Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11 Memories

This will be rambling post about my observations of events that happened seven years ago on 9/11/01.

Seven years ago, I was giving a poster presentation on standardizing electromagnetic sensors before the FAA-NASA-DOD Ageing Aircraft Conference in Orlando, Florida. The conference was the usual stuff with all the Government wonks wanting all the free handouts from the Peddlers. The talk of the conference was the recent appointment and promotion of a FEMALE officer to head up Air Force Labs (who was at the conference). Mind you, most of the attendees were first rate military and civilian scientists, but many were Logistics Officers (Loggies). Loggies are often the ones that give the Military Industrial Complex a bad name on the government side; none are combat command types.

The XXX intelligence people had a new, huge plasma flat screen television going off in the corner. Suddenly, there was a stir on the floor with people whispering to go look at the TV the XXXs had. There was a world trade center tower on fire. Immediately, the FAA folks made for the exits. The Military held a meeting and made some announcements to return to their units (just like in a John Wayne movie). Then they realized the Brigadier was a woman; to their credit, they followed the star, regardless of gender.. I will admit, for the most part, the most of the military instinctively turned to her for command. She contacted her chain and generally rescinded the return to their units directive, but they were to secure the conference. The universal thoughts were how we were going to get revenge or destroy the country that did this (except for one dude from Maryland that thought we should find out why they did this to us).

To provide relevant background, I was in the Army at Sheridan Kaserne in Germany when the SOFA was signed. I had been living out of a jeep for 3 months, in the winter, on c-rations and no shower. I had permission to return to Augsburg, and but I had no money. I went by the O-club on the way back and was amazed with the spit shined howitzers sitting outside the doors. I entered to a room full of generals, politicians, and diplomats, and nonchalantly walked over to the office window to cash a check. The secretary asked me what I was doing there. I turned around and found a putzfrau was mopping up after me, I really stank; and the generals were surrounding me and looking at me like I was vermin.

In a conference full of Colonels, a captain, LT or SGT were like me at the SOFA conference. Anybody who knows the military knows that Cols, navy Captains, etc do not stand guard. It was interesting watching the COGO and NCOs standing guard. Yet, they were all serious and proud to do it. I was interested in knowing who they were guarding against.

As events ensued , were told that some Middle Easterners had hijacked some heavy aircraft and flown them into the World Trade Center. This conference had people representing civil and military aviation from all over the world. I found no sympathy from anyone for the hijackers.
We did wind the conference down, but nobody could get back home. There is a law that states that Government personnel can not take trips paid for by contractors - a good law in normal circumstances. There were two rental cars in the contingent trying to get back to Tinker AFB. My daughter had one (she is another contractor) and one of the government people had one. So we and a college professor from Oklahoma City went back in a nice comfortable car, and the g-people crammed themselves into a compact. We heard on the radio there was gas gouging, but we did not see any. Everybody we met on the way was shaken up and wanted revenge. Twenty three hours later, we drove into the return at TUL to see a guarded and empty facility. There were cars from California, Ontario, and Florida there. It is amazes me that today, the philosophy from the Maryland dude so permeates our society. Seven years ago, we all were ready to bear any burden and undergo any hardship to punish those that did that to us. Today, the Liberal/cosmo/marxists just want to hold their hands and sing Kumbyah.

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