Archive for Military

Viking Rider

Viking Rider

Damsel captured this photo as we pulled into the grocery store parking lot yesterday. The rider’s helmet made me think of what I imagine the Vikings might have worn for headgear. The motorcycle and sidecar are an unusual sight in this part of the world; it is a classic Russian IMZ-Ural.

From Wikipedia:

IMZ-Ural is a Russian maker of heavy sidecar motorcycles.

In 1940, the Soviet Union acquired the design and production techniques for BMW R71 motorcycles and sidecars.The first M-72 model was finished in 1941. Originally, factories were to be located in Moscow, Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), and Kharkov, but due to the approach of Nazi German troops, the Moscow facilities were moved to Irbit, and the Leningrad and Kharkov facilities to Gorkiy (now called Nizhny Novgorod).

The origins of the IMZ-Ural are linked to developments in the Eastern Front during World War II. The Soviet Union was preparing for possible military action by Nazi Germany. Joseph Stalin ordered the Soviet military to prepare in all possible areas, including the ground forces that would be defending the Soviet Union against invading German tanks and infantry. Mobility was especially stressed after the Soviet Union had witnessed the effect of the blitzkrieg on Poland.

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Other than the headgear on the rider, the man’s vest is also interesting. The patch on his right side is the combat service identification badge of the US Army’s 1st Cavalry Division. On the left side of the vest are more patches and decorations, most of which I can’t make out from the photo. However, there are also military service ribbons. I can’t tell if one of them is a Vietnam service ribbon, again due to resolution issues.

The Viking Rider mounted his unique vehicle and was gone before I could ask about the motorcycle and thank him for his service. Maybe we will see him again. He won’t be hard to notice.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Grumpy Veteran T-Shirt

Grumpy Veteran T-Shirt

I have a new acquisition to my T-Shirt collection. The words and images on the back of it say it all from my perspective. And, it’s true that I was born in July. Click on the image to enlarge.

I found it in an ad on the FecesBook™ website and Damsel said I NEEDED to get it. So I did. It was a little spendy, but it is now mine to be worn on whatever occasions for which it may be suitable. I’m not trying to pick a fight, but won’t back down from one either.

Most of the time I am not actually grumpy, but that mood gets set into motion when really stupid people do stupid stuff. It could be in traffic, in the supermarket aisle, or practically anywhere else. As we have said in the past, “STUPID SHOULD HURT.”

Image courtesy of The Damsel.

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Flag Day 2018

New Flags

Today is also the anniversary of the foundation of the United States Army. Hooah and happy birthday to our active duty Army and Vets!

Damsel and I decided that Flag Day will be the annual hoisting of new flags, both the US and Arizona banners, and the retirement of the old ones. A year in the Arizona weather is just about as much as a flag can take, regardless of the quality of the flag. We purchase the highest quality we can get and proudly fly them here.

These are the new flags just hoisted this morning. The US flag has embroidered stars and sewn stripes with a reinforced header and grommets. Likewise, the Arizona flag is heavy duty and manufactured to the Arizona State flag specification. Both are made in the USA and certified by the Flag Manufacturers Association of America.

We will take the retired flags to our American Legion Post who will properly dispose of them. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Memorial Day 2018

Memorial Day 2018

May we honor the fallen and those still serving and in harm’s way. God bless them all.

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Armed Forces Day 2017

2017afd.jpg

Here’s to the members of the United States Armed Forces, past, present and future. May our country continue to be served by patriotic men and women who have made their sacrifice to the better good of the USA.

From Wikipedia:

In the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. It falls near the end of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May (the fourth if the month begins on a Sunday, as in 2016).

First observed on 20 May 1950, the day was created on 31 August 1949, to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard – following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Days, but the separate days are still observed, especially within the respective services.

The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions and air shows. The United States’ longest continuously running Armed Forces Day Parade is held in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 2016, Chattanooga celebrated the 67th year of the Armed Forces Day Parade, which also began in 1950.

Because of their unique training schedules, National Guard and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day/Week over any period in the month of May.

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Green Light a Vet

Green Light a Vet

Damsel has had this green light burning in the sconce closest to where it can be seen from the road below our house since last year. Only today did I log in to the Green Light a Vet website and recorded our instance of supporting our veterans.

THE MEANING OF GREEN

Green is the color of hope, renewal and well-being. “Greenlight” is also a term commonly used to activate forward movement. The simple gesture of changing one light to green creates a beacon of support and appreciation, and a visible symbol of our commitment to “greenlight” veterans forward as valued members of our communities.

That website contains several stories about how the green light movement has benefited our precious veterans. We haven’t cashed in on a vet’s story yet since we’re on an obscure dead-end gravel road, but you never know when something might happen to benefit our guys and gals. We would enjoy that very much.

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Circular Contrails

Circular Contrails

We frequently see condensation trails over the desert, but they almost always appear in straight lines or showing a minor dog leg over an airways facility or when vectored. Today, Damsel called me out to the courtyard to witness these circular contrails being painted as we watched.

All I can figure is that these were military aircraft making high-altitude maneuvers. The aircraft involved were due south of our location, possibly directly over Luke AFB or one of the outlying training facilities near the Northwest Valley of the Sun.

Shortly after our morning observation of these unusual sky circles, they all sublimated away and have not been seen again. Click on Damsel’s image to enlarge.

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