RANGER AGAINST WAR: An American Song <

Friday, November 11, 2016

An American Song

--A young future Ranger is in the top row

Hop in my Chrysler, it's as big as a whale
And it's about to set sail
I got me a car, it seats about twenty, so come on
And bring your jukebox money 
--Love Shack,

Standing in the sunlight laughing
Hide behind a rainbow's wall,
Slipping and a-sliding
All along the waterfall 
--Brown Eyed Girl,
 Van Morrison

Every day is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Every day is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine 
--Every Day is a Winding Road,
Sheryl Crow

Happy Veterans Day.

Two lines have intersected looking through the reticle into my life.

An old high school buddy and Vietnam veteran Dan Perhay out of the blue sent Ranger a photograph of my training platoon at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation (IGMR, PA) where our ROTC class took Basic Summer Camp.

It was called "summer camp" but we did not have a social director, unless one counts Major Michael or SFC Gene Floody as such.

The Major was a phantom-like presence, but Gene Floody was a rock in the slipstream current of Army training. He never once chicken-shitted us or harassed us beyond the prescriptions of our training. Ranger has always remembered SFC Floody fondly.

This was the beginning phase of his young adulthood and he had the world by the dick string.

Following the completion of training, the five cadets driving in his full-sized car climbed aboard at the impound lot (which is where trainees keep their cars and keys locked up so they can't fly the coop).
Ranger turned on the radio, which was not allowed in barracks. Playing was Van Morrison's "Brown-Eyed Girl".

Pete Varis said, "Hruska, that's your kind of music," and we all laughed. We had the world whipped.

We returned to finish our senior year and went on into commissioning and active service. Ranger has never seen those guys again.

Ranger heard the song on the radio the day he received the photo. Every time he hears the song he smiles and relaxes a bit, remembering how happy we all were on that bright summer day in Indiantown Gap, PA.

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Anonymous mike said...

mike -

SSgt Hunsberger was my Floody back in 1960, He ran us hard, was strict in training, but no screaming in your face, no unnecessary BS, and like your SFC there was no chickenshit. He taught us teamwork and camaraderie along with drill, marksmanship, small unit tactics, mapreading, and honor.

Great guy! Came from the hills of western Pennsylvania, isn't that your old neck of the woods.

Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 1:38:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

i'm from brownsville pa. about 12 miles from uniontown pa.
i returned to pa for duty with the boat lift cubans at igmr,
a sort of the return of the native.

Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 8:02:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim -


By the way, I like that Brown Eyed Girl song also. I don't dare sing it in the shower though as my bride's eyes are hazel. Used to be green before she had cataract surgery. That was a shock.

But Van Morrison and the B-52 are a bit after my time, I was more into the Buddy Holly and the Shirelles,

Sheryl Crow is a national treasure. Hope you are signing Sheryl Crow's petition to shorten the election cycle. Two years for a presidential election is ridiculous.

Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 10:15:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

IGMR is=indiantown gap military reservation.
it is pronounced=igmar.
if this is Mike that i'm addressing then i'd also guess that you like the everly brothers.
jim hruska

Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 11:10:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous mike said...

Jim -

That was me, Sorry for the non sigh-in. I got easily confused by the new "prove-you-are-not-a-robot" software.

And yes, the E brothers "Little Suzie" is an American classic.

Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 12:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

also they were marines.

Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 12:36:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous mike said...

Jim -

Guess I never realized that. Had to red their bio on wiki. All I had remembered about them was that back when I was 15 I was wishing that it could be me waking up next to Suzie.

Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 6:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


That was me using the B-52's. I could just envision when a "full-sized" car meant BIG. I choose most of the music and quotations.

I love all music, from Jelly Roll Morton (and before) to the early 90's. Anything chosen after that is usually done so ironically, as it is generally, comparatively, SO bad.

Monday, November 14, 2016 at 1:27:00 PM GMT-5  

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