utforsker: (cornholio)
[personal profile] utforsker
I was on an epic journey home from [livejournal.com profile] dv8dragonfly's (3 busses, 3 trains and then another bus), sporting my new AC-130 t-shirt, and trying to break in my new combat boots.

At L'Enfant Plaza station, I walked past this 5'8" person with long hair that I'd briefly checked out on exiting the train.

I walked past her on the way to the escalators downstairs.

In the crush where people funnel onto the escalators them selves, someone grabbed at my sleeve and asked if I was crew on a Spectre.

When I got down to my platform and saw that I had time before my train was to arrive, I turned back to see who had asked me the question.

It was that person from upstairs. Em introduced emself as Art. Apparently when he was in his late teens, he'd been ground crew for F4F's in Thailand. Several of his buddies had been shot down in an AC-130.

We talked about aircraft, flight sim games, the Pima Air Museum in Tuscon, and the weekend show at ADW. Art shared some memories of VC attacks, wayward Navy pilots being diverted to Air Force bases, and shot-up planes dropping ordinance on their own runways while attempting to land. Art also told me a bit about the trials and tribulations of V.A. docs and bureaucracy, plus the plans to get back to Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam to revisit the old bases that were still standing. There are old buddies still there, crash and grave sites to visit and mourn, a reassignment surgery to finish, and chunks of missing memory that hopefully will be jogged by seeing the sights, hearing the sounds and smelling the smells.

Best of luck to you, Art.

Date: 2004-05-19 06:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thymeenough.livejournal.com
Those were the ones I liked best on the Metro - they didn't need anything but someone to hear a few of their stories, and they usually had some really great stories. A few moments of human attention and a silent blessing and both our lives are richer.

I used to wonder if I was burning off karma or something - most of the people who felt a burning need to sit next to me and talk were in fuck-ups of their own making and looking for someone to ask that one obvious question that they were ignoring or to let them talk until they asked themselves.

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