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……………..


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.

Medical Fun and Games…..

After calling and calling the VA at Sepulveda about my CT Scan that I had on May 8th, the neurology called back and wants me to make an appointment…….

I can’t fathom why they just won’t send me the information. But after all the bullshit, I guess this is a step in the right direction. I still have to find out if my regular doctor who is my primary provider under the Veteran’s Choice Program has the results as well. After work this morning, it’s phone tag part whatever as I quit counting.

The colonoscopy is to be done on Friday the 28th, two days from now. I won’t get a check in time until I talk to the nurse on Thursday. I told this clinic that I need to know ASAP on Thursday so I can get some sleep before the preparation begins……….I think I actually got through.

It has been an aggravating and stressful three months…….

To all of my friends and followers on Facebook, I humbly apologize for the hasty departure. I may fire it up again but in a more compact manner with Neptunus Lex first and foremost.

I haven’t been the most pleasant person to be around. Maybe Missus ORPO and I should split for the Central Coast for a long weekend just to get a change of scenery.

I will be purchasing the upgrade here at WordPress to keep the blog going for quite some time I hope……….


Happy New Year!

It was a pretty good year……………….

The day at sea on USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 with OldAFSarge and The WSO was a major hi lite! I managed to complete another revolution of the Sun……………………..

I watched my niece get married to a really good man………………………………………..

The disruptions……………………………………….

My friends………………………………..I miss them

Lionel Gendron

Buck Pennington

Here’s to a splendid New Year and a Toast to those no longer with Us.

Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout



Christmas Weekend on California’s Central Coast

The VQ at Vandenberg was our headquarters.

The Monarch Butterfly Grove is an obligatory stop during the time the Butterflies are here.

The Ocean was making just enough noise as well…………………………………….I think of my departed friends, Lex, Buck and Lionel when I see the sunset from Oceano Beach south of Pismo.

Lex, Buck and Lionel……………………..Yeah……………..that’s them………………..Dusty in here
Butterflies………………………Lots of Butterflies
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We love Pismo Beach!

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The next four are some Oceano Beach Rule Five……………

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A Gathering of Some Of Us

The occasion was the send off of our esteemed David Harvey and His Missus and Family for a new chapter in Dallas, Texas.

Present were the following Lexicans:

Beth Lieras, Dwight Cardwell, Your Humble Author and his Bride and the most wonderful Mary Lefon.

Excellent Food and Excellent Drink.

Dwight made sure I had the Mud in The Blogfather’s USNA Mug. It was an initiation of sorts.

Yes! It was an excellent evening, indeed!

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I found a new flavour

Missus ORPO and I have ventured to Beautiful Sandy Eggo. We are here for a gathering of The Lexicans to send off Chaplain Harvey.

The Missus and I headed to Harbor Drive after checking in to our room………Objective: Dinner at Anthony’s Fish Grotto……………..Mighty Fine Indeed!

Afterwards, we headed out to find a convenience store, so we could get the Missus some smokes and yours truly a sixer of some tasty malt beverage………………Lo and Behold, I found this tasty beverage in a six pack at the Circle K in La Mesa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was not aware that Stone made a Pale Ale………………Got Snookered on that one!

Stone Pale Ale

DOD Furlough Observations from Bill Paisley

Good old “Pinch” Paisley had this at his Facebook today. I am also one of those getting the furlough letter as I work for the Air Force at Eddie’s Airplane Patch. Sucks. But Bill has this short but most eloquent post…………..Shipmate, Friend, Blog Bud and Lexican.


Furlough letter today. Yay. Makes me feel better when I’m losing 11 days of work and Major Nidal Hasan is getting his full pay. Or when the White House has parties for Justin and Beyonce. Or millions of dollars are spent on a study of Chinese prostitutes to try and make it more difficult for American businessmen to become HIV Positive while on a trip to Hong Kong. Ain’t that America.


More on veteran employment

More on veteran employment

This was at Castra Praetoria, the home of America’s Sergeant Major in the blogosphere.

It is a guest post. I think it is worth a look by all.

Today we have a guest post by Anna Brown of AmeriQuest Transportation Services. They are big supporters of the Hire Our Heroes initiative. After reading my post in June on the subject, they asked if I’d follow up with something by one of their writers. So here you go:

Addressing the Myths that Prevent Veteran Employment

Earlier this month, Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, revealed The Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative, which will effectively provide $29 million in grants to give veterans better access to local transportation. One of the main incentives behind enacting the initiative was the belief that more readily available transportation jobs would mean a decrease in unemployment. However, limited access to transportation work is just one of several factors that have pushed veteran unemployment over 12%.

In today’s economy, many find it difficult to gain full employment, but it’s especially difficult for returning veterans. There are many misconceptions and prejudices that keep employers from choosing to hire veterans. In addition, there are many veterans who feel uncertain and nervous as they seek to transition back into the civilian world. They feel stereotyped and unappreciated, and they often aren’t sure how to explain their skills to employers. What would-be employers often fail to see in these returning military members are leadership skills, hands-on training, adaptability, and problem-solving skills that should not be overlooked in the workplace.

The Problem
In a release from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the 2011 unemployment rate of post-September 11th veterans was a staggering 12.1%. The unemployment rate among the U.S. population in general is currently 8.2%. In particular, young male veterans between 18-24 had an unemployment rate of 29.1%, while non-veterans in that group had an unemployment rate of 17.6%. In the 25-34 age range, the difference was 13.4% unemployment vs. 9.5%. These differences are significant, is just one indication that employers may be viewing veterans differently than non-veterans.

The Stigma
When a veteran returns from an overseas deployment, some will view them as a hero. However, employers tend to view them with suspicion. There has been a great deal of publicity and federal funding to help veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).This additional publicity has also perpetuated myths that every veteran is maladjusted and unable to function appropriately in society. There are several types of stigmas that affect veteran employment:

Unreliability. Rather than being seen as helping our nation, veterans are often viewed as unreliable due to multiple moves and deployments. One veteran detailed her experience with this stigma on the Veteran’s Affairs blog in February of 2012.

Volatility. As mentioned above, due to publicized incidents involving PTSD and TBI, veterans can be stereotyped as having anger issues that can snap without warning. While PTSD and TBI can cause emotional and cognitive issues, these problems can often be overcome with proper treatment, accommodation, and counseling. In addition, not every retuning service member is afflicted with these mental illnesses.

Lack of Qualifications. Unfortunately, the extensive training and leadership of our men and women in uniform is not as easily recognized in the civilian world as it should be. Many employers are only interested in whether an individual has a college degree, and will gloss over the hands-on experience, adaptability, and leadership veterans possess. In addition, many veterans struggle to describe their experience and skills in a way that applies to the business world.

The Solution
There is no easy solution to these issues, but there are several things that can be done by both employers and veterans to ease the unemployment situation and help more veterans become employed.

Hiring Our Heroes Act. Signed into law by President Obama in November of 2011,this Act gives higher visibility to the employability of veterans and helps remove some of the stigmas. It has also created resources to help veterans translate their skills in ways that would apply to the civilian workforce. In addition, there are new online tools to search for jobs and new resources for case management and career counseling. These tools are available on the Joining Forces resource page.

Education of Employers. Many employers feel that a veteran could be a danger in the workplace, or that accommodation for disabilities would cost the company too much money. What an employer doesn’t realize is the experience, leadership, adaptability, and skill of a veteran can bring great advantage to the company and often the cost of accommodation is minimal. America’s Heroes at Work has created a fantastic Employer Tool Kit that can be of great help to employers in seeking to hire and integrate the skills of veterans into their business.

Today’s economy isn’t an easy place for anyone seeking employment. However veterans shouldn’t have a more difficult time than other job seekers. As veterans learn to articulate their skills, and employers and society move to overcome the stigmas they have toward veterans, there is reason to believe the veteran employment situation can improve.

The article was written by Anna Brown in partnership with AmeriQuest Transportation Services. AmeriQuest is a fleet management company that provides services including the sales of fleet equipment, truck leasing, and the sales of used freightliner trucks.


Kitchen Dispatch: High Ground: help on the river’s journey

This is from my good friend and Fellow Lexican, Kanani Fong. She has an outstanding blog known as The Kitchen Dispatch. Go and read this. Really. Do it.

I am not the best wordsmith there is so I will let Kanani do it. I cannot add anything to this.