|Minuteman Missile National Historic Site somewhere out on the prairie of South Dakota, just off I-80|
The very next day after my flight home from the Land of Surf and Palms, Beloved and I packed up our car and drove to South Dakota.
I would give the state a cute pseudonym like I did for my earlier travels, but with this post I'm promoting a National Park attraction you might want to visit, so nuthin' but the truth, okay?
Back in the days when Beloved and I were still newlyweds and he was a handsome Second Lieutenant (I love a man in a uniform!!), Uncle Sam sent him to his first assignment just east of the Black Hills and north of the Badlands.
|8-ton steel and concrete blast door at the underground entrance to one of the launch control facilities|
The job was both interesting and dull. After a summers-worth of training at an Air Force base in Southern California, Beloved spent four years in this underground place, ready to launch Minuteman missiles toward the enemy if his Commander-in-Chief ordered it.
Thankfully, my guy and his co-workers never had to launch a missile, so after they completed the usual check list-type work, he was able to study and earn two masters degrees while sitting 30 feet underground.
|post card of the many the launch control centers in our nation's upper western states|
I need to tell you that I'm not divulging any national secrets as I post these pictures. Back in the Cold War Era, I got to see none of this. Beloved would come home from his "alerts" (time spent out in the field several times a month) and I had to just visualize with my imagination what he was talking about. But now this is open for public view and it's an important part of our nation's history.
|Beloved points to the very chair he occupied as a deputy|
It was a genuine thrill for both of us to go on this free tour that is now sponsored by the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Our tour guide was also a former missile launch officer from the years we were there, so he and my husband had a great time trading stories. He even offered him a volunteer job as a tour guide, but Beloved had to turn it down due to the 8-hour driving commute from our current home.
|a Minuteman Missile is positioned under the roof structure out on the South Dakota prairie|
At the end of the guided tour, we drove a few miles farther into the wide open prairie to where one of the [now disabled] Minuteman Missiles still rests in its underground silo.
|post card of the missile silo|
I was struck with the thought of how much this location looks like something from the movies -- just driving by I would never know the gravity of the equipment positioned underneath that greenhouse-looking thing!
|post card of a Minuteman Missile in its silo|
I took my own version of this picture, but the post card has no glare and just shows it off better. But believe-you-me, it's pretty dramatic to be nearly nose-to-nose with a weapon of this magnitude.
The one thing that I carried away with me as we completed this tour was the awesomeness of the job entrusted to my young husband while I was in town with our babies, hanging pictures and sewing pretties for our home.
If you would like to visit the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, click on this link:
It is located on Interstate 80, east of Rapid City, South Dakota, east of Wall Drug, and north of Badlands National Park -- all interesting places to visit.