Happy Memorial Day

He didn’t die in combat, but Shawn and I have been talking about him and sharing stories all day, because we really were the three amigos, so RIP Donald Geoffrey Wood, our best friend (he didn’t die in combat, but in a car accident, but I don’t give a shit, I think about him almost every day):


That’s us in Kuwait still acclimating to the temperature. We went from the German portion of the Alps near France where it was 30 below to four days later going to KKMC in Saudi Arabia at 120 degrees a day. It totally fucking blew, and I swear the entire unit’s attitude was you have to be fucking kidding me. Like, maybe a week in between freezing and desert in a temperate climate so we don’t all fucking die. We had to watch each other piss every time we urinated so if anyone was pissing yellow we made them sit in the shade, get an IV, and rehydrate. That was a solid strategy until we all got dysentery from the bottled water.

Here is me and Shawn on R&R in Bahrain at a swim up bar (the short guy was an officer and A-10 pilot, and once we found out what he did and he learned what we did, we were thick as thieves. A-10 pilots are your best friend and I am stunned they are going to phase them out. They’re a flying tank of death and we love these guys). We stayed on the Cunard Princess, which was docked there, and then just unleashed ourselves on Bahrain during the day.


Good times. Tip one to Geoff if you will!

101 replies
  1. 1
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Here’s to absent friends. Cheers.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Redshirt says:

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  4. 4
    Comrade Mary says:

    Whoa — Blondie McBlonderson! Also, too, you’re old enough now to be the father of the guy you see in those photos. (Just noted not to make you feel bad, but to slap myself down for just realizing my age, too.)

  5. 5
    guachi says:

    I deployed to Iraq in 2009-2010. We landed in Kuwait. Stepping off the plane was like walking into someone pointing a hairdryer in your face, on low, and never turning it off. Hot, dry wind constantly.

    It was so dry, it wasn’t bad to walk around in but I wouldn’t have wanted to stay out it in for long or do much intense activity.

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @guachi: I’ve been to Death Valley in the summer a couple of times. Once one of the NPS rangers told me “once it gets above 120, you can really start to feel it”

    I felt it before then.

  7. 7
    Tom says:

    RIP and God Bless — I don’t know much about military hardware but A-10 phaseout seems to crystallize everything that’s wrong about how we spend our military dollars. Let’s stop funding something cheap and effective because. . .

  8. 8
    the Conster says:

    But it was a dry heat.

  9. 9
    Nemo_N says:

    The US should come up with a Day of the Dead.

  10. 10
    ulee says:

    Cole, you are cute as all get out. Don’t you have some friends who can set you up on a date?

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The A-10 may be a flying tank of death, but the damn zoomie Generals hate it with the heat of 10 thousand suns, because it doesn’t zoom enough for them, and, horrors, it supports their moral, intellectual, and military superiors, the Grunts.

    Zoomie generals are the gun nuts of the military. Fuck them and their inability to see the actual fucking mission.

    A-10 pilots do rawk like a hurricane, though. Not all zoomies suck. Just the fighterwanking high brass, when they’re not passing counterfeit chips in some casino.

  12. 12
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ulee: Twenty or more years can bring changes.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I keep forgetting that the word for a popular gaming establishment where the House has the advantage, except when Donald Trump runs it, is banned by FYWP, so a post got sequestered. If someone could please rescue it, thanks!

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The photo reminds me of the time I spent the holidays at Steamboat, and ran into some guys in the hottub who turned out to be enlisted troops from Fort Carson. I told them I was in the Army too, and of course, when you do that, you exchange MOS. They were 11Bs, infantrymen. I told them 25A, and that threw them, so I had to explain…Tactical Signal Officer.

    THEN they jumped out and rolled around in the snow, and of course, being the senior member present, I had to demonstrate that I could do it too. Spending time with the infantry (two years in a mech infantry battalion) makes you kinda crazy.

  15. 15
    Slaughter says:

    My condolences. The brass ought to poll the grunts as to whether they want the A-10 phased out. We’re told that the move is to cheaper, more plentiful drones, but I think they’d rather have a Warthog out there saving their ass.

  16. 16
    Redshirt says:

    1991 Hot Tub Time Warp

  17. 17
    RandomMonster says:

    A new idiom: “They were all over that shit like white on Cole!”

  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I never mentioned the “A” in a situation like that.

    Spending time with the infantry makes you kinda crazy.

    Well. of course, it does. Those fuckers made IOBC students do a police call around the Benning temporary OBC at 0500.

  19. 19
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Slaughter: It’s the Air Force that wants to dump it. No one in the Army – from E-1 to O-10 wants it to go.

  20. 20
    Keith P says:

    @Redshirt: In the next scene, a guy jumps out of the water and says “You guys look like you need to get wet!”

  21. 21
    MikeInSewickley says:

    It’s stories and linked lives like this that has made me request a new student club just for veterans at my Penn State campus. I had some of my students who are Afghanistan and Iraq vets talk about having a student club. I was surprised there wasn’t one already. So I told the powers that be that there ought to be one.

    They said it has to have a faculty rep and would you like to be it? Told them it would be better if it was a vet I thought. I’m not a veteran (missed Vietnam as my lottery number was way low) but I said I would for now. I do have family experience with long term effects of war as both my parents spent 4 years in Nazi camps and my Dad was a POW, my Mom slave labor. So I hope I can relate.

    The Chickenhawks talk up war at the drop of a hat but don’t worry about the PTSD and physical injuries from the hundreds of thousands of Arab War vets coming down the pike. If I can get them to help each other cope and get a college education, it’s a good thing.

    So Mr. Cole and to all other vets, a sincere and lasting Thank You For Your Service. Now tell the VA to clean house and get back to doing right by you all.

  22. 22
    Roger Moore says:


    We’re told that the move is to cheaper, more plentiful drones, but I think they’d rather have a Warthog out there saving their ass.

    When they have a drone that can mount a GAU-8, they can talk about replacing the A-10.

  23. 23
    ulee says:

    I see vets. Others see the gay. This is a rorschach test.

  24. 24
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ulee: Why can’t it be both? To be fair to you, I saw close to what you did. Not vets, but soldiers on leave. People used to being in close proximity to one another without standard male homophobic weirdness.

  25. 25
    ulee says:

    testing..one two three five

  26. 26
    ulee says:

    There it goes. The cyberlords ate my comments. And they were fucking priceless.

  27. 27
    J.Ty says:

    Mine too. As I was saying, twinks don’t smoke cigars, so I just saw military.

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J.Ty: You don’t think Cole gave off a certain Jimmie Somerville vibe?

  29. 29
    max says:

    @Roger Moore: When they have a drone that can mount a GAU-8, they can talk about replacing the A-10.

    Or 30 or 35 or 40 mm high velocity/high accuracy. It would help if said drone could go 350 miles an hour and was bulletproof.

    [‘They have not got one of those yet.’]

  30. 30
    RSR says:

    Thank you.

    We took a timely visit to Gettysburg this weekend. It’s been more than 12 years since we’ve been there; first time for our boys, 12 and 10. The new visitors center is pretty well done, and the South Central PA countryside is beautiful this time of year.

    Our kids, of course, don’t know what they don’t know. The numbers are almost nonsensical to them. But I think there is a value in bringing them to the place, where the fields remain much as they were, where the buildings and barns still stand.

    I highly recommend a trip, and if you can, allow yourselves at least two-three days to experience Gettysburg.

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @max: I’ll be frank, the fact that an A-10 had a person, right there, flying mattered. During the times I worked on calling in air strikes, A-10s were so much easier to work with than F-16s. They just lingered around until they could shoot the living fuck out of the target you gave them. Like Cole said, Warthog pilots are good folk.

  32. 32
    J.Ty says:

    Hm, more comment eating. Time to go back to the book I suppose

    It was just a Rob Halford joke anyway

  33. 33
    Suzanne says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Living in Phoenix for as long as I have, I’ve met lots of people who move out here and assure me that they loooooove hot weather, but no, they’ve never gone through a Phoenix summer, but that they went on vacation somewhere hot once and it was AWESOME! Then they get through once summer, having to go to the grocery store and having to walk across a parking lot with operable temperatures of almost 130 degrees, and that feeling when the door opens of being hit in the chest. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I like heat. Just not….like THAT hot.” They say this around Halloween, when it is still over 90.

    Hugs to you and Shawn, Cole. I have spent much of the day thinking about my grandfathers. I never met my dad’s lather because he died before I was born. He wanted to enlist during WWII but didn’t qualify for the Army because of an old injury. So he joined the civilian cleanup crew of Pearl Harbor. He was gone for five years, and came back with PTSD from cleaning up bodies. My mom’s father raised me, in large part, as my dad took off and I lived with my mom and her parents until I was a teen. He was in the Army during WWII, but was a trainer, so he was never sent overseas. Despite having five generations of military servicemembers in my family, we haven’t had any deaths, thank God/FSM/fate/whatever. My aunt was in the Army Nurse Corps during Vietnam, doing long-term care on the most grievously injured soldiers. She has stories that gave me nightmares. Thanks to all who served and still do.

  34. 34
    ulee says:

    I visit spaceweather.com every day. No X-flares happening. Why are comments being obliterated?

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ulee: It’s personal. AL’s bot has it in for you.

  36. 36
    Fuzzy says:

    “HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY”. that is just plain shitty to say to someone who has lost buddies in combat. Glad you are having flashbacks. Drink up.

  37. 37
    sharl says:

    Air Force procurement people are sociopathic evil bastards, and their repeated efforts to kill the A-10 are Exhibit A.
    The Air Force’s Rationale For Retiring The A-10 Warthog Is Bullshit

    And regarding the F-35 – aka the USAF procurement bureaucracy lifetime employment program – which will supposedly take over a lot of the A-10’s functions:
    F’d: How the U.S. and Its Allies Got Stuck with the World’s Worst New Warplane:
    The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was meant to improve the U.S. air arsenal but has made it more vulnerable instead

    And then there are drones. I don’t remember where I saw it, but someone posed this question: Does anyone know of a case where an A-10 wiped out an Afghan or Pakistani wedding party? AFAIK it has never happened, but if it has it is extremely rare.

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: One of my grandfathers served in WWII – Normandy until the end. The other tried to join but was 38 at the beginning of the war and was in a reserved occupation. I visited their graves and those of my (apparently violent as fuck) ancestors who had served in wars as far back as 1812 (no one from earlier wars made it t Wisconsin to be buried). We have had wars here or sent soldiers abroad since at least the Pequot War in 1637 and my damn family has been involved in everyone of them. Honestly, it is sad.


    Does anyone know of a case where an A-10 wiped out an Afghan or Pakistani wedding party?

    That goes to the point I was making above about having an actual pilot on the scene.

  39. 39
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    Hot? I’m in Dallas inside a small room with 3 industrial lasers and 90% humidity. At midnite. I could wring a pint out of my shirt.
    But next week I’ll be in Germany, which is lovely in June.
    If this laser doesn’t go boom again and I can actually leave here.
    Happy Memorial day, all.

  40. 40
    Joel says:

    The resemblance to Hunter S. Thompson is surely accidental.

  41. 41
    Redshirt says:

    @the Conster: 111 and loving it.

  42. 42
    ulee says:

    @Redshirt: Seeing a lot of gays where you are?

  43. 43
    max says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: Hot? I’m in Dallas inside a small room with 3 industrial lasers and 90% humidity. At midnite.

    Been there, done that.

    [‘Will it stop eating my comments?’]

    p.s. NO! No, it will not! I didn’t know the anti-A-10 protection program was so successful.

  44. 44
    sharl says:

    FYWP is hongry tonite.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ulee: Dude, there isn’t actually a fight going on.

  46. 46
    ulee says:

    testing. four five six seven all good children go to heaven.

  47. 47
    scav says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Low-hanging traditional obvious banter is apparently tricky. As an aside, the FYWP Gods have been unusually hungry recently. It was damn near impossible to be dismissive of Lucy Liu last night.

  48. 48
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @scav: I have been more or less away for nearly a week.

  49. 49
    NotMax says:

    Whoa. Retinal burn.

    Putting that last pic of the triad’s nearly fluorescent, pale, pale flesh below the fold, with a appropriate warning to don shades, would have been nice.

  50. 50
    scav says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well, whatever it was, it was probably more amusing than being unexpectedly manically determined to express a meaningless bof at a Troi clone wandering about a detective show. It was downright frightening. I should go cold turkey for a bit.

  51. 51
    ulee says:

    @NotMax: Yea, they were sacked up in the deserts of Saudi Arabia when they should have been working on their tans.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @scav: Eep?

    @ulee: Read Cole’s story.

  53. 53
    scav says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: exactly.

    far better missed and not understood.

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @scav: ‘Kay. Too much reading otherwise anyway.

  55. 55
    srv says:

    The era of the A-10 is over. The era of the F-35 was over awhile ago, unless you snorted all the Boydian mis-propaganda and thought the F-16 was the perato optimal bomb truck.

    The USAF is in the process of largest peacetime disarmament by virtue of self emasculation. Sooner the better.

  56. 56
    ulee says:

    CCR’s Fortunate Son played over Vietnam War footage. It gives a good look at the horror of being pushed to kill and be killed.

  57. 57
    Redshirt says:

    @ulee: All war is gay.

  58. 58
    ulee says:

    And it took all those dirty stinking hippies to point out what those brilliant minds in Washington didn’t understand. This is a really stupid enterprise.

  59. 59
    ulee says:

    It’s chilling footage. Pretty tame as far as showing graphic death, but very revealing showing the faces of these young men thrown into an insane situation.

  60. 60
    ulee says:

    @Redshirt: You’re just a person who needs to spend his time covering his stupid ass statements instead of owning up. Don’t waste my time.

  61. 61
    David Koch says:

    This is gonna come as a shock, but WaPo is blaming John Cole look-a-like Seth Rogan for the UCSB mass murders

    How many students watch outsized frat-boy fantasies like “Neighbors” and feel, as Rodger did, unjustly shut out of college life that should be full of “sex and fun and pleasure”? How many men, raised on a steady diet of Judd Apatow comedies in which the shlubby arrested adolescent always gets the girl, find that those happy endings constantly elude them and conclude, “It’s not fair”?

    Seth replied on twitter:

    How dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage. I find your article horribly insulting and misinformed.

    Personally, I blame Adam Sandler. His bombs are a crime against humanity.

  62. 62
    A Humble Lurker says:


    Don’t waste my time.


  63. 63
    ulee says:

    Wow. I’ve been listening to CCR all night. John Fogarty really is an American treasure.

  64. 64
    ulee says:

    @A Humble Lurker: Now here is a person who can speak the language.

  65. 65
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @ulee: The squeaks and squeals of the deranged don’t count as a language, unlike the snarling of a mass of vitriolic vicious jackals.

  66. 66
    ulee says:

    @A Humble Lurker: It’s one of those things you can or cannot tell. When it’s good for you, it’s evident. When it’s not, it is a struggle.

  67. 67
    ulee says:

    I’m a few weeks off the prozac. It’s risky. Seeing the mother embracing her son’s marker on Betty Cracker’s post was very upsetting to me. I am glad to cry again. But it might turn out bad. SSRIs are helpful but they steal a part of you. I’m listening to Born on the Bayou now.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @David Koch: The irony here is the scum of the WaPo jerk off to war movies all the time, and think that Rambo is reality.

  69. 69
    NotMax says:

    @David Koch

    Pauly Shore and Rob Schneider, the twin anti-christs of entertainment

  70. 70
    ulee says:

    Adam Sandler is horrible. But he has broad market appeal. It escapes me.

  71. 71
    raven says:

    So Cole writes Happy Memorial Day. Bury this thread.

  72. 72
    Suffern ACE says:

    @David Koch: I figured it would take all of 20 seconds to find a democrat to blame. I was going to go with feminists, but it is Hollywood values.

  73. 73
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @ulee: Bob in Portland, is that you?

  74. 74
    NotMax says:


    Maybe you might know. Do veterans groups still distribute poppies?

  75. 75
    ulee says:

    @A Humble Lurker: Nope. Don’t know the guy. Suzie Q is playing. good song.

  76. 76
    Suffern ACE says:

    So US companies are going to be boxed out of China because of spy concerns. My guess is that if enough companies get barred, we may get changed policies.

  77. 77
    raven says:

    @NotMax: Funny you would mention that. Here’s the scoop on Moina Belle Michael from nearby Walton County.

    Moina Belle Michael was an American teacher who had the idea to create an emblem of Remembrance using the red Flanders poppy. At the age of 49, with a career in teaching for over 30 years already behind her, she had this inspirational idea in November 1918. She decided to dedicate her life to campaign to have this emblem recognized by governments, veteran agencies and the public.

    She continued with this project for the next 26 years until her death in 1944 and became affectionately known as “the Poppy Lady”.

  78. 78
    ulee says:

    I like the way you walk, I like the way you talk. Now, that’s some good writing. Straight to the point.

  79. 79
    raven says:

    Although I haven’t seen them in while I found this.

    The Veterans of Foreign Wars, or VFW, helped make the Memorial Day poppy official. Decorating the graves of those killed in war on Memorial Day, or Decoration Day, is a practice that extends back to a time after the American Civil War. It is believed the date was picked because late May is a time when flowers are blooming all over the country.

    Although poppies are used to honor both Veterans Day and Memorial Day, it traditionally is done on the latter.

  80. 80
    raven says:

    Veteran’s Day Poppy – Trout Mask Replica – Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band
    I cry but I can’t buy
    Your Veteran’s Day poppy
    It don’t get me high
    It can only make me cry
    It can never grow another
    Son like the one who warmed me my days
    After rain amd warmed my breath
    My life’s blood
    Screamin’ empty she cries
    It don’t get me high
    It can only make me cry
    Your Veteran’s Day poppy

  81. 81
    Baud says:


    Maybe he’s excited about the sales.

  82. 82
    raven says:

    @Baud: Funny you would mention that. It’s our 15th tomorrow and I have to find something crystal.

  83. 83
    NotMax says:


    Yeah, they used to be ubiquitous. But thinking on it, haven’t seen them worn in many a moon.

  84. 84
    NotMax says:


    have to find something crystal.

    Fervently hoping that meth is out of the question.


  85. 85
    Schlemizel says:

    Do they still celebrate Memorial Day on Jeff Davis’ birthday in Atlanta? Last I heard, which is a few years back, Georgia had its ‘real’ Decoration day on April 26 in honor of that poor loser.

  86. 86
    raven says:

    @NotMax: There was a time. . .

  87. 87
    raven says:

    @Schlemizel: Confederate Memorial Day, my wife has it off because she works for a state agency. It’s always a mish-mash here. I never have Veterans Day off working for the University System. Yesterday the city picked up garbage.

  88. 88
    Schlemizel says:

    In celebration of Sherman?

    Its hard to imagine, particularly given that there was no organized attempt at retribution, they were very very wrong and they started it, that one side could remain so butthurt 4-6 generations later.

  89. 89
    ulee says:

    @Schlemizel: Please explain to me what you mean when you use the term–butthurt–. I really want to know.

  90. 90
    ulee says:

    I’ve been to right wing websites and they talk about sodomy disturbingly often. I just want to know what you mean when you use this term.

  91. 91
    Ben Cisco says:

    Geez, they’re trying to mothball the A-10? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    I finished my career working on that aircraft (sensors) – God, what a beast. LOVED IT. Never flew it, of course, but the grunts I came into contact with were respectful of ANYONE having ANYTHING to do with the A-10.

  92. 92
    Schlemizel says:

    @Ben Cisco:
    But you have to admit, it isn’t ‘sexy’ enough for todays military. Reminds me of something I read about WWII pilots, “You wanted to be photographed next to a P-51 to send to your girl but you wanted to fly a P-47 if you wanted to get home to that girl.”

    The last excuse I heard was that the A-10 was vulnerable to modern AA weapons.

  93. 93
    ulee says:

    Guess you’re not going to answer for your own words. I’m shocked.

  94. 94
    Betty Cracker says:

    @ulee: Maybe this will help? FWIW, I’ve always thought the term described an ass smarting from a recent spanking, and the “know your meme” summary seems to confirm that’s the meaning of it.

  95. 95
    ulee says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m skeptical. If it was that obvious then the person would come right back at me and say they were talking about an ass whipping. Come on, you know what is being said here.

  96. 96
    ulee says:

    Alright. Fine. Butthurt means a whipping. It has nothing to do with rape or sodomy. I am wrong. Keep using the term if you want.

  97. 97
    mellowjohn says:

    my cousin’s son-in-law was an A-10 driver and one of the first to die in the gulf war.
    RIP, LT Charlie Turner, USN.

  98. 98
    Mike E says:

    @ulee: I always thought the term referred to one’s ass getting chapped from online chastisement… YMMV

  99. 99
    Paul in KY says:

    @Schlemizel: Just about anything flying is vulnerable to modern AA weapons.

  100. 100
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ulee: Wingtards are utterly obsessed with anal sex. It’s all they fucking think about. More so than fellatio, which is hard to believe.,

  101. 101
    mikeyes says:

    @mellowjohn: LT Turner died in an A-6 which is a different airplane (Navy, not AF) but ground support like the A-10. Nonetheless, RIP, a brave man.

    I remember camping at the end of the runway at Baharan watching the A-10s fly every morning and return with no armament later on. It turns out that they were destroying tanks after the ground war was over and we had returned waiting transport back to Ft. Benning.

Comments are closed.