I know what it’s like to be cooped up in a hole for a long time. Nope, never been to jail, never even bene arrested. I spent 1979 in an secret isolated military location in Izmit, Turkey, my first US Army assignment.
I remember flying in to Ankara, and then sitting in the back of a duce-and-a-half for six hours, riding in an armed convoy to Izmit. My MOS was 13B, but my role was Special Weapons Technican. The US Army had an arrangement with the Turkish military, where we jointly managed a few dozen Honest John Missles.
The US Army’s job was to manage the warhead portion of the missels, maintaining them, and if ever necessary arming them. The Turkish miligary’s job was to maintain and manage the rocket portion of the missels. We held regular unscheduled training, where a siren would go off and we would all do our part, and none of us ever knew if it was a drill or the real thing.
Thinking back, it was an awesome experience. Those things were pretty big, originally designed to carry 1,500 pound nuclear warheads, fired off the back of a truck. At some point after my time there, the US Army switched from nuclear warheds to cluster bombs.
It was a culture shock for me, even though I was born in the Bronx and was raised in Hell’s Kitchen. Although I loved the time I spent in Turkey, its definitely something I carefully edited on my my resume. After all I knew when I got out of the US Army, that nobody was hiring Nuclear Weapons Technicians. 🙂
When I got to the barracks, a bunch of guys invited me to the “club”, where they had a full size 4.5 x 9 pool table. I was a pretty decent pool player at the time, but during my year there I got the opportunity to play with an excellent pool player. Geez, its been so long
to the Grand Bazzar, to trips to their red light district (bring a carton of Kools with you!), to çay with Turkish troops in foxholes. Fun times. Though I knew from the first day that I’d get out of the US Army when I got the chance. My buddies were doing stuff just as interesting
Not sure what made me reminise about Turkey. Maybe its because of the COVID-19 mess. I’ve been trying to go out a couple times a day. In the morning I go to WaWa for coffee. In the evening I check my mailbox and swing by ACME or Walmart. Can never have too many supplies. From the looks of it were in this for four more weeks. May as well have a routine to stay sane. 🙂
So its Saturday morning and I’m about to jump in my Jeep Wrangler to go for a drive. The tank is full (no gas shortages). Two dozen water bottles in the cargo area (can’t have too much water). Cash on hand (just in case). LTCF in my wallet, Shield45 in my console, along with 5 magazines loaded with hollow-points.
No idea where I’m going. But I ain’t staying home today.
PS I’m actually going out for groceries but didn’t want this post to be boring.