Monday, July 19, 2010


It all started with an invitation to join the Washington State National Guard for a "Guard For A Day" event, any one of six days - my choice.

Well, it was all either a weekend (how like the Guard) or a Friday vacation day.  So, I decided on the vacation day - both to "reserve" my weekend for family and to fulfill a sense of obligation to learn more about Washington's National Guard.  So, what started as a vacation day had become a work day.

Quickly, once involved in the "Guard For A Day," the newly designated work day became a vacation day again.  Yes, I know that it really is work for Guardsmen on their weekends or their two weeks required annual duty.  And, because of this "Guard For A Day" opportunity, I could see that it was serious business. 

The professionalism was evident, with the initial boarding and flight of the C-23 Sherpa from Olympia to Yakima (and return later).  Once in Yakima, the required educational effort proved just that - educational.  Still, talking with our Guardsmen in the vehicle maintenance bays was a pleasure.  And, anyone would be delighted at the smile of a young Guardsman, when asked who got to fly the Shadow UAV, as she said she did. 

But, the excursions to the firing range where soldiers qualified for unstabilized firings of M2s and Mk 19s, impressed one of the serious business soldiers are about. 

What changed it all into pure delight was the UH-60 Black Hawk flight.  Remember that video popular some years back: "Over Washington" where an aerial camera follows the fields and terrains, including the dramatic flight over an escarpment of the Columbia River basin?

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