I am always thrilled to find anything Chinook-related on line. Especially if it has anything to do with those we know. I literally tripped over this one today. The "hat tip" goes to Chevy Rose over at Sleepless Mind. I was browsing her links and found a link for "Chopper Pilot" and my curiosity got the best of me.
When McGyver first decided to join the Army, he originally wanted to do so by becoming a pilot, right off the bat. He went through the whole application process but failed his flight physical due to an unknown medical problem. Luckily, that medical problem did not prevent him from enlisting.
As a bonus for certain MOSs (military occupational specialties), the Army was offering a student loan repayment. McGyver obviously wanted something to do with helicopters and the loan repayment program was only offered for enlistment as a Chinook mechanic. Prior to this, I had never really heard of a Chinook and had no clue what they were.
My first thought was that they were the most awkward, funny looking thing in the sky. For those of you who do not know what a Chinook looks like, take a look :
h/t to Mark Morgan over at Chinook-Helicopter.com
There are all sorts of euphemisms describing the Chinook...
* two palm trees having their way with a dumpster
* flying school bus
* flying RV
* the only voice-controlled helicopter in the Army inventory (some of you will get that, some won't)
And while they are true to some extent, I still find beauty in its raw power and ability. I like seeing any helicopter fly but there is something special about the Chinook. Maybe it's just because McGyver flies them. Maybe it's because the Chinook community is so tight, so small, so intimate, and we have some many friends within that community.
Which brings me back to my spotlight website: startdotstar. Once I clicked on "Chopper Pilot" on Chevy Rose's website and started reading, names and such started clicking and it dawned on me that he is with the unit that McGyver started his Army career with.
Our time in Alaska was wonderful. Yes, parts of it sucked (how else do you describe 20 hours of darkness and temperatures of -40* F?) but the unit we were with was wonderful at the time. Every once in a while, you join a group of people at *just* the right time and it just WORKS. Know what I mean? No, it wasn't perfect but it was GOOD. And the Sugarbears hold a special place in both of our hearts.
So when I found this blog, it reminded me of a special place and a special time. We made some very good friends while we were there. We had our first child while we were there. McGyver was privileged to fly over Denali (Mount McKinley).
So, even though my day was kind of lousy, this find today kept a smile on my face. And now, it's my spotlight of the week as it was my bright spot of the day.
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