Author Topic: Bus accident with U.S. troops  (Read 1504 times)

Offline steve5B

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Bus accident with U.S. troops
« on: March 10, 2008, 06:09:07 AM »
 

  Just heard on NBC that a bus in Rucker, Al turned over with troops on board. Probably from that base. Some were injuried.

 Let's all pray they will be alright.


Steve 5B.
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Offline Busted Knuckle

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Re: Bus accident with U.S. troops
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2008, 09:55:43 AM »
I'm very said to hear about this! It is bad anytime an accident happens, but when their are injuries it makes it that much worse. I have to admit though sometimes those in charge on military moves can really be bullheaded & endanger the lives of the troops and the drivers as well with their attitude! Several yrs back I was on a 5 bus move from Ft. Cambell, KY to Norfolk Virginia's Navel Base (but we all left Ft. Cambell at different times as we were cleared to do so!). It was a planned straight thru trip, where 2 drivers were required per bus to make it legal & safely. I was second shift, and tried to stretch out best I could in the 2 right front seats to try an take a nap. The Sgt. Major on the bus had already complained about me having 2 seats to myself especially those 2 (he wanted to sit in them!), and he was constantly doing anything he could to disturb me! First it was "hey could you put this movie in for us?" (the VCR was on his side above his head!) Then it was "well if all yer gonna do is sleep you should move to the back!" Then it was to personally step forward of the white line to turn the volume up as loud as it would go! (kicking my feet several times both ways!) Then it was "Hey you asleep? When are we gonna stop? When is it yer turn to drive? (all questions he could've asked the driver instead of leaning over my seat and shaking me awake to ask! Especially since I had no idea when Arky was planning to stop! & I was in no hurry to take over the driving anytime soon as I was trying to rest, as I was called at the last minute and asked if I could/would make this run, & I needed to leave right as I hung up the phone to meet the buses at the Flying J near the base) Then once we got to the TN/NC State line NC welcome center on I-40 and Arky pulled in to do the driver swap, he again became an @$# and threw a fit because there was no place to eat. I told him it was not a problem "we will stop where ever your little tiny heart desires. You see where you wanna stop just let me know in time to make the exit!" He said "this is BULL SH**! Y'all shoud've done had this planned, and just made one stop where we could go eat while y'all swapped driver's"! That's when I lost my cool the first time with him! I told him "ya know quite frankly I don't think that you'd been happy with where we picked, and to be honest I'm tired of all your bullsh**! Arky and I are not robots, slaves, or enlisted troops, but rather HUMAN CIVILANS, and we really don't deserve or have to put up with your crap! Now on top of that, this is the first we'd heard anyone request a meal stop, but yes Arky and myself being humans would like to eat also! So if you don't pick a place and pick it fast we'll stop at the next Cracker Barrel I find, since I know they can handle large groups reasonably and have bus parking!"  Whoa boy did he ever sit down and shut up for a minute! Then he did apologize and told me "a Cracker Barrel would be great, so could we find one in maybe an hr or so, not right away!" It was all smooth from then on, and when we stopped at Cracker Barrel some nice older gent payed for the troops meals (about 30 of them on our bus) on his way out with out ever saying a word to them about it. Then the Sgt. Major wanted to pay for Arky and mine and got upset when I told him no Cracker Barrel would "comp us", so he paid for ours (which was nice, but he didn't have too as they feed us for free if we bring in a group!). Anyway after we reloaded the bus he told me "that as far as I am concerned the next stop, was the base!"  I told him unless I absolutely had to go to the bathroom that was fine with me! Well that was in Hickory, NC and by the time we'd gotten to the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area we'd run into a huge snow storm. I had the CB on was listening to the truckers talk about the farther we were headed the worse it got and that NC was talking about shutting down the Interstates. I called the Sgt. Major up to the front and told him what was being said on the CB and that if the roads got too bad we'd be stopping sooner than the base! Oh well so much for the "nice Sgt. Major" again he went off on one of his rampages and told me "now listen here you are hauling US Government Property, and I'm in charge of that property. As long as this bus can go forward, it will go forward. And if we get stuck I'll call the base and they'll get us some help out to wherever we are. This bus does not stop unless I say so and like it or not that is an order!" Well I'm gonna tell ya I didn't like it, and I shouda stopped right then and there. But I kept going, and when Arky woke up and looked out and couldn't see 50 yds in front of us he asked me "why the H*LL are we driving in this crap? We need to find a place to get off the rd, until this blows over!" Oh boy Arky done made somebody mad and again he gave the property speech! Arky just looked at me, and I just kept pushing on! When we got to Norfolk we found out that all 4 of the other buses had stopped back around Greensboro and gotten motels! Oh boy were Arky and I mad. Trust me I did notify the lady at Ft. Cambell that schedules & books all military approved moves from the base and let her know how I felt. She apologized and told me she was sorry, but once I (we/the bus, etc.) left the base the man (or whatever) in charge was in fact in charge! So with idiots like that in charge with that gun-ho attitude, I clearly say that they are a danger to themselves, the troops and the bus driver! Needless to say we do not do any military moves at KY Lakeside Travel (I was driving for a friend) and don't plan too, as a military approved contractor! Now we have hauled some on a last minute charter when they have had trouble locating an approved contractor able to do it. And on those MOVES the DRIVER is the ONE IN CHARGE AND IT IS MADE KNOWN BEFORE THE BUS LEAVES THE SHOP! FWIW ;D  BK  ;D
Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

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Offline JohnEd

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Re: Bus accident with U.S. troops
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2008, 12:59:39 PM »
Dallas,

Great story and a sad one.  In the US Air Force I was given an indoctrination at Basic Training, as are all in every branch I'm sure.  In the AF it is a little different, me thinks.  It was impressed on me that I was obligated to obey every "LAWFUL" order I was given.  That if I obeyed a UN-lawful order I was responsible.  Following a lawful order, the "person of higher rank" was responsible.  The last thing I remember being told ,and his voice was raised, and he took on a forboding tone to say it was, " HUMAN LIFE WILL BE SUBJEGATED TO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING EXCEPT IN TIME OF WAR".  Quietly he added "this doesn't apply to firefighters and pilot rescue personnel".  Many years later my command got an AIRFORCE WIDE ORDER FROM CG USAF.  It read "until further ordered, all Co's will personally verify that the power plug on every floor buffer in their inventory is physically cut/removed and the buffer is SECURED where it cannot be accessed without further authorization by CG USAF".  Seems an Airman was using a floor buffer in a shower to scrub the floor, a common and approved practice, the safety ground prong had been cut away to allow the buffer to be plugged into ungrounded outlets.  Standing on a wet floor with a drain in the middle and using a buffer that had malfunctioned, he was electrocuted.  The follow up order was to have grounded plugs installed on every buffer and the Command Safety Officer had to personally sign off on every TESTED buffer plug.  How would you feel about the USAF valuing human life if your son was an Airman?  Had I been on your bus....as a Staff Sgt and supervisor....I would have asked why the safety of the men was being put at risk and why the USAF was being made liable for all the potential ensuing damage?   At least in my dreams i would like to think I would have done so.  Actually, I made even worse career terminating moves for the safety of my men and got away with it nicely.  We were NOT Marines and they play different and not well with others and God Bless the USMC.  Seems that the CG USAF is sent a highest priority message reporting every death in the Air Force that occurs on duty.  He(CG) responded within minutes of being informed and a couple hours after the fact all plugs had been cut on every buffer that the USAF controled....WORLD WIDE.  I know cause it was my responsibility to cut the two in my squadron and later install the new ones and test them in front of a Captain and sign off the safety red tag as "installer".  Dallas, you find somebody in authority doing something stupid....they are probably "out of line".  Great question I heard many time while serving was "Now just who the F*** ordered that and WHY?".

I loved being in the Military.  Often missed it later but never enuf to ...  Strangers sent drinks to my table and picked up my tab and I always felt appreciated.

Thanks for reminding me of my memories Dallas,

John
« Last Edit: March 11, 2008, 08:48:02 PM by JohnEd »
"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
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Offline Slow Rider

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Re: Bus accident with U.S. troops
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2008, 01:32:00 PM »
Hmm I must have missed a post.  I see Steve's and BK's but not one from Dallas. Maybe John just had Dallas on the brain. :)

Frank
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Offline Busted Knuckle

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Re: Bus accident with U.S. troops
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2008, 02:09:44 PM »
Hmm I must have missed a post.  I see Steve's and BK's but not one from Dallas. Maybe John just had Dallas on the brain. :)

Frank

Well put Frank! LOL! I too wondered, but I imagine you are close to the answer.

Quote from: JohnEd
Great question I heard many time while serving was "Now just who the F*** ordered that and WHY?".
John

JohnEd,
I was really hoping that someone, anyone who was in the NAVY wether enlisted or otherwise would of spoke up and asked that exact question. And Arky sorta did and we were promptly told "we have been deployed in Iraq for 13 months now and we have exactly 9 days before engaging in a new assignment that will last who knows how long, and I'll be d***ed if I'm gonna waste any of it getting home instead of at home!"
But to be honest had the bus ever lost the slightest bit of traction or I'd had any doubt of being in control of it, I'd pulled it off at the nearest place to stop and told him if he wanted to go farther he'd have to steal the bus and do it himself! As it was I was unable to reach Jeff the owner of the bus as he was off in nowhere land in another of his buses too! It was just the Sgt. Majors attitude about the whole thing that PO'd me! I wanted to ask him if attending funnerals and hospitals wasn't a waste of time off, but I figured he would not have gone to them anyway! FWIW ;D  BK  ;D
Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

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Offline akroyaleagle

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Re: Bus accident with U.S. troops
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2008, 05:47:29 PM »
Having been the Supervisor of The Transportation Motor Pool at Ft. Richardson,AK, a commercial pilot and having operated tour and charter buses, I have encountered Military folks with this attitude several times. Civilians can cause problems also.

The Military guys are easy. I have put tour passengers off the bus in the middle of a tour. The law says they must be left where transportation is available. It doesn't say what kind. I have refused to board passengers on aircraft. I have never had to put a Military person off. I have had to explain a few things to them.

Couple of observations come to mind:

What part of "You are in charge of the troops, I am charged with safe operation of the bus" didn't they understand.

Why didn't you drivers stop at the first opportunity and put the Senior Serviceman on the phone with your Supervisor? Cell phones are great for this!

Surely, you had a point of contact where you were taking them to. Why didn't you call them and have them "splain" the rules.

I would have written a simple "After Action report" and had my boss forward it to the Transportation Officer that contracted for the move. That would have resulted in a written policy that future "Senior Members" had to sign for.

When you got your P endorsement you must have read the part that makes YOU responsible for the safety of your passengers. What about the part "Handling the Difficult Passenger"? Doesn't your Operations Manual cover these situations? If not, why not?

I am a retired military officer and can assure you that NO military supervisor is going to cause problems if you are correct and offer to take it to the proper level. The particularly difficult ones understand, "Let's take this to a level that both of us are responsible to." That's the Commanding General.

Most problems can be resolved by being anticipated and handled professionally.

How did this thread get here from a simple post about an accident at Ft. Rucker?


Joe Laird
'78 Eagle
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Offline JohnEd

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Re: Bus accident with U.S. troops
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2008, 10:17:23 PM »
Joe,

I think the thread of the subject turned to "who has the authority to place the troops in harms way".

Dallas (aka BK)

Sorry to get you two guys mixed up.  Just imagine a Dallas/BK "blend". Just what would be the octane rating on that? The mind boggles...at least what is left of it.

Cheers,

John(aka somebody else)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2008, 10:49:14 PM by JohnEd »
"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
—Pla

Offline Busted Knuckle

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Re: Bus accident with U.S. troops
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2008, 11:46:49 AM »
Joe,

I think the thread of the subject turned to "who has the authority to place the troops in harms way".

Dallas (aka BK)

Sorry to get you two guys mixed up.  Just imagine a Dallas/BK "blend". Just what would be the octane rating on that? The mind boggles...at least what is left of it.
Cheers,

John(aka somebody else)

No Harm here John,
I been called lots worse than that before, and I'd guess he has too! LOL!
;D  BK  ;D
Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

;D Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! ;D (at least thats what momma always told me! ;D)