Originally Posted by George Mounce
A fellow military member - glad to have you on board, thanks for visiting my log earlier. Capt (labotomized Major in July) zipper-suited sun god Air Force wienie here. Did my time taking many a Marine to Iraq and Afghanistan back when I flew C-17s, and had the honor to bring many home.
Actually let me tell you an interesting story that has impressed me about Marines for a long, long time (not that you all aren't impressive anyways). I haven't shared it with many, so I guess the forums get a little taste of what our military members do here.
We were given takeoff clearance out of Ramstein AB, when the command post called us over the radio. It had been awhile since we had been home, cargo delays had put us to the end of our time to be able to take off and nobody on the crew wanted to answer the radio call as we had loaded up full of gas to be able to go Ramstein direct McChord AFB, WA for a fine 14-hour flight. Sighing I told my co-pilot to do so. It was the command post asking if we could change our plans and taxi back in as they wanted us to do a medivac. With my co-pilot mouthing no, I gingerly called the tower back and told them we'd like to cancel our takeoff clearance and head back to the ramp.
After shutting down, I went in and found out they wanted us to medivac a Marine who had a shrapnel injury to his eye, he had been recently brought in by another C-17 from Iraq. We had to get him to Andrews to save his eye, but it was going to put it past the legal time allowed for us to takeoff and the only person (believe it or not we Aircraft Commanders get that much authority) who could say yes was, you guessed it, me. All I had to do was nod, and nod I did.
They shut down every road from Landstuhl to the back of our airplane and had a police escort for the ambulance. The medivac crew came in from Frankfurt via bus (they had already be enroute), and we had the jet ready for them. We soon took off after he was loaded on. No later than getting the gear up, the command post called us again saying that we forgot his luggage. I no shit said over the radio, "Fed Ex it."
Hours later, we landed at Andrews and they gave us choice of runway to get him off as soon as possible. And this is where it gets emotional for me, as we opened the ramp his commander, his pastor, and his friends were waiting. They placed a blanket over him to keep him warm, a blanket that was made by his mother. I shook the hands of a few Marines that day that thanked us for getting him home. I have not in my life seen such a brotherhood as I have that day, and it made me wish I was a Marine.
I never knew the outcome of that Marine's journey, but I was glad to be a part of helping him get home. I took too many back in flag-draped caskets, one of the hardest missions to do as a cargo pilot. This was just one of my successes. As an Air Force guy, I wear my Marines shirt with pride.
Capt George "Angry" Mounce