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A Bit of a Ride in the CH53E?
High Flyin Times
By George Kremer
Got to have a small dream realized today and I thought I would share with you.
We are in the middle of the ESPN X-Games, kind of an extreme winter sports competition with skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiles and motor-cross motorcycles. All in the snow and ice. One of the big sponsors of the event is the United States Marine Corps. They flew out some of their top recruiters for a working vacation along with 2 CH53E helicopters and 2 Cobra attack helicopters. These served as static displays at the event and they did a fly-by over the event itself. Well, needless to say, the Marines were giving rides to the muckity-mucks involved in the event and local government. Nice, round race-track patterns, then back to the airport for another round. Yours truly couldn’t be held back with a team of wild horses and I was taking pictures from the tarmac as I have an airport security pass. Did I mention I just happened to be wearing a certain black ball cap with the Third Recon logo on it and the EGA’s on my uniform collar? Well, Capt. Cambell with the Corps was shooting the breeze with me and asked me if I would like to go up for a bit of a ride in the CH53E?
He asked me if I was a “good flier” as they were now going to be doing some filming from inside the chopper of the Cobras and of the event below for ESPN and for future Marine Corps events. He mentioned that the chopper may “move a little quicker” than what I had been seeing from the ground. Hmmmmm.
Well, off we went with all the doors off and the rear ramp open! Close terrain following and unbelievable turns playing “Chase Me, Catch You” with the Cobras! All in and out of the 14,000′ mountains that surround us here. I had no idea a big chopper like the CH53 could do those maneuvers! I even got to go sit in the middle jump seat in the cockpit and watch the show from there. We did a fly-over of the event at about 100′, or so and it was just great. Hard turns, dives and climbs were the order of the day for the rest of the morning until lunch time. I am not sure, but I think it will be a week or so before the grin on my face wears off! I had my camera with me, so I hope I got some good shots. I’ll scan them in as soon as I get them and then get them off to you. The whole group of Marines that are here are some of the sharpest, most squared away and professional group of Marines I have yet to meet. A great example for the 12,000 people at the games to see and meet. It was great to see such examples.
So later on back in the real world, I was given a “noise complaint” call from one of our illustrious citizens that make Aspen their part-time home. Seems they weren’t happy with the chopper flying over their estates and wanted something done about the noise. Well, I’ll probably catch Hell for it tomorrow, but I told him in no uncertain terms, that “noise” was the sound of Freedom! And he better damn well appreciate it! I told him of cousin Luke Kremer in his Hornet putting his life on the line over Afghanistan for this idiot so he could call up and complain. I told him of Rick Buesch’s life of giving so others could express themselves and of my Dad’s long walk out from the Reservoir so people like him could continue to make money and then bitch when the very men and woman who personally handed him that right and continued to protect that right happen to fly over his house in a show of patriotism, freedom and honor. Then I hung up.
Well. I got home about an hour ago with my butt intact, so we’ll see what the dawn brings. I couldn’t help myself. Oh, well, I could use the time off anyway. Ha! It was worth it regardless. So, I thought I would send you guys this message.
As always, Thanks!