The last couple of days have been spent, in part (not a large enough part, damn responsibilities!) in the company of some men who are not as young, and not as hard, as they once were.
In those days, they never thought they would be encumbered with ex-wives, and mortgages, and crabgrass. Indeed, some of their peers never were.
There are many military reunions worth attending. Our objectives are to make the Special Forces Association annual meeting (only made it once), the Special Operations Association Reunion (never made it yet), and two low-key, private events. One is for men who were members of the ASA-SOD program, which evolved into several other things over the years. We missed that this year. The second is an annual reunion and lobster dive open to all men who ever served on a particular A-team. (No one takes attendance, and over the years, various buddies, family members, and one National Guard infantry guy who helped our team out sometime in the 1980s and never really stopped being an “asset” have become team-dive fixtures). This year, the oldest of the guys was an A-team XO in Vietnam before joining this particular team. Five sergeants major who came out of the team made it on Saturday.
And there was one guy who came because he was a fan of WeaponsMan.com, having been introduced to the site by a former team sergeant on the team.
Most of us served in many units and on many teams, and it’s hard to put your finger on the intangibles that make one team “special.” (It’s not just the size of the Bluebird taking ’em to the range!) Ultimately, it comes down to the people. Each of these guys is a complicated human being with strengths and flaws. But somehow they all meshed together and the team was greater than the sum of its parts, even surviving the disbandment of the Group (the guys turned up all on one team in another group, allowing the longitudinal traditions to continue).
So, we still owe you, dear readers, the Saturday posts.
Kevin was a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S). His focus was on weapons: their history, effects and employment. He started WeaponsMan.com in 2011 and operated it until he passed away in 2017. His work is being preserved here at the request of his family.