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Old 02-27-2019, 06:00 PM   #1
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Interesting night at Ft Eustis...

I was standing outside in the cold night under blazing winter stars, too bright for the East coast, for nearly an hour (till I realized Radar was shaking), & then I reluctantly came back inside.

I wasn't there bc of the stars. I was there bc initially, echoing over the water & across the hills were the sounds of squad level artillery & small arms fire.

That didn't last long. But before I could go back inside to my warm rv (relatively speaking), the sounds of cadences & war cries began - tentatively at first - then w/the power of hundreds, maybe a thousand voices, that moved through & around me, awakening memories of youth, the voices of friends, long time silent...

I can't adequately describe the sensation, of being here in the present & clearly seeing there, in the past.

Interlaced with that strange feeling of deja vu, was a feeling that was eerily more ancient, that of young men crying out & dying in these hillsides nearly 156 yrs ago, like they were lending their aid to a new crop of fresh young faces, training for war....

OK, so maybe I've got an overactive imagination... Or, maybe it's some form of "latent ptsd", shoved forcibly down & chained in a lock box - Public Service Annoucement: latent ptsd is a direct result of dealin w/the VA & not military service, lol!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed my very soapy ghost story!
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:13 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Post-Service World. You have arrived.

Eutis is a nice place to camp but, if you have the chance to check it out, ride down the coast to the Sea Mist CG at DamNeck Annex of NAS Oceana in VA Beach. I think it is the best of all the Virginia military CGs. I think that way because I can go either way - RV or M/C and use one of the little cabins if I opt not to tow the pop up camper behind the Gold Wing.

And remember - as long as you have an imagination you'll never be alone. Believe I got that from a Navy Shrink.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:44 PM   #3
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Nicely written!
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:31 PM   #4
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Welcome to the Post-Service World. You have arrived.

Eutis is a nice place to camp but, if you have the chance to check it out, ride down the coast to the Sea Mist CG at DamNeck Annex of NAS Oceana in VA Beach. I think it is the best of all the Virginia military CGs. I think that way because I can go either way - RV or M/C and use one of the little cabins if I opt not to tow the pop up camper behind the Gold Wing.

And remember - as long as you have an imagination you'll never be alone. Believe I got that from a Navy Shrink.
Thanks! I'll do that hopefully in the near future. So far my best site with MWR has been the Jacksonville NAS, that place was beautiful & had all the amenities - plus, to bring joy to every vet, the laundry was clean & Free!!!

So far, while dodging the East coast storms (in my nearly 2 month old rv life), I've stayed at Ft Meade MD, Ft Bragg NC, Hunter Army Airfield SC, Jackson Naval Air Station FL (along w/the ubiquitous Wally Worlds & Cracker Barrels).

I'm looking forward to heading back South, & then West, before the end of winter - or before my rig turns into a permanent block of ice - whichever comes 1st, lol!
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:32 PM   #5
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Nicely written!
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:53 PM   #6
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Thanks! I'll do that hopefully in the near future. So far my best site with MWR has been the Jacksonville NAS, that place was beautiful & had all the amenities - plus, to bring joy to every vet, the laundry was clean & Free!!!

So far, while dodging the East coast storms (in my nearly 2 month old rv life), I've stayed at Ft Meade MD, Ft Bragg NC, Hunter Army Airfield SC, Jackson Naval Air Station FL (along w/the ubiquitous Wally Worlds & Cracker Barrels).

I'm looking forward to heading back South, & then West, before the end of winter - or before my rig turns into a permanent block of ice - whichever comes 1st, lol!
Oh, & I left out Ft Eustis;

Ft Eustis is nice, the rv park is mostly on a hill w/mostly gravel & mud sites. There are hookups, with the electric & sewer on the right side & uphill from the sites, & the water on the other side. The sewer is a ten inch hole covered by an iron plate that reads "Sewage to Ocean" (I kid you not!).

The park is in a small copse of trees next to the lake that sadly has a sign warning not to eat any fish. The toxicity is high due to the presence to what they call the ghost fleet - a ship graveyard in the little lake that has remains going back to WWI. As far as I can tell, there are no bath houses or laundry, but there are some cabins closer to the fresh water lake resides parallel & just short of the ocean water.

The people I've met here are very friendly, especially the AD livin in the park. But if you know the old Ft Eustis, this new version with the Joint Deployment Training Brigade (apparently what I was listening to last night), then you probably won't recognize it anymore.

They still call it a Fort, but the majority of the folks I've met here, including the Active livin at the rv park, are a mix of Navy & Coasties, along with some Airman.

They still have the Old Transportation Brigade & Aviation, & CID, but the place looks more like it should have been re-designated as a naval base or airbase!

It's a nice place for a quick stop while dealing with cw issues. Its fairly inexpensive at $20 a night, regardless of your rank.
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Calman View Post
Welcome to the Post-Service World. You have arrived.

Eutis is a nice place to camp but, if you have the chance to check it out, ride down the coast to the Sea Mist CG at DamNeck Annex of NAS Oceana in VA Beach. I think it is the best of all the Virginia military CGs. I think that way because I can go either way - RV or M/C and use one of the little cabins if I opt not to tow the pop up camper behind the Gold Wing.

And remember - as long as you have an imagination you'll never be alone. Believe I got that from a Navy Shrink.
I will do my best to avoid Navy shrinks, Army shrinks & especially VA shrinks!
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Old 03-01-2019, 01:23 AM   #8
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Felker Army Airfield....
I was never there, exactly...but your story still sparks memories for me too.

I lived in Williamsburg from 1990 till 1994. Learned to fly out of Williamsburg, flew over and around that area a bunch.... & I remember one night out on the river...
Several of us had taken a couple boats down for dinner in Smithfield. Well one of the boats conked out about half way there...and wouldn't start ...the one I was on...so the other boat towed us the rest of teh way to dinner....and then all the back home that night...it was late and slow going...I remember working slowly through that ghost fleet. It was a moonlit night. I've been a tiny bit of a military history buff for most of my life, and so those ships that night stirred up all kinds of thoughts.....'memories' if you will, 'sights', and 'sounds' of those that had served on those old ships
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:06 AM   #9
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Felker Army Airfield....
I was never there, exactly...but your story still sparks memories for me too.

I lived in Williamsburg from 1990 till 1994. Learned to fly out of Williamsburg, flew over and around that area a bunch.... & I remember one night out on the river...
Several of us had taken a couple boats down for dinner in Smithfield. Well one of the boats conked out about half way there...and wouldn't start ...the one I was on...so the other boat towed us the rest of teh way to dinner....and then all the back home that night...it was late and slow going...I remember working slowly through that ghost fleet. It was a moonlit night. I've been a tiny bit of a military history buff for most of my life, and so those ships that night stirred up all kinds of thoughts.....'memories' if you will, 'sights', and 'sounds' of those that had served on those old ships
I can imagine how powerful that must have been, actually floating among the ghost fleet... I'm a bit of a perpetual history student, too (but unfortunately never earned any wings, sigh).

I love American history/civics & military history but ended up doin my undergrad in middle eastern affairs w/minors in Jewish history/language & physical anthropology. I continued thru my JD as that's the normal pathway for doctoral studies in international affairs.

But my trajectory hit "real life" & took an unexpected turn (or maybe nosedive), so I never completed the doctorate. Now that I have this new life on the road I can get back to American studies & travel to the places that shaped our Nation, formed the essence of who I was as a soldier & who I am becoming now. It's very exciting for me!

I guess what I feel is that the past is always here in the present (even tho I may not always acknowledge it in my daily life). To me it's who we are & how we came to be; but some of those events & places were so pivotal to the American psyche, that time doesn't seem weaken the power they exude. Maybe that's part of how the ghost fleet was able to pierce time & enveloped you as you slipped over the waves above?

I wish I could have been on that towed boat! Thanks for telling me about it. You made my day, Sir

Donna
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:31 AM   #10
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did you get a feel for how many ships are out there in the river now? Looking on google maps it looks like only a dozen or so. Back in the time of my story, there were a whole lot more than that. I don't know..maybe at least a few dozen?? Anyway, it was kinda spooky in a way.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:53 AM   #11
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PTSD, acronym for “please take some drugs”!!! No thank you!!!

I’m a Marine veteran who has worked for the VA, (my wife worked for the VA too because of me and her two brothers) they are not all created equally, and some have people who actually care!
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:04 PM   #12
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I really enjoyed that descriptive "ghost" story.
Livin' the life!
Just wonderful!
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:03 PM   #13
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Thank you. That was very good.
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:25 PM   #14
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SuperD,
I totally agree. The folks at the VA have been my heros for the past 3 years. But I know I am fortunate to have a great VA clinic and hospital near me. As you said, not all are equal. But, it's no different than the civilian medical services... good ones and bad ones. I thank you and your wife for being a part of the service that has taken care of me and my brothers & sisters that served. I returned from my last combat deployment (#14) one year prior to my retirement, with injuries that still require on-going surgeries. I can't say enough about the great care the VA folks have provided me. Most of them are vets too.

SG,
I love your interest and sensitivity to the spirit of history, especially of those who served before us. I experience the same feelings when we travel in the RV to Alabama. As a Mvscoke Indian (Creek), I can sense my ancestral warriors who served this great country long before "European Discovery". You write your words well, descriptive of what you feel.
Safe travels and hope to meet you and Radar in a FamCamp someday.
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:41 PM   #15
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did you get a feel for how many ships are out there in the river now? Looking on google maps it looks like only a dozen or so. Back in the time of my story, there were a whole lot more than that. I don't know..maybe at least a few dozen?? Anyway, it was kinda spooky in a way.
Yeah, long time ago in Philadelphia, they had a Ghost fleet there. Every couple of years I got to go back but now most are gone. Still got the photos.
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Old 03-02-2019, 12:33 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
did you get a feel for how many ships are out there in the river now? Looking on google maps it looks like only a dozen or so. Back in the time of my story, there were a whole lot more than that. I don't know..maybe at least a few dozen?? Anyway, it was kinda spooky in a way.
According to the post its a couple dozen visible or partially visible, & many more that are no longer visible. I don't know if they mean seeing them from above the water or if any are visible from some area of the shoreline - Its been to wet & cold for me to check that out myself. Sorry I couldn't give you better intel.
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:27 AM   #17
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PTSD, acronym for “please take some drugs”!!! No thank you!!!

I’m a Marine veteran who has worked for the VA, (my wife worked for the VA too because of me and her two brothers) they are not all created equally, and some have people who actually care!
Yes, I agree, there are great people even in the bad hospitals who work heroically & there are some a few great VAs (I jus never seem to end up in one, lol!) One special case in point is the Las Vegas VA. It's small but very patient proactive. They actually sent my father to the La Jolla Ca Univ Hosp for a triple bypass - and even paid the airfare! This was back in '96. My sister goes to a VA near her home in Northern Ca that she loves. Unfortunately for most of my family, we seem to have been in more poor ones than good ones. My eldest brother & I could never get into the Phoenix VA over a number of years. In his case, he had very serious lung & sinus damage from service in Nam, he remained untreated in Phx for years until on a trip to Tn in '11, he died from an asthma attack (even though VA there tried hard to save him), he never regained conciousness & was declared brain dead. In my father's case, who had experienced such great VA care in Las Vegas, he went to see family in Mn. He got the flu last Jan. & he went to St Cloud VA..According to family who went with them, they left him w/104° fever in the hallway w/out a simple saline drip, even w/our family beggin them for help. He died 3 hrs later still in the damn hallway - tellingly, his autopsy listed dehydration as cause of death - not the flu... Me, I keep ending up in the wrong VA's but so far survive them al. In '07, VA in B-more was shamed by a Fox News reporter to send me to civies to save my leg. The head of Ortho Surgery was furious when I refused an amputation above the knee. I argued w/him that the leg was savable - his angry outburst in front of family & the Fox reporter Mr Mark Hyman (former JAG officer), was, "OF COURSE it's SAVABLE - but it's NOT Cost Effective!!!"
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:28 AM   #18
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I really enjoyed that descriptive "ghost" story.
Livin' the life!
Just wonderful!
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:29 AM   #19
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Thank you. That was very good.
appreciate it
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:44 AM   #20
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Yes, I agree, there are great people even in the bad hospitals who work heroically & there are some a few great VAs (I jus never seem to end up in one, lol!) One special case in point is the Las Vegas VA. It's small but very patient proactive. They actually sent my father to the La Jolla Ca Univ Hosp for a triple bypass - and even paid the airfare! This was back in '96. My sister goes to a VA near her home in Northern Ca that she loves. Unfortunately for most of my family, we seem to have been in more poor ones than good ones. My eldest brother & I could never get into the Phoenix VA over a number of years. In his case, he had very serious lung & sinus damage from service in Nam, he remained untreated in Phx for years until on a trip to Tn in '11, he died from an asthma attack (even though VA there tried hard to save him), he never regained conciousness & was declared brain dead. In my father's case, who had experienced such great VA care in Las Vegas, he went to see family in Mn. He got the flu last Jan. & he went to St Cloud VA..According to family who went with them, they left him w/104° fever in the hallway w/out a simple saline drip, even w/our family beggin them for help. He died 3 hrs later still in the damn hallway - tellingly, his autopsy listed dehydration as cause of death - not the flu... Me, I keep ending up in the wrong VA's but so far survive them al. In '07, VA in B-more was shamed by a Fox News reporter to send me to civies to save my leg. The head of Ortho Surgery was furious when I refused an amputation above the knee. I argued w/him that the leg was savable - his angry outburst in front of family & the Fox reporter Mr Mark Hyman (former JAG officer), was, "OF COURSE it's SAVABLE - but it's NOT Cost Effective!!!"
Yeah, my father was in one for awhile. I guess (?) he got treated ok, I don't know. I needed a 2nd opinion for spine surgery and I got "I can't find the problem. You're going to have to live with the pain" (Guess he didn't know I could read the MRI and diagnosis too and I had surgery somewhere else 6 weeks later). Over the years I got better and better at reading the new documentation, the CFR and being denied every time even after the spine surgeries, that I realized I didn't have to go there if I needed anything. George just Lucky I guess.
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