08 May, 2020

Profile 142: AH-1G Cobra as flown by Pat Owen, HML-367

"Do you believe in luck?"

That question can scare the hell out of you.  Based on my experience interviewing people who have been on the crux of life and death, it's also one of the most important questions you can ask.  Of the other and... of yourself.

Have a look above - Pat Owen's Cobra from his Operation Tailwind mission on September 11, 1970 is done.  Soon, it will go to press and sometime after that, hung on a wall.  Or two.

I think it's an Ok job.  I see mistakes but there's just not enough time to get it perfect; I've got an OH-6, another F-105, a C-123, another B-29...

Sometimes I think "the stories never end."  But in reality, they will and though the people I interview faced enemies of flesh and blood, mine (as a history-nerd) is cruelly impersonal— TIME.  I can only do so much with so little.  And though I am extremely blessed to bring these stories to the world, don't rely on me.  You've got to do your part, too.

I'll be blunt.  If you've ever wondered anything about:

• American involvement in Vietnam...
• What it was like to fly in close combat...
• If anything good ever came from evil...
• What makes a good friend...
• The Bell AH-1G helicopter...
• Why the Marine callsign was "Scarface"...
• How CNN screwed up their reputation in 1998...

...you have three choices.

Choice 1:  Disregard and think about something else.

Choice 2:  Read books or watch videos

Choice 3:  Ask someone who was there.

For me?  I've done all three but I can tell you this, Choice 3 is most-often the finest. Nothing teaches "history" like a first-person view.  And, when you get enough, the patchwork of stories turn into a mosaic of reality that's irreplaceable.

On May 16, I'll be interviewing Pat Owen, live, via Zoom.  It's not free - five bucks, with money going to the Distinguished Flying Cross Society (to aid in their effort to keep their stories being told).

It's your chance to hear, first-hand, "what it was like" and all that, unedited, without a particular agenda or storyline.  To me, this is a brilliant way to learn objectively and accurately.  I hope to meet you there, too.

In the meantime, back to that question about "Luck".

What do you think?   I know that I'm going to ask Pat.  

He's pretty lucky.

Or is there more to it...?

Prepare to meet Pat Owen.

Pat Owen, c. 1970, South Vietnam.