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Veteran’s Day – Russell Davis
- Can you describe a funny moment from boot camp?
- My high school buddy Rudy Tessnow and I pulled up to boot camp in a commercial bus. The boot camp Cadre with their shiny black boots and menacing looks jumped aboard the bus and began yelling loudly at us all with no regard for the civilian driver, “Basic, why are you still on this bus? [Expletive Expletive]. Get your [expletive] and your gear off this bus NOW!” Though now I’m sure the driver was expecting such rude behavior, in the moment we realized we’d entered another world.
- What are some of the things you remember about adapting to military life?
- Realizing that you surrender many rights and freedoms when you swear an oath, but upon later reflection, understanding how such is necessary to build up Airmen who can perform a mission successfully as a team.
- How did you stay in touch with family and friends back home?
- During Basic Training, we could receive letters. And for our benefit, (within brief time constraints) the Cadre forced us to write letters home. Once during Basic Training I reported to the medical clinic with a broken nose, and discovering I was out of sight of any Cadre, found a telephone and surreptitiously placed a collect call home. Five minute phone call that made my day!
- Once on Active Duty, besides writing letters, I’d re-charge and use an AT&T card to call home from a pay phone.
- What are some things you remember most about your deployment?
- Relief in finally making a real world difference and not just training.
- Getting off base and befriending locals. One night in Incirlik we had a blackout when I was visiting with a Kurdish family. They opened their home to me until morning when I could safely return. Unbelievable hospitality from people who were truly impoverished and caught in-between opponents.
- Did any of your military friends play pranks on each other? Can you describe a funny one?
- While serving on Alert with the B-52 force, we pulled a fast one on a fellow crewmember. About two hours after hitting the rack, the facility returned to duty as if it was a typical day. We normally awoke before sunrise, so the dark of night was expected. But other crew members had reset the man’s wristwatch and clocks in the facility. (This was before computers and there was only one television in a common room.) The crewmember awoke, cleaned up, (others pretended to be shaving) and proceeded to the chow line. A cook there, pretended to be serving breakfast. The cook had a good laugh when he asked, “How would you like your eggs, Sir?” and the crewmember, in his half-asleep state, could only mumble. Then the crew let him know he’d been effectively duped.