Memorial Day and why I hate communists

Today is Memorial Day, the one day a year we officially recognize the ultimate sacrifice many, too many, military men and women have paid in service to our country. I spent over nine years in the United States Air Force, and in that time, I personally knew only one person who paid that ultimate price.

His name was Sergeant Randy Davis. I served with him at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. We were in the same squadron, the 3rd Component Repair Squadron (3rd CRS). I was in the Electronic Warfare shop, Randy worked in the Egress shop. His was a member of the group responsible for working on and maintaining the Martin-Baker ejection seats found in the F-4E and F-4G Phantom aircraft. We both worked the flight-line, directly on the aircraft. There was an electronic warfare display screen found in the aft cockpit of the F-4G Wild Weasel that had to be removed when the forward cockpit ejection seat was removed. The old F-4 was like that: to remove one thing, you often had to first remove two other things.

Because of this fact, I often found myself working on the same aircraft as Randy. I would remove the display, so he and his co-workers could remove the front seat.

3rd CRS dormitory, Clark Air Base, Philippines (photo: Tim Tuttle)

The day Randy was killed was October 28, 1987. I spoke to him shortly before he was killed. It was late afternoon. He had stopped by the snack bar at the 3rd CRS dormitory to show us his airline tickets back to the world. He was scheduled to leave Clark AB for an assignment in the states. I don’t remember when he was scheduled to leave, but it must have been fairly soon because he wouldn’t have been given hard-copy airline tickets otherwise. Randy was married to a local girl, and they had at least one child. Because of that, he didn’t live in the dorms with us but instead lived off-base in a rented house.

Getting your airline tickets back to the states was a very big deal when stationed in the Philippines. It was a monumental occasion. Most people stationed in the Philippines looked forward to the day they were able to leave, and Randy was no exception. When Randy showed me his tickets, I’ll never forget what I said to him: I called him a dick. I was laughing when I said it and I’m certain he knew I was happy for him and more than a little envious, but the fact remains that the last thing I ever said to him was that he was a dick because he was going to leave the Philippines and I wasn’t.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve thought of that day and wished I hadn’t said that to him.

Randy left the snack bar and headed home. It turned out, when he stepped off a public jeepney, an elongated jeep used as public transportation, three members of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, approached Randy from behind and shot him in the head, killing him instantly. Randy was unarmed and he was shot from behind. The three cowards then continued to shoot him as a lay dead on the ground.

Randy wasn’t the only one killed that afternoon. A retired American and another active duty airman were also assassinated that same day. I didn’t know them, but I did know Randy. I also know he didn’t deserve what happened to him.

He was a really nice guy with a good heart. He was most definitely not a dick.

I wish I knew what happened to the communists who murdered Randy. Ronald Reagan, president at the time, didn’t respond to the attacks. Instead, he left the matter up to the Philippine government. They didn’t do anything.

In 2007, members of the NPA were officially given amnesty by the Philippine government. Of all the things those terrorist scum deserved, amnesty was not one of them.

I hate Communists

Although there are people who have a misguided, nostalgic appreciation for all things communist, I’m not one of them. When I see some stupid hipster wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt, I want to punch them in the throat. Something tells me that if communists murdered one of their friends, a sweet man like Randy Davis, they wouldn’t wear a t-shirt glorifying communists.

On this Memorial Day, I’m going to remember the sacrifice of United States Air Force Sergeant Randy Davis, a good man shot in the back of the head because of the uniform he was wearing.

May Randy Davis rest in peace and his killers rot in Hell.

Author: Rick Rottman

This is my personal blog. It's where I write about things when I feel like it.

2 thoughts on “Memorial Day and why I hate communists”

  1. Hello Rick,
    I just wanted to comment on your post about Randy Davis. Randy was also a friend of mine. I got to know Randy as the Time Compliance Tech Order (TCTO) administrator in the 3rd TFW working for the wing commander. Whenever, a TCTO came out on the egress system, Randy would be the one coming up to wing and I’d give him the information about the order and so on and take it back an make sure the work was done on all the aircraft involved. On the F-4, that happened on a regular basis. We weren’t personal friends in that we hung out or anything like that but we talked often in fact many times we were on the bus together going home after work. I would get off at friendship gate and he would go on to the main gate to go home. I also saw him that day and although I don’t remember seeing his going back to the world airline tickets, he did mention them to me.
    I don’t know if you remember, but one of the saddest things was Randy was supposed to had already been gone from the PI. As I remember he had to extend about month or so to resolve some issues with shipping his car back to the states.
    As you stated, Randy was one of the nicest guys you ever want to meet. I think about him often and that fateful day which I will never be able to forget. I never knew what happened with his wife and child and hope that they have survived and prospered since his death. Anyway, thanks for your post.

  2. Hello Rick,
    I can’t believe I found this on Memorial day. Listening to Dennis Prager and remembering the only American I know who died serving our country. I remember him coming to the 3rd CRS corrosion control shop to pick up spray paint now and again. I also remember when he was murdered. No one was a nicer man than Randy. Thank you for posting this, everyone lives forever in our memory.

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