(Mark Adams thoughts immediately after finding out Escott Birnel and Sam Nava made MSgt) 6/27/2002
Ahhhh, yes. The salad days. I remember when Lee was a TSgt and he
practically ran the unit anyway. I was working for Lee as a temp hire in
mission management, and he foisted on me the old Staff Sergeant stripes. He
did that thing where he made you think you screwed something up royal, and
then came with the "stripes" punch line. Cruel Lee....
I remember my flight chief was Hector Romero. He was a TSgt. Let me
declare with no uncertainty, that as a TSgt I never bore the responsibility
that Hector had back in the day. He had a dozen or fifteen people working
for him, with a couple of staffs to help and a pile of airman. Harry was my
supervisor. Harry always imparted to me his great pearls of wisdom. Harry
was like the 1983 Toyota four wheel drive pick-up... It was getting kind of
wore down from wear, but it would still pull like a sonofabitch when the
accelerator was engaged.
I remember to this day the time someone hurled a water balloon that fell
short of Eric Wolf's blue Dodge Daytona. The water from the splash (direct
from the third floor) excited some pebbles near Eric's buggy and they
tinkled off the electric blue paint. Eric was gonna have somebody's ass and
came marching up to the third floor. About six or eight of us ran into the
attic staircase and listened to Eric pound on people's doors trying to get
them to come outside. We even watched him double time by the entrance to
the stairwell, but he never looked up to where we were sitting. I think it
took him two or three days to calm down from that one.
Eric bought that little car new, and I would bet that it is sitting in a
Cam McKinnon had a little Suzuki Samurai hard top, possibly the ultimate
Panama cruiser. Ole Cam was a cop in Jacksonville last time I saw him.
Mike Homlund and Luz Arellano would be drinking Beer and Clamato, "red eyes"
Mike would call them. I couldn't see mixing seafood and beer, so I just
drank beer. Mike and Luz would always be listening to music until the wee
hours, and I always knew, because I lived next door. Hard to quantify those
days, however. We were all young and carefree (relatively speaking). We
could all make our bills, and we didn't have a house note or anything like
that. Just Pura Vida.
I remember the night Norm Comoglio had to tackle Eric Wolf. If there was a
ever a dorm confrontation, many times it was someone keeping Eric Wolf from
pounding Cory Box into oblivion. Most of the time Eric and Cory could be
seen hanging out together, and Eric, once a month, would want to kill Cory
for something he said or did.
They reminded me of brothers, which we all were at the 33rd.