Sunday, March 3, 2013

If the Flightline is Closed Down, that means We can Cross Over it!

One of my fondest memories of living in Italy, were the twice yearly bazaars on the base. Artisans from all over Europe would come with their beautiful crafts, delicious food and fantastic wines! The last bazaar that the kids and I attended was not a disappointment. The kids roamed freely enjoying everything just as much as I did. Rose even got the handcrafted German wooden sword that she had been dreaming of with every bazaar.  Now 14, Rose has quite the collection ranging from Nerf guns and light sabers, to hand crafted swords, to include the most coveted sword of Inuasha!

The girls and I were ready to go home. My son, Alex was going to stay and hang out with his friend, Alex and maybe go to the movies. The other Alex's family would bring my Alex home. Not long after the girls and I arrived home ( it was a Sunday), I received a phone call from the Base Security Police. Apparently Alex and Alex were picked up after they crossed the flightline. The flightline encompasses the military "airport," to include the various hangers, runways, etc. Twice a year on the weekend, the flightline is closed down as this is where the bazaars are held. Obviously, planes cannot be landing and taking off and taxing when there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of people milling around from hanger to hanger, so what is the problem then with taking a stroll through it?

Apparently Alex and Alex decided to cut across the flightline on their way to the movies. This made sense to me as if they cut across the flightline, they saved on a lot of walking! When the SP told me why the boys were picked-up, in all honesty, I did not think it was a big deal. I am sure you have an idea where this is going if you have read my other posts. I ask you, why would this be a problem if the flightline is closed in the first place?! I asked the SP if it would be okay to release my Alex to the dad of the other Alex. He thought this would be a good idea and laughed at how the boys were going to get theirs as Alex's dad was a First Seargent. Seriously, I thought to myself, not really, but if you feel better thinking this, go ahead.

I need to explain now exactly what happened when the boys crossed the flightline. Now, in their mind, it was okay to do so...after all, the flightline was closed down and quite a few of their friends had taken a stroll through it during the weekend as well without incident. Once they got to the other side of the flightline, they were met by the Carabinieri.  The other Alex spoke Italian well, so he conversed with them. Basically, the boys were told not to cross the flightline again, and they were sent on their way. Unfortunately, it does not end never does. As the boys got farther along on their journey, out of no where comes at least three security police vehicles, which proceed to  surround them. Frankly, the boys were lucky that they were not thrown to the ground and cuffed. As it was, they were detained for all to see as the Bazaar was emptying out. Oh yes, the boys were quite the talk of Aviano Middle and High School the next day.

So now, Alex is dropped off at home.  I run out to speak with the other Alex's dad without hubby. I mused that he had enough on his mind (Aviano was and is a high ops tempo base), and really this was no big deal...what the man does not know, will not hurt him, or so I thought!

The next day, the man forwards me an email. The email started with the security police blotter report that ends up on the General's desk. Guess what incident showed up on the blotter? From there, it only gets better as it is forwarded on down the Chain of Command to the MSG Commander then on down to the CE Commander and finally to my husband! In every message going down the line, each typed a little note for my hubby. I know what you are thinking...not good for the hubby (for those who are not familiar with the military, it is a fact of life that anything that the Active Duty Member's family does, especially negative, will reflect on the AD member and normally not in a good way), but thank goodness all of these Commanders knew the man and not only liked him, but also knew what an asset he was to Aviano and the Air Force. Phew! I still have that blasted email sitting in my inbox as a reminder that even the USAF has police blotters!

After almost 6 years since this incident occurred, I believe the man can now chuckle about it.

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