07 June 2020

"Dream Sheets"

I've used that photo in this blog before. It's a Bell UH1-C model similar to the one I flew in Viet Nam. I LOVED the old bird. Viet Cong and North Vietnamese regulars didn't. Oh well...
They were Marxist/Socialist/Communist/democrats. 

About halfway through my tour of sunny Southeast Asia in 1969 I realized I needed to have a hand in planning my future. At the time the ARMY had a form we called a "Dream Sheet" that you could fill out and specify what YOU would like to happen to your life in your future career efforts. By this time in my ARMY life I had figured out that if I could figure out that if what the ARMY needed could coincide with what I wanted to happen, I had a pretty good chance of actually succeeding in guiding my life. So I filled out the form and said I wanted-
1. To go back to Savannah, GA to be an instructor at Hunter Army Airfield there.
2. To go to Germany to join a helicopter unit there, or
3. Go to Ft. Knox and fill whatever helicopter Command job the ARMY needed.

A couple months before my DEROS- (Date to return from overseas service), I got orders assigning me to Hunter AAF in Savannah, GA.
There, I successfully graduated from the ARMY's "Method of Instruction" school and became an instructor, teaching Vietnamese Air Cadets how to fly the Bell UH1 Huey helicopter.
My assignment there lasted from November of 1969 until August of 1972.
To quote a phrase from the Brad Pitt movie "Fury", it was "The Best Job I Ever Had!"

While you're living your life you are too close to it to be objective.
I had survived my Viet Nam experience.
I was a 22-yr old Captain in the ARMY making more than enough money to keep a smile on my face.
I was flying a machine that by this time I was "putting on" like an old pair of house-slippers.
And I was doing a job that obviously was necessary to help my country.
It took 14 years until I found another job that gave me that kind of satisfaction-
Flying an EMS helicopter.

Memories of Savannah make me smile.
Chatting with others I realize how fortunate I am to have 'em.
Now? I'd like to make some more just like those.


CNF said...

Love the Huey, 2 years IP at Navy Whiting and 10 years Army Guard Mobile.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Although I never went past Buck Sergeant, I never have had as much responsibility or positive effect on my fellow humans in my life as I had as an Airman.
Nowadays, it seems services provide active career planning assistance..

Old NFO said...

Getting the chance to do something fun AND get paid for it doesn't come along often... LOL