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Geocaching War Veterans

Cav Scout

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I was wanting to know of any geocachers who are Vietnam/Desert Storm/Operation Iraqi Freedom war verterans and how they went about telling their families that they are going off to war.


I'm getting ready to tell my familiy (Parents, brothers, and sister) that I am leaving for Iraq. Any advice would help.


I'm fine with my deployment... I'm just concerned for how my family will react.


See you all on the high ground.

Edited by Cav Scout
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Sept 1971 Fort Gordon GA

I had attempted over the previous 4 months to prepare my family for the news as 85% of the people in my MOS went RVN.


When the orders came down I called my folks. It did not go well. I have tears in my eye's now at the memory even tho both of my fol have long passed.


My Dad did OK but my mother did not. If you can imagine a mothers terror manifesting itself over the phone.


If I had a chance to do it over I would have made the effort to fly home if even for a day and do it in person. Hugs are wonderful things. When I did finally get home for my pre-deployment leave thing did get a bit better but I have to tell you there is no way to mitigate the fear your family will go through while you are in harms way.


I did try to shield them from my experience as I kept my letters upbeat even in the worst of times. (I was a helicopter gunner and it wasn't pretty.) My Grandfather who was an aircraft mechanic in WWI pulled me aside before I left and told me to write to him if things got real bad and I needed to vent. Having that outlet really helped me get through some of the rougher parts.


On the flip side. When I showed up in the driveway 5 days early a year later the sight of my Mom flying out of the house (in her PJ's no less) was a memory I cherish to this day.


Dunno if this helps but if you wanna talk at ANY time fell free to drop me line.


My thoughts and prayer will be with you and your family.



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:( Served in Somalia just prior to Black Hawk Down. I didn't have a lot of time to tell my wife that I was going to Somalia and I might not come home. So don't ponder over this too much. Just tell them I've receiced orders to go to IRAQ. God willing I'll be home in a year and leave it at that. Make sure you have a will and the $200,000 military life insurance policy to take care of your family in the event you don't come back.
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I see that you have been in for awhile.


I am a Vietnam era vet.. never did actually go to Vietnam but there was always the possibility of going. My dad was a B-17 pilot in WW II. He understood what was at stake... as well as my mom did too as she had lived through the experience that your family will go through shortly. I was the only one in my generation of the family (on both sides of it) that was in the service at the time.


I don't know if you are married or not but just as it takes a special kind of person to be the wife of a police officer, it takes that same type of person to be the wife of a soldier. You cannot dismiss the genuine human condition in that she (or they) will miss you while you are gone over the pond. However, Mature people have to realize reality. I am sure that in the back of their minds they are cognizant of what the consequences of your involvement with the service entails. Your (relative) family should be well accustomed to the reality of what you do. As you know there are official and unofficial channels of support for families of soldiers as well. I would assume that you are confident in your abilities (your job) as well.


If you are OK with your deployment as you say that you are, you have to convey that confidence, calmness and assurance to them. This experience BTW is a trial for all concerned and will help them grow in relationships to one another and in relationship to you.


Finally, You need to look at the statistics of those not returning against those that do. I realize that this is a stark realization. But in all likelyhood you will return. Also I don't think that anybody would complain if you were to use this forum or email others on it if you needed to vent.


Did you know that there are geocaches hidden in Iraq and Afganistan? There is something that you can use to take your mind off things.. as well as something to share with your family on this end.


Write to your family as often as you can.... I did not do that as often as I should have when I was overseas... As a result, today I realize that I had missed something...


Looking forward to the day you come back and relate your experiences (possibly to all of us here) and of course, to your family


You definitely have my support... :(

Edited by OccidentalErrant
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I'm a active duty Cavalry Scout E8/1SG for one of the SBCT's (Stryker Brigade Combat Team). My parents have experienced for over 18 years nowing that one day I would call them and tell them that I am leaving for a tour in Iraq, etc. Now my turn has come to inform them of what I am doing. I have told my brothers that I am going to Iraq and they are OK with it and in the same instance worried for me. I called my best friend and she started crying... Because of her crying makes me wonder what my mom will do.


I am in charge of 82 of Americas finest young men (all Cav Scouts by the way) along with my Commander and five young LT's. Some of the Soldiers in my Troop where my trainees when I was a Drill Sergeant at Fort Knox, KY. I've been telling my Soldier's to call their family members back home and let them know that they are leaving.


I am aware of caches in Iraq. I plan on putting a few out while I am there.

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1986... Are you taking the retirement then at 20? or did ya have to extend or re-up? Interesting Hiking 'stick' you have... What kind of wood is that? I am in the process of drying out one that my dad gave me recently from the trimmings of an apple tree in his backyard. It has a crook on one end that makes for good cane like handle to lean on when this older vererans body needs a rest.


Luck with ya Sir.. I am 6 years active and 5 years Air NG... out in '82. No war to fight.


Edit: for spelling.

Edited by OccidentalErrant
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When Desert Shield started I was all ready in theater, so they knew more about what was going on then I did. Two weeks before 9/11, I had just returned from that area so had all ready been operating there for awhile, and it wasn’t that big of a shock when I got the call to pack my bags to head back out there. My job is no way compared to yours; my exposure in harms way is relatively short. My brother on the other hand is Army SF and has spent two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. When he returned home from his last tour he had lost a SGT that had worked for him when he first went to the SF. I was with him at a race that he was running in and trying to raise money for the warrior fund (a fund for the families of soldiers killed in action) and it was the first time I ever saw my brother get choked up. I don’t think there is any easy way to let your family know just talk to them. Be careful over there and I hope I get a chance to meet you when you get back.

Edited by Ray&Rose
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I plan on flying home for two weeks to see my two sons and family before I leave. I will tell them all when I go to Illinois.

Just wondered where you are from in Illinois. As mentioned by Bull Moose, I am a

WWII veteran. I was attending Eastern Illinois State College (now a university) in 1942-43 when I enlisted in Naval Aviation. I remember setting in a math class and near me was a big poster showing a pilot standing by his F4U and the just two words FLY NAVY. I did fly Stearman Bi Planes for a while until I washed out. Since I had a line commission I ended up on the USS Poseidon, ARL-12 in the pacific. As I like to say never killed anyone but bored a lot of people to death. Yes, in WWII we knew who the enemy was and what we were there for.


Born in Bible Grove, Illinois about 4 nautical miles from the Bible Grove VOR. Any pilots out there have probably flown over the Bible Grove VOR.

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To answer some of the questions posted... I was born and raised in Pekin Illinois just across the river from Peoria. I joined the Army because my Father and my Grandfather both served in the Army, I felt I had to join because of them both. I will be the third of my family to retire from the military. I have two other cousins who are First Sergeants in the Army and Air Force.


My hiking stick was found in Kentucky about 13 years ago. I found it in the woods when I worked at the Ranger RIP program. A vine had grown around the tree and caused it to spiral in shape. A good friend of mine carved the lizards and turtles on it. I have taken that hiking stick all over the place with me. I will be taking it to Iraq.


Ray and Rose I met you at a cache briefly during the Gig Harbor event earlier this year. I picked up a few of your wooden tokens. I still want to do a trade with you for one of you new metal geo coins.


And as for the WWII war stories, I can hear the stories a hundred times from the same Vet and never get bored hearing them. I had a WWII Army Medal of Honor holder who lived across the street from me in DuPont, WA. His name is Wilburn Ross. Look up his MOH award on the internet.

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Yes, I know Pekin, Il very well. Home of Everett McKinley Dirkson. After graduating from Eastern in 1948, I taught HS in Freeport, Illinois. During the summers of 1950-51-and 52. I worked on my MS at Bradley U. My wife and child stayed with her folks in Southern Illinois. My cousin and I use to drive to Pekin to swim in the pool there. Very nice town. Probably a city now. Best of luck to you.

Dick, W7WT

Edited by W7WT
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I am aware of caches in Iraq. I plan on putting a few out while I am there.

Don't forget to take care of the ones you have here before you leave. Sorry to throw that out at you but with you serving our country in Iraq you will either need to archive/remove your caches or find someone to adopt them while you are gone.


I truely respect what you are doing for our country. I hope you complete your tour with out getting hurt or losing any of your unit.

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Vietnam March 4, 1970 -March 1, 1971. My best advice is to tell everyone you can in person. My father was a WWII vet so he took it in stride, my mother took it well also, as she knew that there was a good chance I would go ahead of time. Best of luck to you!

Edited by George501949
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CavScout. I just got back from Iraq with the 1st SBCT (well about 4 months ago). Spent just over a year there. I'm one of those pesky civilian contractors that follow you guys around the world fixing all your gee wiz high tech gadgets (FBCB2). I actually found two caches while I was over there. One in Kuwait and one in Iraq. The caches actually took your mind off of what was going on around you.


I'm sure that your family will understand why you are going over there and will be very proud of you.


On a side note I know you guys will be at the JRTC sometime soon and I may be down there supporting you'all. We'll have to hook up and maybe find a cache or two.


Safe Caching and Hurry Home.

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I was an Army brat when dad spent his first tour of VN. By his third I was serving in the AF. I know what getting orders are as a dependent and as active service. Being a daughter I never served in combat but as support. I remember when I got out they wanted me to sign up in the guard. My dad told me to be ready to go anywhere as after the Vietnam conflict they started building up the guard. Their reasoning was let the guard go first instead of the guard staying home within their local unit area. boy, did that come true.


I'm a geocaching war veteran and a nice site your mom, dad, brothers & family might be interested in is a blog by a family in Mosul. http://iraqblogcount.blogspot.com/ Also with todays emails and such you can keeo in contact with them. A long ways from the Watts line I used to talk to my dad on.


God speed soldier.

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I'm a Vietnam type. I told my wife hey, guess what I get Christmas off after all ( was supposed to be on alert at that time). The downside? I won't be here for New Years. That's how short my notice was. Probably best that way, no time to agonize.

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I was lucky in that I was performing my war time duty while I was stationed at Fairchild AFB in WA during the Gulf War. We were providing the ground troops, airplanes, and war ships with their weather pictures. The start of the ground war was delayed three days because of pictures we were downloading here in Spokane. Our Commander had that picture framed on his wall untill the site was shut down. So I can't tell you how to tell your family the news. All I can say is we are proud of what you and the other troops are doing. Keep up the good work. Our prayers are with you always.

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I had been talking to mine on the phone a couple of weeks before hand (Dessert Storm) telling them the rumors going through my unit. When we got orders I just called and said "guess what". My dad guessed it right away, (old Navy man). My dad said "Oh" my mom said "Oh no." Of course I was youngish and stupidish at the time.


Turns out our unit ended up not going though several from our unit went with other units. My commander all of a sudden was pregnant and our unit was shut down soon after. Coincidence?

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They took it OK. I guess they kinda expected it. My mom was silent and did not say a word for about 20 seconds which seems like enternity on the phone. I assured them everything will be fine and that I had a good Troop who is well trained with what they do for the Army.

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