Posted by: cranky | June 8, 2008


The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) has an article about a HAM radio operator, currently stationed in Iraq, who is trying to get military families to send Fathers’ Day messages to troops stationed in Iraq.  The messages are MARSgrams.  MARS is the Military Affiliated Radio System.  These messages can be sent at any time, for any occassion, to deployed troops.  Each branch of the military has affiliated HAM operators who will work to get messages to the troops.

If you know of any  military family who has a father deployed please let them know about this service.

Army MARS sites — those with a red envelope are capable of handling MARSgrams via the Web.

Navy and Marine Corps MARS site

Air Force MARS site — good luck finding that.

I spent over 20 years in the Air Force and therefore believe I can criticize the Air Force.  All of the computing capacity the Air Force has and they can’t come up with a one page web site providing links to Air Force MARS sites?  That’s pathetic.  The Air Force MARS participants are organized in regions.  Google it.  Fucking Air Force, always operating on assumptions that certain things, like electricity, will alway be available and would never be disrupted.  I see that old stovepipe is still in place and continuing to be nonfunctioning.



  1. Back before ship’s had the bandwidth to allow email. We lived by MARSGRAMS and the MARS radio/telephone hookups. The aircraft carriers had a MARS shack and 2 or 3 operators.

  2. Chief, I’m still in that criticizing the Air Force mode. Back in the 1980s, when we would be working up plans for dealing with a Warsaw Pact attack we’d have these geniuses tell us we needed to pack up some electric typewriters so forms could be filled out. I did ask one of these walking turds how well did he think the electric typewriters would operate without electricity? Some other genius said we had to make sure we had plenty of leave forms for when the war started. Did he think we’d be authorizing a lot of leaves while the SCUDS were coming in and the T-72s were rolling across the northern German plains?

    I mean, jeebbus on a crutch, but we had some oblivious bastards in positions of authority. One friend told me, in all seriousness, that he was going to enforce uniform standards so that no one was wearing unauthorized long underwear (any color other than white) if we were at war. I told him he would be shot dead within 24 hours of pulling that shit and that I’d probably shoot him myself if no one else got him first.

    MSgt Cranky’s Rules of War:

    1. Don’t count on any of the stuff you were counting on.

    2. No one goes on leave.

    3. Fuck filling out forms.

    4. Electricity, fuel, water, and food will be problematic. Plan accordingly.

    5. Have your shit together.

    6. If you can’t carry it on you and still be able to move, you probably don’t need it.

    7. Know where the fuck you are, know where the bad guys are, know how to get to the bad guys, and know how to get away from the bad guys.

    8. If you’re choosing between carrying your favorite book or more ammunition, choose the ammunition.

    9. Take care of your people. Leave no one behind.

    10. NCOs eat and sleep after everyone else has eaten and slept.

    11. Hit and kill what you shoot at. Do not leave a wounded enemy behind you as you advance, it is called a security round for a reason. Head shot.

  3. cranky – I loved it when the USAF brought a “detachment into Sigonella for two weeks! They brought more crap than we had for three times the airplanes for six months!

  4. Our squadron used to periodically deploy to Sigonella for dissimilar air combat training (DACT). In fact, our pilots once caused a minor international incident there by messing up (that’s putting it lightly) the Italian Officers Club. The Italian commander sent a letter with photographs to our commander, in Italian, and we had to hire an Italian interpreter in Holland to translate. The Italian wasn’t happy.

  5. These were two of McNamara’s Switchblade Edsels

  6. Mine would have been F-15s. I’m guessing they were Lakenheath’s or Upper Heyford’s birds if they were F-111s, which are loud as fuck when they light the ABs and a violet colored flame instead of an orange. And they’re loud without the afterburners. You know what is loud, in a painful way? F-16s. Hurts my ears.

  7. The RA-5C (Vigilante) was loud. Now I think the F/A-18F is the Navy’s loudest bird now.

    When I was at RAF Mildenhall, nothing was louder than the Blackbird. And the diamond-tipped exhaust from the A/B was awesome!

  8. F-111 pilots flying radar guided 100ft AGL in the mountains have huge brass ones. I think there were windscreens they engaged that blacked them out — they couldn’t get a visual reference and became completely reliant on the terrain avoidance radar and computer. Ah, fuck that.

    Had friends at 3rd Air Force at Mildenhall. They liked it a lot.

  9. Great little village, Mildenhall. Only one problem. . . when I was stationed there, there was an elastic shortage that affected the college girls in Cambridge. If you patted them on the head, their underwear would fall off!

  10. Chief, that doesn’t sound like a problem.

  11. Yeah, well my first wife thought it was!!! 😀

  12. Cranky is a left-wing kook!!

    I was trolling at Raw Story and on the thread about Dennis “Take Me To Your Leader” Kucinich trying to impeach Bush, I found this comment:


    Dennis Kucinich is my hero.

    Cranky | Homepage | 06.11.08 – 3:02 am
    Direct link to this comment


  13. I’m also carrying Fred Phelps love child, I’m a vampire (note the hour of the post), and I drive number 666 in the NASCAR Busch series and Kyle Busch is my bitch.

  14. wow cranky, that’s hawt

  15. The morning sickness is a bitch though and I can’t see my feet anymore.

    Right now it is actually raining in Montgomery with a lot of lightning. Like the rain — something we haven’t had much of lately, don’t care for the lightning. I live on one of the highest points in the city and every tree around my house has been hit; I’ve lost VCRs, phones, and radios to lightning.

    And I’ve got two dogs that need to go out and one, who is mostly deaf now, who went out anyway and even she noted the thunder. She had to go badly so out Samantha went. Scared me to death.

    Kyle Busch sucks.

  16. My dog won’t go out when it rains, but will jump in any pool, pond, creek, or puddle out there.

  17. Two of mine love water, the part Labrador retriever is not a big fan. The Goldens will lay down in the pool and stick their heads under the water.

    This morning I found the two young ones digging a hole where I’m trying to grow grass. The dirt was wet. Mud.


    • I was looking for Acord 25 yesterday and was informed of an online service with a lot of sample forms . If people have been needing Acord 25 too , here’s a

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