Last night just before dinner I heard the 4 engines of a C-130 Hercules(seen here ejecting flares in a test of its missile protection system) a few thousand feet above the trees flying east from the Jar over the house. I grabbed the camera out of my bag and ran out the back door with enough time to snap this blurry photo. The tree limbs add some scale and even though the image is out of focus the composition still reveals the truth. This has been a photo project that I have been working on for a while now, be prepared for more to follow.
"Golf CO(Company or Crack Out, both are applicable) 2-4 take a little trip. Stand up, Buckle Up and shuffle to the door, Jump right out and shout Marine Corps..."
During my time in the military I never actually jumped out of a C-130 but we did sing about the action while running in formation during weekly PT sessions. Actually I only remember being on one of those planes once while on a Mediterranean Cruise that stopped in Naples Italy. Our little detachment took the C-130 ride from the US Navy base there to an Italian base near Venice. We did not jump out of it while the plane was still in the sky, instead we walked off of the huge transport plane after it had landed and come to a complete stop. I recall returning the ear plugs that had been given to me before the flight started to an airman holding the ear plug box.
I have been seeing more military planes of War flying over the Carolina skies than I can ever remember. The time is now, the magical instant before us. Although I have seen some fast moving and loud fighters flying high ops, the majority of what catches my attention is the east to west and west to east flights of the C-130 transport planes. For the past few months these flights have been pretty much constant on the every other hour coming in and out Charlotte. As part of my public awareness campaign I decided a few months back that when I identified one of these planes flying I would notify the closest person near me who was not paying attention to look up and think about what they are seeing. Of course when I point these machines out lumbering across the sky to whom ever is around they usually say something like, "Oh, there are a lot of military bases east of here", or "I wonder why they are flying". Actively choosing to avoid the reality is no longer an excuse for your own ignorance in my world. At that point in the public conversation I will politely remind the individual that the reason these things are constantly flying in and out of Charlotte directly above our heads is because we are at War in the Middle East, specifically in between Iraq and Afghanistan. The planes are flying here in support of both of those operations there which is easy to get lost in the translation of our sped up no time for anything culture here. Yup, those planes are carrying the beans, bullets and bandages needed to support the troops on the ground in the 'theater' of operations. The planes are also carrying: the troops and officers in transit in and out of the battle grounds, the wounded and dead, the liaisons for the contractors who are doing the jobs of the military seeing the military does not have enough people to do the job of war( Feb 2008: 156,000 troops in Iraq along with 183,000 contractors[a greater than 1 to 1 ratio]) and anything you could imagine that would be needed to logistically support such an effort 'over there'.
I say when you hear it, look up. There is nothing to be afraid of. This one is not even on the news it is simply and very much apparently without commercial interruption in the sky not far above our brains no matter where we may live. From sea to shining sea they are up there both day and night keeping the dream alive, all we have to do is look upward and then inward into our own self and we will see the truth.