Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stalag 13... ... Hogan!

Okay, as far as the navy stories go we've finally moved beyond that bootcamp nightmare and have arrived in Millington, Tennessee...
the armpit of the world!

This is where you went to "A" school (Avionics) if you were becoming an "AT"
(Avionics Technician)
which I was hoping to become!

I met some really great people here. And had so many fucking laughs that it hurts my gut just thinking about them!

I'm sure you have those sorts of remembrances as well right??
Pretty neat isn't it...
to have such amazing memories
to help drown out the bad ones... LoL

Welcome to the camp
I guess you all know why
we're here...
My name is tommy...
And I became aware this year!! The Who

Stalag 13…… Hogan!

Eventually boot camp ended and we were shipped out to our next destination. And mine would be in a place called Millington Tennessee, the white-trash capital of the south.

I was here to begin my schooling,
for what profession?

C’mon now, say it with me...

That’s correct!

I had about eight months of schooling ahead of me. Oh, boy, sounds like fun huh?

We had to march back and forth to school, everyday. Silly me, I thought there wouldn’t be anymore marching after boot camp.

They made us wear the same uniform, day after day. No, not physically the same one you knuckleheads, but the same type. White shirt, black tie, black pants, along with black shoes.

I was having flashbacks of Friday assembly back in P.S.22 with that fucking May Pole! Oh crap, I hope it gets better than this.
Well, it does.

At first I was assigned to live in the
blue 'n white buildings that housed all of the fresh meat who rolled into town. This was supposed to be a temporary living space
for a month of two before they moved you
over to the permanent housing.

My new home was up on the fourth floor, and it was three guys to a room. Hey, it still sucked, but after living with ninety guys in one big room, this was the fuckin’ Waldorf Astoria, man.

Remember, it could always, and I mean always, be worse. Remember that!

And, within the next couple years, I would come to know, just what worse really was.

But for right now, I had it pretty much made in the shade. You see, my squad leader from boot camp was put in charge of the fourth floor.
My floor!

He shoots, he scores!


So, I got out of a lot of bullshit details, and I missed more musters than I could count.
(((At specific times during the day, if you were on duty, you would have to show up as a group and be present and accounted for.
This was a muster)))

The one exception to that rule of course, was if you were in good with the guy in charge, as I was. Then, the path ahead of you would be covered with lightly scented rose petals.

Aaahhh, so soft!

I was given all of the dainty jobs, if any jobs at all. So, I really couldn’t complain.

The weekends while in Millington were usually spent out at Navy Lake.

Tommy Mondello & John up at Nave Lake Millington, Tennessee 1981
That's me up in the tree doing my best OZZY impersonation... LoL
along with a good friend John L. aka... spaz, up at Navy Lake.
Just look at that fucking water!! It's brown.
The place was just an ordinary kinda park, but we made it come alive
on a weekly basis. They were amazingly fun weekends.
Never laughed so much in my life!

I would get together with a strange assortment of characters, about twenty cases of beer, loud southern rock music, and one Frisbee.

Tommy Mondello & friends Navy Lake Millington, Tennessee 1981
A few others decided to join me in the tree!
Budweiser was the drink of choice.

Lemme tell ya, we had some of the greatest parties up at that stupid lake. There’s no tellin’ how we got back to the damn housing unit some weekends. There’s nuthin’ like hangin’ out with drunken rednecks. Man, those muthafuckers
are out of their minds & awesome!

Tommy Mondello Navy Lake Millington, Tennessee 1981
That's me on the right getting my "redneck" on and that's Gunther on the left.
He was just the coolest fucking redneck there was!
He used to fuckin' bite the labels right off the fucking cans and place them
on the band that ran around his cowboy hat.
Too fuckin' awesome!

But the real fun didn’t start until our section leader was transferred to another station. The building chief left it up to him to assign a new leader for the floor before he left.
Could it be...

He shoots, and scores again.
As he confidently handed the reigns of leadership over to me.

And, oh, how sweet it was.
If you thought I didn't do anything before,
you should’ve seen me now!
I was a delegating muthafucka... muthafucka's!
(Wow... I love that word!)

The name Ozzy had stuck to me like the bug guts hardening on your windshield, and it was only growing stronger since a lot of guys from my boot camp squad were stationed here with me.

Other people soon picked up on the stupid name and off it went, again. But it was great. Guys that were living on the floor prior to my arrival

now had to answer to me.

In the beginning they were kinda pissed off, answering to some new guy named Ozzy. They didn’t know what to think of me at first.

But, I soon eased their pain.

I quickly put into motion an elaborate system of scams and schemes for missing musters, and getting other floors to do our assigned duties. And, pretty much getting anyone

whatever they wanted.

I had our floor running like fucking Stalag 13.

We were a modern day Hogan’s Heroes.
Even Colonel Hogan himself
would’ve been proud of us!

Hogan's Hero's... Welcome To Stalag 13 & the Navy!

The chief that was in charge of our building

was from the Seabees.
((Rough and tough marine's
who built bridges and roads,
in the middle of fucking wars!))

This guy was a no-nonsense,

no bullshit comic strip come to life.

First thing I did as leader was to run right down there to his office and kiss his highly decorated ass with moistened lips. Which was followed by many many incredibly funny war-stories.

A partnership was born!!

We soon had a pretty good repor goin’. I would be in his office everyday at the bargaining table trying to get our floor out of all the shit details, and arrange for us to complete odd, easy jobs, for time off. We would strike up a deal, and I would bring it back to the guys

for their approval.

I was a great leader!

I had the floor running as smooth as silk.

I created an environment that any slacker would be proud to be a part of. I turned the floor into a close knit group that always covered for one another and whose top priority was getting the other floors to do it. Whatever it may be!

But, if one guy fucked up, then they all got fucked. That method of rule seemed to work well. They pretty much governed themselves. And knowing just how good they had it,

no one ever fucked up.

I don’t think I could’ve brought myself to mess with anyone of them anyway. We all had to put up with enough shit from the regular Navy assholes. So there was no need for me

to fuck with them.

Now, this setup in the blue 'n white buildings was only supposed to be a temporary living quarters for the first month or so. Then they shipped you over to the permanent red buildings where you would live for the remainder

of your stay in Millington.

But that directive wasn’t meant for me. Oh, no!

How could I leave such a sweet setup? I had my Seabee friend downstairs continuously pulling strings to keep me here in paradise. It wasn’t any skin off his neck. All he knew was that he never had any problems from the fourth floor. My floor! So, he always did what he could

to keep me there.

It was so funny.

New guys were always filtering in, causing existing fourth floor tenants to be transferred over to the red buildings, but I stayed behind to continue my rule over the land.

I gave the new guys a quick overview of our unique situation, and left it up to the other guys to fill them in on the finer points of living

on the fourth floor.

But of course, as with all good things, someday they must come to an end. Yes, I would have to eventually come back down to earth, and rejoin the real Navy. And, sure enough, that day came.

I was lounging around, overlooking my domain, when I received word that my Seabee friend was being transferred to another station. I knew right then and there that my days were numbered

here in club paradise.

And, as sure as the day is long, not more than one week after we were assigned another building commander, before I could even moisten up my lips, I was transferred

over to the red buildings.

The fourth floor reign was over. But hey, I couldn’t complain. I was there for over five of the eight months while stationed in Millington.

So, I handed the scepter over to a trustworthy warrior, who I knew would continue on with the fourth floor way of life. I quietly made my way over to my new home where I would soon be introduced to Frank Zappa music, and a whole new way of shirking my duties!

Navy life was a continuous cycle. Everything was changing around you on a daily basis. But, thank goodness that there remained a constant while in Millington. And of course, that would have to be those great parties up at Navy Lake!

Many many many thanks go out to the person who invented a cooler that could actually hold twenty cases of cold beer.

Now, that man, is a fucking genius!

My goodbye note from the gang in the red buildings on the day I left for the USS Nimitz
I made some great friends while in the red buildings.
Timmy & Pete said goodbye in green then some of the other guys
wrote things that always made us laugh and that we would
always say around one another... LoL

Like "Bucks on"...
You just couldn't believe how 50 fuckin' guys would gather in the tv room
to watch the show Buck Rogers"... LoL
They would actually shuuush us if we talked during it...
like fuckin' chicks watching a soap! Too funny.

And "Newbee Awaken"... LoLoLoL
My roommate Pete would ALWAYS come in at 2 am drunk as shit
and cry out at the top of his lungs... NEWBIE AWAKEN!"
That was to wake up our brand new roommate Danny...
this ritual lasted my entire stay in the red buildings... LoL

And of course you remember that my nickname of "Ozzy"
followed me from bootcamp

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