Monday, November 11, 2013

On serving our country, a note to ALL vets today!

By John Kubicek

I am a veteran of the United States Air Force. I didn't win any medals of valor. I just did my job. So, being a veteran isn't a big deal, even though I was not on the front lines. Right? No. Wrong, absolutely dead wrong.

Whether you were a cook, or worked in the motor pool, or as a medic in the base hospital here in the States, your job was very important! But, I can tell you, there will be people out there that won't understand that in serving your country, if you weren't on the front lines, or a fighter pilot, or a ship Captain, you weren't important. Well, I beg to differ!

A friend of mine had put a post on her Facebook timeline, asking what branch of service and what conflict people served in. So much like social media, what I said had no impact. I wasn't a Marine. I didn't serve during a "conflict" listed and memorialized in D.C. So, nobody responded to what I had to say. I didn't save lives by taking 30 bullets, getting my arms and legs blown off, and didn't get any medals of valor. No, I just did my job, and I did it with pride. But, did I get any Likes for what I wrote? Of course not, there wasn't some kind of valiant sacrifice attached to my time in the service. Well, there was, but not the kind that landed me in Walter Reed or Arlington!

But fear not, Vets! I know that all of you that served did a job that was required, and everyone of you, that actually cared about you had to do, is deserving of the recognition that ALL Veterans deserve today!! There is a reason for honoring all veterans. It shouldn't take being flown into Andrews AFB with a flag over your casket.

I recently watched a very good film, "Twelve O'Clock High," made in 1949, with Gregory Peck as hard-as-nails World War II Gen. Frank Savage, who turns a discouraged group of American bomber pilots and crews into heroes. The once-alienated general comes to view the men in the bomber group he was commanding as family. Why? He succeeded in creating pride in the job they were doing. Every last man became dedicated, and proud of every accomplishment and believing they were succeeding in playing their roles in winning the war against the Nazis. And at the end of the film, General Savage had a slight mental breakdown, being that his leadership was going to lead to some of his men valiantly losing their lives in the big mission which would turn around the war for the Allies.

The main reason that I mentioned this film was because I think that people are forgetting why we won that war. The media makes it out to be that unless you are a grenade diver, willing to blow yourself to smithereens to save your unit, nobody thinks that you've sacrificed to be in our great military. But it doesn't take being in the flag draped casket (that the current President only salutes to look good), to be a hero for this country and preserving our hard-fought liberation from the British, to be free. None of us need to be Captain America, like the movie industry and comic books sells to us, to make a big difference.

Allow me to tell you a little story about my time I served in the USAF. This is NOT just something to brag on, but just to illustrate my point. It is just about the "tiny" things that many of us in the service do to make the whole thing work, and to defend our freedom. Like I wrote in the Facebook timeline I mentioned above, it was "no biggie." But then again, every little thing IS a biggie:
Julie, when I said, "No biggie...." it was tongue in cheek. Actually, what I did actually made a difference. I didn't want to elaborate, but I probably should. I was the PMEL (precision measurement equipment lab) manager for the 3246th Test Wing in Systems Command. I found a problem. Equipment was being used to test the laser guided missiles, and things were not working very well. Things like oscilloscopes and other electronic testing equipment were being used that were not being calibrated according to Air Force specs. Equipment was being taken from our building to test smart bombs, but wrong information was being fed back to the engineers due to equipment malfunctions. Like they say, garbage in, garbage out.

So, I solved the problem by making sure all equipment being used was being tested correctly. I made a list of the equipment, showing when they were due for calibration, that I could provide to the various shop managers in our building, so that they didn't allow test equipment to be used that weren't accurate. The information I provided to the managers also provided AWP (awaiting parts for repair) status of equipment taken to the labs, so that if they needed that equipment for a scheduled test, we could expedite repairs. Like I said, "no biggie," my life was not in danger, except for the fact that a misplaced smart bomb could kill or injure innocent civilians by hitting a school or hospital instead of a radar site.

I was just doing my job, Julie, just doing my job, knowing that even if I did it with everything I could provide could make even the smallest difference in defending our country. It was about Pride in my work.
Nobody's job in the military is not important. Whether a service member is a cook, working in the motor pool, keeping our aircraft maintained, or even working in Personnel or Finance admin, every single job is very important!!
Yep, you guessed it. Not one person LIKED or commented on what I said. In social media, especially on Facebook, it takes a grenade dive.

But I am sure that readers of this blog will thoroughly understand what I was saying. No job, no matter how "unheroic" it may seem, is not important! The old joke I heard as a Supply Specialist in the Air Force, something like, "the only action I ever saw was when a box fell off a pallet and broke somebody's big toe," should not be how we look at what we did in the military, serving our country. Each and every one of you that believed in what you did, please believe me, it wasn't just about having a job. It was about pride in being part of the best of the best! Whether it was by cooking a hamburger right for the troops, or making sure an oscilloscope was working right, YOU ARE AWESOME! You don't have to be a former member of the SEALS or Delta Group to have been a hero. You all are, in my eyes! Every last one of our vets are important! I love you all, and thank you for your service!

Friday, January 04, 2013

We're Still Here!

By John Kubicek

Do you remember when Y2K (Jan. 1, 2000) was that potential doomsday? All the computers were supposed to shut down, or not work anymore. Nothing happened.  We have thunderstorms in June that do more damage than resulted from the supposed computer shut-downs at power plants that were to come, and never did.

The latest supposed end-of-the-world date was to be on December 21, 2012, the date that marked the end of the Mayan calendar, according to various "experts" that may not have known what they were talking about. And to make matters worse, for some unknown reason, the date became widely regarded as some kind of apocalyptic nightmare that would happen. Like the end of the world?

Well, guess what! Nothing happened, once again. We're still here. Yes, that's right: Still here!

No Rapture.

No Apocalypse.

No end of the world because the Mayan Calendar supposedly ended on 12/21/12!

Not even a little 666 tattoo on our hands or foreheads!

I happen to be acquainted with people that are actually disappointed that the world didn't end. That's pretty sad, I think. But there is something that distresses me even more: Too many people are grasshoppers, as opposed to being ants!

Yes, that's right, simply put, too many people are totally unprepared for a disaster. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, mud slides, blizzards, tornadoes, and wild fires happen all of the time, all over the United States, and the World. And over and over again, people are consistently errant in depending on the government to take quick action, as we witnessed in Hurricanes Katrina or Sandy.

And here is the problem: If small areas of the country are affected so adversely and some kind of assistance to help recover can take such a long time coming, what if the disaster was much, much worse? Take for example the threat of an EMP attack!

For some reason, I was telling a youngster just last night, about the EMP weapon and what it could do, and I immediately felt guilty for giving somebody just getting started in adult life one more thing to worry about! I'm not even sure why I brought up the subject, to be honest. I could ask, "Just where did that come from?" I'm afraid I can not answer that question. However, I later found out that the threat of an EMP weapon being unleashed on America had been written about and discussed on the radio at the very time I made mention of the possibility!

The event on December 21, 2012, that too many people feared, never happened.  The problem was that it was a prediction based on a date.  Because nothing happened on another predicted date, my greatest fear is that people will let their guard down.  They'll become grasshoppers and eat everything that was stored away in case of an emergency.  There may be a lot of people that do not believe that they can survive a total disaster anyway, and thus, will not make any attempt to prepare.

It's frustrating to even fathom the end of our lives as we know it, and not have any hope of surviving the ultimate calamity.  The good news is, if we all work together, WE - those of us that survive the initial disaster - CAN overcome the impossible task of recovering; we'll just have to work together! Individuals alone will have little chance of survival. There is NO WAY to have enough preparation to get through something like an EMP attack that sets the country back 150 years, on our own.  Only the very rich that can afford the shelter and supplies could do that.  Right?  No. Not even close!

Actually, it will only be by working together that we will survive a catastrophic EMP attack.  WE have to plan ahead, together.  A neighborhood, a small town, or most any societal clique, can work together to combine our abilities and resources!

It is truly disgusting that such an attack could ever happen.  But face it, there are enemies of freedom that really want America to be exterminated!  The EMP is the ideal weapon, being that it COULD produce mass panic.  If we work together like ants, however, we can get through it.  And our objective is to be planning for what we must do, educating people about the possibility, and being willing to pitch in to help each other out.

We're still here! That is not an accident!  There is somebody UP THERE that wants this country to survive as a beacon for the hope of freedom beyond our lifetimes.  We can avoid an attack like we did when the Japanese deferred an attack on mainland America because of the probability of "a gun behind every blade of grass."  And, well, whether or not some Japanese general ever said that, you should know darn well, with any common sense, that when the Chinese said we should disarm the public, an invasion following a debilitating EMP attack would be inevitable!

We're still here!  It isn't that I'm trying to be a harbinger of doom and gloom.  Our hopes should not dim as the sun sets, because just like yesterday, or today, tomorrow the sun will again rise.  The Phoenix will be brought out of the ashes, should anything happen!  And I think our enemies know that, despite the poor excuse for a leader that was re-elected.  They are aware of our faith and love for each other, and our will to fight for freedom, even if just a few are willing and able; they can not conquer us.

We're still here, and we will be as long as God allows.  I'm just sayin'....