An Exercise in Futility or Perseverance?

AO Thailand

5-25-2020

 

Fighting my claim since 2008

 

If I’ve seemed distant or unengaging over the past few days it’s probably because I’ve been elsewhere in my mind. I began this fight really since 1970 when I had a lump removed from my shoulder at the Boise VA Medical Center during a break in service. I had just returned from Southeast Asia barely 2 months prior and didn’t know what it was. The VA did a great job of removing the lump, sending it off to be evaluated and the results came back benign, nothing to worry about.

 

During active military service I had a number of other growths removed in various places and didn’t know why they showed up in the first place. After retiring I had more growths (lumps) removed, some surgically and others using dry ice or spray.

 

Almost eight years after retirement and just 3 days before my 49th birthday I suffered a heart attack and spent the weekend in a local hospital recovering. I continued working for another 10 years before filing a claim with the VA for my heart condition (IHD) in 2008 and the next year I got my denial letter from the VA.

 

I was (and sometimes still am) a bit dense. My first instinct was anger, at the VA for denying what was rightfully mine – compensation for a heart condition that had been building up over time and I wondered how military service attributed to it? I’ve no doubt the stressors of leadership around the world in all kinds of situations had a lot to do with my heart attack.

 

In 2010 the VA recognized exposure to herbicides to bases in Thailand but with stipulations – had to be a USAF cop or dog handler or an Army MP pulling perimeter security duty at a USAF base in Thailand. Fat chance I told myself. They had a stipulation that if your duties brought you at or near the perimeter it could be conceded that you were exposed to herbicides, providing you had credible evidence (photos, documents, orders and even buddy letters). Too bad they didn’t tell us that back in the day I’d have saved all that, right? I applied again and got another denial letter. I went back into the cycle of anger at the VA for doing it to me again.

 

I began working with other Veterans, encouraging them to keep trying, never give up while trying to get my stuff together and getting denied year after year. It never occurred to me that I was my own worst enemy. I failed to understand the process or grasp the importance of declaring my illness/injury getting it service connected (in service occurrence) or aggravated by active duty and having a medical NEXUS (linking the medical diagnosis to my disability from the service connection). I began telling others what to do, but never doing it myself. At least not the way it needed to be done.

 

I didn’t know about having a C-FILE (VA claims file). I didn’t realize that the VA starts a claims file the very first time you request assistance from the VA either through education, treatment or a VA home loan. From then on every time your name and file number comes to the VA it goes into your claims file. Someone said to request it from the VA under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) so I did, several times before I finally got it in the mail. I had requested military documents from the Army, finance and anywhere else I could think of and finally I began getting those files in the mail too. I went to my local military treatment facility and requested my treatment records from them (being retired military). Soon I got those records too. I wasn’t told what to do with any of the records, so I sat on them.

 

Finally I decided to get organized and readied a file cabinet and decided to print my C-File which consisted of 214 pdf files. Piece of cake, I highlighted the files and pressed print! BIG MISTAKE! I should have checked more into the details because after several cartridges of printer ink and 2 reams of paper I must have had close to 1,000 pages that actually filled up an entire file drawer. I still didn’t know what to do with everything so once again I sat on it.

 

Finally I began going through everything – sorting and labeling until I had everything in order. Next I had to mentally process all this information. What I found documents that were not mine included in my file. I submitted a request with the VA to remove those files, but they are still there. I even made more requests through my Colorado congressmen and got a couple of packages with more documents.

 

I’ve made lots of mistakes over the years, not following through after receiving my decision letters. I was slow in gathering and submitting additional documents, pictures, maps, historical or relevant info.

 

My biggest assumption was that the VA was my friend. WRONG! After filing my Notice of Appeal I thought I had it all together. WRONG! I got a denial from the Board of Appeals and went right back into the anger mode cycle.

 

I’ve used a number of VA certified agents over the years and my last one called me up and said I should probably take it to the Court of Veterans Appeals (CAVC). They said they could do no more and I’d be better off contacting a certified attorney. After I filed to get on the docket at the CAVC I began getting all types of letters from certified attorneys want me to pick them for representation. I stuffed all those letters in a file, since none were local.

 

I had to wait for the VA Sec to send me what is known as the “Record Before the Agency” before I could proceed. I got a list of local attorneys from the VA.GOV website. I went down the list contacting each one. Some were not taking new clients, others were bad contact info, a couple replied back and I even talked to one. There was one recommended to me but he is in Afghanistan representing the USA.

 

Finally I got in the mail the “Record Before The Agency” which turned out to be my Board of Appeals denial and my entire C-File totaling slightly more than 2592 pages (including those I asked to be removed belonging to someone else).

 

After contacting and being turned down by several firms (including CCK) I was at a personal low point, until I decided this weekend to finally get it together and represent myself using a 3 page CAVC document called an Appellant’s Informal Brief. There are 8 questions and they look only at what is in the RBA. The brief must be worded so that no other party’s private info is divulged and no part of the RBA is to be attached. The maximum limit is 30 pages. My brief is a mere 8 pages and was sent to the clerk at the CAVC this morning.

 

I know I’m probably rather high on this long Court Docket list and have no idea how long or when my case will be decided. My goal is for the court to concede herbicide exposure and Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) as secondary to herbicide exposure.

 

A wise man once told me “the VA is not your friend, it is not your enemy but is a worthy adversary” approach it that way. I might add the VA has lawyers, lots of lawyers who get paid the big bucks to keep the floodgates closed for Thailand Veterans of the Vietnam War era seeking compensation and treatment for exposure to herbicides in Thailand so long ago.

 

I thought about keeping this private but after much debate (with myself) I’ve decided that someone out there needs encouragement so read my story and continue the fight. Rather than call it an exercise in futility after 10 years it’s more like an exercise in perseverance. It’s not over until it’s over. – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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The Response Medical Scientific or Political

read me sign

5-14-2020

 

The Response Medical Scientific or Political

 

Like many of you I often wonder who thought up these responses to the Virus. Mask, Gloves, Social Distancing, no eating in public places, walking outside in the sun or going out for a Sunday drive just to enjoy the beach or fresh air or to explore the great outdoors. No going to church, the barber or anywhere for that matter.

 

At this point I’m surprised there has been no “shoot on sight, survivors will be prosecuted”-type order issued.

 

Recently Los Angeles County issued a decree that everyone must wear a face covering when outside. I don’t live in Los Angeles County but I fail to see the logic? If we are to wear face coverings while in public places (shopping, etc.) then exactly how does keeping a six foot distance between people help? Granted the face covering doesn’t protect the wearer from the virus, only other wearers from catching your cough, sneeze or dribbling cold.

 

The trouble with stay at home orders it gives you time to think about what’s really important. Have you watched as the farmer opens up the henhouse early in the morning? At first chickens realize the door has been opened and then they pour out into the yard scratching for food and at night they head back inside. The farmer comes along and secures the door not to keep the chickens in but to keep the predators out. Remember it’s for their safety (Sound familiar)? Even the story of Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Bears had the big bad wolf yelling let him in or he’d be huffing and puffing threatening to blow the house down. Did it work? Why does it work now?

 

So what does the medical experts say about staying at home, wearing a mask, social distancing to fight the virus? What is the diagnosis on this? What does science tell us? Are we better off “in this together” in semi-total isolation away from family and friends? Scientifically are we safer together?

 

Or is this much ado about nothing? I don’t mean the virus is nothing. It is what it is – a virus. It’s characteristics suggest it inhibits the body’s ability to hold and carry oxygen through the bloodstream leading to higher than normal temperatures accompanied by pain and headaches that if left untreated will cause death.

 

How is this virus being treated? A typical trip to the emergency room can result in a cursory scan of the body, logging symptoms, prescription for go home and rest, if difficulty breathing occurs come back in or call 911. If untreated for a week or more the primary treatment in the ER may be ventilators to assist with the breathing by keeping the lungs functioning. But what is really happening if there is no oxygen circulating through the blood stream? Oxygen deprivation!

 

What is keeping doctors, hospitals and medical facilities from using Hydroxychloroquine AND Azithromycin (Z-PAC) to treat patients exhibiting early signs of COVID-19? Is it clinical uncertainty or undue pressure from above? One Sacramento doctor acknowledges that during a pandemic there is no time to waste, early treatment is better than waiting, which can be fatal.

 

Early on we have been told that heat kills the virus, being outdoors is safer than being cooped up indoors and prolonged wearing of face coverings can lead to carbon dioxide poisoning. Shutting down America does nothing to stop or kill the virus. It simply kills jobs, stifles the economy and prevents workers from earning a living to feed their families. This “cure” is definitely worse than the virus in so many ways.

 

So that brings us to political ramifications with the upcoming Presidential Election in November 3, 2020. Are we to believe that this entire pandemic is a manufactured one to sway voters? Is the stimulus bills coming out of Congress simply a means to hand breadcrumbs to workers prevented from actually doing work? Is this a ploy to not only bring America to its knees, but to eliminate the middle class and place all working Americans onto welfare rolls? Turn off main stream television and cable news channels for 30 days. Determine in your hearts what is important to you – family, religion, patriotism, nationalism, or selfishness?

 

We are better than this America! This is the best time to be an American and this is where God has placed you for such a time like this. We have faced adversity in times past, corruption at every level of government and when push comes to shove – WE SHOVE BACK! – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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The Bill of Rights vs COVID-19 Restrictions

5-9-2020

 

The Bill of Rights vs COVID-19 Restrictions

 

Let me be clear about this the seriousness of the threat of COVID-19 do not give eminence over the Constitutional rights of US Citizens. This should be a wakeup call for citizens across the nation and to governors of every state in the union.

 

The First Amendment provides that Congress make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise. It protects freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 

May 8th, 2020 – US District Court in Kentucky granted on behalf of the Tabernacle Baptist Church of Nicholasville a temporary restraining order preventing enforcement of Governor Andy Beshear’s order that prohibits in-person church services and threatens criminal penalties.

 

The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms.

 

There are no provisions allowing for distinctions in the type of arms US Citizens are allowed to bear nor for any purpose designated as “authorized” by this Amendment.

 

The Third Amendment prohibits the government from quartering troops in private homes, a major grievance during the American Revolution.

 

This Amendment prevented military troops taking one’s home or property for military purposes.

 

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. The government may not conduct any searches without a warrant, and such warrants must be issued by a judge and based on probable cause.

 

This Amendment did not allow law enforcement from conducting searches or seizures without a properly authorized and executed warrant.

 

The Fifth Amendment provides that citizens not be subject to criminal prosecution and punishment without due process. Citizens may not be tried on the same set of facts twice, and are protected from self-incrimination (the right to remain silent). The amendment also establishes the power of eminent domain, ensuring that private property is not seized for public use without just compensation.

 

This Amendment required due process, tried only once for the same facts and prevented self-incrimination (Miranda Rights) and prevented eminent domain takeover of private property without fair compensation.

 

The Sixth Amendment assures the right to a speedy trial by a jury of one’s peers, to be informed of the crimes with which they are charged, and to confront the witnesses brought by the government. The amendment also provides the accused the right to compel testimony from witnesses, and to legal representation.

 

This Amendment assured one of a speedy trial by a jury of one’s peers, know the charges and confront witnesses. It compels witness testimony and guaranteed legal representation.

 

The Seventh Amendment provides that civil cases also be tried by jury.

 

This Amendment required civil cases be tried by a jury.

 

The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments.

 

This Amendment prevented excessive bail, excessive fines, cruel and unusual punishment.

 

The Ninth Amendment states that the list of rights enumerated in the Constitution is not exhaustive, and that the people retain all rights not enumerated.

 

This Amendment declared the list of rights under the Constitution is not limited, and those rights not given by the people are retained by the people.

 

The Tenth Amendment assigns all powers not delegated to the United States, or prohibited to the states, to either the states or to the people.

 

This Amendment assigned all powers not delegated to the federal government or prohibited to the states, either to the states or to the people.

 

During this time of self-isolation (stay-at-home) it is important for US Citizens to know and understand their rights according to the Constitution. Also know that the rights of citizenship do not transfer over to non-citizens or those residing in this country illegally.

 

It is especially important for governors and legislators (regardless of political party) to understand how federalism empowers state governors to make decisions about running state government without infringing upon, restricting or taking away the rights of US Citizens.

 

Hopefully US Citizens will awaken to events happening around them and when necessary hire legal counsel to initiate lawsuits in federal courts and following all the way up to the Supreme Court of the United States. What really matters is upholding the Constitution above any and all political perversions at every level of government which threaten to strip away the rights enshrined in the Constitution of the United States. – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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Blame It On Corona

5-6-2020

 

Blame It On Corona

 

Have you seen the reports of dairy farmers dumping milk, egg producing farms smashing eggs and vegetable farms plowing under their fields all because of COVID-19? It sounds unbelievable because when you go into the grocery store eggs and poultry are limited per purchase, pork and beef are as well and milk and vegetable prices are rather low for consumer purchases. That is going on not only here in the US but in Canada as well. So what’s going on? Who’s behind it?

 

Ranchers are being told to prevent cows from producing milk, reduce pig herds and more because of the Coronavirus is making it harder for farmers to sell their products. I’m no expert and neither are others who raise the question WHY?

 

Have people suddenly begun eating less? – I think not.

 

Are restaurants no longer preparing and serving meals? – Everywhere we have meals to go.

 

What about land prices? Is there a soon to be flood of small farms and ranches going under? If so who is standing in the wings waiting to snatch up these soon to be available properties?

 

What’s happening in Mexico, South America, Europe, and Asia and throughout the civilized world?

 

First we have the Corona affecting virtually the entire world. Economies have shut down with few exceptions. In the US we have a nation that has been shut down and now state after state are starting to open up only to be faced with a lack of necessary food products. I’m not an alarmist but ALARM, ALARM, ALARM bells are going off in my head!

 

A recent report gave reference to a high percentage of stock shares of major meat processing plants are owned by China.

 

Let that sink in!

 

Americans have been pushed into a corner and soon it will be time to come out swinging. Am I ready? Are you ready?

 

China has leveraged itself into the European Union’s 5G market and that threatens our national security. The Defense Department is prepares to move Americas military intelligence assets away from the 5G foreign influence. We have 5G all over the place here at in the US, so does that mean that OUR 5G networks tie into those of China? Will pulling the plug on 5G result in a tremendous sucking sound as the internet goes down the vortex of a black hole?

 

We maybe should seriously begin looking at China and the origins of the SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19) after all it all started with the Wuhan Virus, right? – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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MeWe.Com/The_Real_Truckmaster_Series_2020

 

Forgotten Soldiers

Forgotten Soldiers

 

It was August 2013 after joining a Vietnam Veterans forum online that I wrote an article explaining the plight American military personnel stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War came face to face with after the war and in the years since. I entitled the article “The Insignificant and Unknown of the Vietnam War”. Needless to say someone took offense to my article and went so far as to accuse me of stolen valor by calling me a wannabe and I should be ashamed of wearing the ribbons. For those who were there and those who read the hit job on me it was just a tip of the iceberg. I didn’t write something to elicit empathy, sympathy or a kind warm fuzzy by someone reading the article. So let me delve into that pit one more time and hopefully calmer heads will prevail.

 

America went to war in the “Second Indochina Conflict” or dubbed by the Vietnamese as “The American War” we called it the “Vietnam War”. Like many of my brothers and sisters in arms who answered the call we went, we served and we came home to a country that had completely changed. Many can relate to what happened after 9/11 or more recently after COVID-19 as the country headed into a new era.

 

Back in the 60s and 70s we came home to hippies, drugs and wild orgies sweeping across America. Many of us missed being part of that, but came home to an “in-your-face” hostile environment. We were verbally assaulted, spit on. Instead of returning as conquering heroes for doing our duty for our country, we were made to feel like second class citizens.

 

For Thailand Veterans of the Vietnam War we had another battle altogether. We were truly the insignificant and unknown participants of the Vietnam War. Many in country Vietnam veterans only knew of Bangkok when they went on R & R. Had they been stationed in Thailand they would have seen a totally different side of the war. For us there was no R & R. We were there for a 12 month tour (same as in Vietnam) and we were hard charging all the time 24/7/365. Most of us were the support troops doing paperwork, shuffling forms, processing payrolls and conducting personnel actions for everyone in our individual units, including the flight crews flying combat missions out of Royal Thai Air Force Bases, across the fence and into the skies over Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

 

Some of us traversed unknown territory over primitive unfinished roadways hauling ammunition, explosive devices (bombs), beer, sodas, toilet paper, construction supplies and refrigerated products out of cold storage warehouses. If it was requested through the supply system we delivered it.

 

We conducted military training for mechanics, truck drivers and aircraft pilots for Royal Thai and Laotian personnel so they too could join in the fight against communism. Every job mattered and none were too small or too large. Many of us extended our 12 month tour as a way of insuring that supplies would continue to be delivered in spite of unit being constantly understrength. I served in Thailand from February 1968 until July 1970 then went back home and into a culture I did not know or enjoy.

 

I didn’t plan on a life in the military but I chose to return to active duty and what I found was the acceptance of my Thailand service by my fellow soldiers was completely lacking. As the drawdown of military forces in Southeast Asia was in full swing in the early 1970s I soon found myself in units being reactivated after combat tours in Vietnam. Some of the personnel were Vietnam veterans while others were fresh out of advanced training.

 

During a uniform inspection I was chastised for not wearing a combat patch on my dress uniform with my Vietnam ribbons. That was when I began to see a dividing line between those who were in country and those who were not. I hate to break it to them but I was in country, just not Vietnam. I soon learned not to talk about my Thailand service unless it was with someone who had been there and done that and had the shirt.

 

Later in my career my unit was preparing for an impending military action into a country I had been stationed in after Thailand. I was told that because I had no combat experience I would be entrusted with unit personnel who were not being deployed. It’s even possible that lack of combat experience affected my promotions.

 

You see in the military it’s not so much about location as it is about the job. Everyone is trained to be an infantryman first and a specialist second. A support becomes a combat support and functioning regardless of the environment is as important as shooting a weapon and taking up a defensive position.

 

After more than 22 years of active duty in countries around the globe doing what must be done to accomplish the mission having someone who spent maybe 3 years in the military with 12 months of combat experience chastise me for putting on my uniform or wearing my authorized awards and decorations does not phase me.

 

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been retired longer than I was on active duty and I’m still fighting this battle, but this time it’s a battle with my own government. It seems that while in Southeast Asia in the 1960s and 1970s exposed me to various herbicides which began to noticeably attack my body several years after leaving active duty. Over time it became more apparent and so much so that I began having medical issues attributed to herbicide exposure. My battle is for the VA to recognize my exposure for treatment and compensation. The VA says that because I didn’t have “boots-on-the-ground” in Vietnam I must prove I had duty “at or near the perimeter” of a military base and I must also show proof that I was exposed to herbicides and at a specific base.

 

Sometimes I feel that us Forgotten Soldiers are supposed to lie down, shut up and simply fade away! – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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God Has Our Backs and We Got This

3-31-2020

 

God Has Our Backs and We Got This

 

What we know is the SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in Wuhan, China in November 2019 and was almost immediately renamed COVID-19.  It is known by several other names: Coronavirus, Chinese Virus, Wuhan Virus, CCPvirus) and literally swept across the globe at breakneck speed driving people into full panic mode with a fear of the unknown. The US and other nations began restricting travel from affected areas and preparing measures to detect, delay and prevent the spread of this unknown pandemic.

 

As nations began mobilizing medical facilities and professionals it became woefully obvious how unprepared they were across the board as personal protection equipment (PPE) supplies became exhausted.

 

Nations began organizing health assessment and mobilization teams, medical teams and hospitals began preparing for the expected worst case scenarios. Drastic changes had to be made. While naysayers began proclaiming extraordinarily high exposure and death rates, states, cities and communities across the US began drastic measures – stay at home orders, social distancing, sanitation, hygiene and hand washing became critical to slow the spread.

 

Business as usual ended beginning in March 2020 as fast food and restaurants became delivery or pickup orders only. Panic buying of basic necessities caused even more panic as hoard buying seemed to become the new normal. Toiletry, paper and hand sanitizer supplies were exhausted even before they could be restocked.

 

Schools closed and implemented online learning curriculum for those now home bound. Non-essential businesses shuttered their doors. Employees no longer had jobs to go to and yet mortgages, bills and food and medicines still had to be purchased.

 

Churches and places of worship across America were closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but not shuttered as many adapted to online Live Broadcasts that can be seen by larger audiences around the world. Rather than being prevented from worship, Christians were simply deployed to spread the gospel and tell the Good News that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God Loves You and me even when we don’t deserve it.

 

In America many remember the shock, then the resolve of 9/11/2001 when life as we know it changed forever. Was it happening again? Was this a terrorist attack on a global scale? Entire economies were on the verge of collapsing. The stock markets were adversely affected and still we are facing an uncertain future. The enemy is silent yet deadly. What are we to do? Is this the end of the world?

 

Rather than sit around fretting about what might happen President Donald J. Trump has declared unashamedly “We will get through this. We will win!” As he set new guidelines and initiated bold steps there have been many who criticize and belittle the efforts of the Trump administration. Rather than getting on board and presenting a calm reassuring presence, members of the Congress of the United States have set themselves up against this President.

 

The President called for everyone to do their part and the titans of industry, large and small have answered the call. In the spirit of 1776, the Civil War, the Alamo, and two World Wars Americans have come together as one, not to depend upon government, but private citizens and American ingenuity to solve even the most complex problems associated with stopping the spread of COVID-19.

 

I saw this list being circulated on Facebook and found it needed some tweaking to more accurately reflect the scope of what is happening across the nation.

  • Carnival Cruise line told Trump, “We can match those big Navy hospital ships with some fully staffed cruise ships.”
  • GM & Ford said, “Hold our cars, watch this; we can make ventilators where we were making cars by next week.”
  • Construction companies said, “Here are some masks for the medical staff & doctors.”
  • Major businesses have retooled their factories to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Restaurants & schools said, “We’ve got kitchens & staff; we can feed the kids.”
  • NHL & NBA players are writing checks to pay the arena staff during postponed seasons.
  • Churches are holding online services & taking care of their members & community.
  • Women & children are making homemade masks & handing out snacks to truckers.
  • Breweries are converted to making sanitizer for first responders.
  • We thought we couldn’t live without baseball, hockey, & NASCAR, or going to beaches, restaurants, or a bar… Instead, we’re ordering take-out to help keep businesses alive.

What they didn’t count on was America saying, “Hold my beer – watch this.”

I think a Japanese Admiral in the middle of the Pacific said it best in 1941: “I think we have awakened a sleeping giant.”

Give us a little more time & we will be doing much better! Stop listening to the hysterical media.

We are one nation, under God – Author unknown.

God’s got us, & #WeGotThis!

#UnitedWeStand #BeAnAmericanForAChange

 

The initial call by President Trump mobilizing former and retired medical professionals from the Inactive Ready Reserve and Retired Reserve was answered by more than 9,000 volunteers – in a heartbeat!

 

BAM!

 

We serve a living and a loving God who would that nobody perishes.

Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but through him the World might be saved.

If you believe in your heart and confess your sins with your mouth – you too can become Sons and Daughters of the Most High King – Jesus who is the Christ! Even Now! – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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A Story from the Left Lane

00 US military in thailand map

3-20-2020

 

A Story from the Left Lane

 

The year was 1968 and I was a 19 year old army trucker with the 569th Transportation Company in Thailand during the Vietnam War things were happening all around us. Our convoys out of Camp Khon Kaen in northeastern Thailand ran 24/7/365 in order to get the necessary supplies where they were needed.

 

Typically were up at 0300 so we could depart Camp Khon Kaen (kick the gate) by 0500 and as we went deeper into the northeast we traveled north to Udorn RTAFB, then southeast to Sakon Nakhon (SKK) and on to Nakhon Phanom (NKP) RTNB in a convoy going roughly 25-30 mph while driving in the left side of the road getting in mid-late afternoon. We stopped about every hour to tighten up our loads and check for flats. Lunch on the road was usually a sack lunch from the mess hall, a c-ration and/or a coke and some fried rice at one of our rest stop areas. The locals (kids) usually showed up begging for candy, cigarettes and unwanted food items.

 

As we neared Sakon Nakhon the road turned into that red dusty, bumpy road surface that jarred our bones, vibrated our trucks apart and covered us with that red laterite dust by the time we arrived at NKP. Once there we dropped our trailers to be unloaded while we refueled the 2 diesel tanks and fixed flats or performed maintenance. Then we went to billeting for bedding, the mess hall for a meal and ended the day at the club or in the beer garden. Sometimes we were able to go to the Mekong River where we’d see the RTN gunboats that patrolled the river. It was not unusual for us to arrive before, during or after a rocket attack from across the border in Laos. That really gets your heart pounding.

 

After a restful night of sleep, we’d eat breakfast and grab something for the ride home usually just another c-ration. We were sent back pulling empty trailers in one or two truck convoys. On one such convoy I was alone and before I had made it back to Sakon Nakhon my truck broke down with not enough air pressure. So I sat there on that bumpy dirt roadway trying to figure what had caused the problem and what could I do to get to the nearest military camp?

 

It turned out there was a pinhole in the airline near the air compressor. I had only a rag to wrap around it to slow the leak enough to build up sufficient air pressure and limped in to Camp Raum Chit Chai where the 809th Engineer Battalion was headquartered. While the mechanics worked on changing out the airline I went over to the club for a burger and coke. When I returned to the truck they were done and I was soon on the road again (sorry Willie) and the rest of the trip back was uneventful. Pulling into Camp Khon Kaen there was the trailer inspection, refueling at the POL trailer and to the tire shop to repair all the flats from the trip and to the maintenance shop for any needed repairs and then to the mail room, then the barracks for a shower to remove that red dust, clean clothes and to the mess hall for supper.

 

The routine seldom changed when you were on the road. Evenings or weekends were spent on base unless you got a pass to go off base with a curfew of 10pm. Bed check was midnight. – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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Easy Rider Thai Style

3-19-2020

 

Easy Rider Thai Style

 

Let me set up the storyline it’s 1969 in Northeastern Thailand just a mere 20 kilos north of town at what I’ve learned was a dual purpose base.

 

In the early 1960s Camp Khon Kaen became home to the 201st Signal Detachment with huge 300’ 50 kilowatt Marconi Antenna the locals called it Hawsip Kilowatt (50 kilowatt). In 1967 the site was expanded to accommodate a new trailer transfer station for the 519th Transportation Battalion.

 

I arrived in Thailand in February 1968 as a truck driver hauling supplies to army and air force bases throughout northeastern Thailand. I met and later married my wife in Khon Kaen in 1969. Shortly after we married I purchased a Honda 125cc motorcycle and began riding with a small select group of GIs of which one earned the nickname of Easy Rider. Over a 6 month period I have many memorable incidents riding with Sergeant Don Way (Easy Rider) and SP4 Everett Cole.

 

Our rides were across rice paddies and paths that weren’t large enough to be called cart paths. We usually traveled in pairs and had no fear of insurgents or “bad guys” as we stopped in places that were so remote and many of the locals had never seen a fair skin, red headed falong (foreigner). As we stopped to assess where we were or where to go next the kids came literally out of nowhere. We had no trouble communicating as one universal word “Pepsi” always brought a smile and results. For 7 ½ cents (5 baht) we got a bottle of soda, poured into a sandwich bag of ice and a rubber band to hold onto.

 

One ride was with Sergeant Way and myself (don’t remember where Cole was) we were riding along a path between two rice paddies and crossing over a small irrigation ditch with me in the lead. I stopped to wait on Sergeant Way’s bigger Honda 250cc to clear the ditch when it suddenly got eerily quiet. I looked behind me as I heard the engine go “glug glug” and died completely submerged in water. I rushed back to help him push the bike out of the water and back onto the path. Soon Sergeant Way had his tool kit out and was unbolting the exhaust pipes to drain the water. He kicked on the kickstarter a time or two to turn over the engine and insure no water was inside. He then put everything back together fired it up and we were back on the move.

 

How Sergeant Way earned the nickname was when his wife Lek was in the Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base hospital for an appendectomy and he was on his way to see her. Udorn was about 60 kilometers north in the town of Udon Thani. It seems that someone had a water buffalo that turned abruptly across the road in front of the motorcycle. The impact killed the water buffalo and broke both Sergeant Ways collarbones sending him after surgery into the same room next to his wife.

 

My wife (Montian) and I went to see them at the hospital and on the way back while passing a gasoline truck at 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph) our rear tire simply went flat. As the bike left the roadway it laid down, depositing my wife on the shoulder while I continued down into the ditch. We were both bruised a bit and the Thai police officer riding guard in the gasoline truck came over to check on us and help me get the bike back up to the road. A visual inspection showed the valve stem had sheared off from the tube. We ended up loading the bike and ourselves in the back of a small pickup (bus) that took us to the tire shop along the road at Nong Khai. Getting the tube repaired by a resourceful mechanic had us back on the road in about an hour and we headed back to the village where her folks lived in Khon Kaen. I’ll write more about our rides later. – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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The Chinese Wuhan Virus – SARS-CoV-2

Wuhan China

3-14-2020

 

The Chinese Wuhan Virus

(SARS-CoV-2)

 

The Chinese Wuhan Virus called SARS-CoV-2, COVIN-19 and Coronavirus was first found at the epicenter in Wuhan, China, but the world found out about it in December 2019. China was offered assistance by the US and the World Health Organization, but refused assistance.

 

(This is not the first corona virus to come out of Wuhan, China.  A previous virus was found in 2018 but not widely reported upon.)

 

In January 2020 President Trump issued a travel ban and stopped all flights from China & Iran and banning foreign immigrants from those countries into the US as a precaution to the Coronavirus.

 

There is no proof positive but Wuhan has 2 (TWO) Biochemical Labs, one of which it seems maintains 1,500 LIVE VIRUS’ for testing at all times. A Chinese whistleblower (Doctor Li Wenliang) in Wuhan warned of the virus, was promptly arrested, infected with and died from the Wuhan Virus while in police custody.

 

The virus was said to come from bats being sold at a meat market in downtown Wuhan. Speculation is that the virus was possibly used to infect meat being sold at the meat market? Is it possible – yes? Did it in fact happen – don’t know?

 

In March 2020 House Democrats passed a “NoBanAct” attempting to limit the powers of the President from enforcing his constitutional authority to ban immigration into the US from any country.

 

In March 2020 President Trump issued a travel ban between immigrants from select countries in Europe into the US as a precaution to the Coronavirus.

 

By coincidence just recently we find that 3,000 Chinese workers from Wuhan, China are in factories in Northern Italy that is now the epicenter in Europe?

 

Also in March 2020 Congress is considering Coronavirus legislation to be signed into law by President Trump that would enable the full weight of the US government be brought to bear on fighting the spread of the Coronavirus in the United States.

 

Keep in mind that I’m not a medical doctor, a scientist or someone in the President’s inner circle. I’m a normal citizen who happens to be retired from the US military and find the sequence of events a bit disconcerting to say the least.

 

Nor am I a conspiracy theorist. But what if we have been in an undeclared biochemical war with a foreign power that began testing biological agents upon its own people without outside interference and what we are now seeing is a “Phase 2” level development designed to test the infestation, spread and response of nations around the globe? America finds itself in a predicament of huge dependencies upon China for everything from medicines, material and technology so lowly priced that greed wins out over common sense.

What if the pushback for US independence from Chinese made goods has accelerated this germ warfare so as to prevent the decline of US dependence upon Chinese goods? Another what if – we are being played by Congressional Democrats and Republicans who are being paid huge sums of money to insure the balance of power remains unchanged at home and abroad? Lastly, what if the 2020 election is the last one? We are living in the last days and according to bible prophesy the Battle of Armageddon has already been foretold? The world and the US is falling victim to the distraction of Toilet Paper and Hand Sanitizer hoarding?  – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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Allegiance to Democratic Socialist Party

2-23-2020

 

Allegiance to Democratic Socialist Party

 

It is my opinion, as well as the opinion of others that the American Democratic Party has begun rapidly imploding due to jealousy, hate and leadership with no vision ahead for America. The decline of the party has been so gradual it went unnoticed by its charismatic leaders who channeled their energy toward self-gratification of money and power. I haven’t seen it written down but by their actions, deeds and words it is as if they have all taken an oath and are following something like this hypocritical pledge of allegiance.

 

I pledge Allegiance to the gods of Politics

of a Democratic Socialist America

not to a republic

for it will not stand,

as a Nation without God,

in division,

without liberty or justice for all.

 

 

Almost without exception the current Democratic and Socialist presidential candidates all seem to be running on the same platform of higher taxes (51 %+), higher wages ($15 hour), open borders and sanctuary cities, free education, housing, money, medical and phones for all, fighting Climate Change and the Green New Deal. They promise to remove fossil fuels as a renewable energy source and convert everything to wind and electrical energy sources. It’s as if the entire Democratic Party is playing with a deck of wildcards and no sustainable way forward. Their mantra is “Beat Trump” which they surely know is impossible without some sort of game plan going forward. They have written a new playbook that includes unconventional lies, leaks and fake news that has gone on so long we’re seeing some plays resurface for the second or third time, after they have failed in the past.

 

Democratic voters have a dilemma to mind the party masters and vote the failed party line or think outside the box and simply walk away from the party as many are doing. There is no benefit for staying Democrat. Ask yourself why the socialist, communist and countries around the world with real live dictators all have Democrat in their names – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) or Democratic People’s Republic of China. Are you to believe if it includes “people” in the title the government is one of the people, or to the people?

 

In the United States of America there is no reference to people in the name or title. It was on purpose as this is a nation “of the people, by the people and for the people” and according to the Constitution of the United States, the rights not given to the government or to the states are retained by the people. Our elected officials and our military service members take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies.

 

Our citizens take the following pledge seriously:

 

I Pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic
for which it stands,
one Nation under God,
indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.

 

Why is it that during Democratic conventions, debates and rallies there are no American flags? Is it because they might offend someone? The fact that the flag is absence should offend EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN! The Stars and Stripes of the flag of the United States brings immense pride to our citizens or strikes fear in our enemies. There is no place in our nation for our enemies to be offended or fearful so long as they comply with and are obedient to the laws, rules and regulations of our nation. If you, as a citizen, are fearful of offending someone by the patriotic display of our flag, our love of our country or our commitment to Almighty God – you have been fooled! – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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