Thaddeus Kosciusko: The Polish Engineer You Never Heard of who Saved America

I learned some things that I did not know about a man who was deeply involved in the beginnings of our Republic.

The Angry Staff Officer

So, we know all about the heroes of the American Revolution, right? George Washington, John Adams, Paul Revere – OK, well, not him, he was a good silversmith, an average errand rider, and a godawful general. But odds are you probably haven’t heard of Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kosciuszko. Nor can you spell it or pronounce it; join the club, but we’re working on it.

Thaddeus Kosciusko was born in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (long story, don’t ask) in 1746, the youngest son of a member of the nobility, aka, “not going to inherit anything, might as well join the army.” Accordingly, he popped off to Warsaw in 1765 to go be a cadet, commissioning in 1766, and made captain by 1768. Which was an awkward year to make captain, because the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth decided to celebrate his promotion with a civil war to overthrow the king. Kosciusko decided that discretion…

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Something on the mind

Well since all are pretty much aware that the youngest daughter is with child, a grandson who is due in September, there is some decision making in regard to the lad’s naming. Missus ORPO is pushing for his middle name to be the same as mine which is as most know is Mark. It is hard to not try and have any influence in this process as in reality, it isn’t my decision. Straight up, it is not my decision in any fashion. I have never thought of leaving any legacy as it were at any time in my life. Would I like the grandson to have my name in some manner? Yes I would but I have absolutely no control over that.

On my part, I am glad that I will have a grandson whose early years I will be a part of. In around 18 to 24 months or so, we will be going back to Wichita, Kansas when I retire from the civil service at Edwards AFB. Let’s face it, I ain’t getting any younger and the mileage, wear and tear have taken a toll. I will need every moment that I can get.

I want to be able to take the boy fishing and shooting just like my Paternal Grandfather did with me. He also taught me how to run a bottling line in the days of glass bottles.

Please pardon the ramblings of an old man who now has much on his mind.

A day to remember our friend

We got the news this day, seven years ago. Kfir down at NAS Fallon. We all had our fears of what happened. It couldn’t be….. But sadly when the details came out it was. Somehow, I knew when the news initially said the jet was down. I don’t know why but I did.

Lex was gone. An amazing level of hurt came over me. It’s still here as I write this. When I went to work, I did the most thorough of pre-flights on my jet that I had ever done. It was almost like he was watching me. It was that pilot to crew chief link that we had. That was how our relationship was. I was glad to have had it that way.

The following of Lex has led me to a group of friends that I treasure with all my heart.

Sorry, it’s getting hard to see the keyboard and screen……….

ORPO sends……………..

Rainy day in the Southeast Kern County Desert

We had some pretty significant rain on Thursday. According to a friend of mine, almost an inch. The fire ravaged areas in LA, Ventura, Orange, Santa Barbara and Riverside counties really got it hard.

That aside, some of the cloud formations were a bit interesting. So without further ado, here we go. I took these at a dirt parking area at the junction of CA 58 and California City Boulevard.

ORPO sends.

It’s been awhile

Not the song by Staind.

I had to go to the Stater Bros in Mojave for the Missus. I took the Trusty Nikon with me. Here are the results of a mostly gray day in the Southeast Kern County Desert.

Among the subjects is a mineral hopper train that came from Searles Junction on the UP Lone Pine Branch.

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That L-1011 belongs to BAE Systems, I do believe.

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Someone is flying today. Small taildragger, I happened to hear him and this was the one good chance that I had.

 

Thanksgiving Greetings

The Old Retired Petty Officer sends greetings and best wishes to all this Thanksgiving. I hope all of you have a splendid day, truly.

Missus ORPO and I are at home with the usual although it will be delayed until tomorrow due to the effects of my flu shot that I received on Monday and the crappy work hours that I currently endure.

To all the First Responders, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coasties out there doing what they do away from home this day, we appreciate all that you do. Some of us have been there and done that.

I had my first Thanksgiving away from home at RTC San Diego. I had two aboard the Good Ship Independence while deployed to the Med and Nor Lant. Then there was the one on Ranger and one on Kitty Hawk.

Even in my ballast train days, I had Thanksgiving with the Eldest Son(SFC) at the Repple Depple at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

So please, enjoy the company that you have this day with family and close friends. I will crack open a Stone Go To IPA later and raise a toast to all.

ORPO sends.

Veteran’s Day at Marie Kerr Park in Palmdale

It was simple and touching. I think at times that most of us were teary eyed….. I know I was.

Darryl Juel and Reid Grayson were older brothers of two guys I played junior high basketball with in Scobey, Montana 52 years ago…….

Even though I was not in country in Vietnam, this was for all of us who served in the era.

The AV Vietnam Moving Memorial Wall is a fully volunteer organization. They along with Vets 4 Vets in Palmdale and Lancaster are the driving forces behind this.DSC_0003

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This dear lady lost a son in Iraq in 2004. She gave me the one pin. Tears were shed.
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Darryl R. Juel
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Frank J. Costantini Jr.
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Reid E. Grayson

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Remembrance Day

The text was posted at Facebook by my friend Scott Ruch along with the picture.

Today, however you chose to call it, Armistice Day, Rembrance Day or Veteran’s Day, is a difficult one for myself and my family. On this day 27 years ago, we lost my Dad to cancer. As an Airman and then Soldier, I suppose it was most appropriate.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.”

Dusty…

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Forty Five

Forty Five years ago on a Saturday morning no less, I put my right hand in the air and took the oath of enlistment from an Army 1st Lt. and enlisted in the US Navy.

“I, (Glenn Mark Cassel), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.””

It turned into a long run.

Forty five years already……..

Yeah, I cheated and did the copy and paste from Wikipedia. It was easy ya know.

Another trip around the Sun

64.

Yesterday.

Damn.

I remember when I thought 50 was old.

I would like to thank all my friends on the Book of Faces for the wonderful birthday greetings. All of you hold a special place in my heart and my life.

I will now begin the process of preparing for retirement in 2 years…..

It will be here before I know it. 🤪🤪🤪🤪

On the passing of Captain McCain

I have been watching the “conversations” about John McCain on The Book of Faces since the news of his passing broke in the news media and I must say the some of it upsets me.

First, yes I did vote for him in 2008. No regrets there. Good, that is out of the way.

John McCain served his country admirably and with distinction in the United States Navy. His last tour was in command of Attack Squadron One Seven Four which was one of the largest squadrons in the Navy, responsible for the training of Naval Aviators and Maintenance Personnel heading to A-7 Light Attack Squadrons in the US Atlantic Fleet. That is an awesome responsibility. Nuff said.

There are the rumors of his behaviour while he was a POW during the Vietnam Conflict. As far as I can see those are just that, rumors.

If individuals cannot show some form of decorum regarding his death, they have some serious issues as human beings from the point of view of this Old Retired Petty Officer. At this point, the man’s political views are a moot point. Dignity and respect should be given to his family in the manner of one’s chosen beliefs and values. I have seen comments from a few Christians that are quite frankly reprehensible at best. Some Christian behaviour on their part.  Cancer is a vile thing. It took my Dad and I have had it myself. When Captain McCain made the decision to stop treatment, it was a decision to be taken lightly. My Dad did the same thing.

When the funeral happens in the near future, I truly hope that all of us take the time to bow or cover our heads as whatever religious custom dictates in respect and reflection for a truly good man who gave his best to his country. Remember this one thing, their are those who truly believe that he was a hero. If you chose to believe otherwise, that is your choice. I will not criticize you in an open forum for that. My own upbringing and sense of values will not let me attack you.

The best I can do today. The afflictions of the years and mileage are having an impact on the thought process today.

Just remember this one thing. Only G-d can truly judge us.

ORPO sends.

Out and about(Canadian Inflection)

Went to do a few things…. Gas in the Civic, Cigars and some things from Rite Aid.

The Trusty Nikon needed to be used ya know. Today is a mix of smoke and dust as the wind is up a bit here in the Southeast Kern County Desert at Casa de Sharon y Glenn.

Oh, it was 104 degrees……. Hot and the air feels heavy, if you know what I mean.

Yep, I admit freely that I do love this desert. When I was with Herzog on the GPS Ballast Trains, the home office always knew that I would go to the desert.

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There has been some interesting things concerning the illegal marijuana growing operations in Cal City lately. However, some folks are upset at the two unsolved murders that occurred here. It is a dichotomy of a different sort.

#desertwanderings