Proud to Serve Aboard a Flying School Bus

Proud to Serve Aboard a Flying School Bus

Robert’s enthusiasm and appreciation for serving aboard the KC-130J shines in his words below. He’s today’s #YouAreGovX member, and he served between 2006 and 2010.

Every Marine knows the Marine Corps Hymn and exactly what every word means. So there are some friendly jabs that ground-pounders exchange with the air wingers. But whether they came from Parris Island, San Diego, or Quantico, or anywhere else, we’re all the same thing: Marines.

When people think of the Marine Corps, they think first of the hard-charging men and women on the desert plains of Iraq and in the mountains of Afghanistan of the infantry. As they should. That is what we were made for— originally aboard Naval vessels and later expanding into the multi-faced fighting force that it is known as today. As we evolved from being a part of a Naval crew, probably due to our excellent shooting ability or the fact that with us around, the sailors never got laid when they arrived in port with us aboard, we also expanded our capabilities. Over the years, as technologies advanced, with no better way to bring hate and discontent to our enemies than from raining down hellfire from the heavens AND straight at them from the front, we took to the skies!

There are Marine flyers.

Helicopters, Ospreys, Harriers, and cargo planes. A flying school bus doesn't sound like a chick magnet, but the others cannot hold as much gas as they need to get anywhere of any interest to anybody. They want those cargo planes, they need those cargo planes.

Meet the Marine Corps' KC-130J. The flying gas station, people mover, aerial delivery, battlefield illuminating, grunt dropping, all around get it done aircraft.

I was lucky enough to be an aircrewman, and truly enjoyed my time on this plane. Due to the design and size of the KC-130J, the US military has other options when it comes to moving large amounts of equipment and people at a time, but those planes are not able to land and deliver the same things as the KC-130, so we let the Air Force have those flights. One aspect of the mission of the Marine hauler is to deliver gas and other support for the boys and girls on the ground. If it can fly, we can just about give it gas. The first time that you see a jet, a helicopter, or an Osprey out your window in midair, and it’s practically close enough to almost touch, it blows your mind. The coordination, the skill, the technology, all coming together to simply let a plane fly, and now you are putting two together with a hose and refueling midair. It’s breathtaking.

We may not be the Marines that everybody first thinks of when they hear that word, but we are Marines, and they even put us in the hymn!

From the Halls of Montezuma

To the shores of Tripoli;

We fight our countrys battles

In the air, on land, and sea;

First to fight for right and freedom

And to keep our honor clean;

We are proud to claim the title

Of United States Marine

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