How about those really "special" moments, that you were there live and in person to witness? Huh? How about those? The ones that kind of get lost in the translation to others, but will stay with you a lifetime. ESPECIALLY the funny ones. I guess the historic, or socially oriented ones are noteworthy, but it's the FUNNY ones that you take to the grave.
About 8 years ago, myself and a number of personnel from my squadron were at the range, and had just finished our bi-annual requirement to qualify with the 9MM handgun. I don't often get serious, and I like to goof off and wise-ass a lot, but put together 15 people that don't hang around guns a lot, give them all real guns and real bullets, and then make me one of those people, AND YOU HAVE GOT MY COMPLETE ATTENTION. I am like the only cat in a roomfull of ****in' dogs man! No screwing around, no wisecracks, just total fear. You're the guy next to me and you don't hang around guns a lot? You even come close to pointing that thing even remotely my way and I'll shoot your ass in a New York minute. To make matters worst, no helmets, no flak vests, no nothing. We have practice ORE's and ORI's and **** like that, and you can't go to the bathroom, or the finance office without a flak vest and helmet. Here we are with real bullets, and real people, and no protection whatsoever required. Go figure.
Anyhow, we all finished shooting, and they take you into a small, concrete, one room building adjacent to the range, to break you up into small groups, to STEP BY STEP (key words) disassemble and clean the weapons you just fired. All goes well, until the instructor, an enlisted security policeman from our unit, tells everybody to "Stop right there cause this is the part where somebody always gets hurt, or can lose an eye or something!" He gets everyones attention with that, and as he's clearing his throat to continue, when the classic cartoon sound of a spring uncoiling goes off, followed by the sound of something moving fast through the air, and all of a sudden the instructor is dead silent. Everybody had turned to the sound of the spring uncoiling, which was my close friend and confidant Capt. Dave Wingert, KC-135 pilot. He was standing there with his gun in pieces in his hands, and a real "Oh ****" look on his face. Then, everybody kind of noticed the dead silence caused by the instructor not talking anymore, and turned to HIM. Well HE wasn't even facing us. HE, was in a crouch with his back to everyone, and his hands clearly up to his face. He slowly stood up, turned around, and with his eyes burning a hole through Capt. Dave Wingert, slowly dropped his hands. That's when it became painfully and hysterically obvious that close friend and confidant Dave, had shot this guy dead center in the chin, with the part of the gun that he was trying to caution us about. I lost it big time right then and there. The mark on this poor guys chin was instantly a perfect red circle, as if painted on with Chinese red lipstick. It had to hurt like a mother, but I couldn't help myself, I just roared with laughter. A few others joined in, a few others didn't, but what the hell. That guy called Dave every name he could think of, rank having no bearing whatsoever.
If this thread catches on, perhaps I will relate other great moments I was ther live and in person for, like the time Tommy Hardy stepped in whale**** at Coney Island, or the time I handed a U.S. Customs Service agent a bunch of paperwork that was on fire when I pulled it out of my flight suit. That incident might not count because OF COURSE I was there, it wouldn't have happened if I WASN'T there. Unless, the NEXT GUY came along and handed him paperwork that was on fire (Hey, it could happen).
George Grand (of the Jersey Grands)