This is going to be a bit long, and I suspect most will not bother to read it. So be it, I write anyway.
Let me start by saying that I am currently under Doctor’s care. I either have a very serious sinus infection, a mild stroke, or a combination of
the two, and so I am not as clear as I would like to be.
! was blessed with an American birth. I think that it has provided me with a number of privileges and benefits that I might not, otherwise, have had.
I have been thoroughly blessed by place of birth. I am proud to be American born and bred. Even with our many problems, I would not change birth
places with anyone on this board. Unless you were born to an extremely, wealthy family. LOL!
However, I could have been just as equally blessed with a British Birth.
However, in my younger years, and at the expense of the US Government, I got to spend 4 years living in Southern England, a beautiful, rustic little
place called, Finchingfield, Essex, England. I was a military Independent Site Duty Medical Technician on a joint MOD, NATO, site that I believe is
no longer there, RAF Wethersfield. And the closest Doctor was somewhere in the vicini8ty of 40ish miles away by back road. My service vehicle
(ambulance) was a very large, very low-mileage Oldsmobile Station Wagon modified to be an ambulance. We had not, yet, gone the way of function over
I know… You are probably thinking, “What is the old geezer up to now?” Well… It crosses my mind that my longevity and exposure to England
has earned me a bit of a right, no, a privilege to post here on this subject. It is simply my hope that this doesn’t become to “rambly”.
When I first trekked into England, I landed at a base called RAF Lakenheath. After leaving the base and heading down to RAF Wethersfield, I rode down
the backroads with one of the guys I was to be working with. I don’t know about the “Brits”, but I fell in love with Essex, and England about
15 minutes into the ride.
As a side “thing” I began to buy antique furniture. I was simply amazed, I had a set of dining room chairs that were older than my country by the
time I returned to the US. The act of buying antiques got me out and socializing with the English folks. And what a rare pleasurable experience that
all was. I found out that we are, indeed, bound by a common language that Americans don't speak well, if not a common heritage. (Insert LOL!!!!
When not on duty, I spent a good deal of time hanging around the non-military areas… Places like Southend-on-Sea, and a number of towns around. I
got to see Colchester Castle, several times. Let me tell you, that is an awe inspiring place if you’ve never been.
I was about 50 miles North of London. We used to go down there about once a month to get a dose of the “big city”, and to scarf Big Macs (Still
missed home, but got a taste for treacle… rofl).
I met a fellow named, Andy, while I lived there, properly “Andrew”, and his lovely family. His Mother and Father were older, they had been young
survivors of WW II. They had the usual opinion of Yanks that were left over from that horrible war. Yanks were overpaid, oversexed, and over
But never being one to be stopped or held up by innuendo or false “promise”, I worked very hard to develop the friendship with Andrew and his
family. Not for any reason other than he was one person that I really wanted to be able to call friend. We used to take great delight in jostling
each other with the “Yank vs Bloke” thing. It was a giggle to have him call me a colonist… And we did, indeed decide, that we were divided by a
Andrew was married at the time, and so was I. He lived in Raleigh, at the time. I was living in quarters on RAF Wethersfield. We used to visit back
and forth as often as we could get together. We had a common interest, in that we both played rock guitar. Well, I played in my den, and Andy
played in a band, a group of musicians that haunted Clacton and Southend . I was adopted by the local musos, and simply referred to, quite often,
as the “Mad Yank”.
As a matter of fact, I did it so well that I became the God Father of his son.
I made some pretty rare inroads into becoming a member of the family. I, eventually, got to be on great terms and first name basis with his Mom and
Unfortunately, now, with the passage of years, we have lost touch. There have been divorces on both sides of the ocean. Not keeping in touch
forever, as we promised all those years ago, and so on. Last I heard, Andy is teaching in Spain or, perhaps Europe, somewhere, by now. I have to
tell you that I really miss him, and am greatly saddened that I have no way to find him or contact him. The whole idea being that if two old coots
like us can get along and mean something to each other, in spite of the language barrier, then why must it boil down to a Britain vs. America thing?
We have been close friends and allies since those couple of earlier unpleasant incidents. LOL! And… I kind of think that despite the best efforts
of some of the narrow-minded folk (regardless of nationality, or place of national origin) that haunt ATS and a few other places I frequent, that it
will continue that way.
It’s not a matter of who’s better, who’s stronger, who’s more right than wrong. It’s like being brothers or sisters. You may not always
agree, but you are, inevitably, there for one another.
Yeah, I know there are tough feeling over the issue of friendly fire. Yeah, I know that there are problems at a personal level with some of you
Americans and you British. That’s too bad. From personal experience, I truly believe you are each missing a rare, and wonderful opportunity to
have a friend for life. However, I think that in the greater scheme of things that it will be worked out, regardless of the name calling and “Banty
Roostering” that some of both sides are doing here on ATS.
The one thing I would remind all of you is that, life’s too short to deal with stupid. No matter where it comes from. There may well be a day when
there will be no differences. There will be no sides, and there will be no National Pride, but until that day, I suspect that we need to remember our
history, and our futures. And we need to quit looking at each other as simply British or American, but more like friends and family.
Ummm… Yeah, I’m a little older, and yeah, I’m somewhat confused at the moment (infection or stroke?), but I still think the silly name-calling
is that, Silly name-calling.
And, one more thing. There is a possibility that very few seem to be considering. If you haven't been shot at in anger, then you won't get this,
but some will. Murphy's Rules of engagement state that the fit hits the shan with the first shot fired, and most every well laid combat plan goes
bust. Best laid schemes go amok, and awry. It is very sad that it happens, but it does. I know this doesn't leave some of the Briish posters
feeling any better. But how would you feel if it had been British Bombs killing american ground troops?... Just something to think about.
Hope that I haven't incensed anyone with this little tome, but I also thnk it's time for some very short-sighted, narrow-visioned people, on both
sides of the large pond to quit using their heads as butt-plugs.
My students used to call me "Kaptain Krusty". And so I will simply say, in closing...
Kaptain Krusty, Out!