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In a city under siege, the mayor is pleading to stop the bombing.

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Doglips, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. Doglips

    Doglips G&G Newbie

    Airforce vs Texas.....guess you all look a lot like afganastan :)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Posted on Sat, Jul. 27, 2002

    Monahans wants out of bomb sights
    Bud Kennedy COMMENTARY

    In a city under siege, the mayor is pleading to stop the bombing.


    "Stop aiming for us! There's no al Qaeda here!" Mayor David Cutbirth begged Thursday from the latest accidental target in the war on terrorism: Monahans, Texas.


    A U.S. fighter jet scored a direct hit July 16 on a family home in the far West Texas town of Monahans. The dummy bomb crashed through the roof and wrecked a teen-age girl's bedroom closet.


    Sarah Tarin, 17, survived. She mourns the loss of 22 pairs of shoes.


    Another family member was missing for two days and feared lost. Miss Kitty finally emerged from under a bed.


    "Folks here support the military," Ward County Judge Sam Massey said. "But when bombs drop on us - that's where we draw the line." In the middle of nowhere near the Texas-New Mexico border, an Air Force stealth fighter managed to zero in on three towns.


    About a half-hour after the midafternoon raid in Monahans, another 25-pound practice bomb blew a hole six feet deep in a yard three blocks west of the Pecos city hall.


    The third bomb cracked a hole in U.S. 82 near homes in Maljamar, N.M., west of Hobbs.


    "If they're using our cities for target practice, as mayor, I want them to stop," Cutbirth said.


    The F-117A Nighthawk fighter is based at Holloman Air Force Base in nearby Alamogordo, N.M. A base spokeswoman said the pilot was on a practice run aiming at nearby targets and had no idea he was dropping dummy bombs.


    Monahans and Pecos have not yet decided whether to launch a counterattack against Alamogordo.


    "Do we look like the enemy?" asked Cutbirth, laughing.


    I don't know.


    All Sarah Tarin knows is that she lost all her Nikes, all her Adidases and all her Doc Martens.


    The Monahans High School homecoming mum on her bedroom wall is covered in soot and dust. So are the ballet shoes that she hopes to wear into a career as a dance choreographer.


    "My whole room is a disaster!" she said in a peeved tone by phone from her grandparents' house.


    The damaged home on Gary Street belongs to her mother, Gloria Aker, 35. Aker was in the living room with Sarah and was on the phone when something tore through the bathroom ceiling and bedroom wall, sending dust and dirt billowing throughout the three-bedroom house.


    A son, Andrew Aker, 9, had gone to his bedroom for a coloring book.


    "It sounded like an explosion, and my neighbor thought he saw lightning," Gloria Aker said. "But there wasn't a cloud in the sky."


    Folks in Monahans are accustomed to blasts from the blue. Four years ago, a meteor crashed into a city park.


    So Aker, police and TV reporters thought they would find a meteor in the 4-foot-deep furrow beneath the concrete foundation in Sarah's closet.


    Then the Air Force called City Hall to ask if anyone had seen a missing dummy bomb.


    "Something is always falling from the sky around here," Sarah said.


    "It's, like, we're a magnet or something."


    The crash scared Miss Kitty, one of Gloria Aker's two cats, away from nursing three kittens. The other cat, Bebe, turned up right away. The family took turns bottle-feeding the kittens until Miss Kitty crept out from under Andrew's bed.


    "She was freaking out," Gloria Aker said.


    "She's still nervous. The kids aren't sleeping. I'm still nervous.


    "I want to know when somebody is going to fix my house."


    Air Force officials expressed "apologies and regret" to all three towns, according to a Holloman news release. The pilot is suspended pending an investigation.


    The government will pay to fix Aker's house and also the front yard of Evarista Mora, 31, of Pecos.


    That dummy bomb dug a hole that was described in the local newspaper, the Pecos Enterprise, as "the size of a Pecos cantaloupe."


    At the Alamogordo headquarters of the 49th Fighter Wing, Brig. Gen. Marc "Buck" Rogers said pilots routinely take aim on city targets for practice, but not to drop dummy bombs.


    Otherwise, the bombing run was "perfectly executed," he told reporters.


    I'm glad to hear that nothing went wrong. Otherwise, Sarah might need more than shoes.


    Her new fall wardrobe in Monahans should probably include a fashionable safety helmet. Plus one for Miss Kitty.


    Bud Kennedy's column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. (817) 390-7538 budk@star-telegram

    :jet:
     
  2. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist

    What can be done to avoid those kinds of mistakes? By pure chance the girl, and those close to her bedroom in Monahans, weren't killed.

    Military planes shouldn't be practicing bombing over population centers.:nod:
     

  3. wes

    wes G&G Newbie

    Wonder if there is a "warning" on the bomb that it may be dangerous to your health.
     
  4. BOMB RUNS

    WHEN I WAS IN SAC WE WERE ALWAYS MAKING BOMB RUNS ON ALL SORTS OF TARGETS. CITY, TOWN, DAMS, ROADS, BRIDGES, YOU NAME IT. THE SIMULATED DROPS WERE SCORED BY RBS GROUND STATIONS. WE DID NOT DROP OR CARRY PRACTICE BOMBS EXCEPT WHEN USING THE BOMB RANGES. HOWEVER MURPHY IS ALIVE AND WELL AND ALWAYS LOOKING TO GRAB YOU IN A BAD CHOICE.

    DANA
     
  5. BenP

    BenP G&G Newbie

    Maybe they oughta target bldgs on the AFB, like the general's quaters, or the Jet fuel tanks. What's the difference, you make an approach, acquire the target, push the button.
     
  6. NRAJOE

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

    Ben P, I like the picture of yourself...nice hair man!:p
     
  7. Nah

    Holy mackeral!!!

    I can just see that,or maybe they should write this on the bombs, "If found please return to USAF, Alamogordo Texas."

    That is almost as funny as this line, "Then the Air Force called City Hall to ask if anyone had seen a missing dummy bomb."

    I'm gonna be moving to Texas to sell bomb shelters.

    :nod: :nod: :nod: :nod:
     
  8. By the way Ben.....

    Where'd ya get the picture of my mother in law???