Become a Fan
So Others May Live
By Ronald M Holcombe
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
Suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I wrote about my therapy sessions with the doctor taking me back through my sixteen years as a Special Ops Rescue Specialist serving in Vietnam and else where in the world.
“No sir, I had volunteered for World Wide duty but had a special designator on my AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code) so I knew I would spend most of my time overseas”. My dad had told me that I wouldn’t ever get an opportunity to see the world at the governments’ expense except while I was in the military so that is what I tried to do.
“Tell me about this designator”, Doc said as he leaned over the desk scrutinizing my record page by page.
“Not all PJ’s carry it; it qualifies you for special duties. In a nut shell I attended several advanced schools that not many can get into. I had to do the PAST course, (physical ability and stamina test), then the Q course followed by a bunch of other schools all over the United States” .
We talked a lot about the schools I attended, Pararescue prep in Texas, Indoc, Basic Airborne at Ft. Benning Georgia, Combat Diver in Florida, Navy Underwater Egress, Survival in Spokane Washington, Free Fall and Advanced Free Fall in Ft. Bragg and Arizona, Pararescue Recovery in New Mexico, Special Ops. Combat Medic school also in New Mexico. And I also went to Special Tactics school and Poop and Snoop school (recovery missions with Intel gathering tactics inside enemy territory), which gave me the special designator. That school was conducted at Ft. Bragg by the Special Forces Command which qualified me for Special Operations. I was now designated to work at any time with the Army Green Berets, and the Navy Seals upon request.
“Why you were in Alaska”?
“I was a rookie right out of school and coming from Ohio I can only guess they thought I would do well in the cold and snow”.
“And did you”?
“I did ok, but it was pretty boring up there, beautiful place but colder then a well diggers ass all the time, even in the summer”! “I only made one rescue the entire year”!
Alaska is a very large beautiful place full of anything imaginable to do, an outdoorsmen’s paradise. I skied and cross country skied, fished and I use to take walks out in the tundra and watch the wild life, Moose, Caribou, Brown Bear, Artic Fox and the famed northern Mosquito with a wing span about a foot wide!
“Tell me about that rescue”, doc went on.
“It wasn’t anything; a T-33 lost his landing gear and slid off the runway into a huge snow bank at a radar site out in the tundra. The pilot wouldn’t leave the cockpit for fear he would freeze to death, so I blew his canopy and snatched his ass out and into the helicopter, then we flew him back to Anchorage. Got my butt chewed big time for blowing that canopy but it was fun anyway.” The canopy over the cockpit of an aircraft is built with explosive charges to blow it up and off the aircraft so the pilot can escape rapidly and unhindered. There is a lanyard on the side of the plane the rescueman can pull to blow this off if he needs so he can access the pilot in an emergency.
“The rest of the time we trained Doc”.
“Is that all that happened up there, nothing else you can think of”?
“Nope, that’s it, except I wrestled Nanook an Eskimo woman and kissed a bear, or was that suppose to be the other way around?”, I said jokingly.
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