PawPaws Don't Need Medals

by Pappy

I tell this story to you as it was told to me by my Grand-dad.

Decembers in Hawaii are much like Spring days in Florida. Warm ocean breezes. Swaying palm trees. Tourist roasting in the hot sun.Lazy easy going times.

This December Sunday started off the same as every other Sunday in the Island state. In Pearl Harbor was moored the American Pacific Fleet.

Life aboard every ship there was beginning the same as it had every Sunday before. Sailors and Marines alike where waking up some headed toward the Mess-deck some toward a Church service others moaned and groaned about the pain in their throbbing heads after drinking all night before. A few Sailors and Marines are headed to their appointed duties. Some are sweeping the deck some are Standing watch on the Quarterdeck.Others assume duties that keep the ship ready to leave or get underway at a moments notice.

Every day every ship performs "Colors" it is the raising of our nations flag with honor. On-board the bigger ships the beginnings of every day in port started with "Colors" and a small orchestral accompaniment playing our Nation's Anthem ( I hope you know what our Nation's Anthem is).

Now all the men on all the ships looked toward one ship which was appointed as the leader in "Colors". Each man waited and watched for the 'Color Guard' on the appointed ship to begin the ceremony so that all the ships began and ended at the same time...such is the life aboard Navy ships in America.

The 'Color Guard' aboard the appointed ship looked to the Navel base an it's 'Color Guard' to begin its Ceremony. Now when all this is done correctly its a beautiful thing to behold, especially for those who believe in freedom and love the country that provides that freedom and believes God protects that country.

At the time the "Officer Of the Day" blows his whistle and then the flag is ran up it's pole.The anthem is played and every person stops and turns toward the nearest flag being raised.They place the right hand over the heart and stand at attention if you are wearing a hat it is removed from the head and held over the heart by the right hand.If you can't see a flag around you then you just stand at attention until the ceremony is complete. This is done Rain or Shine , Snow or Hurricane. As I stated before it's a thing of beauty when done right...When it ain't its a train wreck and leaves one feeling in a bad-mood.Well that is if you care for Honor an Patriotism. If you don't give a damn about such things you just continue your miserable existence pissed at the world for your own miserable life.

I can't say that this is still being done around Navy Bases anymore...I haven't been on a Military base in many years now...I can only hopeand pray that our Military honors this Honer and they instruct it's volunteers on the meaning and importance for it all.

OK... On with the show.

According to my Grand-dad "Colors" aboard his ship was about over. He heard the low rumbling of hundreds of airplane engines growing ever closer. He thought "what in the hell is the Army up to"? (For those of you who don't know there was no "Airforce" until after WW2. It was the"Army Aircorp" until then) He heard the a few planes roar in just over head still he didn't give it any more thought, until there were so many planes buzzing by he couldn't hear when "Colors" ended. So he looked up expecting to see Army Aircorp emblems on the planes overhead, But there were none.

Instead the red circle of Japans rising sun adorned these planes. Still it wasn't connecting to anyone what was about to unfold. They all stood there dumb founded at this strange site and audacity of foreign aircraft flying in American airspace.

My Grand dad and the men aboard his ship watched as the planes began to circle the harbor and a few dropped down close to the water flying in at about 30 feet and approaching from the entrance of the harbor. Some thing fell off the first plane into the water then the others that followed. At that time they heard the screaming of dive bombers and their deadly payload being unleashed. It was like everyone was frozen in place. The first explosion tore a hole in it's target and those who were frozen became thawed in a moment of terror. Then the Torpedoes hit their intended.

Hell, now placed a bid on paradise.

"General Quarters" began ringing out across Pearl. Men and women dropped what they were doing an took up tasks they were trained to do. Yes...they were all scared. None knew how long this would last.No one knew if the next bomb or bullet would stop them.They did what was above and beyond the call.They sacrificed to save.

Aboard my Grand dad's ship Small arms were being handed out and 50cal.Machine guns were put in place. Ammo loaded and instructions to fire at will given. The mooring lines holding the ship in place where cut and the ship eased away from her pier and headed into the fray.

Minutes became like hours.

The Captain of my Grand dad's ship fully intended to risk life and ship to help those of the Main fleet under attack in Pearl.Each man knew he would want that done for him should he be trapped or injured and under fire.

Fire hoses were manned and the ship headed for a Battleship that was blazing in the morning sun, bellowing black clouds and fire into tropical air. As the little ship made way toward the bigger, the bow of the bigger ship was raised out of the water 20 feet and cleft in two as she took a bomb into her powder magazine. The rain of water from the explosion was like a monsoon. The heat from the explosion warped iron. The concussion knocked men from their feet and some went overboard into oil slick water. The "USS Arizona" is now all but a memory.

My Grand dad didn't know how many planes they shot down if any at all. He didn't know how many shots were fired. He didn't know how many thousands of tons water his ship pumped to put out fires. I don't believe he knew how many lives were lost. All he knew was his ship and it's crew did what needed to be done even through fear of injury and loss of life.

I asked my Grand dad{I called him PAWPAW} did he receive a medal.

"Nope,..." he said as if almost offended that I should ask such a question, then he laughed and placed hishuge hand on my nappy little head,

"PawPaws, ...well...PawPaws don't ask for medals".

Now my Grandchildren call me "PawPaw".

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

by Brett Aquila

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