Hello again, everyone.
In this blog I am going to describe to you the conditions we live with and tell you about some of the wonderful people I work with and the sacrifices they and their families are making while they are deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
My second interview is with “Killer and/or Rev."
Killer comes from the letters in his last name. Killer/Rev is 53 years old (yes, 53). He too is in my squadron back at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. He is a security officer at a Philadelphia university and has a wife of 29 years, two grown children and two grandsons. He has 18 years of service to his country in the Air Force. He has completed three deployments, this one being his fourth.
Again, most people think of their grandfathers in previous wars. Killer/Rev has served his country in four deployments in this war alone.
How many of you could leave your family for six months at a clip four different times?
This is my first deployment with Killer/Rev. He works the night shift with me in the ramp section. His job is to make sure cargo is downloaded and/or uploaded onto the aircraft when it arrives.
Shortly after arriving to the war zone, Killer/Rev developed kidney stones and they flew him to Germany where he was treated for almost a month. I never had kidney stones, but those I know who did said it was painful and very unpleasant.
Killer/Rev is the only one I know that returned to a war zone. I am proud to serve with Killer/Rev. He is a good man with a gentle soul.
The nickname “Rev” comes from him serving his community as a Pentecostal minister at a hearing-impaired church. He “signs” the service to them and also teaches bible study to the hearing impaired. He likes to scuba dive and snorkel and besides his family, he misses the ocean and all it has to offer. When I asked him about his religious beliefs and how that conflicts with carrying and being trained to use a weapon, his answer was, “I will do whatever it takes to protect myself and my fellow airmen."
"Kick rocks" is an expression we use when we tell someone go outside, get lost, or, plain and simple, stay out of my life. When a person complicates your life and doesn't compliment it, tell them to kick rocks.
We are in a war zone, a very high-tempo and stressful environment. When you witness and experience the things that happen here, people like myself come away with a whole new perspective on life. That being said, no man or woman should ever tell you what to wear, which friends you can go out with. No one should put tabs on you every day, talk down to you or embarrass you, and most of all, they should never lay a hand on you. Everyone has faults and sometimes you may have to adjust to be with someone, but the things I mentioned above--never. Respect should come naturally for any decent human being. I can't say enough about that.
Some people, for whatever reason, will be intimidated by people with character who work hard and want to better themselves. So for those folks that do, tell them to kick rocks. You need someone who will make you laugh, even when you can’t talk to them. Someone that you look forward to seeing, even when they are not around. Someone that you can tell about your past and present and who will not judge you or your future dreams. Someone who will help you reach those goals or inspire you to do so.
I have learned a lot here, especially how precious and short life really is. I will return home a different person, but hopefully wiser and better than what I was. I have no problem expressing what I am thinking or feeling, I just say whatever is on my mind, no filter.
A lot of times we are sending bodies home to be with their families. Airmen in my career field had the honor of returning some of those Navy seals you heard about in the news on an airplane back to the States. Life is too short to spend time with anyone that will not respect and honor you as a person.
Think about all the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice in this war and wars past, so you could have the right to free speech and the freedom to do whatever the hell you want, when you want, with who you want and where you want. Exercise that right. They died so you could have it. Respect them and do what you want. Tell anyone in your life that prevents you from exercising your rights to kick rocks.
ATOCAPO AE 09355
If you want you can always send snacks, Current release DVDs, microwave food and popcorn, elbow macaroni, Little Debbie’s oatmeal cookies, vanilla taffy, Lucky Charms, Crunch Berries, Twinkies, fresh ground coffee, sugar packets, computer air cans to clean them, fruit and pudding cups, AT&T phone cards.
Thank you for your time, this time, till next time. Have a great Air Force Day.
Proud to Serve,
MSgt. Jim Vigilante