Wednesday, May 28, 2014


 Good Morning, Class of '64
(Extremely Rare) Retired Virginia Militia Officer George Washington 23 Years Old
 Without discipline the Army
would just be a bunch of guys
wearing the same color clothing.
Frank Burns
George Washington Leading the Continental Army at Valley Forge
Discipline is the soul of an army.
It makes small numbers formidable;
procures success to the weak,
and esteem to all.
George Washington

George Washington Resigning His Commission as Army-Commander-in-Chief
Nothing can be more
hurtful to the service,
than the neglect
of discipline;
for that discipline,
more than numbers,
gives one army the
superiority over another.
George Washington
George Washington Addressing the Constitutional Convention

Another Day with Larry

The Army
(Part Four - Conclusion)

After being released from active duty in November, 1972, I joined the National Guard and later the U.S. Army Reserves. I served in a service battery in an artillery battalion, a psychological operations company, and an ammunition company. I commanded 2 of them.

I spent 7 years in the reserve components. I loved the military, but I could not stomach the incompetence of senior officers and the dirty politics among them. Too many officers looked at the reserves as an exclusive club and a way to get away from the wife and family for a week-end.

Those are the officers who spent almost $300,000 of FEMA money after the flood of 1985 to build a three-bedroom house at Camp Dawson. Sure makes a great place for senior officers and politicians to stay when WVU has a home football game. National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers in the 1970’s were better than their active duty counterparts, but they were poorly led.

My criticism is harsh. Let me cite one example. One hot, early fall Saturday, my battalion had its annual weapons qualification at Camp Dawson. I ran the .45 pistol range for officers. Two or three showed up to fire. All officers were required to fire annually; the rest were paper qualified.

After I closed the range, we cleaned and secured the weapons. I noticed that there were no officers in sight. The troops were busy preparing the evening meal, pulling maintenance on the vehicles, cleaning weapons, and doing all the things soldiers do. But no officers were in sight.

Then it dawned on me. West Virginia University had a football game with Pitt. It was televised, a rarity then. I checked the TV room in the officers’ quarters. Sure enough, almost all the officers were drinking beer and enjoying the game in an air conditioned room while their soldiers were working in the hot sun.

The soldiers were WVU fans, too, but the only ones who got to see that game were the privileged officers. Many, perhaps most of them, did not even realize that they were doing anything wrong. I got drunk with some NCO’s and enlisted men that night. I did not even want to see those officers.

I always preferred the company of the enlisted men, NCO’s, and warrant officers. They were the working men. They knew what they were doing. Few commissioned officers in the national guard and reserve knew what they were doing, and even fewer did much work. Notable exceptions were Major John Carline and Captain Clifford Wilmoth, both good men and excellent officers. If I had been an enlisted man, I probably would have stayed 25 - 30 years and served in Desert Storm.

Each veteran has more memories and more vivid memories from his time in the service than any like time in his life. Most veterans would not take any amount of money for that experience. Of course, they would not repeat it for any amount of money!

I am proud of my military service. I went where I was ordered to go, and I did my duty as best I could. But I am a small-v veteran. I salute capital-V Veterans. They are the ones who served in combat. I honor their service and their sacrifices. I, and every other American, owe them a debt that can never be paid.

I never heard a shot fired in anger. I never experienced fear or hardship. My time in uniform was pretty pleasant. I am a proud small-v veteran who looks up to and salutes capital-V Veterans.

The war in Korea has not officially ended; there was only a cease fire. Therefore I am eligible to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I very much admire that organization. But I cannot join it. I would be flying under false colors. I can never be part of that very exclusive brotherhood of capital-V Veterans. My joining would not bother them, but it would bother me.

George Washington at the Battle of Princeton 1777
We try to rehabilitate most people,
but if you have set fire to Chicago,
we probably won't attempt
to rehabilitate you.
Bryan Hilferty

Not everyone is qualified
to join this team.
To enlist you have to both meet
our high standards and be
motivated to serve your country.
Motivation or qualification
alone is not enough.
Bryan Hilferty

My parents were very pleased
that I was in the army.
The fact that I hated it somehow
pleased them even more.
Barry Humphries

Washington Crossing the Delaware - Emanuel Luetze
 Korean War

West Virginia National Guard
It has 38 units and activities
stationed in 22 counties throughout
West Virginia and overseas.
A U.S. Air Force Lockheed C-130H Hercules (s/n 94-6701) from the 167th Airlift Squadron, 167th Airlift wing, West Virginia Air National Guard, flying over Harpers Ferry, West Virginia (USA), the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah (left) rivers. The 167th Airlift Wing transitioned to the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy in 2006.
 Hanover, WV, May 29, 2009 -- West Virginia National Guard troops pick up debris from the side of the highway with construction equipment. The debris was left from early May flooding in Hanover along US Hgwy 52.

Camp Dawson
West Virginia Army National Guard
Camp Dawson lies within close proximity 
of 50% of the nation's entire population. 
An ideal site for military training and conferences.
Offers rugged mountainous regions for SPECIALIZED training.
United States Army Reserve
In times of war, Soldiers in the Army Reserve
may be called up to Active Duty to provide
their expertise for mission success.
Washington Praying at Valley Forge
“America's finest - 
our men and women in uniform, 
are a force for good throughout the world,
 and that is nothing to apologize for.”
Sarah Palin

The One We Lost

“America without her Soldiers would
be like God without His angels.”
Claudia Pemberton

(For a phone number to speak with Larry See, please send an email request by using the contact form you will find in the column to the right of each post. Larry would love hearing from you. Please include your email address or phone number.)

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