I spent the day, 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM on Fort Hood with the Air Force unit
assigned there, the 3rd Aviaton Operations Support Group or 3ASOG. What
an impressive group of young men and women they are, all four squadrons
3ASOG supports Army deployadble units with weather support, intelligence
gathering and forward air controllers. They have more gee-whiz
electronic and optical equipment then most people have ever heard of.
The command briefs were given by either the CO or XO of the squadron but
the equipment and tacticts briefs were given by 20 -21 year old airment
wearing maybe three stripes or a Staff Sgt's rocker. The were uniformly
well spoken and self confident. Another ancient MSgt and I walked
around the squadron areas just randomly talking with airmen and NCO's
and that self confidence was there in all of them; they knew their jobs
and trusted each other and their equipment.
At the close of the day I was the starter for a 24 hour charity run
being done simultaneously world wide by all of the USAF ASOG's. Airmen,
NCO's and Officers will be running in shifts until 2:30 tomorrow
afternoon to raise money for their command charity. Last year one of
this ASOG's senior NCO's was killed in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber;
left a wife and two kids. The ASOG fund immediately established a $50K
scholarship fund for his two kids.
I'll probably drive out to the Fort tomorrow around 1:45 just to be on
hand for the 2:30 finish of the run. It should be fun. I've talked
with people around town and raised $500 in pledges for the fund. I've
pledged $1 a lap for every lap their senior enlisted man runs up to a
max of 50 laps. It's a joke between two good friends - he already has
the 50 in the fund and knows that I don't care how many laps he runs.
He's going to run in the last shift and have his 5 year old son run a
couple of laps with him.
If you could have the opportunity to talk with and interact with these
bright and articulate young people you would begin to understand the
quality of our armed forces. Thugs and dummies they ain't!