Outside Hanger One at the Pima Aircraft Museum, in a dirt field, helicopters, prehistoric looking birds with rotating wings, are on display.

This Sikorski Utility helicopter was used at U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue stations in the seventies.

On duty in radio rooms, I relayed messages from aircraft to the Officer of the Day, received and disseminated teletype communications, answered calls from fishing widows wondering why their hubby wasn’t back in his easy chair with a beer in one hand and the channel changer in the other.

Weather is always a consideration, and, in the gulf, squalls come up. Hurricanes shut down oil rigs and personnel are routinely evacuated. Around water, you can always become a grisly statistic.

 In Vietnam years, we wore dress blues for ceremonies – dungarees, denim shirts, and white Dixie Cup hats for daily work.There were angry protests on the nightly news, signs in the streets.

The Coast Guard is honorable duty. 

Saving lives isn’t putting people in body bags.

Now, Vietnam is just a thriving country in Asia instead of a place we had to lose a war in order to win it.

Some obligations can’t be run from, no matter how odious.

 

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