Thread: Going Deaf
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Old September 6, 2012, 04:08 PM   #26
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Join Date: June 9, 2011
Location: "In the swamps of Montana" with the gators
Posts: 84
re hearing loss in warzones

I went into the USAF in 70.

Between 70 - 71, my assigned base was the first to get the massive C-5 Galaxys. Little did we know, that having the new 'erector set' loading ramps located near the warehouse facilities, would create such a noise level. You figure, four large jet engines at idle, whining away, while the plane was unloaded/loaded, and then as it moved from tarmac to runway, we were in the line of sight of the back of the engines.

Between 71 -74, I was assigned to a land-based B-52 base in SouthEast Asia. (this was before Diego Garcia was finished.) Not only were there my regular assigned duties, as running aircraft parts to all the maintenance areas across the base, but also times where I was issued a Model 15 and a radio, and placed at the perimeter. Sometimes that was more exciting than going to the off-limits bars, downtown! Off-duty, there was always a competition between attempting to hear the movie at the outdoor theater, and the B-52's as they took off from the end of the runway 150 yards distance.

Last and foremost, between 76 - 80, running a radar maintenance shack for 80 Aircraft, with the appropriate screaming mini-jet engine-powerplant for the test equipment and aircraft just yards away.

Now ... there is the usual tinnitus reminder, a hearing loss - bass one ear, tenor the other, and most car noises go unheard, as do whispers from the voice that you wish you could hear the whispers! Hearing aids bring all the noise to life, too much for my liking, but they still don't work with a smartphone! Sounds like the phone melting after a nuclear attack in the movie FailSafe.
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