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"...what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” “A Republic, if you can keep it

Merry Christmas to all!

I just thought I would take a few moments to share what my many Christmas’s were like in the military. Many today are away from family again this year. Some are in combat areas. Others are just on base doing their duty. God bless all of them.

My first Christmas away I was in Basic Training for the Air Force at Lackland AFB, TX. For some reason it wasn’t that bad for me. For my next Christmas, I was stationed at Griffiss AFB, NY. I did go home on leave for Christmas.

The computer repair shop I worked in was 24/7/365. Being single, I normally worked Christmas Eve. That was another could be home. I didn’t mind. I would go to the Command Post and see the messages on my system as Strategic Air Command tracked Santa to all the many SAC bases. Oh the adventures Santa would have. He would have problems with reindeer. He would be given hot toddies then the next base would have to sober him up. On southern bases Santa would have problems with hot runners on his sled due to no snow on the runway. Each base would have a new tale to tell. I came to look forward to this each Christmas Eve.

Then I finally was overseas. I was assigned to a moveable radar Squadron at Pruem Air Station West Germany. My first Christmas there wasn’t as planned. It was mid December 1980, I was eating lunch at the chow hall when my boss came and told me to report back to the shop. Part of the Squadron had just received deployment orders. We were to take most of my equipment to Ramstien Air Base in West Germany. The orders didn’t say how long we would be there. So we got very busy and packed everything we would need. The next day we convoyed to Ramstien. We set everything up behind United States Air Force Europe Headquarters building. So my first Christmas in Germany was not only away from home, but even my home base. While there I wrote a poem that is at the bottom of this message. I hope you enjoy it.

2003 found me in Iraq at the Bagdad International Airport or BIAP as we called it. The team leader took over manning the Signal Shelter at midnight. He told us he was going to man it for the next 24 hours. He told us to just keep him supplied with food. We did try to talk him out of it, but failed. Our day started before dawn as command ordered a Stand To. That meant we all had to take a defensive positions around the team house and Signal Shelter. Once it was full daylight, the Stand To was cancelled. We had the rest of the day to ourselves. The First Sergeant was staying with us. He had KP all day. That is a military tradition. He swore the cooks just kept dirtying the pans as fast as they could to keep him busy! Speaking of the cooks, the cooks of the 234th Signal Battalion did one heck of a job cooking up a feast for us to enjoy. I still salute them for a job excellently done!

Those are most of my tales. Those of you that have spent Christmas’s away from home, please share your stories here. I look forward to reading them. I am sure others will too.

SGT William A. Geresy (ret)

My Christmas Wish

Years ago I remember sitting on Santa’s lap
Telling him what I wanted as I looked at his cap.
A bike, a truck, an HO gauge electric train
And ending my list with a model fighter plane.
A few I got and others, it was wait for next year.
Now my list is simple and would give many good cheer.

For Christmas I want all of the B-52’s made in detail
By Monogram I one seventy-second scale.
Titan II’s Trident, Sparrow, and Minuteman III’s
To forever be built with care by Estes.
The Armies that fight and brave Winter’s chill
Should only be on paper by Avalon Hill.

I want the Navies to sail and fight for the seas
In soapy water and anchored at a kid’s knee.
My Christmas wish is for something simple
As popular as a girl’s dimple.
It would make sense, and easy to be enjoyed
To make all the world’s military----------------UNEMPLOYED!

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