I have come to make peace. I hereby retract every evil, mean, or snide comment I have made about the Air Force. I will hereby render proper respect to our Nomex clad brethren and will no longer use the term “Crew Rest” in a disparaging manner. I now see the true mastery of their evil genius and stand in awe of their diabolical ways. I truly did not appreciate the breadth and depth of the vindictive power of his unholiness, the Evil Flight Planning Voo-Doo Witchdoctor until I saw Short the Great wither, reduced to near madness at the stroke of a button.
If you recall, Craig was in the trailing element of our unit as we made the move from
Finally, after months of hard work, the time for MAJ Short’s R&R leave was at hand. He packed his bag, took his leave form and made his way to the terminal at the appointed time to manifest for his flight back to
Undaunted, Craig returned to the headquarters, obtained the proper paperwork, and waited for the manifest call. At 1700 Dublin Pub Time, I drove him back down to the terminal, shook his hand, told him to have fun and I’d see him in a few weeks, all the time wondering what type of vindictiveness would be released on him when he stepped through the doors of the terminal.
A couple hours later as I was laying on my bunk reading, the door to Stalag 17 opened and true to our concerns, Short the Great, shuffled back in muttering under in his breath.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, not really surprised, “You’re supposed to be half way to
“Plane was diverted.” He replied in a resigned tone.
He stuck his head through my door and I couldn’t help but note the shell-shocked look on his face. Now I was worried, He should have been hopping mad right now, spitting fire, and cussing a blue-streak. We had been through this drill before, there should be anger and indignation. There should be copious amounts of profanity laced with intermittent challenges to the professionalism and the hereditary linage of anyone in an Air Force uniform but instead all I got was the sad eyes of a whipped puppy.
“Where was the plane diverted to?” I asked hoping a destination of obvious critical importance would relieve some of the despondency but the stunned look that he gave me before answering made me feel as though I was living that interminable moment between the pressing of the detonator and the explosion.
“Ramstein,” came the flat answer, “It was diverted to
“You were bumped off your R&R flight because the plane was diverted to your final destination?”
He slowly nodded his head, then turned and shuffled down the hall to area of Stalag 17.
Craig finally did make it out the next day and is now drinking his hefeweisen and getting to know his new daughter, but having witnessed the enormity of power that can stun Short the Great in his tracks with such a diabolical deed, I am determined to absolve myself of all complicity in any form of Air Force bashing lest I fall victim to the same sinister plot.