the Drivers' Training Routes shared a few miles of the road.  The convoy ahead of us stopped.  We were already ahead of our group, doing our "outrider" chore, sort of being advance scouts looking for problems ahead....
March 26, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
I think this will be the last article on Vietnam for awhile.  They just seem to come in streams, you know? I arrived at the 69th Signal compound (later to be named Camp Gaylor in honor of a Staff Sergeant who was killed) just a couple of days after Christmas.  When I was finally processed in I asked if I could be stationed in the same unit as my brother (I didn't know that he had been moved to Bien Hoa).  When they asked me who my brother was I responded with his proper nam...
March 24, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
  It was a sunny, Sunday morning.  We were sitting on the rooftop patio at the Hoa Lu Hotel in downtown Saigon (I guess that's Ho Chi Minh City now).  The night before had been a busy one;  my brother, Skip, had come down from the SF (Special Forces) Camp at Xuan Loc (pronounced "soon lop"...go figure) and we had gone into Saigon together.   When GIs went to Saigon, there were a number of ways they spent the evenings.  Some started with dinner.  There...
March 16, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
In October of 1969 MC and me and our less-than-a-month-old firstborn attended a family conference in Berchtesgaden, West Germany.  Some friends who had gone before went with us.  These conferences used to be called "Religious Retreats" by the Army.  A servicemember could get three days of non-chargeable leave to take his family to the retreat where there were seminars, classes, activities and what-not, designed to help young families learn to cope with the challenges of military l...
March 5, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
Listening to Kate Wolf singing about them golden, rollin' hills again.  I was talking with a young lady Sunday who was raised in the area around Santa Clara.  We agreed that the area can sneak up on you, nothing glaringly beautiful about it but it only takes a minimum of exposure to the area and you get hooked.My mind drifted from Sunday's conversation through the hills around Monterey down to one hill in particular, a hill in the training area called Hunter-Liggett, about 60 m...
March 1, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
  By the middle 80's, East Garrison at Fort Ord was mostly out of use.  It had once been an industrial area with warehouses and offices and such.  But those functions slowly shifted to the coastal side of the post and what was left was just storage and a handy place to train truck drivers to manuever around tight corners and narrow streets.  There was a large open area that had once belonged to the truck drivers' school that was perfect for watching new tractor-tra...
February 16, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
I got up at 0400 (4:00 am to civilians...and for Marines it's when Mickey's big....oh well...you've already heard it..) and went down the concrete stairs to the little latrine for a shave and a shower and whatever else was needed (except on the day that changed everything) .  Then back upstairs to get dressed and straighten my AO (Area of Operation...really just my bunk and locker).  Next it was downstairs to the parking lot to pre-trip and warm up my jeep.  While it w...
February 15, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
It is clear and bright here this morning...and just into the teens temperature-wise.  It has been colder and clearer at times but this morning it is enough to keep me indoors and postponing some woodworking projects for me and MC.   It reminded me of a similar morning in Fort Leonard Wood several years ago when the man on the radio told me "If you looked outside and thought it would be a great day to wash the car, you are DEAD wrong!"  It was five below zero that morning and just ...
February 12, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
In late 1973 I bought a 1969 GTO.  It had been painted a Corvette yellow that made it look like a plastic banana when it was polished up.  It had a black vinyl roof and interior and it was sweet.  We lived in Phoenix at the time; it was an Arizona car, pristine paint and not a speck of rust underneath, or anywhere else for that matter.  The yellow Goat was a great performer.  We took it on several trips to San Diego and other places;  it always got 21 plus miles per...
January 30, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
I joined the Army in the summer of 1964.  Even with the restrictions on physical activity because of the Spinal Meningitis outbreak at Fort Ord, the physical training was more intense than anything I had ever done up to that point.  We had to sleep with the windows open  (we got in bed, turned out the lights, and watched the fog roll into our platoon bay).  We only had one case of meningitis but we had half-a-dozen guys go to the hospital with pneumonia....but I digress....I ...
January 19, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
I'm sure you have done the same thing.  Made a move in traffic and then realized it was a mistake and could shortly become a really bad time.  I had pulled out to pass an inter-city bus on a hill.  I was on my way from my post at Bad Kissingen to the Border Camp at Wohlbach.  In between the towns of Nudlingen and Munnerstadt, the two-lane road winds up a hill and then down the other side.  The vehicles from the tactical units were not allowed to go over 40 mph.  ...
January 11, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy
The SkipperAdded: Friday, January 11th 2013 at 12:25pm by bigfatdaddy 0 / 0 ratings    Edit This PostI want to tell you a little about my brother.  He was my step-brother but we never quite saw it that way...we were brothers.  And as such we didn't always agree or get along.  In fact, one afternoon a hundred years ago,  I had to lock myself in the Chief's Chevy while Skip, my brother, circled the car ranting and threatening to kill me.  ...