Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

Dedicated to Sharing the Heritage of Redwood Empire Railroading

After retirement still into trains and planes.

      I had to retire after 34+ years with the SP/UP bacause of a back injury in 2010. I'm still modeling SP in HO . I have also been maintianing an F-4 Phantom II at our local Air Museum for the past 18 plus years. Before the Railroad I was in the  Air Force and worked the F-4 and F-105s for 6 years.

      Trains have always been in my soul and with the help and support of some great friends I manage to go on in a smaller scale now.


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Comment by Tony Sarganis on May 31, 2013 at 7:31pm

Guy and Gals:  As you go through life time has a way of sort of blocking out all the bad stuff in a way.As far as the Military goes it's the people that make the difference. You either love or hate the job but the people you spend the long hours with become family. I still feel closer to a guy from Tennessee who I spend endless days and  night burried up to my waist in F-4 and 100feet under the South East China Sea with,than I do to most of my family. We are truely brothers and after 40 plus years we still talk atleast once every few weeks.

      The railroad is sorta the same in that you spend many dark rainy days and mostly nights with the same crew each night for years on end, and trust them with your life and their's with you ,without any one saying it . It's just not possible to spend that much time with the same folks for that long and not become attached. So do what you must but always remember the guys and gals who were there with you.

Comment by Chad Gustafson on May 31, 2013 at 7:06am

Way off topic....

I understand the boredom both face, I'm a firefighter and I can vouch for the hours upon hours of just plain boredom for five minutes of pure adrenaline.

 I know that recruiters lie and i've been lucky to know this recruiter, well former, now for many years! Hes helping me out with just what to say when I do enlist, what to get and what to do, another two years or so out. 

Thanks, guys!


Comment by Jordan on May 30, 2013 at 9:20pm

It's not just the Coast Guard that is bored and isolated. Even when you're at war, you spend 95% of the time standing around waiting for something to happen! (Granted, the other 5% is $#!+ in your pants pure terror). Being in the middle of nowhere in the mountains of Afghanistan didn't help with the boredom either.


Remember, the recruiter lies!

Comment by Jeff Thomas on May 30, 2013 at 8:34pm

I am currently part of the 129th Rescue Wing at Moffett Field down in Mountain View.  For all the stories you've heard, there are plenty more (usually the craziest) that just can't be expressed to someone who wasn't there. Army or CG you'll get plenty of your own. I think C.G. would have even more stories, because on a ship it doesn't matter if you're 10 miles off the coast or around the world your still isolated and BORED most of the time, man have we got off topic...

Comment by Chad Gustafson on May 30, 2013 at 8:21pm

I've long thought about being a combat medic, but after hearing some stories i'm not totally sure its for me. In a heart beat I would love to help out our guys hurt around the world, and a goal I have if I go that route is eventually work my way up to flight medic for Dustoff.

The Coast Guard doesn't allow you to choose a job until you've completed seaman rank and then will let you pick your top three as well as top three picks for duty station. Because I'm really helping people oriented, they're aren't a lot of jobs in the Coast Guard I wouldn't like I don't think.

Thanks for your imput, man! Where are you stationed at?

My really good friend and mentor of mine is active duty Infantry, and I absolutely love hearing his deployment stories. 


Comment by Jeff Thomas on May 30, 2013 at 8:16pm

Chad. As a former Army Infantryman and current Air Force mechanic my view is this... there is only one MOS more bada**than Infantry and that's combat medic. The only problem with the C.G. is unlike the army you don't get to choose what you do. Or you move to VA or GA and work the railroad in the Army Reserve.

Comment by Chad Gustafson on May 30, 2013 at 8:03pm

As a future sailor for the US Coast Guard (or a medic for the US Army, haven't really decided yet), I also would like to just say thank you. Veterens and active duty are always saying that they're "just doing what they had to do." But they weren't. You went above and beyond what you had to do, which makes you a hero in my eyes and the eyes of millions of Americans. 

I absolutely love hearing old war stories, even during conflicts and during peace time. Being an avid history buff, to go to old military sites and sitting in old equipment is always thrilling. Pretending you are there on the beach or in the field, brings a weird connection to the history long, long before my time. While most of my friends are out at the movies, my special group of friends and myself are often found at museums and renactments, or even going over our collections of pieces of memorbilia and that kind of thing. (We're huge dorks about this stuff)

Thank you, to all, past, present, and future. 

Comment by Bob Burns on May 30, 2013 at 7:27pm

Tony and jb (and all other Vets) thank YOU for your service to this country. Sorry but I had to say it. Everytime I have a vet as a patient I make a point to thank them for thier service. Some of the WW2 vets are embarrased by it, "we were just doing what we had to do" is the general comment. Also when I have a Navy or Coast Guard Vet I printout their ships histories, photos and present that to them before going off duty. It has really brightened some patients that were having a tough time, plus I get to hear some VERY interesting and historical first hand accounts of things I have only read about. 

Comment by jbriogrande on May 28, 2013 at 10:04pm

 Hey Tony....glad that you are a member of the forum.  The F-4's and 105's saved our tails many times over in Vietnam.  I was in Pleiku, adjacent to the Air Force base at that location.  The Viet Air Force had skyraiders stationed there, and they were positioned with Napalm and 20 Cal.  The F-4's carried an assortment of arsenal.  Camp Holloway, home to the Cobra gunships was nearby and they did a lot of local work as well.  War is Hell.......certainly hope that War will be eliminated from our lives forever one day.  I worked for D&RGW and BN, with a short time on NWP in Willits...

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