Posted: 7/13/2018 1:47:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2T2_Crash]
I've been holding out on you guys, I started writing a fiction piece about a year ago, posting it on another forum. I didn't post it anywhere else just for simplicity.
I've read some great stories here, and time to give back. I'm going to copy and paste bit by bit to make you guys take it in slowly.
It's based off real people and their personalities with some changes in service locations and other small shit, the majority are Veterans.
*WARNING* there will be a fair amount of foul language and will read like a bunch of military are talking though I have cleaned up a LOT out of what our real conversations sound like.
What a beautiful night it was in the Pacific Northwest, mid-summer, clear skies and a comfortable 65 degrees out. It was another get-together with the family veterans: my brother Jake and cousin Corey the Marines, Brad the Army grunt and then my wife Raquel and I… the Zoomies, or Air Force Veterans. We were the current generation of warfighters from a line that boasted military service during the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and the four of us in either Iraq or Afghanistan… or both. All made it home after their different wars. I don’t know what it was about our bloodline, just blessed I guess. Papa was infantry in WWII and fought
across Europe and I wish he was alive today to share in the stories around camp fires, but cancer is a bitch… fuck cancer.
“Jim what the fuck are you doing? Play a fucking card!” Corey interrupting my thoughts, but I was holding up the game.
Corey was 35, stocky with short cropped hair, a sandy colored beard and the shortest of us at 5’8”. He had served four years as a Combat Engineer in the Marines, with a deployment under his belt where he had spent much of his time sweeping roadways with a mine detector. He had the shortest temper of us all, and when push came to shove he brawled with reckless abandon that could get you punched on accident if you were trying to help even the odds in a fight. He was also quick to laugh and have a good time and like the rest of us he had a twisted sense of humor that gets developed when you join the military and spend way too much time facing possible death.
Jake was two years younger than me, with brown hair, brown eyes and a squared off jaw. He was the tallest of us three brothers, standing at 6’2” and 200lbs. He had enlisted right after graduating high school, joining the Marines as well. He had been a helicopter Avionics tech, working on Hueys and Cobras. He spent nine years in the USMC with a tour to Iraq and two to Afghanistan. Generally he was pretty reserved and wore a facial look that most took for a scowl but when people got to know us brothers they just realized it was something we all did. It was unintentional but gave off a “Don’t mess with me” look.
Brad was the youngest at 30, 6 foot even and a thin 175lbs of lean muscle. He had gone to college and gotten a BS in Information Technology and Security, then much to our dismay he Enlisted in the Army… as an Infantryman. He’s ten years younger than I am and tends to be withdrawn and quiet, always appearing to be deep in thought but I guess that is what happens when you spend a year in combat overseas. He had deployed to Afghanistan late in the war when we had decided to take the gloves off and fight ISIS rather than stay within the confines of the base walls. Though we tried to get information out of him and help him talk through some of the things that might be haunting him he rarely gave us much. What he did do was give the rest of us tips on shooting as well as teach us some of what he had learned while in the Army, it was fun.
And then there’s me. The oldest, shortest at 5’10” and definitely the one with the least hair and fattest. I had joined the Air Force a year after graduating high school and gone into Logistics loading cargo onto planes. After 13 years of pushing heavy equipment onto planes took its toll on my body I had gotten out, you can’t be useful if your back and knees are busted up and you can’t pass a fitness test anymore. I had 4 deployments under my belt, but only one “real deployment” according the other guys. Jake and I had been in Iraq at the same time, just at different bases. I can’t complain though, the USAF is where I met my wife Raquel, she had been in the same career I was in but she had been medically discharged after a pretty bad fall that damaged her back. She was a 5’2” Filipina that had enlisted alongside her brother right after they had moved to America. She had a temper that would impress a redheaded woman and was smart as hell. How I managed to grab her attention I don’t know but I knew I was blessed for it.
The card game… We were playing an old card game called FUBAR. A game made by veterans similar to Cards Against Humanity where each player held cards with different ridiculous things on them that were funny as hell if you understood the original context, or weird and deranged if you didn’t.
I threw my card down. “Here you go, you fucks!”
My wife had laid out the topic card and proceeded to shuffle then read out loud the cards we had turned in. “The topic is Why I punched that Afghan. The cards are: Discovering the coffee maker is broken, HEH… a Care package full of dildos. Drinking before noon, that is so you Corey… aaaand. Accidentally putting on your jizz sock… what the hell is a Jizz Sock?”
Everyone fell out laughing except for Raquel of course. Brad had to run to the bathroom before he pissed himself, Jake looked like he was having a seizure and Corey was laughing so hard he was crying, meanwhile I was having trouble breathing from laughing so hard. “Babe… a Jizz sock. Deployed. Masturbating.”
“EW!” Raquel had a disgusted look on her face for half a second. “The coffee maker wins it!”
“I thought I had that with the sock”
Brad had just stepped back outside “Booya bitches! I won the round and the game!”
I looked around, “Want to play again?” My wife shook her head no and yawned. “I’m going to sleep. Nobody drives home tonight since you are all drunk as hell and if anyone wakes me or the kids up I have my 9 in the room.”
It was a few hours after Raquel had gone to bed and we had wisely relocated to my garage to stare at my Jeep and BS about something near and dear to us: Guns. We all had our different tastes. I liked old stuff, WWII. Jake just wanted magazine fed and topped with an ACOG, Brad loved his AR platforms and suppressors. Corey was spur of the moment with what he thought was interesting at the time of purchase.
Corey had been moving towards my safe so I knew what was coming next. “Jim let’s see your new toy… I know you got it finally and I haven’t seen it.”
Everyone had stopped drinking an hour ago and had switched to water, so I figured “what the hell, why not?” I dialed in the combo and opened the door to reveal a safe jam packed with guns, ammo and other crap I had collected over the years. Front and center stood my newest addition… a Semi-Auto M1919A4 Browning machine gun.
Jake sat back and laughed “and you say I buy stupid shit… what in the fuck are you going to do with a semi-auto belt fed that weighs a fucking ton?”
I looked at him with a smile “Shoot Bambi… duh!”
While I had been going back and forth with Jake, Brad had Corey had lugged out the Browning and laid it out on my work bench. They had the bipod extended, top cover open and were going through it muttering to each other. Brad looked up at me and smiled “When are we shooting this fucker?”
They all looked at me expectantly and I sighed. “We’ll have to go out to one of the forests, I don’t feel like hearing the range masters bitch and give their opinion on what I should be able to own… oh and you assholes better bring some of your .308 because it’s not all coming out of my reloads”. Though it was still legal to own the “assault weapons” and my Browning the political tides were changing in the area. Liberal progressives had continued to flood the PNW and push their views into politics. Taxes on non “Eco-Friendly” vehicles had tripled, diesel fuel had hit a disgusting $5 per gallon, cities like Seattle had all but banned gun ranges and stores as well as elect politicians who belonged to the no-shit Communist party. We all hated it but when you have solid jobs and family all around you it is hard to up and move to another state.
It had been a few weeks since we had all gotten together for cards and drinks. We had gone out to the forest and messed around with our guns but it was just for a few hours. Brad had taught us how to add the MG into the mix with some of our squad movements, it was a nice relaxing time.
I was at home flipping through the local news stations when an alert caught my eye.
KING5 NEWS: “The President has just passed into law I-781 which bans all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines and other feeding devices in excess of 5 rounds. Additionally the private ownership of more than 25 rounds of ammunition of any caliber is deemed a threat to local and national security. Local and Federal law enforcement agencies will establish collection points as well as conduct house to house visits for firearms turn in.”
I sat in shock and stared at my television. The political nature in the US had been divided severely and it seemed as both parties took turns putting forth candidates that leaned more and more towards the outer fringes of their political ideals. The fact that the sitting president was rabidly anti-gun had not gone un-noticed by staunch Second Amendment supporters and now it appeared we had all been put in a precarious position.
Just then my phone buzzed with a text notification from my Uncle. He was a Vietnam veteran, he had been a Marine and seen some shit during the war. We all looked up to him.
BOYS. MY PLACE. NOW
That was the extent of the text. Short. Simple. Not a request.
I ran to the other room and gave my wife a kiss. She could tell something was wrong just by looking at me. “Honey I have to go to Uncle Leo’s, go watch the news and you’ll understand. I’ll be back in a while”. With that I grabbed my keys and helmet and hopped on my Harley for a quick ride to my Uncles. He lived alone and had a large front yard but I knew space would fill up for parking and the bike was the easiest way to get a spot. I tried to bury the thoughts of WHAT IF that boiled in my mind as I put on my helmet. The rumble of the Harley as I started it up helped clear my head. The empty streets during the 5 minute ride made the neighborhood seem like a ghost town and it gave me the chills.
I pulled into the yard to park and I noticed I wasn’t the first there, a few of my other family had already arrived. A lifted red GMC 2500, a grey chevy and a silver Nissan were already there. The Vietnam Vets/Family patriarchs must have been hanging out again at the time of the announcement on TV.
As I pulled my helmet off and hopped off my bike a big green Jeep pulled in and slammed on the brakes, leaving two nice gouges in the grass… Uncle Leo will give my brother Jake hell for it I thought to myself. He got out of his vehicle looked around, then leaned in and pulled out his AR15. Always the dramatic one.
“What in the hell do you need that for Jarhead?”
“WOAH… alright, but have fun explaining the trenches you left in Uncle’s lawn.”
We walked up to the door and before we could knock we were greeted with a loud “COME IN!”. I held the door open and gave a mock bow “After you Ma’am.” My brother gave me a light shove as he walked past me, grinning the whole time. The response from the old men in the room was immediate. “Fucking Marines!” my Uncle Bill exclaimed. Larry gave his light chuckle and shook his head and Leo gave a scowl “Way to go, now anyone interested knows you just walked in here with a damn assault rifle after it was just announced they are now illegal!”.
Uncle Leo and Uncle Bill were in their late seventies, both had snow white hair and were a little worse for wear but still hiked the hills during elk season like they were 30… well okay maybe 50. Larry was a friend of Leo and Bill and like them had served in the military during Vietnam. Uncle Leo had served almost two tours in Vietnam while he was in the Marines. He had officially been a “Ground Radio Repairman” but in all honesty, that was the most buttered over description of what he had done in those jungles. He was like a god to my generation and we knew he had seen serious combat while over there.
I turned to watch the ongoing news coverage as Jake received his ass chewing. The streets in major liberal cities had begun to fill with crowds of people. ANTIFA and other sects of the far left had never been one to miss a good reason to gather and cause chaos, how the hell they managed to get away with it for so long was beyond me but it seemed the passing of a nationwide gun ban was the perfect opportunity. Local footage of Seattle showed a group of idiots blocking I-5, challenging drivers to try and get through.
My chain of thought was broken as two vehicles arrived at the same time, my cousin Matthew and Corey in Matt’s truck, and my brother Brad in his mini cooper of all things. They all walked in and we settled down to see just what we had all been called over for.
“Boys” Uncle Leo started, then gave a pause as he took a deep breath. “I’m sure you all saw the news announcement about the gun ban, and the shit storm that is building. I might not be effected as far as the firearms listed because I only own hunting rifles and a couple shotguns but this bothers me as much as I’m sure it bothers you all.” He looked around as we nodded, all disturbed by the implications of what had been announced. “I think this is just the start of things to come and I want us all on the same page in case things get really crazy. I think we all need to work together and plan on the possibility of having to get the hell out of here.
I know it’s a tough thing to consider but you each need to decide if you are going to turn in your guns and follow these new laws or fight it. I’m old and my family is grown so it’s an easy decision for me. Us older generation have kicked around the decision of where to go if we need to leave and we have decided that our elk camp is a good spot to start.
We have all raised our hands and taken the Oath of Enlistment, which I personally intend to uphold if necessary, search your hearts and make your choices with no judgment from any of us”.
I looked around at the others, some nodded, others stared in deep thought. This was a serious shit sandwich.
We all stuck around for a while longer discussing what we thought and had pretty much realized none of us were going to surrender our weapons or freedom that we had all spent precious years of our lives to defend, many of us burying friends. It was a daunting thought. The five of us younger generation convened at our trucks for a quick chat. I broke the ice.
“Guys I think we need to get our kits in order and have a bag drag, as well as go over what we should have pre-positioned so that we can hook up, meet up and then get the hell out in a hurry if needed.”
Mathew looked at me questioningly “What the hell is a bag drag?”. Matt had enlisted in the Army with a Special Forces contract but a week prior to shipping out had an automobile accident that left him with both leg bones broken just above the ankle which had ruined that opportunity. A lot of our lingo went over his head.
“I’ll tell you later Cuz, let’s get home to our families and enjoy the potential fights over the plan.”
Not all of the wives were thrilled about the prospect of getting out of town, a couple of the group had serious fights over it. Raquel on the other hand was on the same page as I was but she had a couple of conditions. “My sister, nephew and my cousin are coming if they want to. Those spots are Non-negotiable”. Her sister was a nurse in Seattle and I’d be surprised if she and her son joined us. Her cousin on the other hand was more than willing and ready to join. He had served in the Navy as a Corpsman during the height of the Iraq war and had seen more blood and combat than many of us.
A week after the meeting at our Uncles we younger generation had reconvened to get a game plan together and inspect our setups. This time we had a few extra bodies with us and we made the introductions. I started first:
“Guys, this is my cousin Ryan, he was a Corpsman and was there during the thick of Fallujah as well as the second battle of Ramadi, and this is my neighbor Jose, he was a Recon Marine and Air Force Combat Controller.” Ryan was 5’8” with dark islander skin, deep brown eyes and a constant smile on his face, Jose on the other hand was 5’5”, broad shouldered and had a no nonsense look about him… he was like a Pitbull; intimidating as hell, built like a brick out-house and yet if you knew him well enough you’d know he was the best friend you could ever ask for.
Corey’s friend stepped forward and looked at Ryan “Doc Rios?! HOLY SHIT!” The two had not seen each other before we had circled up and much to all of our surprise they both stepped forward and gave an emotional hug. “Guys Doc saved my life in Ramadi! Holy hell what a small world! If Doc is coming, then I’m all in with you guys.”
Corey looked around. “Guys this is my friend Zach Smith, he was an Oh-Three-Eleven Rifleman and fought in Ramadi, obviously.”
Zach was a slim figure and weighed in around 150lbs, stood at 5’9” and had a tired look behind his eyes. His lip was bulged with his ever-present pinch of tobacco and his head was covered with thick yet short cut black hair. He and I had been friends since our introduction by Corey five years prior.
Brad looked around. “Well we have a bunch of Crackers, a couple of Filipinos, and a Mexican…. At least the Liberals won’t be able to brand us as a group of white power assholes.”
Before we could get down to business we were interrupted by the sound of metal banging off the concrete coming from my workshop.
Jake looked at me curiously “What the fuck was that?”
“Oh just a little project Dad is working on, come see.”
Backed into the workshop of mine was my truck, an early model Ram 2500 powered with a Cummins turbo diesel with 4-wheel drive and a six speed manual transmission. Sparks and bright flashing light spilled out of the bed and over the sides. My Dad was loving life welding and modifying my beast.
“Hey Dad.. DAD!” My old man stopped welding, lifted his hood and looked over at me and gave an eloquent “WHAT?!”
After asking him to take a pause on the welding everyone gathered around. A steel tube cage had been built in the back of the truck, just behind the bed, the cage was topped with a ring that sat just even with the top of the truck. Two sides of the cage were covered with steel, the back looked ready to have it applied.
“Dude! You are building a technical!” Zach exclaimed.
“Yep, AR500 steel plating, a full cage and a top mount and ring similar to the Hummer but Dad managed to make it so that the MG mount can swing down into the truck when we want the top hatch closed. The steel is 3/8 inch thick and should stop small arms fire.”
Jake looked at me curiously “So we are going to mount that semi-auto belt fed of yours up there I take it?”
“Yep”. Little did he know I had made it full auto by completely changing the innards and side-plate with ones for FA. “It’s not semi anymore, I converted it to auto plus I can swap parts to change between .308 or 30-06… they made us felons last week so fuck them. Now who’s going to be my gunner?”
We spent the rest of the day inspecting each other’s equipment setup. Most were squared away, mine needed some work but with guidance from the actual combat veterans I was set up properly. When we came to Brad’s gear we noticed he had some other equipment as well.
I pointed at a black case “What’s in there?”
Brad opened it up to reveal his toys. “This here is a civilian market radio that I’ve turned into a PRC-117, a field radio. Ever since they made me a radioman when I was in the Army I’ve gotten into messing around with this stuff. It isn’t digital so it’s not encrypted but it will help us communicate. I have this one setup for me to carry and I have a larger one plus antennas and everything needed for a ghetto TOC setup.” TOC… Tactical Operations Center, it had been a long time since I had heard that term.
We were certain we were set for gear, plus we had thousands of rounds of ammunition ever since we had all gone together to buy a reloading press capable of producing up to 500 rounds an hour. We shot a lot and it was cheaper to make than to buy. We were as ready as we were going to be.
KING5 NEWS REPORTING: “President Clampton has signed a bill which will authorize the creation of a new group within the BATFE responsible for the collection of all newly banned firearms, magazines, and ammunition stocks in excess of the legal limit. This newly established group is to be titled the Federal Firearms and Ammunition Collection Assembly and will provide jobs for over 15,000 Americans. Per the President’s Press Secretary, the goal of the FFACA is to go door to door in order to collect voluntarily surrendered firearms while granting criminal immunity. This is intended to provide a safe and easy method for Americans to turn in their dangerous and now illegal Assault Weapons.”
Good start ,,,,,BRING IT ON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I woke to the sound of my doorbell being rung and looked at my clock… 0600. Who in the hell is ringing my door at 6 in the morning?
My son, now 16 and a chip off the ole block opened his door which was adjacent to mine. “Dad, there’s a couple of people outside and a big truck at the bottom of our driveway.” I could tell he had been woken up too.
I put on a pair of pants, one of my favorite black shirts, and grabbed my .45 from the safe by my bed. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I had a pretty good idea that it was one of the goon squads out taking in “Voluntary” firearm relinquishments. The FFACA or “Fucks” as we called them, had really ended up being formed by Federalizing and arming the ANTIFA groups. They were just the right group of left wing extremists for the job and had also been a big voting base for the president.
I sent a group text out to everyone planning on leaving when things got crazy: “The gun grabbing assholes are at my door, prepare yourselves”.
My doorbell rang in a series of pushes, this time waking up my 5 year old daughter and I lost my patience “WAIT A FUCKING MINUTE AND I’LL BE THERE!”
As I got to my door I could hear a muttered “This mufukka better hurry up”. Just as I swung open my door I could see the man was getting ready to ring the bell again.
“What in the hell are you doing waking me up at 6 am on a Saturday?!”
Beyond my storm door stood three men in their 30’s, all wearing a uniform of sorts consisting of black pants, undershirts of various colors, and a black lightweight jacket with FFACA on the front. The man at the door held a clip board and was slightly taken aback, but after looking back to make sure the other two were still behind him he looked back at me and then at the papers on his clipboard.
“Are you Mr. McCoy?”
I stared at him, then looked at his companions behind him. They both stood taller than the first and were meant to be the intimidating factor to their equation. “You know I am now what do you want?”
“We have on record from sales purchases in the past that you have two illegal firearms, this is your chance to turn them in before we have to take them.”
“I don’t have em, now f*** off and get off my property.”
One of the bruisers from the back took a step forward and spoke in a rumbling voice. “Yo we aint stupid, now hand them over before we come in and take them!”
I’m typically a very patient person, with an even keel but one of the few triggers I have is when threatened… especially in my own home. With a cool sense of calm, I reached forward and unlocked the deadbolt on my storm door, the audible click was like gunshot on a quiet night. I took a step back and gave a stare that dared him to enter.
In two quick steps, he advanced forward and yanked the storm door open, as his first foot landed through the threshold to my house I drew my pistol while rushing forward. He had looked down to ensure he didn’t trip coming in and that was the opportunity I needed. Before the other two could react I had closed the distance with the goon, wrapped my left arm around his right and locked it up at the elbow, while also punching the barrel of my pistol into his breastbone. As he doubled forward from the pain in his chest he was met with a knee to the gut.
Just as the other two recovered from the shock I stood the big man up, my 1911 under his chin. The audible click of the safety coming off froze them in their tracks yet again.
“You tried to illegally invade my house. You are still in my house. I should pull the trigger and spray what little is in your head all over my ceiling. I told you fucks I have nothing to surrender. Now, leave and don’t come back… or should I have the Sheriff clean you off my ceiling and floor?”
The man with the clipboard took a step back and stammered. “Hey man, be cool… we’re leaving.” As the two stepped back I stared into the hate and pain filled eyes of goon still in my control. I pushed the pistol up harder, forcing him on his toes as I moved him to the side. With a shove, he was out of my house. I fought the desire to pull the trigger as he gave a parting promise: “We’ll be back... and we won’t be so nice next time.”
As their vehicle drove down the road I slammed the door and felt a wave of exhaustion hit me, I turned around and saw my wife had been behind me the whole time, her pistol in hand and a hardened look on her face. My knees buckled slightly as nausea overcame me. I ran to the restroom and dry heaved into the sink.
The precious couple of minutes during the altercation had felt like hours and the rush of emotions mixed with adrenaline had been a new feeling for me. I was not used to violence, I always mentally prepared but relied on avoidance.
I rinsed my mouth out with cool water and cupped a little to pour over my head. Looking over I could see my 5 year old daughter Jessica looking wide eyed through her cracked open door. I turned toward her while switching my pistol to safe and holding it at my side.
“Come here sweetie, are you okay?”
“What was that daddy?” Her eyes began to tear up and the fear was all over her face.
“Just some bad people Honey, they are gone now, come give me a hug.”
As she took the three steps to my arms she began to cry. “They said they’d be back!”
I hugged her tight with one arm while passing my pistol to my wife. “It’s okay Sweetheart, they won’t hurt you. Did you hide in your closet like you were taught?”
She nodded her head. “I hugged my teddy and stayed quiet too!”
Welcome to the club.
thanks, your stories have been an inspiration as well as others.
Originally Posted By sharkman6:
Welcome to the club.
The rest of the morning was spent gathering everything together and preparing the vehicles. My truck was loaded with gear in the back of the bed along with food and water. I hitched my little trailer to the back of it. My truck was an 03 RAM 2500 4x4, I would have never touched a Dodge let alone a used one but the truck had belonged to an elderly man who had only managed to put 40,000 miles on it in ten years. The real seller was that it was a Cummins motor with a six-speed manual, I loved to tell people “I didn’t buy a Dodge, I bought a Cummins that just came wrapped in one”.
The trailer was a Vietnam era M416 trailer which was small but very solid and even though it was rated at only 500lb load capacity I had been assured by my uncles that they themselves had loaded those trailers to the brim with ammunition, barrels of water or anything else that exceeded the limit at least twice. It was small and barely visible in the rearview mirror when empty. It held a variety of our camping gear, spare tires and jerrycans of diesel.
We also prepared our two Jeeps, the first was a four-door wrangler that was Raquel’s, it towed my baby: A restored Willys MB that I had rebuilt myself. I figured it would be handy, plus as stupid as it sounds I wasn’t about to leave it behind.
As we were loading our vehicles Brad drove up to our garage. The great thing about my house was that the driveway went back around the house from the main road and our parking area was out of view. He stepped out of his car and walked towards me, while at the same time his wife went to Raquel. His wife Naomi was a tad shorter than Raquel, with curly jet black hair and dark brown eyes. Though typically quiet she was a very happy lady who had bonded with Raquel almost immediately when they first met. Naomi was half Hispanic and half Filipina and had learned to speak Tagalog from my wife. The two hugged and then walked back to Brad’s mini to grab my nephew Mike who was just four years old.
Brad looked at the vehicles and then at me and gave a sigh. “So this is it huh?”
“I guess so man, those three thugs came this morning and knew I had banned weapons so they must be accessing the ATF purchase files to know who likely has what.”
“So what do you want to do? They haven’t come by my place but I live close so I am sure they will be soon.”
“I think we need to get all of your stuff here, load it in the Jeep and then have the girls take it to Mom and Dad’s for the night.”
“Why not just go with them, and why load my stuff in the Jeep?”
“Your Mini is nice… but it’s going to be worthless out there man. As to why not go with them, well those assholes said they’d be back and I don’t want the kids here when they do. There are still things I need to prepare and pack.”
“So you want me to leave my fucking car behind? I hate to say it but you are right on that.” Brad looked at his car, and then our families and sighed. “Okay. Let’s get them to Dad’s, they shouldn’t hassle him since he doesn’t have anything illegal. Jake is already loaded and there. But you aren’t staying here alone tonight.”
“Okay, take the Jeeps, load all your stuff up and then come back with your kit… I don’t know if it’ll get shitty tonight but we might as well be ready for it. I’m going to let Jose know what’s going on and text Uncle Leo. Just have Naomi take the Jeep and Willys to Mom and Dad’s and drive here in your car. I’ll make sure Raquel and the kids get there in an hour or so.”
Dad had stopped by to pick everyone up and take them to their place. It was an hour drive south of us and was on the other side of McCord Field. While here he informed me that the base had been oddly quiet all day and that the FFACA had already stopped by his place. He had handed over an ammunition can filled with various boxes of hunting rounds and they had left him alone. We swapped the M416 trailer to the back of his pickup truck so that it would be one less thing to worry about in the morning when Brad and I drove down to their place in order to leave.
My Dad looked me in the eyes and spoke. “I love you son, I’ll see you and Brad in the morning, drive safe and stay out of trouble. Don’t worry about your family, they will be fine.”
Later in the evening I heard Brad’s car pull in and was surprised to see that not only was he there but so was Jake, Ryan and Zach… and pizza.
Jake got out and looked at me “You didn’t really think we’d let you deal with this alone did you?”
The others looked at me expectantly.
“Honestly I don’t think those idiots are dumb enough to come back but I guess we might as well be ready. Most of my stuff is at Dad’s, but I have my kit and the 30 Cal is mounted. I don’t know what these guys are armed with but we might as well be prepared in case they are.”
“We are, now let’s fucking eat!”
The next few hours were spent with nervous banter as well as going over plans and the situation all together.
Just as we were winding down and thinking it’d be a quiet night our hopes were shattered by the sound of car doors slamming followed by a brick sailing through the living room window: The ANTIFA assholes had come through on their threat to return…
The brick had been heaved through my front window and smashed into my television, causing an instant reaction from within the house.
“Shut the fucking lights off, gear up now!” I shouted. As the room went dark we were able to see thanks to the roadside and exterior lights on the house. I took a peak outside from the corner of the window. A loose cluster of men wearing all black clothes and hats stood outside facing my house, all armed with either pistols or Kalashnikov rifles. How the hell they had been armed with this array of firearms was beyond me but what wasn’t was the fact that they were here for a reason and it wasn’t a “friendly” gun collection.
The skinny man from the morning pointed a pistol at the window and shouted. “We told you we’d be back, we ain’t here for your guns this time… now it’s yo ass!”
The front facing wall of my house provided the benefit of cover for us thanks to a brick wall that went halfway up the side of the house. The house had been built in the early sixties and the half brick wall must have been the preferred look back then, I wasn’t very fond of it before but now I most definitely appreciated it. I looked around and noticed my brothers had positioned themselves alongside the windows. “Where’s Doc and Zach?”
“They are at the windows in the other rooms, ready to go.”
With a nod to them I yelled out the window. “Get the f*** out of here or I’ll kill you all!”
A chorus of laughs and guffahs reached my ears followed by their leader’s voice. “After we kill you and your boy… we are going to take real care of that pretty wife of yours… then we’ll kill her too. Welcome to the new America white boy!”
Suddenly the front windows erupted in a hail of lead and glass. We hunkered down as my home was shredded with a combination of pistol and rifle bullets. The glass falling reflected the light as it came crashing down in bits and pieces. The noise was tremendous and made it hard to focus. So this was what combat felt like.
The momentary pause in fire was joined with curses and the sounds of weapons being reloaded. Brad looked at Jake and I, though we were older and had spent far more time in the military than he had… this was his world and he took over. With a simple command, he spurred us into action.
Immediately all three of us pivoted towards the window with guns drawn and determination in our eyes. The dump of adrenaline in our systems slowed time down. I brought my rifle up to bear and sighted through my red dot sight. Centering it on the first person I saw, a young man towards the front of the group, busy reloading his rifle. As if in slow motion he looked up at me in mid reload, a look of realization in his eyes.
Squeeze the trigger, don’t jerk it. I can feel the push of the stock in my shoulder, the bark of my AR-15 barely registering in my ear despite the fact that it was unsupressed. Despite the fact that my rifle was not the only one responding.
The round punched through the young man’s chest, followed by two more from my own rifle. He didn’t get thrown back like the movies, he didn’t cry out. He just… crumpled in place like a doll with its strings cut. I had killed a man and in that instant, knew that the look on his face would never leave my memory.
My reverie was broken by a shout from Brad. “Get down you f***!” I ducked back around behind the bricks, just in time as more rounds came in, splintering wood and brick… sending it flying into the house. It was pure pandemonium but God help me, it was a thrill.
Steady fire was being sent out of the windows from the other side of the room. I gave a quick look out the window to see that the attacking group was scattering for cover, four lay dead or dying on the lawn. At only 20 feet it was child’s play shooting… if you aimed.
Brad took command once again. “Jake shift position to that side window, Jim get ready to fire. They have five left, they were reinforced by shooters from a second vehicle. Three, two, one. UP!”
This time it wasn’t like slow motion, this time in was chaos for the attackers. I sighted in on a man standing in the open, pistol held sideways firing and not hitting shit. I fired, watching rounds hit him from both my weapon and one from the other room. Using the training my brother had given me I pivoted my whole torso as I searched for my next target.
There, standing behind the tree and leaning out like he’s Bruce Willis! Taking aim and putting pressure on the trigger I begin to squeeze only to be knocked flat on my back with the feeling of having been hit in the chest with a sledge hammer.
I laid on my back stunned, seeing my ceiling and knowing I can’t breathe but also hearing no return fire.
Is that smoke I smell?
Without looking down Brad yelled out “DOC Jim’s hit; get the f*** in here!”.
I gasp in a deep breath and clutch my chest, expecting to come up with blood covered hands. Ryan runs in at a low crouch and looks down at me and laughs in relief. “You lucky son of a bitch! It hit your plate, you’re alright now snap out of it!”
I shake my head to gather my wits just as Jake shouts out “CLEAR! The house is on fire, it’s time to roll!”
Doc helps me up and loops my arm over his shoulder as we all make a move towards my truck in the back. With my chest still hurting like hell and breaths coming in ragged gulps I am shoved into the back of my own truck.
Brad was still in command mode and issued orders, “Jake up front… the passenger side, motherfucker! Doc with Jim, Zach you’re the on the gun so get in the back, don’t open that top hatch but be ready in case we need to put the .30 cal in action. Pull the locking pin on the mount and that will allow you push the gun up through the hatch halves and you can push the halves over on your way up. That pivot point keeps the turret and gun hidden until needed.”
“Copy, damn I love playing the Trunk Monkey!”
The roar of the truck firing up sounded distant in my ears due to all the gunfire in a confined space, I watched as my house went up in flames while we hauled ass down the street… probably never to return.
are you guys interested in more of the story? I got quite a bit but I know the section here has died down a lot and without feedback or MOAR hounds it's hard to gauge.
Ok, MOAR!!!!!!! I am liking it so far. Please continue until you get to the end of the story. Then, and only then, stop.
Originally Posted By 2T2_Crash:
are you guys interested in more of the story? I got quite a bit but I know the section here has died down a lot and without feedback or MOAR hounds it's hard to gauge.
Did I mention MOAR!
I leaned back against the chair and tried to process what was happening, my house in flames, family now on the run and I had just killed at least one individual who was a part of this new overreaching government. I had become a criminal.
Hands tugging at my vest pulled me out of my thoughts. Doc was leaning over trying to get a look at how I was doing. “Take your Plate out, good now get your shirt off and let me have a look… I don’t give a crap if you think you’re fine now let me do my damn job! Breathe deep, good… does it hurt while I push on your ribs? Tender is fine and you’ll have a hell of a bruise but nothing is broken. Look at my finger, ignore the flashlight… follow my finger side to side. Alright man, you’re good to go, put your shit back on and hydrate.”
Doc was now checking on everyone asking how they were doing and checking on any wounds. All that anyone else suffered was small cuts from glass.
Jake looked back at me and then my bullet proof plate that was sitting on the seat next to me. “Pull the round out of the plate and put it back on, we’ll replace it when we get home but it can still take a few rounds if we need it to between here and Dad’s… Figures it’s the damn Zoomie that gets shot on the first engagement.”
A round of chuckles fills the truck as the nervous tension saps away. Brad is driving slowly, observing the speed limit and taking side roads to avoid potential problems. As he rolls down my window he reaches down and turns on the CB radio I have mounted on the lower dash just under the steering wheel. With no chatter on the main channels we leave it on CH 19, the usual channel for I-5 just in case anything pops up. “Jim I don’t care if you don’t like it, I’m having a smoke in your truck... anyone else?”
“Dude, I just got shot… I had quit but give me one!” With a deep inhale of nicotine, I realize I had missed the habit that I had started during my deployment to Iraq. “Man, that feels good!”
Zach leans forward from the rear gunner’s compartment “Give me one! Hey turn on the radio and let’s see what the hell is going on out there.”
..EMERGENCY BROADCAST CENTER: DUE TO SPORADIC VIOLENCE A CURFEW HAS BEEN ORDERED BY THE WASHINGTON STATE GOVERNOR. ALL WASHINGTON RESIDENTS AND VISITORS ARE TO REMAIN IN DOORS FROM DUSK TILL DAWN UNLESS TRANSITING TO OR FROM WORK…”
With a flip of the radio nob the EBC announcement went silent.
“Looks like we’re breaking curfew!”
“Fuck a curfew!”
“What a bag of dicks!”
I spoke up. “Sporadic violence… looks like we aren’t the only ones not taking any shit from the ANTIFA asshats. Keep going Brad, everything has been clear but we still need to cross the freeway and that is just a couple of miles till the overpass.” Turning around I look back at Zach “You ready in case we need you?”
With a thumbs up and a big grin Zach replies “Born ready, I missed this shit! Hey the rounds aren’t marked, what am I shooting?”
“Standard M2 Ball, no tracers no AP.. all hand loaded FMJ 30-06 so if you need to disable a car go for the engine unless you need to eliminate a threat the old fashioned way.”
The CB radio crackled to life with conversation, the sudden noise giving us all a start, and a laugh.
“Hey Red what do you see up there, any sign of what’s causing this brake check and traffic?”
“Yeah, I’m passing by it now Billy, it looks like it’s from the off-ramp to Fort Lewis. A whole lot of flashing red and blues have the gate and off-ramps blocked not letting anyone in or out, the traffic is all the way back to the bridge. Good luck!”
“Great… I-5 North, the biggest Parking Lot in WA!”
Brad reached down and decreased the CB’s volume. “Well we don’t cross that area anyhow, but we are approaching the overpass, after that is the shit part of town and I can see fires burning plus I’m sure you’ve heard the occasional small arms fire over the sound of this loud ass truck”
As we traveled further down the two-lane road we could tell trouble was brewing. A car burning here, people loitering around over there plus a couple of businesses in the process of being looted.
Ryan looked out his window incredulously, “Putang Ina?!”
Zach spoke up “English, motherfucker!”
“He said What the fuck”
Jake shrugged, “I dunno Doc but it looks like something is fucky up ahead, two cars on the sides of the road, plus a bunch of assholes standing in the middle of the lanes, maybe a shakedown? Look alive boys, lock and load. Zach… get ready. Slow down and see what these guys want Brad but be ready.”
The diesel engine surged a bit as Brad down-shifted and let the gears slow the heavy truck, keeping it in 2nd gear with his foot on the clutch and hand on the shifter. As he rolled down his window a young white male approached
“Shut down your engine please.”
Brad looked at him with a cold stare. “Who are you and what do you want? Tell those idiots to move or I’ll run them over.”
“This is our road, nobody gets through without being searched… we’re the local ANTIFA sub group.”
Brad laughed “Move that group of tweakers and idiots… oh and fuck off.” With that he let off the clutch and got on the accelerator. The group clad in black in front of him had just enough time to skirt out of the way as the truck slowly gained speed. She was big and powerful, but a race truck she wasn’t.
“What the fuck was that?” I asked.
“Contact Rear, two sedans, five personnel each. I see three long guns and possibly a couple of pistols. Some jackass with an AK is spraying the street and trees trying to hit us. Distance… 300 meters and closing.”
“Fuck yeah!” with that Zach unlatched the locking lever to the hatch and with a grunt pushes the gun up and into position, shoving the hatch halves open with his helmet and shoulders as he stands.
I turn around in my seat and grab an ammunition can marked “M2-Ball, LINKED” and throw the lid off, slapping his leg to get his attention. “You have another belt here ready to go… If they don’t get the hint seeing you up there throw a burst in front of them. If they are still stupid. Light them the fuck up!”
“150 Meters on our 6 and closing!”
“DIE MOTHERFUCKER DIE!” As Zach speaks he squeezes the trigger, the sound of the light machinegun hammering away lasted only a few seconds but Zach’s chant was one that had been taught to the military as a way to control the burst of an MG to
around 8 to 10 rounds per burst, this helps maintain control of the weapon, the accuracy of the rounds as well as keep a gunner from going haywire and melting down his barrel. The rounds land 10 feet short of the two cars, sending asphalt chips into the windshields and peppering the passengers leaning out of windows in the process.
“They didn’t get the hint, 100 meters, still closing… TAKING FIRE!”
The sound of more rounds pinging off the armor of the gun position could be heard in the truck, followed by a curse from Zach. I lean back and yell at him “Get em off our ass!”
Zach clutched the pistol grip and pulled the stock into his shoulder with a grim look on his face as he leaned into the Browning. The muted chatter of the gun in repeated quick bursts filled the interior of the truck to join the sound of spent brass and belt
links falling onto the bed. I’ll have to figure out a way to keep it from getting in the way of the gunner’s feet.
Zach’s first target had been the second vehicle, chewing up the windshield and pulverizing the passengers inside. After three good bursts the car careened to the left and smashed into a cedar tree where it smoked with no sign of movement. Rather than halt their chase the remaining car sped up, the passenger in the front again swinging out with what we could see was an old school M16 with the rubber heat shield. Where the fuck were they getting these weapons?
With a slight adjustment of the gun Zach focused on the individual training his rifle on my truck, once again unleashing a stream of copper jacketed rounds into his target. As the passenger reacted to the rounds entering his torso Zach worked the gun to his right, maintaining a steady pull on the trigger. Like a sewing machine across fabric the machinegun punched a steady line of holes in the windshield from passenger side to the driver’s side, ending in a spray of blood, brain matter and teeth that bathed the interior of the car. “OORAH! Both vehicles down, all targets now deceased!”
“Good!, Secure that gun, Brad slow down and lets look semi normal even though we just took a big bite of shit-sandwich!”
The rest of the drive was quiet as we drove out of the city and into the rural area towards our parents’ home. As we pulled up to the drive we noticed the heavy pipe rail gate was closed. We were met with a verbal challenge from the left. “Identify yourselves!”
I rolled down my window and shouted back “It’s us you short fuck… let us in Corey!”
Corey walked out into plain view from behind a large Rhododendron bush, flipping us the bird as he unlocked the gate to allow us in. He was wearing his old green MARPAT uniform with an AR-15 hanging from his vest by a single point sling that was hooked on with a metal carabiner. As we passed through he closed the gate and then hopped in the bed of the truck. With the slap of his palm against the side of the bed he let us know he was ready. Brad eased us forward to the house.
We had arrived intact and still breathing which set the score at McCoys 1, ANTIFA 0.
“Alright boys, safe your weapons, Zach clear the .30 please. We’ll take care of the spent brass and links later, good job and good shooting.”
We disembarked the truck and amongst grunts, groans and curses we pulled off our vests. I studied the hole in the center of mine, that could have really sucked if I hadn’t been wearing my plates.
I was so wrapped up in my inventory that I hadn’t noticed Raquel walk up next to me.
“I got shot, the plate stopped it.” I took a deep breath and prepared to break the news about what had happened. “Honey ANTIFA came back, the assholes had backup and started shooting up the house. I don’t know how to tell you this but the house is gone, one of them hit it with a Molotov cocktail and it was in flames as we left.”
After a moment’s pause and a single tear my wife looked me in the eyes and gave a smile. “It’s just stuff honey, and it looks like I’m lucky to still have you. What happened after they started shooting, are you guys okay… is anyone else hurt?”
“No babe, we killed them all and then took the back roads. We hit a roadblock in Spunaway, a bunch of tweakers thought they could shake us down so we blew past them. They gave chase, and I bet my tailgate has some new holes in it. Zach cut them down with the machinegun.”
Raquel stepped in close and grabbed me tight, resting her head on my chest. The smell of her hair and her embraced helped ease out the tension I hadn’t realized had a grip on my mind. She looked up and with a kiss on my lips smiled. “You’re still here, that’s what matters. Come on inside, I’m sure your back is killing you and you look exhausted”.
Grabbing my rifle in one hand and her hand in the other we walked into the house, followed by the others and their wives. She wasn’t wrong, between the back injuries I had sustained in the military and the weight I had gained since it didn’t take much to aggravate it at times. “Honey where are the kids?”
“Inside sleeping, it’s 2 am!”
“Oh… damn already?! I need a drink.”
“I’ll get you some Scotch you can sip on while we sit on the porch and you unwind.”
“Thank you Love.”
I sit down in one of the old wood chairs on the porch and breathe a sigh of relief, the events of the night still going through my head while also wondering what the next step is. It won’t take the puppet masters long to figure out who had thrown a wrench in their plan nor where we could have gone to. We needed to get everyone together who was ready to leave and we needed to do it soon. In just a short time the government had gone from respecting and obeying the constitution to sending goon squads out with little to no control over them and it only made sense that we weren’t the only ones who refused to live on our knees.
The soft footsteps of my wife clear my head, she hands me a glass and takes a seat in the chair next to me. “Are you doing okay? I wish I was there to help, I can’t believe the bastards came back with the intent of killing us.”
Raising the glass to take a sip I pause to reply “I’m okay, and it’s best you were here, it was insane. I was always curious as to what combat was like and how I’d react and now I know. I fear by the end of all this you and our son will know what it’s like too.”
A sip of the amber liquid, a pleasing taste and burn. Belvenie 12, not an expensive Scotch by any means, but it had quickly become my favorite after Uncle Leo had introduced me to it so many years back during my first season at Elk Camp in Eastern Washington.
“What’s been going on here since you arrived?”
“Nothing much, Mom and Dad have their trailer packed with everything. Dad spray painted it green and brown. Matt and his family arrived earlier in the day, they came over after your text… Corey and the family did too. It’s the Uncles and the older generation who haven’t arrived yet, I think they are coming over tomorrow….. well later today I guess.”
“Oh okay. Is anyone on watch? You should probably be armed from now on, it’s getting nuts out there.”
Raquel stands up and lifts the side of her shirt to reveal her pistol, a 9mm Springfield XD. I had bought it for her before my first deployment, just a month after we had married. It wasn’t her favorite but she was good with it and concealed it well, her favorite was my 1911 and I wasn’t about to give that one to her. “I have the XD. Corey is on watch, then Dad. I’m going to bed, finish that and join me. AFTER you shower because you stink… dirty white boy!”
I attempt a smack on her ass as she turned but we’d been married long enough that she expected it and easily dodged it with a giggle “Too slow old man! Oh! Not you Dad, I was talking to Jim.”
As Dad steps out onto the porch he gives me a quizzical look. “I’m surprised you’re still up, the others went to sleep right away.”
I notice Dad is dressed in a set of BDUs, old uniforms I had given him a long time ago. He is also wearing a reproduction WWII cartridge belt with pockets full and his M1 slung over his shoulder.
“I’m about to go shower and sleep. You’re taking the Garand with you to go on watch?”
“Yeah I’ve loved this thing since you got it for me. Anyhow I best get out there before Corey starts to bitch.”
“Goodnight Dad, I love you and I’ll see you in the morning.”
Damn I’m tired, time to finish this, shower and get my ass in bed.
Dawn breaks and I wake to the sun poking through the trees and the one sliver of light that manages to make it past the curtains is in my eyes. Raquel is still asleep but I know me… once I’m awake there’s no going back to bed so I get up as quietly as possible and put on a pair of pants, it’s coffee time. Damn my back is stiff.
As I walk down the hall I can hear hushed talking, metal parts clinking and realize I failed to grab my rifle so I head back and get it. The smell of coffee, carbon powder and CLP put some pep in my movements. Rounding the corner from the hall to the kitchen I see the table is covered in towels and firearms in various states of disassembly. My brothers, cousins, Ryan and Zach are busily working over their rifles, plus Zach has the .30 cal MG on the table.
Jake doesn’t even bother to look up as he sends the opening shot my way. “It’s about time you got up you old ass bitch!”
“I love you too Jarhead… coffee time then weapons cleaning. Move your shit over and stop taking up two spots at the table.”
Zach looks up “I don’t know how to take this fucker apart so I waited for you.”
As I pour myself a cup of liquid gold I respond to him. “I’ll go over it with you, it’s not too difficult. Pull the charging handle back and hold it, then take that flathead screw driver and turn that screw back by the handle a quarter turn clock-wise, slide the bolt forward an inch or so. Cool, now us the flathead screwdriver to push the locking lever forward, its right in front of the rear sight. Now lift the back plate straight up then pull the charging handle out and then remove the bolt out the rear. Lastly see the detent on the right side? Use the tip of the charging handle to push that in then pull out the lock frame and barrel out. Done.”
“That’s simple, I thought these had a big ass spring in them that fires out.”
“It does, we locked it in place with that screw. I’ll go grab my cleaning kit for that as well as my A6 conversion kit so we can re-configure it.”
“I know 240s and 249s, what the hell is the M1919A6?”
“It converts this from pintle or tripod mounting to a more portable version by adding a butt stock, carry handle, bipod up front and a flash suppressor, but it can still be locked into the pintle of the vehicle.”
An hour later after we had cleaned, lubricated and reassembled everything the first of the kids came out.
I smiled as my little girl came walking down the hall rubbing her eyes. “Good morning Jessica, did you sleep well?”
“Yes Daddy, I’m hungry!”
“Okay, what sounds good?”
“BACON AND EGGS!”
“Well then bacon and eggs you shall have! Do you want to help me make enough for everyone?”
“Yes! Can I crack the eggs?”
“I’ll take care of that, but how about you stir them up real well?”
Awesome and thanks!
KING 5 NEWS REPORTING: President Clampton is set to address the nation on the nationwide violence in response to gun confiscations… here she comes now.
“My fellow Americans, as you all know I recently signed into law legislation banning a vast array of deadly firearms that are not fit to be in the hands of anyone other than the military or law enforcement personnel. These weapons in the hands of civilians have been the cause of countless deaths of children and minorities. The newly created FFACA has been diligently working to remove these machines of death from the public but have been met with violence. Most the violent response has stemmed from right wing extremist hate groups who refuse to follow the laws of this nation.
In order to stem this tide of violence and hate I am authorizing state governors to federalize their national guard units to be used as peacekeepers and to back up FFACA when necessary. Any signs of violence from individuals who are suspected of owning outlawed firearms will be met with deadly force. It is time for the United States to join the rest of the world by creating a society free of fear and hate. Thankyou”
Well you have now heard direct from President Clampton the plan to deal with the violence that we have experienced even here in the Puget Sound. Just two nights ago Tacoma endured its share of bloodshed, our field reporter Chris at the scene of the crime:
“Good morning Dianne, this is what is left of the house where a deadly shootout occurred, resulting in the deaths of 8 FFACA employees. Jim McCoy is wanted by Federal and local officials who say he ambushed the group as it was coming to collect voluntarily surrendered firearms. Though most of the house was burned down a partially burned Gadsden flag was found in the ruins of the garage. This attack by Mr. McCoy is believed to be race driven. Back to you Dianne.”
“Thank you, Chris, the Gadsden flag is of course the yellow flag with a snake on the front and the words “Don’t tread on me” under the snake. This flag is known to be used by right wing extremists. If you have any leads on the whereabouts of Mr. McCoy please contact local authorities but do not approach him as he is most likely armed and dangerous. That’s it for the news, now back to our scheduled program.”
The adults plus Jim jr. were all sitting in the front room watching the speech and subsequent news report.
I looked at my wife “Well… fuck! Sorry Dear but apparently, you married a racist.”
“I knew it!”
Dad looked over to me and sighed “Well they sure as hell made up as much as they could, didn’t they? This complicates things and I can bet the authorities will be coming here soon. We need to get out of here, Leo and the rest should arrive within the hour, they were supposed to arrive shortly after you did but called to let me know of the delay.”
The sound of vehicles approaching from the distance could be heard followed by the scrambling of feet as everyone moved to grab their weapons and gear.
I jumped up and ran back to my room to grab my gear as well as my Browning “Son come with me!”. I grabbed the gun with both hands, hoisting it over my shoulder with a groan. “Open those two cans of ammunition and pull the belts out, give me one then grab another belt and my AR. You stay by my side and let’s go!” Raquel had already grabbed her little .30 Carbine and ran out the door by the time we got outside, the drawback to using a 34lb gun was just that… this bitch is heavy!
As I hopped off the porch and noticed everyone setup and behind cover Brad yelled directions. “Set the MG up beside that big ass rock and face directly down the driveway on the opposite side of us, you provide enfilading fire if they hide behind their vehicles, the rest of us will provide fire along the Length of the convoy as they come up the driveway. Doc be ready to move if needed, nobody fire until I do!”
Nervous tension filled the air, I rushed up beside the rock and got into position, loaded a belt into the receiver and pulled the charging handle twice, the sound of a metal link and live round dropping from the receiver let me know I was locked and loaded.
“Son get down on my left and keep your head down. Your job is to give me ammunition and stay down behind the boulder understood?”
“Yes Dad, I’m scared and need to pee.”
“You’ll be okay just relax and lay still.”
As the vehicles got closer we could distinguish them from each other, two diesels and a car. I relaxed a bit as the lead vehicle turned into the drive, Uncle Leo had arrived before we expected him to, along with Bill and Larry. Brad stepped out from behind his cover and slung his rifle. “Relax, safe and sling weapons. Friendlies coming in!”
I breathed a sigh of relief and released my grip from the gun. “It’s okay son, it looks like more of the family has arrived. Lay those belts down neatly while I unload the Browning.” As my son laid the belts down I opened the top cover, pulled the belt out and then pulled the charging handle back to pull the round out of the chamber. That done I stood up and walked up to the lead vehicle to join the group gathering around the old men.
Matt was talking as I approached “Where’s Uncle Donald at Uncle Leo? He was supposed to come with you guys, right?”
Uncle Leo gave a deep sigh and looked at the ground for a few long seconds before looking back up. “Boys, Don is gone. The government assholes went to his house sometime in the night and killed him. When I swung by this morning there was yellow tape across his obviously kicked in door and the interior of the house was covered in bullet holes. I could hear the gunfire from my house but I didn’t know it was him. He put up a hell of a fight before they got to him though. Don’t cry for him, since his wife died three years ago, he’s been ready to go.” The years showed on Uncle Leo’s tired face and I knew something deep and dark was trying to surface but I couldn’t put my finger on it. At 75 years old Uncle Leo was the eldest but what had always surprised me was the youthfulness he seemed to have. Though he needed hearing aids and would limp from time to time he always made us younger guys feel out of shape and slow when we were hunting.
“Who’s with you Uncle Leo? I see someone in Wire’s truck?” The nickname Wire had been given to Uncle Bill back when he was in high school. His hair had gone from an Irish red to a snow white at a very young age.
“Oh… Jim’s neighbor saw me sifting the ashes over at his place and came to see who it was. Recon was pretty pissed off and asked to join us. He’s had enough of the bullshit just like the rest of us.”
Jose stepped around the corner and headed straight for me with a big smile on his face. “I KNEW you all got out of that house, by the time I had my kit on and was around the corner you were all leaving like a bat out of hell! Anyway, if you think a Marine is going to sit back and let the Chairforce do all the fighting you’re wrong!”
That drew a few chuckles and side comments from the Jarheads in the group… it’s a real bitch being the only AF guy in the bunch sometimes but if it weren’t for friendly inter service rivalry we’d be a bit bored.
Uncle Leo cleared his throat to quiet us down. “It’s time everyone, we cannot stay here and our families need to be safe. We need to convoy out to Camp and setup a base of operations and a semi-permanent living area. FFACA has had a hard on for Jim since the firefight at his place, but they don’t seem to have a clue who else was there. We need to get ready to leave so who are we missing?”
My Dad stepped forward. “Leo we still need Jim’s in-laws and that’s about it.”
“Pops my Sister in law and nephew aren’t coming but I sent a text to a friend of mine this morning, he’ll be meeting us in about 10 minutes.”
Corey looked at me curiously “And who the fuck is this person, someone to help or just mouths to feed?”
“Former 11 Bravo… Fallujah combat veteran, Purple Heart and Bronze Star awardee… and a blade smith. That okay with you?”
It was Brad’s turn to speak up. “We need Comms, does everyone have a CB? Good, once we get the convoy setup and seating situated we’ll get vehicle callsigns so we know who is who but aren’t throwing names on the open frequency.”
“I’ll be Hand-Banana!”
“I want Mad Max!”
“I’ll take Kilroy!”
“Shuttup you assholes, what you get is what I give you… hmm, Dumbass 1, Dumba…”
Uncle Leo had sat back quietly until we began to act like a pack of Privates, then he again came forward. “SHUT THE FUCK UP! This isn’t a damn game, we know they have no problem shooting and killing. We just lost Don last night so enough with the fuck-fuck games so we can get ready and move. Brad, continue, seriously… wait anyone hear a Deuce and Half?”
I knew that truck, my buddy Rich had arrived. “That’s the last member of the group Uncle.”
Rich was a short man at about 5’8’ but was known as “Diesel” By his friends because he was built like a brick shit-house. He sported a sandy colored full face beard and still kept his hair within Army regulations even though he had medically separated after his injuries in Fallujah. As he pulled up he gave the “Hang Loose” wave and shut down his truck. As he hopped down from his surplus Army 2.5 ton truck he looked around. “I hope this is the right party… is Jim here?”
“I’m here Rich. Come on over.” With that there was a round of introductions, it wasn’t hard for combat veterans to get along with each other which meant any feelings of mistrust were quickly scrapped.
“Good timing, we are going over convoy driving order and prepping to move out, I see you have the canopy on the Deuce, how are you for space back there?”
“Good, front half is full but the back half has the seats down and room for passengers or cargo.”
Wire spoke up this time “Who’s the leader of this party then?”
All eyes looked toward Uncle Leo, once he realized what was going on he stood up a bit and threw his hands up. “Now hold on, why the hell is everyone looking at me?”
“You know damn well why Uncle, you’ve always been the leader… hunting season, your initial contact to have a meeting, and we all look up to you and trust your judgement… plus you know how to fight in dense vegetation, us young guys are a mix of never been in combat, or been in combat in desert or mountain terrain.”
“Fuck. Zach right? Okay good, do you have a convoy idea?”
“Alright, now the last time I was in a convoy was 1968, does anyone have more recent experience?”
Zach raised his hand. “I do Sir”.
“Cut the Sir shit, I was a Corporal, now a “Mister”, do you care to setup the convoy?”
“Sure. We have nine vehicles plus trailers, that’s a lot of ass to be convoying in plus we have three trucks with single occupants. If we could leave a couple of vehicles behind by adding passengers to others it would put more shooters available out the sides. Jim I want your truck up front, it’s heavy and powerful plus it has our only mounted weapon. I’d like the next couple of vehicles to be the families with younger kids, the middle vehicle will be our RTO/Command vehicle followed by more vehicles with families and then if you don’t mind Rich, your bigass truck in the back, tailgate sandbagged and two shooters facing rearward. We don’t have to worry about IEDs for once, but small arms can and will pierce these vehicles so keep the kids in the middle and as safe as possible.”
“Okay that settles the vehicles and driving order, Brad do you have call signs?”
“I do, Command Vehicle/Uncle Leo will be Castle 1, Jim you guys are Hercules, Jake Cobra, Matt will be Hawkeye, Dad you’ll be Crawdad, and Rich you’ll be Blacksmith… Obviously, these are what popped into my head for various reasons based on who’s driving. I’ll be handling the comms for Castle and disseminating information and orders to all vehicles.”
Uncle Leo thanked Brad and looked around, addressing everyone. “Some of us have been in convoys, many have not. We don’t know what we will encounter between here and our destination but we need to be ready. We will take Salmon Pass, if the gate to the federal land is locked we’ll cut it and push on through. Don’t shoot shit up unless it’s in self-defense and don’t plan on stopping for a while. This is a three-hour trip normally but we shall see how long this takes now. Don’t bunch up too tight but don’t let more than two car Lengths in between each other. If we experience an ambush call out where it’s at and where the fire is coming in from but DO NOT STOP! If we come under fire we push through and once a mile past the site we will assess damage and treat wounded.
Keep the kids down, guns ready and stay alert. Let’s get everything hooked up to tow and line the vehicles up. Go!”
I pulled my keys out of my pocket and walked over to my truck. I needed to get my trailer and get lined up and ready.
With my truck at the head of the line, topped off with fuel and ready to go I walked down the line to check on everyone. Jake was the first one I approached. He sat calmly in his jeep while Denise looked nervous and Henry just sat in his seat in the back, dead to the world as he slept soundly.
“You good Jake?”
“Yeah, are you?”
“Yeah, this is going to suck… stay sharp.”
“You too Zoomie”
Next in line was Uncle Leo, with him was Brad, Alma, Mike and Larry. Brad was going over his clipboard of callsigns, along with an old topographical map with our route on it, I could only assume it came from Leo.
“All set in here?”
Uncle Leo looked at me “We are. Listen Jim, I know you’re leading this and have never done it before but relax. Your truck is top heavy with that steel box up top so you set the pace. If you take fire keep driving and trust your gunners.”
“Got it Uncle.”
Next was Matt and his family. As I approached I could tell he was nervous, but not in a scared to the point of shitting himself way. “Matt relax man, we’ll be alright. Once we get to our destination and setup we’ll start going through the combat drills with you. Is your AK47 up here with you guys?”
“Yeah Angie has it. I’ll be alright man, just ready to get on the road.”
“Yeah me too, we are just about ready.”
Mom, Dad and Jessica were in the Wrangler, along with Uncle Bill. Raquel and I had agreed to have the little one ride there instead of the lead vehicle because we figured she’d be safer there, Jim remained in the truck with us. As much as it pained me to put my son in danger I had accepted the fact that he was 16 and was a hell of a shooter, plus I didn’t need to hear him complain and gripe about being stuck “With the little kids” anymore. Dad sat back, relaxed and looking like he was trying to nap.
“Wake up old man!”
“I’m awake shithead, just waiting for us to go. Are you doing okay son?”
“I’m fine Dad, we’ll be okay. I love you.”
“I love you too boy.”
Lastly was Rich. The big surplus truck looked like it could break down at any moment but looks are deceiving. This vehicle had been overhauled prior to being put into storage and then subsequently sold off by the military. Rich and his wife sat in the cab, their kids in the forward most bench seat in the back of the truck, protected by a wall of MRE cases and various boxes and crates that had all been strapped down. On the other side sat Jose and Ryan. I looked up at Rich and smiled. “Is this old hog ready to go?”
“Ready as she will be, nothing short of a .50 cal or Rocket will stop her.”
“Cool man, good luck.”
With that it was back to my truck where Raquel, Jim, and Zach awaited me.
Zach looked out the driver side rear window and gave me the “Hang loose” hand sign. “JAMBOOOOO!”
I laughed and responded with the hand signal as well. “Get on the gun, jackass.”
Hopping in the cab and settling in with a sigh I looked at my wife. She was beautiful, and displayed no hint of fear. Quite contrarily she had a look of grim determination and held her M1 Carbine between her knees, muzzle down. Jim was in the right rear passenger seat, staring off into the distance. He had my AR15 and magazines in a chest rig, looking like he could be 20 with the weight of the world on his shoulders yet eager to carry it. I knew that look, it had been on my own face 20 years ago in a desert waiting for Operation Iraqi Freedom to kick off.
“I love you guys, stay calm, be ready to respond to attackers but be safe.”
Zach leaned down from the hatch and stuck his head in the cab. “I love you too Sweetheart… now let’s fuck this goat!”
I picked up my CB’s handset and pushed the talk button. “Fire em up and let’s di di Mao!”
The sound of both Diesel and gas vehicles filled the air, the Deuce and a half in the back the most easily distinguished of all six vehicles.
Over the radio came the order. “All vehicles, all vehicles, this is Castle One Actual, let’s hit the road.”
Yes! Awesome! MOAR Please!
a couple of longer chapters for you, my pretties.
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD
Brigadier General Tom Moore’s briefing room
The General’s briefing room was a large room capable of holding 50 people but today it felt small. The large table in the center of the room was occupied by commanders from every major combat and logistics unit from both Ft. Lewis and McChord Field. The chairs that lined the walls were all filled with either commanders of smaller units or E-9s be they Sergeant Majors or Chief Master Sergeants. The tense atmosphere was filled with low voiced discussions between the various military members, some small talk but most of it was focused on the current state of affairs. All had different ideas on how to manage the situation, these ranged from conducting operations as usual to direct action against the FFACA and the brutality they were receiving reports on that was occurring in the cities around them. One thing was certain: nobody was happy with the situation at hand.
All conversations died as the door to the briefing room was opened and a Command Sergeant Major stepped through the entryway. “ROOM TENCH-HUT!” In a smooth and rapid motion every man and woman stood ramrod straight at attention as the base commander entered the room. BG Moore walked to the head of the table. “At ease everyone, have a seat.”
Though in his mid 40’s the General had always had a look years younger than he was. At 6’2” and 180 pounds of lean muscle the man was in great shape and only had a small amount of white showing through his short cropped brown hair. He had prided himself in being able to maintain his physical fitness in a way that set the example for all under his command. Today he looked like he had aged 10 years in the last month since the change in political atmosphere. He had bags under his eyes and a gloomy look to him.
“Ladies and Gentlemen as you are well aware there is a situation outside of our gates that demands our attention. As you all know the President has signed into law legislation that has effectively split our nation in two. You also know that the Governor has decided to block traffic in and out of JBLM as well as Camp Murray. This has left us not only at a 70% manning level but it has confined our soldiers and airmen to base, many with families outside of the wire. I am aware of the fact that this has led to some our own troops hopping the fence to try and get to their families on foot. This is the first thing I will address.
In normal times this would be an offense punishable by the UCMJ, however these are not normal times. Lt. Col Keeyes, Major Braxton, I know both the 42nd Military Police Brigade and the 62nd Security Forces Squadron both have prisoners in their cells who have been apprehended attempting to leave. Later today we will discuss in depth how to handle these troops but I want it clear that no formal charges will be on their records nor will they remain in their cells after today. Ladies and Gentlemen one of our duties as leaders is to take care of our personnel and we will. Being split from families while deployed is one thing, but to be locked in while chaos reigns outside is different. As for the security of this base, continue to have your units conducting roving patrols as well as protect the gates. Understood?”
Both commanders nod and respond. “Hoah”, “Roger Sir”.
“Now, I have been informed that the President has decided to suspend Posse Comitatus and wants the US Military to join the efforts in gun confiscations, house raids and patrolling the streets to enforce the curfew and her political will. At absolutely no point will any of our men enforce curfews, aid in action against our citizens or so much as point a weapon at them unless it is in self-defense at which point defensive fire will be the ROE. The US Military will not shed the blood of Americans defending their rights. That said we WILL be sending advisors out if requested. These will be Combat Veterans from our Ranger or SFS units and their job will be observation and intelligence gathering, they will be our eyes and ears outside the wire. Do not send a PT stud with the IQ of a brick.
Our next concern is Logistics, we are well stocked in food, fuel and ammunition but we need to ensure our supply lines in and out are maintained, additionally we will prepare for an influx of personnel as our troops bring their families inside the wire once this blockade is handled. I want tent cities built with facilities to support them, all units will provide working parties to help build. Remember these will be families not a bunch of single men and women so take space and privacy into account.
Major Fisher, once we get logistics lines moving we will need the 62nd APS rocking and rolling with cargo movement, can you handle that with your numbers?”
“Yes Sir, as you know I’m at 53% manning but my 2T2’s are damn hard workers and can move anything any time… they might be known as the Alcoholics Moving Cargo but they are the best at what we do.”
“Good. Colonel Smith I want Strykers at each gate on this installation, two per active gate, plus eyes on inactive gates and the rest split set as a QRF if we ever need them.
Ladies and Gentlemen this is all for now, I want a report in 24 hours from each of you detailing your plans to handle what I have tasked you with. Does anyone have any objections to this? Good, I don’t have to fire anyone. Dismissed.”
“As you were.”
BG Moore’s Office
BG Moore and CSM Marshawn Peele prepare for their meeting with Washington State Governor Raul Mendez whom they have kept waiting in the commander’s lobby with his stand in aid Captain Griffin. General Moore sat back in his leather chair behind a large heavy desk made of American Oak. The desk had been used by the commanders of Fort Lewis since the first World War and while it showed age it had been well maintained and displayed an aura of power. CSM Peele stood to the commander’s left, he was 5’11”, 230lbs of muscle. He was a dark skinned black man with a family service history that included Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airmen and his father who had been a Green Beret during Vietnam. Marshawn himself was a Ranger. His face sported at 10” long scar that ran from above his left eye brow down the side of his face to jaw. The scar had been the result of an RPG blast that could have taken his head off. The scar and Marshawn’s calm unreadable facial expression was enough to intimidate anyone who did not know the man, and when he would frown it shook men to their bone. To those who knew the Sergeant Major he was a fearless warrior and a loyal and steadfast friend who would do anything for his people.
Both men were in their dress uniforms, the lights in half of the room had been turned off creating an atmosphere of intimidation. The only illumination overhead was above the military personnel. The stage had been set for a meeting with WA state Governor Emanuel Mendez who had earlier that day come to the base’s main gate demanding the meeting with BG Moore.
“Are you ready for some fun Marshawn? Frown at the prick’s security when they are in here. If any of them step out of line just do your thing. They’ve been waiting long enough, shall we?”
“Let’s do it Sir.”
The General pushes the intercom button on his phone that allows him to talk directly to his aid in the other room. “Captain please let our guests know we are read and show them in.”
In the other room, a visibly irritated Mendez gets out of his chair. A career politician with friends deep within the Democratic Party he is not accustomed to being made to wait. Dressed in his finest Italian suit and blue silk tie he is a tall skinny man with slicked back black hair and wire framed glasses on. Beside him are his two body guards, both are large Hispanic males with tattoos poking out above their suit collars. Mendez felt secure, safe… arrogant. To him the military was just an organization filled with dumb followers, folks too stupid to go to college lead by those who went to college but couldn’t hack it in the real world. The Governor strolled towards the door with an air of contempt mixed with assurance, this was a task he figured would be easy to handle and almost beneath him. He was not prepared for what he was about to encounter.
Mendez was taken aback as he stepped into the dimly lit room, the walls lined with American and State flags hanging from poles standing straight up from the floor. The large desk that the General sat behind had no seats in front of it and was occupied with a computer monitor on one side, a folded flag in a case beside it and a small green tank on the other side of the desk next to a picture of a soldier in black and white beside a similar vehicle. Mendez pretended he was not impressed as he confidently strolled up to the desk, his men standing on either side of him a few paces behind.
General Moore leaned back and folded his hands across his lap. “Governor Mendez, welcome and how may I help you?”
Mendez stood straight and adjusted his suit coat. “Colonel.. “
“Brigadier General, or just General.”
“My mistake. GENERAL. I’m here to provide you with my needs of your units and support in carrying out the gun confiscations and bringing order back to the area.”
“Won’t do it.”
Mendez’s shock showed clearly on his face. “WON’T?”
“You heard me clearly Sir, Posse Comitatus and the US Constitution forbids it.”
“Posse Comitatus has been suspended by order of the President, your boss. She has delegated the powers of her office down to State Governors during this time of unrest. You WILL follow orders General!”
General Moore unclasped his hands and leaned forward, growling out his words. “Governor Mendez I have patiently endured this silly blockade of yours at my gates that has cut off my troops from their families, or from coming in to work. If you think I am going to soil the reputation of the US Army and US Air Force here at JBLM for gun confiscations while you harass my people you are sorely mistaken.”
The Governor slammed his fist on the oak desk in rage “Those blockades are there to ensure your people did not do anything stupid without orders!”
Moore stood out of his chair, launching it five feet behind him as he did, leaning forward towards Mendez with a hard look on his face. “Do you think for one second those police and armed thugs with them impress me? I could easily crush them in an instant so I would remind you that testing me is not the smart move and I don’t give a fuck who you are, the next time you bash my desk it will be the last!”
As the General made his point the two bodyguards started towards the desk. They had worked with the Governor for years now and were used to being the intimidators, never had a situation like this occurred where the person they were visiting stood defiant, let alone threaten their boss. Their advance was halted immediately as the large black man next to the General took two long steps forward and glared at them with his arms crossed at his chest. A new feeling gripped them at the sight of this sinister looking man with the scar down his face… fear. It was immediately impressed upon them that they would be dismantled by this man.
The silence in the room was broken as the General stood back and relaxed. “Governor you want help and I want my men and women free to move in and out of my base. I’ll make a deal with you: remove your forces from my gates and allow my men and women to get their families on base. I’ll provide you with military advisors to observe and aid your police forces. My people will not be an enemy of the citizens of this country and they are not a law enforcement agency but if we can provide indirect assistance then we will do that.”
The Governor relaxed as well and straightened his suit. “Very well General. Your men can observe and aid but if they attempt to intervene in the confiscation and policing efforts I’ll be back to ensure the compliance of JBLM with my needs.”
With that Mendez turned to leave, noticing the look on his guards’ faces. “Let’s go!”
As the door closed the Command Sergeant Major looked to his commander, to his friend. “That could have gone better Sir.”
“Oh I don’t know Marshawn, I think it went rather well. That little shit thinks he got the better end of the bargain. Let the Battalion and Wing Commanders know what the situation is, and to get their asses in gear. It’s time to get eyes outside, and our people inside. We don’t need to fight yet, but we sure as shit aren’t helping them.”
“Roger that Sir.”
I took a deep breath as I put my truck in gear and eased off the clutch, putting our convoy into motion. Turning right onto the road I looked at my parents’ house, hoping they’d be able to come back to it someday. Hoping we’d all get to go home eventually but this was one of those times where you just had that feeling you were stepping off into something momentous, something new and dangerous. I hadn’t felt this way since my first deployment and it was exciting and terrifying. With one simple signature, our nation had been rent in two based on ideologies, it would take time for a full-scale war to break out but it was already starting and I doubted it would be a quick one.
I looked over at my wife and noticed she was nervous as hell. “Take a few deep breaths Dear, we are just getting moving and it’ll be a long trip, hopefully uneventful. Make sure the carbine has a round in the chamber, set to safe and then turn it around, keep the muzzle up but pointed at the ceiling, not you. If you need to draw it up to fire that’s the fastest way. Jim make sure you’re set the same way.” As they both readied their weapons I checked the safety on my .45 to ensure it was in place, a habit I had built while concealed carrying before all of this craziness.
Raquel turned and looked at me “I love you, I hope we are doing the right thing.”
“We are dear, we won’t live under anyone’s boot, and neither will our kids.”
“I know, I didn’t mean that… I meant where we are headed. I’ve heard plenty of stories about where you guys hunt, it doesn’t sound easy plus we don’t know how we’ll be received by the town.”
“We’ll get by, we know the land well to include approaches and where to hunt food. It’s Eastern Washington so I’m sure there won’t be very many people happy with what is going on. We have plenty of experience here, I’m sure we can get setup well out there plus we have a lot of combat veterans who can train us.”
“You sound pretty sure about this, are you sure this will work?”
“No, but it’s the best bet we have. We took the same oath my Love, we cannot let these political thugs change what the nation is and if we have to fight for it then so be it. I’m nervous as all hell too, you know we weren’t combat troops, we loaded planes. There’s a steep learning curve to fighting and killing… and staying alive. I just hate that Jim has to come along for the ride.”
“I can hear you Dad.”
“I know. Are you watching the road?”
“Yes. Dad what about school? My friends all stayed back, I doubt they will join the fight.”
“I don’t know right now Son, I’m guessing you’ll be learning a whole bunch of new stuff now. I know you aren’t a legal adult yet but you are mature and intelligent, pay attention to the Vets and learn what they must teach you. Taking a life is no fun and I pray you never have to but it is better to be prepared than not.”
“I know, this isn’t a toy I’m holding. I won’t let you down.”
Our conversation is interrupted by the sound of the CB, giving us a jump.
“All vehicles this is Castle One, Radio and status check in reverse convoy order.”
“This is Blacksmith, we are Green on fuel, Green on ammunition and I copy Lima Charley.”
“This is Crawdad, we are good on gas and you’re coming in fine.”
“Hawkeye is good”
“Cobra Copies, Green and Green.”
“Hercules here, coming in clear and we are set on fuel and ammo.”
“All vehicles Castle One copies all vehicles coming in clear and set green-green. Castle One out.”
We continue to drive along the straight roads heading to Salmon Pass in silence. The sun was high in the sky by now and we had settled down and began to enjoy the drive. With the windows down, we could smell the forest around us, the tall green pine trees gave off their wonderful scent and helped keep the drive cool enough that all windows were down. Zach was relaxed in one of the rear seats, dozing off.
“Zach wake up man, get on the gun. We’ll be approaching a town in about 5 minutes.”
“On it.” Zach immediately hopped back into the back of the truck and unlatched the turret’s hatch. The gun swung up into position easily, causing me to admire my father’s handiwork once again. With the hatch closed you could barely tell there was one up there from the outside. Zach sat into the web seat that hung down from the turret and pulled the charging handle on the browning to get it set if we needed it. “Is this another belt of ball ammunition?”
“Yes. If you need it, the can on the far-right shelf down there has tracers every fifth round”
“Word, why so much with just ball ammunition?”
“Tracers are fucking expensive.”
“All vehicles, Castle One. Sound off with vehicle status from front to rear.”
“Half a tank of fuel, good on ammo.”
“Copy all statuses, we are Yellow and Green. Hercules find us a gas station that has diesel and we’ll all fuel up. Keep your eyes peeled and stay alert.”
Raquel looked over to me curiously. “Why are we Hercules?”
“because of the C-130, since we used to load them.”
“Oh, makes sense.”
As we approached town everything seemed normal. There were folks walking the streets, stores were open and nothing showed signs of the chaos in the big cities. We drove into town at the posted speed limit, the distances between our vehicles closing to normal traffic sized intervals. We received a mix of curious looks as well as those of alarm. We weren’t exactly inconspicuous especially with Zach and the machinegun up top, I should have had him stay down but it was too late now.
I pulled into the first gas station that had room for us all, it was a Chevron station with typical Chevron prices. $6 for a gallon of Diesel felt like robbery but that’s because I still remembered griping at it hitting $3 a gallon years ago. I pulled directly in to the pump and wasted no time getting out to refuel. We wanted this done so we could get on the road as fast as possible.
As the fuel pump fed my truck I looked around at the surroundings. Everyone but Rich had made it into a stall to refuel. There were two other vehicles refueling, including a blue Subaru hatch-back in front of me that had the rear bumper covered in stickers. COEXIST, PEACE, CLAMPTON 2020. Fucking liberals… this could be trouble.
Jim looked out the window at me. “Dad, Mom and I need to pee.”
I sighed, I guess you can’t help some things. “Make it fast.”
As the truck doors closed and they headed into the store I looked up at Zach who was smiling down at me. “The fuck you are staring at Zach, you need a diaper change or something?”
“No, I’m good but you can add a couple of trucker bombs to our inventory.”
“You sick bastard.”
As I hung up the nozzle and closed my fuel door I was alerted to a commotion at the gas station door by Zach. “Hey, someone’s fucking with Raquel and your son, young male in early 20’s, white with blonde hair…. Oh shit, never mind. Jim just punched him and put him on his ass. Damn!”
I walked around the truck and headed towards my family as they were coming out. Jim was obviously pissed; my wife was smiling.
“What was that all about?”
“I came out of the bathroom to see that dude was talking trash to Mom and I about us being stupid redneck gun lovers, then he called Mom a whore so I knocked him out.”
“Good job. Looks like he’s not totally out though.”
The man came storming out of the store heading straight towards my family screaming profanities which is when I stepped forward. “I suggest you shut the fuck up and get in your car, if you think my son hits hard you don’t want some of me.”
The man stopped and was taken aback, then he spotted the pistol on my hip, then the truck’s addition and his eyes widened. “That gun is illegal! You aren’t allowed to have it and need to turn it in. That’s the LAW!”
“Fuck the law, fuck you. Get lost kid.”
“I’m calling the local FFACA office on you!” he hopped in the Subaru and I could see he was on his phone. Everyone in the convoy had seen what happened and thankfully all were fueled and ready to go so I hopped in my truck after my family were in and secure.
“All vehicles this is Castle One Actual, let’s get the hell out of here while we can before the Federalized idiots show up. Same vehicle order. Castle Actual out.”
With a quick turn, we were back on the road heading out of town. Even though Rich had not been able to refuel his truck we didn’t have to worry, the old Deuce had two 40-gallon fuel tanks and I bet it could make it to our destination with no problems. Everything was quiet for a few minutes until a call came over the CB.
“Castle One this is Blacksmith, we have a sedan hauling ass up behind us with what looks like one of those magnetic cop lights on top. It isn’t a cop though. Might be FFACA, what do you want us to do?”
“Have Jose put a couple of rounds in front of it and report back.”
The sound of three rapid shots plus screeching tires was easily heard amongst the convoy.
“That worked, he stopped.”
“Copy, good work.”
As we drove on I mumbled a few curses under my breath, not something new to my wife but she must have been curious this time.
“What was that Honey?”
“I was just muttering to myself. I wish these fuckers would leave us alone and realize we
aren’t in the mood to be fucked with. Hopefully the dry side of the state is a little less idiotic.”
“Eastern WA folks seem to be a different breed than the liberals on the west side of the Cascades, so let’s hope.”
“It’s already going to suck getting setup, it’d be nice not to have to worry about every town being a combat zone like over here. How are you doing with all of this?”
“Same as last time you asked me, my love… I’m processing it but doing okay, I hope my sister is doing okay and that the other ladies with us are too.”
“Yeah, hopefully Jim does okay with it, we’ll have to figure out schooling and that sort of thing too.”
“Dad, again, I’m right here you know… and don’t worry, I’ll be fine.”
Zach pounded on the top of the truck and yelled down. “What about me? No love for your gunner?”
I smiled to myself and gave a little laugh. “Quit being a baby and watch the road you retard!”
“I am watching, there isn’t shit to shoot at.”
We continued in relative silence, the sound of the diesel engine surrounded us as well as the scenery we drove through. The two-lane highway was lined with pine trees that would occasionally have gaps where acre sized areas had been logged. These were filled with small pine trees growing in various heights depending on how long ago the area had been replanted. I couldn’t help but think that the clear-cut areas were great spots to hunt black-tailed deer when the season was around. This thought took me to the task ahead of us. We would have to setup camp when we reached our destination. The area was tucked into one of the canyons of the land we hunted, most of the ridge line in the area was bare of trees or scrub, just lots of grass which left vehicle travel at the top extremely exposed but the canyons were forested quite well. One area was nice and flat, had plenty of trees as well as a stream that ran by the remains of an old hand cut log cabin that must have been built in the early 1900’s as a rest stop for the cattlemen that would drive their herds through the area. Food, sanitation, shelter, security… the list went on. Knowing the area and having experience with living out there for a week to a month at a time during hunting seasons gave a bit of an advantage but we were still going to have to figure a lot of things out. Hopefully the town close by would be hospitable or we’re screwed.
“All vehicles this is Castle One, we are approaching the last turn prior to a 2-mile-long straight away that leads into another town, after the town we’ll be in nothing but open road until after the Pass, look alive and be alert. Castle One out.”
“Hercules copies, slowing for the turn now.” As I down shifted and slowed for the tight turn I was on edge, the trees blocked my ability to see what was coming up around the bend and something felt off. We hadn’t seen any vehicles heading the opposite direction for about ten minutes and usually we would have. “Zach look alive, something doesn’t feel right.”
Zach stood up from the improvised chair and took up a stance that told me he was on the gun and ready to engage. “Raquel, Jim, have your weapons ready, I have a bad feeling shit is about to hit the fan. Stay low if possible, shoot if we get fired on.”
As I came around the turn and could see the road ahead I immediately noticed why we had not experienced any traffic headed our way. The road was blocked less than a quarter mile ahead by two cars that were sitting trunk to trunk with their front ends towards the shoulder with men dressed in black behind them, weapons pointed our way. The traffic was blocked by a third vehicle about a half a mile past them. I was thankful they chose this long stretch to try and stop us since it made it easier for us to see where everything was setup and where not to shoot.
I immediately grabbed the radio and gave a report while keeping my speed “All vehicles we have a roadblock ahead, approximately 10 armed individuals pointing weapons our way.”
“This is Castle One Actual, ram the damn cars if you have to, nobody stops!”
I shifted my truck into a higher gear and mashed the pedal, I was only doing 20 mph through the turn and wanted more speed. By the time I hit 30mph I could tell the people manning the road block were getting antsy, finally one of them shot at us when we were within a couple of hundred yards. The first shot missed wildly but it was the leak that broke the dam and gunfire erupted from behind the two blocking vehicles. Most of the shots were wild but three managed to stitch my windshield right between my wife and I, sending shards of glass into my face but not damaging my eyes thanks to the Oakley sunglasses I was wearing. The rounds passed by my family safely but I heard them smack into the armor plate behind us and then a curse from Zach.
“Motherfuckers! I’m hit, but not bad.” The string of expletives that followed from Zach’s mouth was drowned out by a particularly long burst of return fire from the browning. I could see the asphalt chip up as he adjusts his fire and walked the rounds into the vehicle on the right. Glass exploded from the side windows of his target and the rear passenger side doors were shredded with holes as Zach focused on the shooter he felt responsible for the aimed fire at the truck. The man’s body jerked as rounds pierced his torso and a final shot resulted in his head snapping back accompanied by a spray of pink mist behind his head. Further bursts were directed towards the vehicle on the left. Zach’s fire had an immediate effect as it caused two more casualties and another destroyed vehicle. Our attackers all scrambled to get away from both the deadly fire directed their way as well as my 8,000lb truck that was barreling towards their cover.
When I was within 20 feet of the vehicles I left off the gas long enough to downshift and get more torque behind my wheels. As I focused on aiming my truck for the small gap between the two cars my wife and son both opened on the right. The shots were going out as fast as they could pull the trigger, the .30 Carbines making their small pops seemed like child’s play when compared to the .30 caliber on the roof but they still did their part to keep heads down and attempt to protect.
“HOLD ON GUYS!”
The truck smashed into the two cars in a violent manner that sent them both swinging wide and cleared a path, despite my warning we all got scrambled a bit and it was all I could do not to lose control of the wheel. I could hear gunfire from each vehicle as we passed the now defunct road block. The next problem would be the third sedan and its passengers that were blocking the oncoming traffic. We had a half a mile to prepare but it ended up that violence was not needed. As we approached I could see the two FFACA members with their hands in the air and guns on the ground. Every gun on the left side of our convoy aimed at them as we drove by but nobody fired, we weren’t cold blooded murderers plus the long line of civilians sitting in their vehicles looking dumbfounded were bystanders we didn’t want to see hurt.
“Zach are you alright?”
“A ricochet hit me in the ass but I’m okay for now.”
“All Vehicles check in!”
“Hercules has one non-critical wounded, a little banged up but the vehicle is good.”
“Hawkeye, we’re fine”
“Crawdad here, we’re okay”
“Blacksmith has one down, I’m getting no response from Jose in the back, all else are
fine, we need Doc back here to look at him.”
“Castle One copies… here Doc take the mic.”
“Blacksmith I need more information, is Jose down or dead? Where’s he hit and can you see any blood?”
“Negative Doc, Rich just climbed in the back through the rear window and is evaluating
him now, no blood. What’s that Rich? Okay…. Doc Rich says Jose took a round to the plate and Kevlar. He’s unconscious, but alive and has minor bleeding from a gash in his forehead.”
“Copy, get his legs up, take his helmet off and put some gauze and pressure on the head wound, if his situation gets worse radio us. When we hit a safe spot to check him out further I will but it sounds like he got his bell rung.”
“Roger that Doc, be advised he’s coming to, a bit incoherent but otherwise okay.”
“Copy, Castle One out.”
Keep it up with the MOAR!
Excellent story, please keep it up!
food for the MOAR hounds!
Governor Mendez’s office
State Capitol building, Olympia WA.
Governor Mendez paced back and forth in his luxuriously adorned office with his hands behind his back and a furious look on his face. The nerve of that General! Didn’t he realize who he was talking to? Mendez vowed to himself he would get even with him for his insolence. The military was under orders to follow his commands and he needed them to help put down the violence in the big cities! It was bad enough the military was giving him troubles but the rednecks that wouldn’t give up their guns were proving to be a major pain in his ass. He was losing FFACA troopers faster than expected and local cops were doing the bare minimum to help, they had even arrested some of the team leaders during a few of the house raids!
As he continued to brood on the situation he was startled by a sharp knock on his door. “Come in!”
The Governor’s aid stepped into the office holding a blue folder and looked nervous. His cheap suit was wrinkled, his hair was a mess and his obviously un-shaved face showed the hours he had put in lately. The young man had in fact been up all night tracking the violence in the streets, particularly in Tacoma and the neighboring cities. Seattle had been moving along with the gun confiscations smoothly, the areas giving them trouble were not unexpected to him. He walked towards the Governor and held the folder out towards him.
“Sir this is a report on a particular string of violence against our FFACA teams that appear to be connected. We believe it started in Tacoma at the McCoy residence which was one of the first major attacks against a confiscation team. There have been further attacks in Spanaway and down 410 which reports indicate were all conducted by the same group of vehicles. We believe they are headed for Salmon Pass and we have another roadblock being set up to stop them. So far our small groups have not been able to stop them because they are setup with a machinegun.”
“Give me that!” As the Governor flips through the report with a furious look on his face his aid stands nervously waiting for his boss to give him directions. He was startled when Mendez looked up and threw the report at him.
“If they are headed towards the pass to get to Eastern WA we can catch up to them and stop them. Get one of the new assault groups loaded into trucks and equipped with weapons from the old NG Armory and tell that damned General we expect one of his “Advisors” ready to lead the convoy for us in 30 minutes. If they haven’t made it to the roadblock that means we still have time to catch up. I want these radicals killed and made an example of to anyone who thinks they can defy us. GO!”
FT. LEWIS MAIN GATE
40 MINUTES LATER
Sergeant First Class Nicholas Caldwell stood by the passenger door of his armored HMMVW being briefed by his commanding officer AND the base commander. Caldwell was an 18-Bravo, Special Forces. He couldn’t figure out why his team had been selected to send two men to baby-sit a convoy of the Federal goons rather than a few Rangers or Pogues but he found out quickly.
As he and his partner went over their gear and made ready for their mission Caldwell was approached by General Moore. SFC Caldwell came to attention and snapped a perfect salute and held it until the General returned the salute and dropped his first.
“At ease Caldwell. I know you’re wondering why the hell I’m sending an SF team to conduct an escort mission but it’s because I need a combat veteran and believe it or not an SF team. The group being chased down is a civilian convoy that is believed to be comprised of veterans, their tactics and organization are too good to be survivalists like the retards on TV shows, plus we’ve been listening to their radio traffic since they shot up a FFACA checkpoint just outside of McChord Field. Your orders are as such:
Do not initiate fire with them, defensive return fire only unless you feel you will take casualties, and I don’t care what the FFACA commander on site says.
If possible make contact with them and gather intel.
Use your judgement on this part SFC: If they are a group that the SF and US Army can support you will deliver the pelican case of equipment we’ve put in your Hummer. In that case is a Sat-Phone to establish comms with them plus a couple of other pieces of equipment, as well as a tracker hidden inside the case.
You have the CROWS system on your Humvee with the .50 so if they get stupid you defend yourselves. Stay safe and good luck.”
SFC Caldwell snapped back to attention and rendered a salute. “Yes Sir.”
As Brigadier General Moore left, Caldwell’s Company Commander turned to him. “Nick I selected you for a reason, we’ve both been through shit together and I know how you work. I’m sending you and Luis for a reason, if they are enlisted they might trust a fellow E over an Officer on first encounter plus two SF vs a full team is more of an envoy than an assault package. Take it easy, let us know what you find out.”
“Yessir, we got this.”
With his partner already in the vehicle, Nick fired up the Hummer and headed to the main gate where a convoy of various vehicles was lined up. The convoy included two older model 2.5 ton trucks similar to the WWII Deuces, as well as an old Chevrolet Blazer and a couple of un-armored HMMVWs. All had been hastily painted black, with a red circle on the hood that had white lettered FFACA in the center. Caldwell scoffed as he took in the sight and thought out loud “What’d they do, raid the DRMO for vehicles?”
His longtime friend and team mate Staff Sergeant Luis Chen laughed. “Hell that Hummer has an M240 Bravo on it so they must have raided the Nasty Guys’ armory as well, Oh hell… look at this guy approaching.”
As they had been taking in the sight of the convoy a figure had exited the blazer and started towards them. The figure was wearing all black clothing to include a black beret. The air of confidence displayed was entertaining to the combat veterans and as the figure approached they got a better look.
“Hell that’s a woman.”
Stacy Felman approached the military vehicle, her head held high with a serious look on her face. She was 5’5’ tall and 120lbs soaking wet but had been selected for the role of platoon leader not because of her size, but because of long standing with the ANTIFA movement and her ability to organize and lead the protests she had been involved with during the early years of the movement against the fascists. Her group had been well known for its subtle use of violence against their opposition as well as for having not been caught by the police. Her entire group had been recruited to form the first Special Assault Platoon, the training they had been provided was fully funded by a well-known anti-gun lobbyist.
The training had been led by a couple of Army veterans who believed in their cause, it primarily focused on basic platoon and squad tactics which had been geared more towards single leader mentality akin to those used by foreign nations. The instructors had attempted to break the groups down to squads and teams but soon realized that their trainees lacked the ability to work in smaller supporting units so they fell back on a reliance on one lead individual giving the instruction.
Stacy approached the driver’s window and after he opened the door she pointed to a gap in the convoy just behind her blazer. “I want you there, behind me. Here’s a hand-held radio so I can tell you where to go and what to do when needed. Stay out of our way otherwise.”
SFC Caldwell gave her dismissive wave as he gave her a response while closing his door. “Okay.” With that he idled up to his spot and the convoy began to move. “What a bitch.”
I just read through this in the last couple of days. Thanks for posting this here for us, I'm really enjoying it and looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.
“Castle One, Hercules.”
“We’re approaching the start of the pass; the gate is unlocked and open?”
“Lima Charlie, proceed at reduced rate of 20 MPH, all vehicles how copy?”
“Hercules copies, reducing speed now.”
“Hawkeye here, got it.”
“Blacksmith, Lima Charlie.”
The convoy slowed for its ascent up the scenic but at times very winding pass which would take them up to 5,400 ft of elevation before its long and much easier descent through the Cascades into Eastern Washington. The last mile of the road up was full of twists and turns, with a 2-foot-tall man-made rock wall acting as a stop to prevent vehicles from sliding over the side of the road to a long fall off the mountainside. The last turn was a hairpin turn would require vehicles to slow to 15 miles per hour before the last 300 yards to the top, where a large parking lot sat with areas to enjoy the view or for motorists to relieve themselves after the slow drive up.
The commanding view of the road in either direction and the wooded valley with its flowing river running through it not only provided a scenic stopping point for us to unwind at, it also provided a location where we would see anyone approaching long before they could get to us. It was at this point that we stopped our convoy for a break.
“All vehicles pull to the Eastern most parking lot, pull all the way forward and shut down in convoy order to ensure an easy departure. Let’s stretch our legs. Castle Out.”
We had stopped up here many times over the years so I needed no further direction. There were only a few other vehicles parked in the lot, their occupants at the edge of the lookout point enjoying the view. Luckily they had all parked in a separate lot than we intended to stop at, leaving wide open spaces for us to pull into. As I came to a stop and set the transmission to 1st gear and then set the parking brake.
“Guys keep your weapons on you, Zach secure the gun and lock the hatch back down please.”
The other vehicles had all stopped side by side in an orderly fashion and the occupants were already climbing out and stretching. I wanted to check on Jose, but also wanted to make sure my baby girl was handling everything as well as possible so I stopped by Raquel’s Jeep which Dad had been driving. Pops was standing by the door, anticipating my first destination upon stopping. He looked tired, not just the physical sense but mentally and emotionally drained in a way that reminded me of how he looked when any of his three sons were deployed. Only this time it looked much worse.
“Dad, how are you and everyone else doing? Is anyone hurt?”
He sighed and pulled a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket, pulled one out and lit it with a cheap BIC that he fished out of the same pack. I looked on curiously and could help myself, holding my hand out for one.
“I thought you quit Son?”
“I did, years ago… kinda like how you did after that heart attack but with all this shit going on, I’ll take one too and we’ll get our asses chewed by the ladies together.”
As I lit the smoke and pulled on it I remembered why I loved them as well as why I hated them, they tasted like crap but the nicotine high worked magic on nerves. I made a mental note to not get hooked on them again.
Dad looked at me and gave me the run down. “I’m tired, and worried about my family. You boys are not new to this but I am so I’m dealing with it. Mom is a wreck and not really understanding how everything went crazy so fast, nor why her boys decided to take on the government. Jessica is asleep in there but during the shooting she was crying and hugging her little teddy bear. She’s going to need time with her Dad, she wants to know why people are trying to hurt us and I don’t know what to say to her besides telling her that the bad people are trying to harm her family but she’s safe.”
I give a sigh of frustration and regret. “You know Dad, I always believed that if there was a war to fight I’d rather it be me than my kids, and these bastards have drug them into it. I can’t explain it to you Pops, but a lot of us swore to protect and serve the Constitution… so help us God. It’s something that runs to the bone and it rings true to us as loudly as the day we took it. I worry for my kids, I worry for you and Mom. I don’t know how far this will go, nor what the future will bring us but I feel like we are doing the right thing here. You know combat wasn’t my gig when I was in, up until I was attacked I had never fired a shot in anger. Now I’ve killed people, nobody that didn’t deserve it but it’s still something I’m going to have to process but for now it gets buried deep down so that I can keep functioning. Fuck I hope we are doing the right thing here.”
I take the last hit off my cigarette and stub it out on the ground, Dad does the same and embraces me in a hug. The feeling of a hug from your father is unexplainable, some pretend they don’t like it but I think it is all false bravado. Here I am, a grown ass man and still I feel like a kid when the old man embraces me. As we pull apart I let him know I need to check on Jose, but I’ll be back.
As I approach Rich’s truck I can see Jose leaning against the side of the Deuce puking, with my cousin beside him talking to him.
“Jose keep drinking water and stay the fuck awake and close to someone.. preferably me. Handle your business then sit down and relax, got it?”
“Copy that Doc.”
Ryan looks over to me. “He took a couple of rounds from a lucky burst, one to the chest and one to the Kevlar. The Kevlar hit smashed his helmet forward into his forehead, giving a concussion and one hell of a headache. He’ll be fine.
I raise an eyebrow in curiosity. “Aren’t the soft foam pads in the helmets supposed to prevent that shit?”
“The ones WE were issued yeah, he has the older ones with that piece of shit leather band and mesh net.”
“Ah, well keep an eye on him, how’s everyone else?”
“The fighters are fine, many are back in combat mode and handling it well. We’ll know more when they start sleeping and dreaming.”
“Got it, how are you doing?”
“I’m okay, between the corpsman experience and the EMT work I did I should be able to handle a lot but remember I’m not a doctor.”
“Yeah I know, I’m glad you’re with us but remember there’s no rules of engagement here, I doubt the FFACA will care if you’re the medic or not.”
“It’s nothing new, damn Mujahedeen targeted us on purpose over there. I’ll be fine… and armed.”
“Alright, well let’s all relax a bit and enjoy the scenery and let the little ones get out and walk around.”
I turn around to head back towards the jeep to see Jessica only to find her standing halfway between it and I, holding her Teddy and smiling at me. I walk over and pick her up, giving her a bear hug and a tickle.
She squirms in my arms and slaps my arm. “Don’t Tickle! Where is Mama?”
“We are walking over to her now dear, mommy had to pee.”
“I do too.”
“Okay, let’s take you to her then.”
We joke and play a little bit as we walk together towards the bathroom, right when we get there Raquel steps out and smiles at her little girl.
“Hey you! How are you?”
“I gotta pee mama.”
After they finish we all walk hand in hand towards the lookout point to join most of our group. The kids are looking through the binoculars, or running around. The older boys are conversing together off towards the side. Despite the day’s events it was relaxing and a cheerful time for group as we all unwound.
Any new ones?
One small nitpic - In chapter 11 as they ram the two cars forming a barricade his wife and son are shooting .30 Carbines. I thought the son was shooting his AR15.
Sergeant First Class Caldwell was bored, scratch that… he was completely fucking bored and frustrated to boot. The clowns he and SSgt Chen were stuck with were a maddening lot to have to deal with… and that spoke volumes because they had trained some of the DUMBEST foreign nationals the areas they had been to could dig up. As the radio crackled with more back and forth nonsense from the various vehicles he was convoying with he gave a disgusted sigh.
“Luis do you remember the Afghan Police being like this?”
“No, but maybe it’s because they knew their lives were in danger.”
“I dunno, these guys have no radio discipline, they are all over the damn road, shoot at random shit on the side of the road and are generally just fucking idiots.”
Chen nodded in agreement, looking out the window to scan the area around them. He looked at his friend. “Nick, what do you think of this group? We’ve seen the damage they can inflict, hell that roadblock they shot up that we had to stop and inspect looked like it had been hit by folks that knew what the hell they were doing. The impact patterns on the cars were too tight and well controlled to be anything but an LMG, with full auto being illegal before these fucking bans that would make at least one of them a Felon.”
“I don’t know bro, all these idiots keep talking about is this being a group of crazy rednecks or racists who formed a militia. I don’t buy it, the intel that we were provided points towards a group who’s tired of the BS. The fact that a chunk of their group is former military speaks volumes. We haven’t seen any shot-up civilians from these guys, not in the two towns we passed through nor the roadblock. We’ll have to make that judgement call when and if we meet these folks. If this group of retards we have the pleasure of escorting comes into contact with who we are following I don’t think it’ll turn out the way the FFACA expects.
The radio crackles to life again, interrupting their conversation.
“Okay team, after this turn we have a short straightaway before a sharp turn that will take us to the top and we can pick up speed on the way down.”
Nick and Chen are both on edge, they have been in the shit many times and have learned to trust their instincts. Something wasn’t right and neither of them liked the feeling they were getting. The convoy was in the straight stretch of road, sharp drop off to their right, and the peak of the roadway above them. If there was a spot for an ambush this would be it. Debris on the side of the road amped up their alarm.
“Chen pan the MG up and to about 9 o’clock, keep an eye on the ri..”
An explosion cuts off any further conversation. In the side mirror Nick watches the devastating effects of a roadside bomb rip through the last vehicle. The explosion is powerful enough to lift the unarmored HMMWV off the ground while simultaneously blowing the front of the vehicle apart. It immediately erupted in flames and Nick stared in horror for a split second before his training kicked in. Nick slammed the accelerator petal to the firewall in order to clear the ambush zone.
He gripped the steering wheel tight enough to make his knuckles turn white, steering it hard left to clear the command vehicle in front of him.
Luis scanned the area as Nick maneuvered the vehicle, keeping as calm as he could. “Get us out of this kill zone!”
“I’m working on it, just need to give us a little distance from these other vehicles. If they want to sit and get fucked up that’s on them.
Nick pulled the vehicle 50 yards ahead of the lead HMMWV and angled his so that the front was pointed up the road towards the top of the road. The lack of small arms fire was not lost on them.
“Nick what the fuck was that? I’d swear it was an IED, it sounded like homemade explosive but there is no incoming fire.”
The handheld radio came to life “Everyone get out and setup security, face towards the top of the hill!”
The two soldiers watched as the “highly trained” FFACA troops got out of their vehicles and moved to the side of the road to form a skirmish line. The turret gunner in the lead HMMWV had at least turned his gun around to face the top of the road, otherwise very few of the FFACA troops were using cover despite the fact that the patch of ground in front of them was moderately wooded with large pine trees.
Then the nervous tension in the air was released with first the single crack of a rifle and then a fusillade of small arms fire directed at the convoy that had just dismounted.
Luis watched in fascination and horror as half the head of the turret gunner disappeared in a macabre spray of blood, bones, and brains across the top of the vehicle. What sort of heavy weapon did they have up there? As the two Special Forces members sat shocked they laid witness to the firefight in front of them. They had no love for the group they had been ordered to ride with, but to see the scene in front of them on US soil had them taken aback. Luis grabbed the joystick to the remote controlled .50 caliber machinegun mounted on their roof and began to pan it up towards the attackers.
“Don’t fire Luis, not unless we start getting hit hard.”
“I know our orders and ROE, I just want to use the imaging to see what’s up there.” Just as Luis stopped the camera on the location of the automatic weapon that was firing down into the fuckers downhill he watched on the display screen as a kid poked up over the rock wall and aimed a rifle at their vehicle, firing three shots which were rewarded with two impacts on the Up-armored vehicle’s windshield resulting in a mild pock mark into the glass.
Nick jumped a bit. “What the fuck was that? Why the hell aren’t you returning fire and why the fuck are you laughing?”
Luis had seen the shots fired and Identified the shooter, but started laughing as he saw an older man smack the young kid upside the head and point at his and Nick’s location.
“Relax man, a kid shot three rounds at us and was rewarded with being hit upside the head like one of the three stooges.”
“Alright. I hear the AR-15s, as well as some heavy rifles that I assume are large caliber bolt action, plus that damn machinegun. It’s firing to slow to be a 240 or an RPK, it’s hard to tell from here. They’ve already cut down half the FFACA. I don’t get why they used an IED nor how they know how. Sit tight and hope they leave us the fuck out of it.”
Their handheld crackled to life again with the voice of Stacy screaming at them. “Why the hell aren’t you firing at them Sergeant?! SHOOT THEM OR SO HELP ME I’LL…” Another report from a rifle above silenced the FFACA platoon’s leader, resulting in further chaos for the ambush victims. Soon it was all over and the pair waited for the next step… the real part of their mission.
the ambush from the other perspective:
As we all wound down from relaxing and playing around in the parking lot Matt walked up to me with a curious look on his face.
“Do you hear that?”
“I can’t hear anything besides the kids and the ringing in my ears, too much exposure to loud ass jets taking off dude. What is it?”
“I’d swear I hear the echo of diesel engines down in the valley, coming up. There shouldn’t be any tractor trailers on this road so I don’t know why I hear it. It’s been getting a little louder but still some ways away down the mountain.”
I look at him curiously, then in alarm. “Go tell Uncle Leo, now!”
As Matt heads towards Uncle Leo I holler out for Corey and my brothers, we might not be able to hear very well but we could get the gears moving. As the three were headed towards me I noticed a few of the others in our group cock their heads to the side as they started to hear the vehicles too. Corey was the first to get to me, with Jake and then Brad right on his heels.
“You guys Matt hears a few diesel engines down the road some ways away but definitely getting closer. I can only imagine it’s people pissed off at us, Brad go fuck with the radios and see if you can pick anything up, lets us three get everyone ready just in case. Matt is letting Uncle Leo know right now, Jake you tell the guys I’ll start getting the ladies and kids moving.
Corey looked at his truck then back at me. “I’m going to get a surprise ready.” With that he was off like a shot towards his vehicle. Jake just looked at me and shrugged. We didn’t have a damn clue what he was up to but knowing Corey it was bound to be big.
Before I could start getting the word out to the families Uncle Leo had heard the information from Matt about the vehicles and took matters into his own hands. “EVERYONE GATHER AROUND QUICK!” It only took a couple of minutes for the children to be wrangled up and all the family (both by blood, by marriage or by association such as the family friends) to gather around. Uncle didn’t waste any time with chit chat. “Matt heard some large diesel engines down the valley, I’m sure some of you can hear them now too. We don’t know if they are friendly or not but we aren’t going to sit around and wait till they are up here to find out.
I want everyone not fighting to get in the all but Jim and Rich’s trucks and start heading down the pass. That part of the pass is long but not very steep or twisty, with all of the trailers and gear we have I don’t think we will be able to outrun the vehicles in pursuit if it is in fact the FFACA again.
I want you all to head down to the first town and park there, it’ll be about an hour and a half away. We’ll all follow in the two trucks. Keep calm and don’t worry. Everyone staying behind gather your gear. And get back here.”
The flurry of activity that followed was made with haste but not with panic as vehicles were filled, gear pulled, donned and everyone got ready. I went to my truck to grab my vest and my plate carrier. As I approached Raquel and Jim Jr. were there gearing up as well, Zach was already in his armor and pulling ammunition belts out of boxes.
I looked at my wife and son with reservation. “What are you two doing?”
My wife gave me one of her determined looks that said, “You won’t win this argument”. “We are getting ready to protect our family. Got a problem with that?”
After 20 years of marriage you get a good feel for what battles a husband can win, and which he most definitely wont and this was the later. With a sigh I looked from my wife to my son. “Fine, stay by me, keep your heads down and do what I do. Those .30 Carbines should work just as well as the other weapons we have since the roads are so close. Son grab two belts of ammunition for the MG, we’ll be supporting Zach and the .30 caliber.”
“Zach grab the 1919, I want your first belt to be one of the AP belts and after that we’ll use ball. Let’s get over to Leo.”
Loaded for bear and nervous with the situation we walked over to where all the fighters were gathering. The first of the vehicles heading out started off as we arrived at the group. Most were equipped with AR-15s, a couple had semi-automatics of other sorts like the two M1 Carbines, and my brother Jake with his M1A scout that we always gave him shit about.
Uncle Leo cleared his throat and was about to begin when Corey came running up to the group, only he had run up the side of the road from down below. “Where the fuck were you at?”
“Setting up a surprise for someone.” Corey’s pants and hands were covered in dirt and he had been sweating his ass off, but his shit-eating grin told us that our Combat Engineer was up to something.
“Tell me after this Corey. Alright everyone, most of you know what an L shaped ambush is, that’s what we are going to setup here. I want that machinegun setup at end of the sort side of the ambush, pointed down. It’ll cover the road below and be setup to fire directly down the last stretch up the road to our location if it’s needed. I want three others setup along the short length, one of which is going to be Zach’s AG. The rest line up along the rock wall and keep your asses down until you hear me shoot. Keep your radios on, pass information to those without the handhelds. We can hear the vehicles so get moving!”
I turned to my wife and son “Raquel stay by my brothers, Jim you’re with me by the machinegun. Let’s go!” We trotted off after Zach who was already 30 feet away getting the bipods extended on the M1919A6, two belts on the ground next to him. Our entire left side would be exposed to the length of the road below but we had at least a dozen shooters protecting that flank. The weight of the plates, carrier, ammunition, water, and my helmet was bearing down on me with each foot fall as I jogged. My damn back was going to be killing me tonight.
Zach had positioned the gun in a spot on the rock wall where a three-foot-wide gap had been made by a vehicle that crashed into it the year before. Black ice and someone’s bad luck had created the perfect spot for us to setup. I directed my son to set his ammunition down and lay to my left, as I positioned myself to the left of Zach, ready to feed him fresh belts as needed and to direct his fire. He was already behind the gun, fresh belt loaded and stock in his arm ready.
“Jim scoot over, this is going to sound gay but just do it. Snug up beside me, put your right leg over my left and get close as shit to me so that we are almost rubbing heads. Take that fucking helmet off before you hit me with it! Good, you direct my fire and tell me when I’m getting low on rounds and keep an eye out.”
I pushed my helmet to my son, it seemed he forgot his too. “Put this on, keep your head down you got it? Good. Let’s stack some bodies.”
As we heard the vehicle noise increase Corey knelt by our Uncle who was looking towards the bend in the road with his binoculars. “What did you set down there Corey?”
“Homemade explosive with a remote detonator. It won’t do much if they are in armored vehicles but if they aren’t it’ll tear some shit up for us.”
“Christ boy, where’d you learn to make that shit?”
“Afghanistan Uncle, I found and destroyed enough of them to see how they were made.”
“Wasn’t EOD supposed to destroy the Improvised Explosive Devices?”
“Yeah but we didn’t like waiting for them so we did it ourselves.”
“Fair enough. I’ll tell you what to hit.”
We waited with baited breath for the vehicles to come into view, they had grown very loud now and we could tell there were more than a few. More than a few of us cursed as the first few vehicles came into view. Mounted machineguns were not what we wanted to see, especially an up-armored one with a remote .50 caliber M2 on top. The ONLY hope we had against that was the belt of AP rounds we had, which were not likely to do anything but piss its crew off.
Zach cursed then muttered out “At least it’s not a Mark 19 on top, we’d be totally fucked.”
I couldn’t agree more. “Target the driver’s window, short controlled bursts. We have 50 rounds of Armor Penetrators to try and take that window out and the crew. It’s about our only chance.”
Our radios crackled to the voice of Brad. “Everyone listen up, DO NOT engage the armored Humvee with the .50 caliber on top, that thing has markings on it from Ft. Lewis. Again, shoot the black FFACA vehicles, NOT the tan US ARMY Hummer.”
“Hopefully they are just as pissed at FFACA as we are.”
All vehicles had come into view now and continuing their slow pace up towards the hairpin turn. Uncle Leo dropped the binoculars to his chest, the lanyard around his neck and retaining strap around his chest keeping them in place. “Corey, I want you to hit the rear most vehicle with that bomb, got it?”
“Brad let them know to standby for friendly controlled-detonation, but hold fire until my go.”
“Copy.” Brad keyed up the mic on his radio and relayed the information, leaving many of the group confused but ready for an explosion. Some just weren’t ready for the source and the method used.
Corey stared intently, holding a cheap cell phone in his hand with his finger on the send button. He narrowed his eyes and pressed the button. After a split-second delay the IED exploded, sending the rear-most HMMWV up with a blast that echoed through the valley and rained car parts in a 50 foot radius. Most of the group jumped in their own skin at the shock from the devastation, I laid there mouth agape. I had seen video footage of IED hits on friendly vehicles in Iraq, and carried stretchers with soldiers who had lost limbs to IEDs while in Tikrit but had never witnessed it with my own eyes. Unbeknownst to me at the time but both Rich and Ryan at sat in shock as memories from their combat tours flooded their minds. That’s the fickle thing about having experienced the stress of combat, you never knew what would bring it all back in a debilitating way. I guess it’s one thing to be the targeted convoy and react to the hit, and another to watch it happen.
Uncle Leo still had not fired, as the convoy below stopped to see what had happened and disgorged their fighters we waited.
We watched our targets from our elevated position in nervous readiness, weapons at the ready with fingers on triggers. While the FFACA vehicles stopped in their tracks after the explosion the military HMMWV’s response was completely different. With experience and training the driver pushed through the kill zone and moved towards the hairpin turn, angling it’s nose forward towards our position as it parked, the M2 Browning in the CROWS mount moving and pointing up towards us. We still had an angle on it from our position if it needed to be fired on by our gun.
Zach spoke to me keeping his eyes down range. “We are going cyclic for the first 30 seconds so keep me fed.”
I tapped Zach on the right shoulder and spoke into his left ear. “Belt change fast, out of the AP and into ball!” As he opened the top cover and pulled out the belt of AP rounds I fed hem a belt of full metal jacket ammunition. There was no reason to waste the limited amount of armor piercing rounds we had right now, If the .50 down the hill cut loose on us we were screwed either way.
Zach slammed the cover shut and racked the bolt back twice and got back behind the sights. I was amazed that it had only taken us seconds to accomplish the swap out. We were just in time because the silence was broken by the thunderous report of Uncle Leo’s hunting rifle. The devastation his rifle’s 300 Winchester magnum round could do to a full-sized elk was impressive, but what it did to the head of the FFACA member behind the mounted machinegun atop the lead vehicle was downright disturbing. In a split second the round had entered the trooper’s nasal cavity and took it and half the side of his head out, spraying it over the top of the vehicle and pavement behind him. With gruesome satisfaction we realized one of the main threats was currently down and that the first shot was our signal to fire.
I experienced the same sense of time slowing down like I had when these communist thugs had attacked my home. My focus homed in on the first group I saw run for the meager cover down below us and pointed them out.
“Targets, two o’clock.”
The air erupted with the sound of our gun as Zach held the trigger back. With a steady beat the WWII era machinegun hammered its steady song of death in what seemed an unending stream of rounds. By sending out our steady fire without the typical pauses between short bursts we were establishing our “mad minute” of fire, which was used to throw the enemy into a panic and to create chaos from the high rate of incoming rounds. Our initial rounds send the squad we targeted below into a panic, killing two with the first series of shots and sending the others running for cover behind the trees that they had down below. With our line of fire obstructed we needed to shift fire.
“Shift left, targets direct front. Rake the deuces.” My target call out was obeyed immediately as Zach started firing on the rear most truck, walking the rounds from bumper to bumper, ensuring that the anyone still in the vehicle stayed that way. As he ripped the cab of the second truck the gun went dry.
“Load a fucking belt and clip them together so I don’t run out of rounds! Feed me and hurry the hell up!”
I scrambled to pass the next belt to the receiver, so intent on our targets I had failed at one of my primary jobs: keep the machine running. With the belt successfully fed I clipped the tail end of it to another one, extending the belt from 100 to 200 rounds. As We continued to target and fire on our enemies below as the rest of our line capitalized on their shock.
I glanced over for a second to see my son in the fray, making me proud yet breaking my heart at the same time. With his body low, head and arms above the wall I could see him aim the .30 carbine and pull the trigger in controlled rapid shots, no doubt trying to take another human’s life. I had served so many years, watched him grow up from a baby to his 16 years now a man. The entire time wishing he and his sister would never need to be in the position he was in right now. I watched as the slide locked back on his rifle and he swapped the thirty-round magazine for a fresh one, reaching his offhand under the rifle to pull the slide back and chamber the first round. He had kept his firing hand in control of the rifle, finger straight and not on the trigger the whole time. Funny how a simple reload trick could be learned from a damn video game.
Down the line our group fired their various weapons, some with complete calm and control that comes with experience, others firing a little wildly as the fear and adrenaline overtook their senses. Then there was Uncle Leo, calmly standing up and ignoring rounds snapping occasionally by. He’d find a target and pull the trigger on his rifle then calmly cycle the bolt and find another priority. I doubt he’d fired more than 10 shots.
Back on task I focused on my job with the MG. Zach had switched to 5 to 7 round bursts with the gun to keep from overheating the barrel as well as preserve ammunition.
The FFACA troops below had attempted forward movement amongst the trees but their efforts deteriorated almost immediately after a well-placed shot from Leo had killed their commander. Command structure in the military most of us had served in was far different than many around the world, and obviously our ambushed targets. We had been trained that if the highest ranking became a casualty the next below would step in and take charge. Additionally, our smaller units were led by NCOs who were practiced at adapting to situations and working through them. Many other armies, particularly younger ones relied on a single point of command. Eliminate the command and destroy the enemy’s war fighting capabilities. With the loss of their leader the black clad troops had also lost its ability to be an effective fighting force.
Zach and I had run out of targets to fire at, as he stayed behind the gun and searched I came up to a kneeling position next to my son to see what the hell he was still shooting at. To my horror he pointed the carbine at the military hummer and made three quick shots, drilling the vehicle twice in the windshield. I stood up and smacked the back of his helmet like he was a young Airman.
“NOT THE FUCKING HUMMER WITH THE .50 CAL!”
Realizing he and I were standing up with no cover at all I grabbed him and dropped down. He had an embarrassed and hurt look on his face. With the gunfire all but ceased I looked him in the eye and realized I had screwed up in my approach.
“Sorry son but listen, you’re here with us and wielding a weapon in combat. If you’re going to fight like a soldier you need to pay attention to what are effectively orders. That 50 will cut this rock wall down like it’s nothing and scatter pieces of us across the
parking lot. Make sure you pay attention! I’m proud of you kid, you did good. Police your brass and magazines, stay down.”
Zach held his position behind the gun, keeping his attention down range as I linked another belt to the one already loaded into the .30 cal. While we scanned the eerily quiet ambush site a call went out over the radio, breaking the silence.
“Jake, Corey, Brad, Jose, form up and work your way down to there and sweep the area for survivors. Jim, Matt, on me. Castle out.”
I looked at my son who had sat down with his back to the wall next to me. “Hey, take over, do as Zach says and keep your eyes open. Set the Carbine against the wall for now.” I got up and grabbed my AR-15 and headed towards Uncle Leo who was in the center of the long length of our ambush position. As I was walking my brothers and cousin, along with Jose, walked past me. All had their weapons at the ready and were moving with a purpose, with Brad in the lead. I approached my Uncle and stood next to him, looking at the destruction below.
“Jim, Matt, after they clear the area we are going to walk down to the soldiers in that Hummer with our weapons slung and hands where they can see them so we don’t get shot. Hopefully they are just sitting there with their thumbs up their asses for a reason and we can have a chat with them.”
Matt looked at our uncle curiously. “Why me, not that I’m complaining but just curious.”
“Matt you’ve never served, they’ll be able to tell and it should show that we’re not just some half ass militia driving around looking for trouble.”
We watched as our small squad advanced through the trees, bounding from cover to cover, always watching what is ahead of them. The trees were old growth and very tall but had been maintained and trimmed of low branches by the Park Services to allow traffic to have at least some visual capability of any vehicles traveling that section of the road. This allowed us our view point advantage from up high. The ground was still covered in thick ferns, most had been trampled or torn up by the carnage, but not all of it. What we couldn’t see because of the ground cover was a small ditch that had been cut through for rain and snow melt runoff. It was from here that our squad got involved in a very close in fight.
Brad led the group through the woods, moving slowly with smooth side to side turns of his head to take in the area ahead of him. He had fought in Afghanistan desert and mountain terrain, not thick forest, the saving grace was that he had trained in environments like this a lot. As his group got closer the familiar smells started to come to him, the acrid smell of burnt powder in the air combined with the smell of blood, abdominal wounds and burnt flesh from the IED hit.
Something didn’t feel right to him so he paused and crouched lower. Trusting his instincts was a lesson he had learned before, they had saved his life and the lives of others when they told him danger was near. Brad lifted his muzzle from low ready, rolling the stock in place as he brought the sights up. He swore he heard a voice low in whisper but wasn’t sure, his hearing was even worse than the others thanks to gunfire and the all too loudly played music he listened to as a teen.
He turned to his left as he heard rustling in the ferns and a single voice yell out.
To Brad’s surprise seven figures emerged from the foliage, rising seemingly out of nowhere not five feet to his left. Chaos ensued as a flurry of shots were fired from both groups. Brad rotated his torso, bringing his AR-15 to bear, firing a series of shots so fast they couldn’t be counted. Two attackers had lunged in his direction, one in front of the other. Brad’s rounds drilled the forward most man in the center mass with two more in the head, the figure fell to the ground mere inches in front of him.
The man behind the first attacker pulled the trigger on his rifle but cursed as it failed to fire, he had failed to reload. With rage in his eyes he charged Brad, arms out in a clumsy move to choke him. Brad was so intent on his target that the gun fire, grunts, curses and screams of pain around him did not register. With only a slight adjustment to his aim he fired a single round between the eyes of his next target, dropping him like a puppet with its strings cut.
Before Brad could change his focus, he was tackled from his right with a hard hit to the side, sending him to the ground hard. With little time to react he received a punch to the mouth, splitting his lip and putting stars in his head. Years of martial arts and self-defense techniques took over as if on auto-pilot. He let go his grip on his rifle and brought both arms up to cover his face, wrapping his legs around the man on top of him. The taste of blood on his tongue infuriated Brad and he lashed out, hitting the man hard in the ribs with a right hook. The attacker’s attempts to land blows on Brad’s sides were largely ineffective due to the body armor, magazines, radio and other gear that made up his kit. The FFACA platoon had been equipped with only decades old web gear which provided no such protection. This meant all of Brad’s strikes were felt completely.
Capitalizing on the pause of incoming punches, Brad jammed his forearm into his opponent’s face, attempting to push him off balance. He was rewarded with a hard bite to his own arm that cut deep and caused even more blood to flow.
With a moment of clarity through the haze of rage Brad reached down to his right pocket and grabbed his knife. With a flick of his thumb a thin double-edged blade shot out the front of the handle and locked in place in the blink of an eye. As he thrust the knife forward he felt a release on his left arm and wrapped it around the head of the man still on top of him, pulling the head forward as hard as he could. Brad was now in full control and adjusted his aim with the switchblade, bringing it higher and targeting the lungs and hopefully hit the heart. After a series of thrusts Brad threw the now mortally wounded man off him and took a deep breath, puzzled by the silence around him.
The first to break the silence was Corey
Brad sat up checking himself for wounds as he realized his uniform and gear was covered in blood. Satisfied the worst of it was his arm he grabbed his rifle and looked around to see that his other three squad members were staring at him with their jaws dropped.
Jake walked up. “Are you okay little brother? That shit was intense!”
Brad accepted Jakes hand and got to his feet. “That bitch bit me.”
Jose, oldest in the group of four and no stranger to ugly close in fighting was wiping his old Kabar off on a dead man’s shirt. “Three on one, doesn’t pay to be the furthest forward when you get rushed. Let’s get to those vehicles and call Doc down.
As Corey limped along Jake looked at him in mock disgust. “Of all of us, how does your short ass take a round to the leg?”
“It’s just a graze, anyway... eat a dick Air Winger.”
Keep up the good work 2T2_Crash!
With the fighting finally over we all realized there was still an armored hummer from Fort Lewis to deal with. Uncle Leo was the first to break the momentary post combat pause.
“Everyone safe and shoulder your weapons and stand up slowly so those soldiers can see us. Jim, Matt and I will go talk to those guys.
With a sigh Leo started heading down the road with us by his side. “I hope we don’t get our asses shot off. Keep your hands where they can see em and we’ll take it slow.”
Time seemed to crawl as we walked the distance towards the vehicle and that big ass .50 caliber on top. The fact that it had not moved at all, nor pointed at us was reassuring. Once we reached about 15 feet away from the two military members they opened their doors and cautiously exited, keeping the vehicle’s armor between them and us but not acting in a hostile manner. With a simple command the individual on the driver’s side initiated our interaction.
We stopped in our tracks, two of us knowing this was a pretty standard challenge, my cousin Matt was the only one out of the loop and nervous. Uncle Leo looked over at him.
“Relax Matt, this is normal.”
“Identify yourselves!” the driver issued the second step.
“I’m the leader of this group, Leo Castleman. To my left is my nephew Matt, and to my right is another nephew Jim. And how about you gentlemen?”
“I am Sergeant First Class Caldwell, and this is Staff Sergeant Chen, US Army. If we come out and expose ourselves do we need to worry about being shot by one of your yahoos?”
“Negative, we are trying to defend ourselves from FFACA and have no quarrel with the military, hell most of us are veterans.”
We watched and waited as Caldwell and Chen first looked at each other, then both shrugged and walked around the doors and waved us forward. We took the invitation and walked to within five paces of the two soldiers. I was first to notice their patches.
“Holy shit, what the fuck are two Long Tabbers doing with a convoy of those black clad bastards?”
Caldwell sighed, pulled out a tin of tobacco and put a sizable pinch in and spit the loose bits off his lips. “We aren’t with them per say. There’s a lot of shit we need to clue you in on that the commies don’t know is going on but first we need to ask you guys some things and get a feel for you. IF we think you guys are legit we can go further, but if we don’t like what we are hearing we’re hitting the road, laying waste to anyone dumb enough to fire on us and then reporting to our commander.” He paused for a second, took his ball cap off with one hand and scratched his head. After replacing his cap, he spit some tobacco juice out and started again. “First off can I call you Leo or do you have a title like “The Colonel” or some shit?”
Uncle Leo was taken aback for a second but I started laughing my ass off at what Caldwell had just said. What Uncle wasn’t aware of was that my generation of warfighters looked at the fringe militias with contempt, they were sloppy extremists and always led by some massively obese asshole who was a self-titled Colonel or General.
Matt and Leo both looked at me perplexed. “What the hell is so funny cuz?”
“It’s a military thing Matt, SFC Caldwell here is trying to see if we are a militia group like the idiots on TV.”
Uncle Leo’s eyes widened a bit. “Oh I get it now.” He turned back to the SF Sergeant. “No, Leo is fine, Mr. Castleman if you wish… Just not Sir, I worked for a living.”
Caldwell smiled, he had learned a lot in just a couple of minutes. “Ok, that answers one huge question. Now for the next: You all have caused one hell of a ruckus lately, and REALLY pissed off the Governor. You don’t seem to have killed any civilians aside from the group outside of McChord and your convoy seems to excel at eliminating threats so what’s the deal and what are your intentions?”
Uncle Leo sighed. “Well first off we are almost all family by blood or considered so through loyalty and comradery. What we are is a group of mostly combat veterans and some POGs like Jim here that refuse to turn in our weapons or watch the country turn into a socialist shithole like most of Europe has. We aim to get out of Western Washington and setup shop in a more securable location to hopefully be left alone. This convoy seems to prove that isn’t going to happen. We have no quarrel with folks that leave us alone and we pray the military is not going to be coming after us or else we are truly fucked. In short we aim to uphold our oaths we took years ago.”
Caldwell leaned back against the hood of his vehicle, crossed his arms and looked down as he spit again. He stood like that in silence for a few moments, obviously thinking over everything Uncle Leo said. He looked back up and at me this time.
“A POG heh? You sure handled directing that machinegun quite well. What the hell is that and where did you get it?”
“Yeah, I used to load cargo and passengers on planes. I was in Tikrit in 06, plus I’ve been deployed all over elsewhere. That MG is a Browning M1919A6 that I illegally converted to full auto, a couple of my friends were Machine gunners in Iraq who taught me.”
Caldwell nodded his head at the information I passed to him. Looking back at Leo he asked more questions. “How large is your force and are you guys following any rules of engagement?”
A single shot rang out down at the ambush site, we all looked over as Brad safed his weapon and dropped and hopped onto the hood of the lead Hummer and gave a shout of delight.
“Uhhh, well we haven’t set rules for wounded, but any FFACA or persons threatening us are considered hostile. We will not terrorize nor harm non-combatants and we will scrounge anything we get our hands on. I’m not telling you the size of our group.”
The two sergeants looked at each other, then back at us. Caldwell spoke up. “Give us a few minutes to converse and place a call.”
Uncle Leo nodded and we turned to head down to the carnage. As we came up to the lead vehicle we watched as Brad unceremoniously dumped a body out of the passenger rear door. He began looking over the M240 in the turret.
“Awe damnit, this thing is a fucking 240 Bravo, and it’s been beat to shit.”
I looked up at him. “You just inherited a free general-purpose machinegun, what in the hell do you have to bitch about?”
“First off, this thing is an old ass Bravo model, not a Lima like I’m used to. This thing has the heavy ass stock, its weighs a fucking ton, the bipod is bent to shit and it looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in a decade.”
Matt stared incredulously. “It’s a FREE MACHINEGUN!”
Our Uncle spoke up “Matt, a bitching soldier is a happy soldier, ignore him.”
“Hey little brother, how much ammunition is in there?”
Brad dropped down and checked, popping back up he smiled. “Plenty!”
A loud whistle had us turn our heads back to the two Special Forces men where we saw them waving us over.
I looked back at Brad. “Have fun gathering that shit up, scrounge anything you can. If any of the vehicles are worth taking load them with everything you pull off the other vehicles and bodies. Ammo, guns, gear, take all that shit.”
The rear of the Hummer was open and on the ground beside the two men was a black case with the top open. Caldwell was the first to speak.
“Here’s the deal: we weren’t sent here just to escort that group of idiots we were with. We were sent by the JBLM base commander to observe them, and you if they managed to catch up. Since they are now currently taking dirt naps you’ve proven you know what you are doing. Our questions for you were to feel out if you were a group that might be worth watching and supporting. Our command liked the quick report we sent them and agreed with our judgement call on you. The pelican case contains a few items that SSgt Chen will go over real quick.”
“Right, alright first off is a satellite phone. This thing is for emergency calls to us. It will be picked up by my company commander, if you call your sweetheart back in Seattle he’ll be pissed and it will be shut down. Next are a couple of sets of our current issued night vision goggles, plus head and helmet harness kits. Additionally, there is a solar charging kit to keep the phone charged and on in case we call you. Lastly is an infrared beacon in case we want to air drop anything to you, there are instructions in the case for it and if you have questions use the phone.”
SFC Caldwell took over again. “Obviously if anyone asks we will deny giving you this equipment. All military bases seem to be locked down from the outside. The president has really lost her shit and is treating us like pests and criminals. All active duty bases here in WA and most other states flat out refuse to help the FFACA aside from sending some units out as observers to get a bigger picture of what is going on. You guys wore the uniform and know what it’s about and how we feel about being used on home soil. For us the SF motto of De Oppresso Liber has taken a meaning we never thought of when applied to the states. Expect to hear from us again, but understand if we catch wind that you all start attacking civilians and shit that it won’t be a nice visit. We are going to get the fuck back to base. Good luck and God bless.”
We all shook hands and watched as the heavy vehicle slowly weaved its way down through the debris and devastation from the attack.
Uncle Leo broke our stunned silence. “Well, take this up to the vehicles. It’s time to round up our little assault team down there and get moving.”
I looked at the mess below and then our de facto leader. “What should we do about the mess? I doubt anymore of them are following, that was supposed to be their elites.”
“Good point, line the dead up on the side of the road, search them for intel or anything useful. Operational vehicles we can use, leave the rest. I want us on the road in 15 minutes, I’m sure the rest of the group is starting to worry.”
“Got it.” I reached over and keyed my handheld radio. “Police the area, scrounge up weapons and ammo, check the dead. Load it in any vehicles still running, we leave in 15.”
“I’ll head back up top and get everyone there ready Uncle.” With that I turned and walked up the steep incline. Most of the ambush party that had stayed at the top of the road were already at their vehicles, I noticed Ryan sitting atop of the rock barrier with Rich, both smoking a cigarette. The handful of butts on the ground by Rich told me something was up. He looked a little worse for wear as I approached and it had me worried for my old friend.
“Hey brother you alright?”
Rich just stared off into the valley, taking another puff.
“Doc, is he okay?”
Ryan looked at me. “He’s alright Pare, some of us are going to have to deal with our old demons we thought we had locked away. I’m going to go stow my shit in your truck for now if that’s okay?
“Of course man, you doing alright?”
“Living the dream cuz, living the dream.”
Living the dream… the saying a lot of us had adopted during our time in the desert, I guess every war had its own unofficial saying. “FUBAR”. “It Don’t Mean Nothin”. “Livin the Dream”. The simple ways of verbally brushing off or burying down deep the trauma, the suck, and the pain everyone dealt with on some level in a war zone.
“Yeah Ryan, living it.” As he walked away I sat on the wall next to Rich. “Hey Army, talk to me man, what’s up?”
Rich dropped his head a bit, chewing his lip a bit. Emotions and troubles, the things we kept to ourselves in our youth but now older and wiser we had learned through various settings that talking helped. “I froze man. It’s not stress or unwillingness to fire, you know I’ll snatch the life from anyone threatening my family and friends. It’s just…”
I used the pause to fish out two smokes out of a pack I had borrowed and not returned earlier, while he gathered his thoughts. I lit them both and handed him one, his own having turned to line of ash and a filter. He took it, inhaled again and looked me eye to eye, his own showing confusion and a bit of anger. “That fucking IED man, it brought back memories and shit that I wasn’t expecting. I don’t care if we blow those bastards up using every dirty trick that was used on us but I want to know about it and prepare myself! It woke memories up and it was like I was back inside the truck I was in that got blasted, I couldn’t do shit. I didn’t even fire my damn weapon.”
“It’s alright man, look I don’t know what it’s like to be blown the fuck up and you know that but we both know how the shit we have dealt with comes back at the oddest times. There will be more fighting I’m sure. I still wouldn’t want anyone else by my side. Quit feeling like an asshole, and get your head back in the game man. You got this!”
“Fuckin Chair-Force… I love to hate when you’re right.” Rich smiled, stood up and stretched. “Man they really fucked some shit up down there, I’m pissed I didn’t get to play! Next time.”
“Next time, tonight beer is on me. We’ll make sure Corey gives us a heads up next time he wants to make things go boom.”
“yeah man. You know what’s going to suck?”
“When we all start running out of meds and shit we got from the VA for pain, anxiety and sleep disorders.”
“HAH! If they think we are dysfunctional and disgruntled now, they are going to be in for it when that happens.”
By the time we both got to our trucks and got our gear off and situated the cleanup team had arrived in the reclaimed FFACA vehicles. It appears we now have the lead HMMWV which needed a serious cleaning to remove parts of its former gunner,
the command vehicle, and one seriously shot to shit troop truck that had a pile of weapons and boxes in the rear. The vehicles stopped beside ours, disgorging some of the passengers who went to their respective rides. Brad walked up to my driver’s side window and looked at me.
“We are ready to go, Uncle says we’ll move at the speed limit. You lead, keep Zach up on the gun. I’ll ride in the brain-mobile as tail end Charlie. This’ll put a gun up front, and one in the rear. The rest of the family has already been contacted, they are down in town and about to eat at that burger joint we always stop at before heading into camp during hunting season.”
“Sounds good. You might want to see if anyone has a can of paint or duct tape or something to cover up FFACA on the new vehicles. I don’t think you want to get shot at by folks not friendly towards the socialist scumbags.”
“Good point, I’ll cover it with tape for now. You lead off and we’ll fall in at the rear. Let’s get to our loved ones, then get settled somewhere. This day has lasted long enough.”
“All vehicles this is Hercules, let’s get moving.”
Awesome! Moar Please!
KING 5 NEWS REPORTING: “Good evening I’m Shauna Brown with your news tonight and we have a lot to cover.
It has been just over 24 hours since President Clampton’s national address and the announcement of her sweeping gun bans and already the nation has been swept into chaos as FFACA officials begin their confiscations. There are reports of hundreds of citizens dead and thousands arrested who have refused to relinquish their assault weapon caches. While the FFACA has reported minimal casualties on their end they have requested a massive increase in their manpower as they face a surprising amount of resistance. The FFACA gun confiscation teams were intended to be reinforced by the National Guard however most of the Guard units have reported an unprecedented percentage of members failing to show for muster. The highest reported was at 15% in California, and many states in the south reporting less than one percent having shown for duty. State governors are perplexed at the historically low muster and many have stated that they are working with communication issues.
Capitol Hill experienced its own moment of madness as Senate Minority Leader Nick Hale from Texas led a walk out during a Presidential address to Congress. He was joined by legislators from 20 other states in what has spearheaded the divide of our nation. When asked to give a statement outside, Senator Hale said, “The great state of Texas and the states represented here beside me will not accept such tyranny nor sit back and listen to lies and propaganda”. Wow, it appears these men and women have forgotten how a Democracy works.
In response to the walk out President Clampton has promised ramifications for the disrespect she received today.
In local news the standoff between the police and JBLM has come to a peaceful end after Governor Mendez personally traveled to Fort Lewis and demand the base commander supply supporting soldiers to the FFACA teams that are dealing with troublesome areas that are refusing to turn over their firearms and ammunition stock piles. In return for the General’s cooperation the state police are once again allowing military personnel to travel to and from their homes off base.
Breaking now are reports of a full-scale battle that occurred between FFACA and the now confirmed McCoy family militia. A FFACA convoy heading through Salmon Pass was ambushed by the despicable McCoys. It is being reported to us by the Governor’s office that the convoy was heading to Eastern Washington to conduct peaceful weapons collections when they were fired upon with heavy machineguns and military weaponry no doubt stolen or bought on the black market. Evidence at the scene indicated that at least six of the FFACA officers had surrendered to the militia group only to be executed, it’s hard to understand how such a brutal group has been living amongst us but it only goes to reinforce the fact that we need to be aware of who lives around us. Governor Mendez urges Washington citizens to report anyone suspected of holding weapons caches of three or more firearms, still legal or not.
Our governor has vowed to pursue the McCoys and destroy them, no matter what the cost.
That is your nightly news, tune in here for up to the moment news reports with us here at King 5 news, Seattle. Goodnight.
The sun was low in the sky as we hit the outskirts of Naches. We were all worn out physically and mentally from the events of the day which more than a few of us in a less than alert state. All we wanted was to reunite with the other half of our convoy so we could hug our families, eat, and then get on with the last leg of the trip. What we failed to pick up on was the amount of attention we had gathered from the townsfolk as we drove through town. Folks were coming out of their homes and out of the businesses that lined the main drive in and stood there staring at us. Some waved, a handful saluted, most just stared. Odd stares we had gotten used to but when we finally noticed what was going on it woke us all up and both put us on alert, but also perplexed us. A convoy of mixed vehicles, some bullet ridden, others with machineguns on top that was guaranteed to grab the attention of passer byes but this was different. It made us uneasy for our families who were supposed to be waiting for us at our favorite burger shop we’d hit every year before heading to our hunting camp.
After a short half mile we saw the other vehicles lined up, unmolested and quite relaxed.
“All vehicles this is Castle 1 Actual, safe and secure your weapons. We are approaching a non-hostile area.”
Zach dropped the hatch and secured the gun before leaning forward. “How the hell does Castle know its safe up here?”
“I don’t know, he probably got a call from someone but if he says its non-hostile then it is non-hostile. Relax brother, time to pull in and see what’s up.”
“Alright, just asking is all man. Do you smell Barbeque?”
Indeed we did, and as we pulled the vehicles in beside our other convoy half we could see the crowd that included our families relaxing in a grass field beside the burger joint. As we shut down our vehicles the crowd turned to us and actually started to cheer. To go from combat to a relaxed setting with our families and friendly towns folk around us was alien to all of us vets. The events of the day had flipped a switch on that we had long ago turned off, some with much more difficulty than others. To be put back in the war zone mind-set was disturbingly easy, especially for those of us like myself who never saw combat when we were deployed. No longer were we either “over there” or “home. Safe.” Instead we were going to have to deal with being home in the States as well as maintain a hyper aware sense like we did before. Balancing the two was going to suck and by no means was it going to be easy to learn how to.
I opened my door and hopped out, followed by my wife, son, and the crazy ass Marine who was my friend. “Feel free to leave your long-arms here. I’m going to leave mine.” I cleared and safed my AR and hung it in a rack attached to the inside of the roof. Raquel did the same. Jr seemed hesitant.
“Dad can I please keep my carbine on me, I don’t want to be without it right now.”
My heart felt as if it stopped for a few seconds, it hurt; I hurt inside. “Son if you feel you need it you can, just pull your magazine and empty the chamber. You’re safe right now.” I was going to have to have a helluva talk with my boy. Scratch that, with my young adult son.
As we all left our vehicles and approached the gathering ahead of us a single individual stepped forward and held his hand out to Uncle Leo. The gentleman was around 6’ tall and easily in his mid-sixties, and a very dark skinned black man with graying hair and a wide happy smile on his face. He was William Moorehead, the town sheriff.
“Leo you old bastard you had all the fun without me!”
“Willy this shit ain’t like ‘Nam I’ll tell you that. What the hell is all this?” Uncle Leo waved his hand at the gathering and the grills.
“Well we didn’t know when ya’ll was going to arrive but I figured you were headed this way after I started seeing reports on the news about a group headed from your area towards the Pass, raising hell the whole way through. They might hate you on the wet side of the state but on this side of the mountains you folks are already working up towards hero status just for fighting those scumbags”.
The rest of us stood there incredulously taking in the information when Matt spoke up. “What do you mean on the news?”
Sheriff Moorehead looked over at Matt. “Throughout the day they’ve basically traced your path from right outside the base, through the two towns and roadblocks up to the mountain pass. Your battle up there just hit the news fifteen minutes ago.” He looked back at Uncle Leo. “By the way, where the hell did you get a landmine to blow up that jeep?”
“Not a landmine, our combat engineer over there learned a bit dismantling IEDs in Afghanistan and put it to good use, it was a Hummer by the way.”
William lowered his voice. “But Leo, blowing em up like that? Don’t you remember what that boy did to Henderson back in 68?”
“I do Willy, but we needed to even the odds and this time there’s no pulling punches. What else did the news say?”
“You guys tied up and executed six of them that had surrendered?”
Brad spoke up, quite agitated “That’s bullshit! We didn’t execute prisoners, none of them survived that long.”
The Sheriff put his hands up in a placating manner. “Easy son, I’m just telling you what KING5 said. Anyhow, ya’ll are here and I’m sure you are hungry. Come on in and have a Ranger Burger or two.”
I hung back a bit with Raquel and Tim as Ryan walked over to join us. Raquel and he embraced and started talking to each other in Filipino as we walked to retrieve our daughter and get some food. Ryan looked bothered, my wife looked concerned
and my son… well my son had a look in his eyes that a young man his age shouldn’t have. The look of a man who’s been involved in a firefight and accepted his new role.
We spent the next hour and a half eating and trying to relax before heading out. Uncle Leo, Uncle Bill, Larry and the Sheriff had sat to the side the entire time conversing over a meal and some Scotch, about what I didn’t know but I’m sure he’ll tell us when the time came that we needed to know. Finally the older men stood up and Uncle Leo let out a piercing whistle to get our attention.
“Thankyou everyone for the warm welcome and the food, Sheriff Moorehead informed me it was put on by the town for us and we greatly appreciate it. My group it’s time to get moving, clean up any trash and head to the vehicles.”
After checking the area for cleanliness we were thanked by the locals as we walked to our trucks. We loaded up and started our vehicles, heading towards our destination.
Already knowing the location made the drive down the highways relaxing and thus Raquel and I talked about this and that as I drove. We wondered about what we were going to do about food, school, how we’d settle without power to our location and how long this would last. The idle talk helped unwind as well as take our minds off the events of the day. Unfortunately it was bringing up more things to worry about too but those were bridges to cross on another day.
It seemed to take no time at all to reach the dirt trail that was our turn-off from the highway. I kicked the vehicle into 4 wheel drive and started the slow and windy portion of the trip, it’d take us an hour to get to the canyon we planned to stay in.
“Hercules, Castle 1”
“Stop at the Y for the night. How copy?”
Raquel looked over at me. “Lima Charlie?”
“Loud and Clear. I’m guessing Uncle doesn’t want a convoy of vehicles driving the ridge with their headlights on for the whole world to see.”
The terrain and “road” was so familiar to me that I shut off my headlights and drove by my fog lamps to reduce my light output. I noticed others had done the same. We bumped along at a walking pace, unsure of what sections had been washed out or rutted in during the spring snow melt. After 15 minutes we reached the Y in the road that we called camp during hunting season, there was plenty of room for all of the vehicles to park under the trees and out of aerial observation. The area we hunted was mostly scrub or grass covered but certain sections were heavily wooded, we were in the first of four. I shut down my engine and rubbed my eyes. The diesel had drowned out the sound of Zach and Tim sleeping in the back, Zach awoke with a start but Tim just slept on.
“What’s going on? Why are we stopped?”
“Easy Killer, we are stopping here for the night for light discipline.”
“oh.” With that Zach leaned his head back and went back to sleep. The ease in which a Grunt could fall asleep in any position or location still amazes me.
“Everyone shutdown, we’ll head up right as it starts getting light. See you in the morning. Castle One Actual… Out.”
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD
Brigadier General Tom Moore’s briefing room
Major Fisher looked around the base commander’s briefing room which was once again filled with commanders and their Chiefs or Sergeant Majors. This time the room was just as full, but held the leaders of mostly different units than before. She saw mostly logistics and air field operations heads from the USAF side, and what she assumed were the combat teams and some aviators from the Army side of the base. She had a feeling this was not just a status update briefing like the last meeting was. Oddly out of place to her were the two enlisted soldiers sitting on either side of the General’s position.
To her right sat Chief Master Sergeant Davis, her own squadron’s highest enlisted man. Chief Davis was a large man at 6’5 and a good 275lbs of mixed muscle and a bit of a beer belly. She respected the man, though he might struggle with a PT test due to his large waist she knew Chief Davis was a 2T2 to the bone. He had a large boisterous voice that could shut a room down with one word if needed but he also knew the ins and outs of the career field and still loved to join his younger Airman when it came time to “Push heavy shit onto cargo jets” as he would put it. Just as importantly he was loved and respected by both officer and enlisted in the 62 Aerial Port Squadron.
In almost unison every individual jumped to attention for Command Sergeant Major Peele’s call.
“As you were everyone.”
The ladies and gentlemen relaxed and sat back down in their chairs as General Moore took the short walk to his seat where he remained standing. The General looked tired as hell but his eyes were still sharply looking around the room at everyone
“Marshawn is everyone here?”
“Good morning everyone, I know this is a bit earlier than our usual briefings but I assure you it is with good reason. First and foremost, I want all cellphones off and out of this room if you have not done so already.”
“Already done Sir.”
“Thankyou. Alright the conversation and briefing you are about to receive absolutely stays within this room, if you have a problem with that leave now.” Nobody left the room or so much as blinked. “Everyone is caught up to the situation at hand so I will not waste time going over it again. The first major topic is national. The US is on the brink of Civil War, this is a fact. This morning at Oh-dark-thirty the commanders of every major base here in the Pacific Northwest held a meeting in secret to discuss what steps we take as a united military front in this region.
Governor Mendez has applied pressure to every base in the region, additionally POTUS has given the Joint Chiefs of Staff orders to ensure every US military instillation falls in line with her rule… that’s right, rule. We know this because the Commandant of the Marine Corps was the only member that President Clampton was not able to replace with a yes-man. He has done us a great service by laying low and not causing waves so as to gather and filter down intel to the rest of the armed forces.
What POTUS has ordered is simple: replace any commanders needed with whomever they felt would fall in line with her ideals and aspirations for this nation. She is setting herself up for dictatorship, which has not gone unnoticed by Congress. The Senators of most of the southern and midwestern states have started a Constitutional Congress behind closed doors, the only states in those regions excluded are New Mexico, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and Florida due to their loyalty to the president and not the nation. This Second Constitutional Congress is being led by Texas Senator Nick Hale and is aimed towards seceding from the union and establishing a new nation built as the US was intended. The US is split between Loyalist progressives and Constitutionalists.
We are stuck in a tight spot here because we are essentially behind enemy lines, which are being drawn along the Cascade mountains, down through the middle of Oregon and into California.”
We have 72 hours until the announcement of cessation, at which point I expect JBLM and Camp Murray to be relocated to Eastern Washington. Any questions so far?”
Major Fisher could not believe her ears. She wasn’t surprised by the status of the nation, it was the timeframe. She looked at Chief Davis in surprise, who was looking grim. She had to speak up.
“Sir I’m sure you know the manning and capabilities so I have to ask, and pardon my language General…. But we have two squadrons of C-17s, how the hell are we going to move two bases and their personnel plus dependents in that timeframe? It took us
weeks to position for the invasion of Iraq and we had the entire USAF airlift system at our disposal?”
“Fisher I’m glad you asked because it leads into the second part of the briefing. To answer your question: we won’t be able to get it all. What I need from the 62 Air Mobility Wing is a no-shit assessment of what you need to move as much as possible. Top priority is dependents, then combat vehicles and personnel.”
A young Captain raised his hand. “Sir, I can help with that.”
“Sir, Captain Smith from Logistics Planning. Each Unit has a priority list for combat operations. Some of your units are self-moving with their own helos, other units will need the C17s, plus if we can get aircraft from Fairchild to help it would ease the burden. Treating this like any contingency deployment plus a NEO evac will cut a lot of the process down.”
General Moore cut in “And for the benefit of those not in the know, a Non-combatant Evacuation Order is exactly what it sounds like. We practiced them overseas to send dependents and others out of danger. I like it, what else?”
“Sir that’d cover it on our end aside from long hours. I don’t think we’d get everything out though.”
From across the room Colonel Smith spoke up. “General I think we could alleviate a lot of the strain on our Air Force units if we convoyed the ground vehicles and as much as they can haul. I highly doubt the local authorities are going to be able to stop us if we have the Strykers as lead elements in each convoy, plus if we mount Mark 19s and M2s on the trucks and hummers we’ll have enough intimidation factor going for us. We can move ourselves Sir, the question is where are we going?”
“That’s a good point Colonel, I want it made absolutely clear that I do not want those convoys treating this like a drive through Fallujah. The last thing we need during this evac is to cut loose on civilians with automatic grenade launchers or fifty cals. The second part of the question comes next. USAF will re-establish operations in Spokane at Fairchild AFB, which is on board with us. The bulk of the Army forces will establish a Forward Operating Base at the Yakima training grounds.
This will be a breakneck speed operation, one that will rival most in history but we have to get it done. This installation WILL NOT be used to support a regime that shreds the constitution, the last step is to crater the runways, blast the towers and destroy any munitions left behind if that can be done with the safety of the surrounding neighborhoods being paramount. That is what I have for now, I need Colonel Eberhart, Major Fisher and Captain Nieves to stay behind, all else dismissed!”
“As you were.”
The three-unit commanders and their head enlisted men stayed behind, along with Sergeant First Class Caldwell and SSgt Chen. When the room cleared the General began anew.
“Sergeant Major Peele, if you would please.”
“With pleasure Sir.”
CSM Peele stepped forward from the General’s 5 o’clock, holding a piece of paper and two silver oak leaves in his hand.
Major Fisher had no idea what was going on, but everyone else did.
“ATTENTION TO ORDERS: The President of the United States, acting upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Air Force, has placed special trust and confidence in the patriotism, integrity, and abilities of Major Dianne Fisher. In view of these special qualities and her demonstrated potential to serve in the higher grader, Major Fisher is promoted to the grade of Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force.
Chief Davis, would you please assist General Moore in pinning on your commander’s new rank?”
Marshawn handed one silver oak cluster to the General, then one to the Chief. Fisher stood in shock as both men removed her rank insignia and replaced them with her new ones.
“Lieutenant Colonel Fisher, I will now re-administer the oath of office.
“I, (state your full name)”
“I, Dianne Fisher”
“Having been appointed a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force”
“Having been appointed a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force”
“Do solemnly swear”
“Do solemnly swear”
“That I will support and defend the constitution of the United States”
“That I will support and defend the constitution of the United States”
“Against all enemies, foreign and domestic”
“Against all enemies, foreign and domestic”
“That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same”
“That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same”
“That I take this obligation freely”
“That I take this obligation freely”
“Without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion”
“Without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion”
“And that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office which I am about to enter”
“And that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office which I am about to enter”
“So help me God.”
“So help me God.”
“Congratulations LT Colonel.”
“Sir… how is this possible when I’m not yet eligible?”
“The President gave base commanders the authority, expecting us to replace anyone not on board with her plan. This is legit Dianne, I need you to have the extra swing as an LTC for this movement so that the other Squadron Commanders do not try to throw weight around. You do deserve this so don’t think for a second it is a promotion not earned. Now, let’s hit this second briefing so you can learn about your second mission while accomplishing the move.”
“Colonel Eberhart, commander of our Ranger Battalion, Captain Nieves, commander of B Company, Special forces plus his two soldiers Sergeant First Class Caldwell and Staff Sergeant Chen, you know Lieutenant Colonel Fisher, Aerial Port Squadron. SFC Caldwell and his team member are about the brief us on the McCoy encampment that has been absolutely pissing off the FFACA and our plan. Caldwell, please begin.”
“Yessir. We were sent along as an advisor to the FFACA platoon that was chasing the convoy that we assumed was led by Jim McCoy. The ambush it’s self was a well-executed one utilizing terrain and obvious military training. It was initiated with an IED strike on one of the rear-most vehicles which frankly scared the shit out of us. If you look at the projector screen we have photos and video taken by a predator that only we knew was overhead. Play please.
At this point just after the IED hit I took proper measures and pushed through the kill zone which was picked with perfection, though I don’t think they had intended to set up an ambush initially I think they just got lucky and heard the vehicles coming up and had enough time to prepare.
Rather than push through the FFACA commander ordered her fighters out of their vehicles. We normally initiate fire with one of our guns but the group decided to eliminate the heavy weapon at the lead of the column. It didn’t take much time for them to destroy the bulk of the FFACA. They utilized a homemade explosive for the IED, an older MG with full auto capability… sir it sounded like it had a rate of fire like an M60 but I don’t think it was. Additionally, they used mostly AR-15s plus some heavier caliber rifles. It can be assumed they now have an M240 Bravo, plus any other arms and munitions they FFACA had.”
“You said it was assumed Jim McCoy was the leader, indicating he wasn’t?”
“Correct Colonel, it appears they are led by one of the elders, a Vietnam veteran. Our guys are trying to gather intel on him as we speak. Three of them came down to speak with us. After getting a feel for them it is SSgt Chen and I’s shared belief that this
is a group we should support.”
LT Colonel Fisher spoke up. “What about the reports of the executions?”
“All bullshit Ma’am. After the main attack they sent down a squad to check for survivors, the counter attack by the FFACA included at least 6 men and it got down to hand to hand combat. A mix of them being experienced fighters and the FFACA being very
green made it a short and ugly fight. Nobody was left to surrender or be executed. Basically, this group wants to be left alone, but will defend themselves with extreme prejudice if they need to.”
“And our package?”
“Sir after our face to face with their lead trio SSgt Chen and I decided to give them the care package. The tracker is still in place and currently giving their location. They’ve stopped for the night in a state forest/ridge. I expect they’ll settle in there. It’s a great spot defensively with both cover, concealment and clean running water but I don’t know how the hell they are going to feed themselves.”
General Moore leaned back and crossed his hands on his lap, he had already gone through this with the two men but everyone else needed to hear the debriefing too. “What is your personal assessment of their combat capability?”
“They are a force to be reckoned with Sir, but they appear to be wearing multiple different uniforms. I saw MARPAT, Multicam, old BDUs and a few others. They set off the ambush and conducted it like the Army would, but they also we highly aggressive in ways typical of the Marines. I don’t think we would have set out a squad to sweep that early, nor would we have them move as fast as they did. Additionally, the use of the IED points to at least one EOD or Engineer in the group. With support and training I think we could use them.”
“Thankyou. Captain Nieves, your men here did a great job. What is your assessment?”
“Sir we are Special Forces, training groups to fight and conduct war is what we do. I think there is room for improvement with them, but that comes with material and munitions they simply don’t have. IF they are wanting our help, and IF they have any intent to fight the war they don’t know is coming, they absolutely will benefit from us and us from them. They could secure that pass easily and protect one of our flanks.”
“Good to know. What would you supply them with?”
“Proper uniforms, Comms, food for starters. I think they’ll need food.”
General Moore cleared his throat. “Thankyou. This is where you two come into play.” He pointed to Colonel Eberhart and then Lt Colonel Fisher. “Your riggers will prepare an airdrop mission that includes food and supplies. We have a Satellite phone so we can give them a heads up, this drop will occur during the evacuation of the bases so we don’t send an obvious delivery to the location of a group the governor wants eradicated. Fisher I know you guys are way down on manpower, has that been solved by the gates being opened and will it be enough personnel to accomplish your mission?”
“Sir we are at 98% accountability. We lost three of our airmen and an NCO in separate shootouts with the gun confiscation groups. As for manpower Sir, we will need bodies to load the planes. If I can get help with load teams to push pallets and throw
chains onto the 17’s it’ll make us a hell of a lot more effective.”
“You’ll get em, I have thousands of soldiers who can help.”
Colonel Eberhart spoke. “Sir, for the record my Rangers are already pissed off. You’ve got the base’s support for sure.”
“Alright. Let’s get out of here, don’t worry about calling the room Marshawn.”
“Sir you take my fun away.”
Everyone chuckled as they rose from their seats, minds filled with what lay ahead. They too, had oaths to fulfill.
The rest of the day was a flurry of activity on base as military dependents and civilians hastily went through all their belongings working to minimize their baggage to mainly essentials that could fit in no more than three bags per person. The only exception being personal weapons, ammunition and “pro-gear” or; all uniforms and equipment belonging to the military members that they could wear or use as part of their jobs in the military. Personal vehicles were to be left behind unless the family signed a waiver accepting the risks of driving themselves to the new base locations. In order to prevent a steady stream of vehicles leaving base heading East the MPs would space out the departures in blocks of 25 to 30 vehicles every 30 minutes. While most chose to take the flight, there were still many who wanted to chance the road. The base evacuation was one that hadn’t been done since Mount Pinotubo erupted in the Philippines where virtually all US military bases were abandoned at the behest of the local government.
As families managed their packing the soldiers of Camp Murray worked to move all vehicles and equipment to Fort Lewis. The process of loading vehicles with weapons, ammunition and gear lasted all through the day with the servicemembers barely having time to take breaks for meals. If a vehicle was deemed non-functioning and could not be repaired within three hours it was rendered inoperable with anything available. Cutting torches to engine blocks and axles, wiring harnesses ripped out, tires slashes and windows broken out, everything and anything short of C4 was used to ensure nothing would be useable. The Company Commander of the Motor Pool knew exactly what he was doing when he gave the simple order of “If it wont run, make sure it never will” to his Sergeants… if the privates could destroy vehicles unintentionally they could absolutely destroy one intentionally and do it in a hurry.
Along with the movement of all equipment came the search and destruction of all sensitive information that was not needed but wasn’t to be left behind. Industrial sized shredders ran at a near constant pace with the confetti being swept to the side rather than bagged and thrown in the trash. No fires were to be lit since columns of black smoke across the base would send a sure sign that something was amiss. by 1800 hrs everything and everyone save for an engineer company was moved off the small camp. The engineers busied themselves placing demolition charges in key structures, all wired to an electronic trigger source to be triggered prior to the last flight out. The only other soldiers on base were gate guards set to ensure nobody entered the base without authorization.
Meanwhile on Fort Lewis the combat units prepared for their move. Striker units were split up to provide escort to hastily assembled convoys consisting of everything from HMMWVs and MRAPS to soldiers’ own personal trucks loaded with gear. 5 ton trucks, fuel tankers, tractor trailers and flat beds were all loaded and assembled as well carrying weapons, ammunition, MREs, field equipment, tactical gear or administration files and field desks. Each convoy was established as its own field unit as if it were one set to drive through hostile territory to setup operations down range. The speed at which the soldiers operated was so fast and efficient that General Moore was sure they were already twelve hours ahead of their scheduled timeline. Rather than wait till first light on the next day to send out the initial convoys he was able to release the first one at midnight, utilizing the early morning calm to slip out his advanced deployment team so that they could begin setting up their new location in the eastern part of the state.
The convoy orders were simple: Don’t stop for shit. If a vehicle broke down and couldn’t be towed its personnel and gear were picked up by the last truck in line and then the now defunct mobility piece was to be stripped and destroyed. All but one of the first three convoys that morning arrived at their destination, the 1980s made HMMVW that broke down was pushed off a cliff on highway 90 midway through Snoqualmie Pass.
Each convoy had their own destination that morning, the first was to take control of a small airport next to Lake Easton, which was right next to the highway. The airstrip was nothing more than a short grass field that single engine personal craft used but it would work for Chinooks and Blackhawks. This would be the staging point to control the entire Pass and secure the Eastern side of the state. The second convoy was to head to the Army training area near Yakima where they were to immediately begin establishing operations at would become the center of operations for the Army in Washington. The last convoy was carrying a mix of Army and Air Force personnel all the way to Spokane so that they could work with Fairchild to setup large tents and living areas for the inbound military dependents and families that would be flying out of McChord.
General Moore and his command staff tracked the progress on a wall sized map of the entirety of JBLM. As a building was deemed emptied or scrubbed of any data it would be inspected by a small team that was comprised of CID, MPs, and a unit security manager. The team specifically made sure no classified date, weapons, ammunition or other critical item was left behind. When the facility was cleared by the inspection team it was called into the command staff at which point the building would be shaded in with a red permanent marker. Throughout the day buildings started to get shaded in, the speed of them being checked off picked up like an avalanche. At first the calls would come in ones and twos, by the time the initial convoys had departed the command staff was having to keep a running list to work off.
The next big stage in the evacuation occurred at 0100 or 1 in the morning when three Texas National Guard C5 Galaxies landed at McChord. The main cargo deck could normally carry 30 108” by 88” cargo pallets capable of holding 10,000lbs of material each. Instead these three C5s had been loaded with 20 specially designed “seat kits” which were normal cargo pallets with 3 rows of 5 airline seats bolted to them. Each of these aircraft came prepared to move 373 passengers between the seat
kits and the C5’s built in passenger cabin that held 73 people, plus all their bags and other gear. The assistance from the Texas National Guard had been sent under the cover of a monthly “Training Mission” at the behest of Senator Hale.
The C5s combined with McChords C17 squadrons allowed the base to move thousands of civilian personnel per hour, plus bags and equipment.
As the Army continued its mission on their side of the base the Air Force was operating in what would appear to be chaos to those who were not familiar with high tempo operations. Decades of deployments to the Middle East had prepared a large bulk of the maintenance and logistics crews who were hit the hardest. The flight line alone appeared to be an accident away from catastrophe at any minute. Vehicles of all shapes and sizes transported flight crews, load teams, maintenance personnel, generators, stands and a myriad of equipment that looked like it better served in a scifi film. Each squadron managed their part of the equation in the best manner they could to ensure flights were ready to leave in a timely manner.
As the vehicles seemed to fill the flight line they weaved between parked aircraft to complete their tasks, exhausted Airmen taking their task to heart as they kept awake with nicotine and caffeine. Colonel Fisher stood behind her squadron’s operation center windows, observing the view and listening to the distinct sounds of her specialized cargo loaders rev up while driving to and from the planes. Her Airmen, NCOs and Officers all working well past the typical 12 hour shift. Bags were loaded onto cargo pallets as passengers were manifested for flights, the pallets then tied down and secured with nets and straps to be taken to the assigned plane by forklift. During normal operations the squadron would have maybe two of the big 60k “Tunner” loaders running but now all 8 were moving plus a 45-year-old 40,000lb capacity “40K” loader that one of her civilian personnel knew how to operate. The 62 Aerial Port Squadron was operating at a speed and workload it hadn’t seen since the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the only way they were able to keep their mission going was with the help of over a hundred volunteers from around the base that provided invaluable help.
Colonel Fisher tapped the shoulder of one of her senior operations controllers. “Sergeant Snyder where is that 60K going?”
Technical Sergeant Snyder looked up from her computer screen where she was tracking flight mission statuses and gave a curious look. Before reaching for her radio base station microphone. “Tunner 6, ATOC.”
“TUNNER 6, COME IN PLEASE.”
“Any personnel in vicinity of parking spot 412 please make contact with Tunner 6 and report back, ASAP.”
“ATOC this is PAX 3, I’m right by there and see the Tunner, standby.”
Colonel Fisher and TSgt Snyder watched as a pickup truck broke the 15 mph flightline speed limit to catch up to the long and flat cargo loader that was steadily heading towards a parked C17. When the truck was parallel to the loader’s cab the driver laid into the horn which resulted in the loader and truck both coming to a quick halt as brakes were slammed on. Both driver and passenger of the pickup exited their truck, as the driver of the loader did as well.
“ATOC, PAX 3.”
“ATOC the driver was asleep behind the wheel; my passenger is licensed and will proceed with driving the Tunner to its aircraft.”
“Copy that PAX 3, well done.”
Colonel Fisher reached forward for the radio.
“PAX 3 this is PORT 1, Please bring that driver with you and come up to ATOC.”
Snyder didn’t say it but she was thinking what everyone else was that heard the incident… that guy is fucked.
The APS commander continued to observe the operations being conducted while she waited for the arrival of the driver that had fallen asleep. “Good job on that Snyder. Keep up the work.”
Passenger service vehicle 3 arrived at the same time the Captain in charge of the Ramp services did. Colonel Fisher watched as Captain Santiago said a few brief words to his driver before they all head up the stairs to the second-floor office that was all windows and managed the entire flight line side of cargo and passenger operations for the Port.
Airman First Class Mark Rhor walked directly to the Commander, and stopped three paces away, rendering a salute. “Airman Rhor Reports as ordered Ma’am.”
Colonel Fisher returned the salute. “At ease Airman Rhor. What happened out there sone?”
“Ma’am I felt a little tired when my Tunner was being loaded but figured I’d be alright. I nodded off while driving Ma’am. I know I messed up Colonel and am ready to accept the punishment.”
Colonel Fisher raised an eyebrow and leaned in. Airman Rhor looked like a bag of stomped ass. His uniform was dirty and wrinkled, he needed a shave, smelled like shit and had bags under his bloodshot eyes.
“How long have you been up Rhor?”
“32 hours Ma’am.”
“32 hours straight? Working?”
“What in the hell for?”
A1C Rhor stood taller and looked his Commanding officer in the eyes. “Ma’am, the job needs to be done. I’m night shift and everything was so busy I just stuck around to help days and before I knew it my shift rolled back around.”
“Captain where you aware of this?”
“I was aware that my guys and gals are pulling past 12-hour shifts but not this much. Rhor how many night shifters pulled a full day?”
“Half of us Captain.”
“How the hell did I not know this?”
“Sir, we didn’t want you to get busted for us trying to accomplish the mission so we stayed on the flight line.”
Captain Santiago threw his hands up. “Dude! How the hell am I supposed to make sure ya’ll are alright if I don’t know you guys are pulling this shit?”
Colonel Fisher interrupted. “Airman Rhor we appreciate your dedication but I would rather delay a plane than lose one of you to an avoidable accident. You are not in trouble.. this time. I want you and anyone else who stayed all day to get some damned rest. Captain Santiago find a spot that your drivers can sleep if needed. The evacuation is critical but so are our people.”
The three stood in front of their commander waiting to see if there was anything else.
With a smile Colonel Fisher got them moving. “Go one you guys. Damn”.
The flight line continued to be a flurry of activity, her folks continued to bust their asses, and the Colonel wondered if anyone knew she had been up for the past 72 hours straight. Her reverie was broken by the sound of Chief Davis’ voice behind her. “Ma’am…. Forgive me but you might want to catch some shut-eye for a few hours as well.”
“Chief… I hate to say it but you’re right. I’ll tell you what, wake me up at 0400 please.”
“Will do Colonel.”
15 minutes later she laid down on the floor of her office, using her uniform top as a pillow and smiled as the sound of the first aircraft’s engines spun up to achieve takeoff speed, then began its powerful progression down the runway and into the sky only to be followed by three more C17s.
Keep 'em coming.
Great stuff! I'm thoroughly enjoying reading this!
Great stuff keep them coming.
4 days is three days too many for an update!.
I'm all caught up and really enjoying this! I am entertained by being very familiar with the area from the story.
I do have a question about why the group went the way they did though, if this is the appropriate place to ask. It's not detrimental to the story or anything, just curious why you chose the route you did vs a different pass.
Familiarity, we take that pass every year. Also it's more out in the country and not as risky as I5-18-90. Taking 90 would be a lot of freeway through a lot of liberally held territory.
Originally Posted By DFARM:
4 days is three days too many for an update!.
I'm all caught up and really enjoying this! I am entertained by being very familiar with the area from the story.
I do have a question about why the group went the way they did though, if this is the appropriate place to ask. It's not detrimental to the story or anything, just curious why you chose the route you did vs a different pass.
Three days after their arrival, the McCoy clan had already established a semi-functional camp. We had moved a few boulders that were placed across an old access road a decade before as an effective traffic block when the state had closed that section down. The road led down into a heavily wooded valley with a small river run through it. While the river wasn’t really any good for fishing it provided us with the most essential requirement for life: water. Our trailers and vehicles were parked in an orderly fashion and tents were erected as well, nothing had been placed haphazard as we had chosen a spot that was flat but well covered with trees save for a small clearing in one spot halfway down the five-mile-long valley. It was a spot many of us had hiked to during hunting season just to see the old hand cut log cabin that had been built over 75 years ago when the land was used by cattle herders.
The overhead cover from the trees made it difficult to see our encampment, plus provided shade from the summer heat and the heavy snow during the winter. I say heavy snow but it maybe got two or three feet of buildup during the winter. We are from the rainy side of the state, not the snowy side. We had established a couple of observation posts on the ridges that overlooked the only two roads into the area. Any vehicle spotted coming up from the south would still have a 45 minute drive up to us, 30 minutes if they were hauling ass and knew the terrain. The main gate in the game fence was a mile away from the first OP and while it was clear sight for our guys on spotting scopes anyone coming in would have no chance of picking out the shelter we had built in the shale ridge’s side. Rather than rely on battery powered radios that had trouble reaching certain spots in the canyons Brad had us run cable for some very old hand crank field phones that he had for some reason. With the old field phones, you’d pick up the receiver and make a few turns on a hand reel on the side of the phone, it’d send the electrical pulse to the radio on the other end of the line and cause it to ring, and vice versa. This provided us secure communication that could not be intercepted and wouldn’t run out of power.
One of our primary tents was an older surplus military metal framed canvas tent designed to hold a dozen cots and troops, we had set this up as our TOC, or Tactical Operations Center. Within the TOC Brad had established a communications center that contained all of our radio assets to include our small walkie talkies, our satellite phone from the military, his homemade military communications base, the field phone base station plus a few other bits and pieces of electronics that he and Uncle Leo had been messing around with. It was my turn to man the base station that was wired to both field phones when we had our first visitors come through the gates get called in. The muted rattle of the field phone from OP1 had startled me while I was reading a US Army field manual on booby traps from 1965. I picked up the field phone and held the push to talk button. “Send it.”
“Base, OP One, I have a SALUTE report.”
“Copy OP One, proceed.”
“Size: two vehicles 8 individuals total, Activity: Heading into AO moving approx. 5 mph, Location: main road just past game fence gate, Uniform: appears mix of County Sherriff and US Army, Time: now, Equipment: one soft top Humvee, one Bronco, four long arms visible, one pintle mounted light machinegun, not loaded but box in place. How Copy?.”
“Base Copies, do they appear hostile?”
“Copy, also I know what the hell SALUTE stands for Corey, I don't need you to tell me every damn section.”
“I know that dickhead, I’m teaching your boy.”
“Got it. I’ll pass the info up to Uncle. Base Out.”
I leaned back in the metal fold up chair and looked down the tent to see who was there and found who I wanted. Uncle Leo was sitting at a table with Uncle Bill going over a list of what we had built and what still needed to be accomplished. I hated to interrupt but it needed to be done. “Uncle Leo, OP One just called in. We have the country Sheriff’s truck and an Army Humvee starting up the ridge, all armed but not appearing hostile.”
Uncle Leo looked up at me and spoke in his normally loud voice. “Okay Jim. Well Wire, shall we round up a couple of the kids and meet them on the ridge?”
Uncle Bill just smiled. “Why the hell not.”
“Jim, call up Matt and Jake on the PA, tell em to get their gear and get over here.”
“Sure thing Uncle.”
Brad had also installed a couple of small speakers on the outside of the tent that we could use to spread information out to the group as necessary, or call people to the tent. Matt and Jake were on standby status at the moment, which meant they were neither on Observation Post duty nor on one of the roving patrols but were expected to be close by and ready to react to a call if needed. I grabbed the base station microphone and switched the channel to PA.
“Matt, Jake, report to the TOC please.”
The two old men finished their cups of coffee and walked over to the weapon racks. Uncle Leo carried a simple backpack and his hunting rifle, while Bill put on his old ass combat vest and shouldered a battered M16A1 he had picked up off one of the FFACA we had killed at the ambush days before.
I figured I’d take a moment to razz the men while I could. “Are you sure that stuff isn’t too heavy for you guys? I’d hate for you to turn an ankle or break a hip so heavily laden.”
Bill with his sharp wits was the first to retort. “I might be old, but I can still out hike your broken back having ass.”
Uncle Leo just opted to smack me upside the back of the head as he passed by heading out the door. “Shuttup ChairForce! Damn kids these days, no respect!”
The two chuckled as they left.
I continued to read the old field manual, taking notes and highlighting interesting traps that might be useful in the future. In what seemed no time at all my radio was blaring at me with the voice of our appointed leader.
“Base, Castle One”
“Get Brad the nerd in there, have him dial in the radio receiver for broadcast and get everyone circled around the TOC. We’ll be there shortly.”
Uncle Leo’s voice had an uncommon sense of urgency to it that caused the hair to stand on the back of my neck. What the hell could the Sherriff have said to get Leo so spun up and want all the compound together to hear? Closing my field manual, I grabbed the microphone for the PA system again.
“Attention: All personnel meet outside the TOC for an announcement from Leo, per his request. Brad report to the TOC for technical reasons. TOC Out.”
I could hear the chatter increase as everyone started to come to the gathering area. We had made a half circle of benches that were five rows deep by cutting fallen trees in half lengthwise and resting them on two rounds from cut trees. This provided enough room for almost everyone to be able to sit and be able to hear any speaker that needed to address the group.
Brad came busting in without so much as a hello. “What’d you break?!”
“nothing, Uncle Leo needs you to find a radio station and set it to the PA so everyone can hear it, he sounded a bit off so I’m guessing find a news source of some sort.”
“The fuck? You couldn’t do that?”
“He asked for you, so I rang. Just find something please.”
Our conversation was shortened by the sound of three vehicles pulling into the area outside the TOC and shutting down engines. The talking outside has drawn down to a whisper as he walked into the tent. “Jim get the OPs on the field phones and hot mic them so they can hear got it?”
“Brad do you have something for me?”
“Yes, it’s a local talk show channel that gives news, its set to the external speakers so everyone can hear it as soon as I un mute it.
“Good, be ready to play it when I tell you.” With that he walked outside to talk with the clan gathered outside.
“Everyone listen up! Sheriff Moorhead and our friends from the Ft. Lewis SF unit came up here for a couple of different announcements, both critical. In two minutes we will hear a radio broadcast that is set to play around the region then our guests will address us in matters pertaining to the news. Keep quiet please so we can all hear what is going to be said. Brad go ahead and put it on.”
The PA jumped to life louder than expected, causing multiple groans and more than a few strings of curses sent my brother’s way before he had the volume adjusted.
“… with all this craziness going on. Once again, you’re listening to KIRO 97.3 FM, thank you for tuning into the Dori show and we are about to cut to a live press conference coming out of Dallas Texas being delivered by Senator Nick Hale, please stand by…
My fellow Americans it is with a troubled yet steady heart that you are being addressed right now. I stand in front of you right now not as just as an elected representative of the state of Texas, not just as the Minority Speaker of congress, but as a truly concerned and outraged American. I’m outraged with the gross overreach our president and her cabinet has shown over these last few years, as well as with what the nation has become in the last few decades. No longer are we a nation of freedom, liberty, or equality. The ambitious drive and American tenacity to strive to achieve the best has been pushed aside and replaced with a desire to take from those who do, and give to those who will not. Charity and good will for people in need has been replaced with mandated taxation for a social aid program that is used to reward individuals who refuse to be productive.
Our very constitutionally guaranteed and protected rights have been axed by the government so that it may gain a level of control and power that the Executive Branch was never intended to have. No longer is everyone truly allowed to exercise their freedom of speech and press. No longer are citizens able to keep and bear arms. No longer is the citizen population protected from military involvement in policing matters. And no longer are our citizens given the right to innocence until proven guilty.
The Senate Majority have willfully swiped aside the rights and protections that you as Americans are afforded so that they could turn our Republic into a socialist controlled nation. They have put themselves in a position of power that allows them to punish or ignore the large chunk of the nation that does not agree with their views.
Well no more.
On this day I stand here not as a Senator of the United States of America, but as a founding member of a new nation. At this moment I am announcing to not only the North American continent, but to the world that the Free American Federation is standing tall today. A nation that holds and respects the governmental design of the founding fathers of America so many years ago. The government will be one of checks and balances, will be one of respect and dignity to ALL citizens, and will be one that will not tolerate any assault on our people.
Our borders have been established by representatives of many US States who have joined together to form the Constitutional Congress that has set us on the path to where we are today. We are hereby announcing that the following states and partial regions hereby secede from the United States. South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, plus Eastern Washington and Oregon as divided by the Cascade mountains.
Any individuals who do not desire to live within the FAF will be allowed to leave freely at any time. Anyone who desires to relocate to the Free America may do so and be accepted with open arms.
To all who consider attacking the Free American Federation: ANY aggressive action against us will be considered an act of war which will be responded to with a fast and furious response. The bulk of the former American Military might has freely chosen to join us. Make no mistake, we are a combat ready and nuclear equipped nation.
Thankyou, and God Bless us all.”
Stunned silence was all there was around camp after Brad shut the radio off. The need to digest and process what we had heard tugged at all of us. The news was not unwelcome, just unexpected and momentous. Uncle Leo broke us all from our reverie.
“Listen up, because that is only the half of it. Up first is Captain Nieves and newly promoted Master Sergeant Caldwell. Gentlemen if you please.” Uncle Leo gave the two soldiers the floor and took a few steps back, listening with one ear and deep in thought with the other as the Captain began.
“Ladies, Gentlemen… you have all just heard the political side of things, now for the military side as it pertains to you. JBLM is no more. We evacuated then destroyed the key structures and runway and have established bases and outposts on this side of the mountains. The closest installation for you is newly established Camp Petry, located in the Yakima Training grounds. What the newly established Free American government has tasked of our commander General Moore is that he run the defense of our borders here in Eastern Washington. To do that we are going to need help where we can get it. General Moore sent us as representatives with this offer: The McCoys become Eastern Washington’s 1st Mountain Minute Men, charged with defending Salmon Pass and the surrounding areas from any acts of aggression from that area. This will allow you all to continue to do what you are already capable of without being federal forces. Not to be a dick, but most of you are all unable to rejoin active duty due to injuries or age. This will also allow Camp Petry to provide support without stepping on anyone’s crank.”
Rich stood up and spoke out, obviously pissed. “What’s the real catch Captain? We get to worry about the Green Weenie trying to take over when they need us? Are we just your cannon fodder to delay incoming armies while Big Green takes its sweet ass time getting rolling and responding to a threat? We don’t need to be a big ass target just so you can leave our asses hanging in the breeze because politics or ROE say your hands are tied. “SORRY” don’t cut it for our families if we get fucked up and we’ve already proven we can handle our own without being given an official like name.” As Rich spoke I could see him tense up, his hands balled into fists and a fire started to burn in his eyes. I walked up to my friend and put a hand on his shoulder to calm him and quietly spoke.
“Brother, let’s take a walk real quick.”
His head snapped from the Captain to focus on me, the fire starting to die.
With a deep inhale and exhale he shook his hands and then his head. “I’m good man. Seriously. Thanks.”
Rich and I had been friends for a long time and relied on each other to keep our anxiety in check and to look out for one another, it had become second nature for us to see when the other was starting to get spun up and how to defuse the blindsiding emotions that could take over. If I’d have told him to relax it probably would have ended in a fist fight between us. With a couple pats to his shoulder it was time to listen to the response.
To my surprise Caldwell looked at his Company Commander and essentially dismissed him before stepping forward. These SF guys were something else.
“Rich, right? We haven’t met but I’ve read every one of you guys’ military files. I know what you went through, and this isn’t like that. Here’s the deal in a more down to earth level… you say yes, the US Army provides you all with weapons, munitions, provisions and training. I’ve already requested my team be attached to you guys. You’re all killers but there’s room for improvement in anything. Your beat to shit 240 I know you pulled off the FFACA vehicle gets replaced with something new, you get equipped with standard weapons like 40milimeter launchers, SAWs and 240 Limas for platoons plus heavier shit like Mah Deuces and mortars for defense. Rather than ANFO IEDs you will have C4 and landmines. Shit like that. I would not throw my hat in for and with you guys if I didn’t think it was the right place to be. And one other thing: It was my recommendation to the General that put the offer on the table. If you all don’t want it there will be absolutely no hard feelings but truth be told we need you even though the pass is right at our doorstep.”
Uncle Leo stepped forward and looked at the two Soldiers. “Can you give us a day or two to decide, plus a frequency to call you on?”
“Sure, and just use your satellite phone.”
“Forgot about that.” Leo turned back towards the assembled group of family and friends. “Think on that bit and we’ll reconvene and vote on it. For the record I agree. Next my old friend Sheriff Moorhead has an offer as well. Sam.”
The Sheriff stepped up and cleared his throat. “I know that’s a hard decision and I also know it’s one you have to make with your families. If you accept the offer then please consider what the town is ready to do to support you. We have men and
women who want to join and help and would if you accept and train them. Also, the town has houses, schools and necessities for living that your families and children will need but cannot get out here. Let us provide it for you by opening vacant homes for your non-combatants to stay in and let us educate and protect your little ones. By doing this we can take a load off your backs and help you focus on what you need to. This comes from the city council and they decided it the day you all drove into town after the battle at Salmon Pass.”
Uncle Leo thanked our visitors and gave them a handshake. Master Sergeant Caldwell opted to stay with us. As the guests loaded into their vehicles our group broke up, families heading off to discuss what we needed to discuss. I had already made up my mind.
I would have thought hwy 12 would be a better bet, especially because it sounds like they left from roy/yelm.
Originally Posted By 2T2_Crash:
Familiarity, we take that pass every year. Also it's more out in the country and not as risky as I5-18-90. Taking 90 would be a lot of freeway through a lot of liberally held territory.
Great story though. Thank you for putting it up. Count me in as a buyer of you publish.
Well shit, Ohio didn't make the cut...
Thanks for the updates. This has been a fun read so far!
North West Regional Director Mendez’ Office
Seattle, Cascadia USSA
Director Mendez paced in front of a large map of what was once the State of Washington. It had been two weeks since the proclamation of secession by that treasonous redneck from Texas. Less than three days after the announcement of secession President Clampton had moved to make the remaining states what they should have been; a series of regional territories ruled under a proper government and properly renamed as the United Socialist States of America. Mendez was rewarded for his support and loyalty with the leadership of what an area that spanned from the Pacific Ocean in the West, to the Cascades in the East, from the Canadian border in the north clear down to the old California/Oregon border. This new region was then renamed Cascadia.
With this region Mendez had control of rich natural resources, a large population of supporters plus a nice long stretch of Interstate 5. The mass relocation of JBLM had infuriated the director to the point that he not only fired his chief of intelligence, but Mendez also had him executed for his failure to foresee the event. Though JBLM and the Naval assets in the Puget Sound had managed to escape, Mendez still had control of the bases, naval mothball fleet in Bremerton, as well as an Air Guard fighter wing out of Portland that was loyal to the USSA.
While the disappearing act of the units from JBLM had been a kick in the junk to Mendez, the thorough destruction had been like twisting a blade that had already hit him in the back. Repairs to the runway would take months to complete and most key facilities had been completely leveled, the ones that remained were being repurposed for a new use. In her wisdom President Clampton had enacted a draft, allowing the regional directors to create an army of able bodied citizens between the ages of 18 and 26. Mendez smiled as he thought of his army being trained on the ashes of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, now named Camp Lenin. Mendez had ordered the statue of Lenin that had been in Seattle for decades be moved to the gates of the new training base as inspiration to the new recruits.
The last count that had been reported was a thousand recruits in the first phase of training, so willing was the populace of Cascadia to get back at the Free American Federation and the traitorous scum that lived there that Mendez hadn’t need to even consider drafting people yet. In six weeks’ time he would have 1,000 trained soldiers, plus another thousand every two weeks after. The armored units would take an extra month to train, plus other specialty units. Mendez’s plan was to immediately start sending waves of soldiers into the main routes through the Cascade Mountains. He wanted to take back Eastern Washington and prove his worth to the President. Mendez’s plan was simple: send as many bodies at the passes as possible and slowly bleed out the defenders until they were too weak or disenfranchised to resist. It had worked for his idols during the Korean and Vietnam conflict, and it would work for him even if it took tens of thousands of lives to accomplish his goal. Like Stalin had said: “A single death is a tragedy, A million deaths is a statistic”.
As Mendez stared at the map and chuckled to himself he was interrupted by a knock at the door.
The door opened to reveal his body guards, along with two scantily clad women… it truly was good to be the king he thought. Power, Women, and anything else he wanted… and he had it all brought to him in his new office at the top of the Space Needle.
“Ah yes… ladies good evening.” Mendez spread his arms in a welcoming gesture and smiled a toothy, evil grin that instantly made the ladies uncomfortable. They had no clue what had happened to the last female visitors he had up there, if they had known they would have tried to run.
“Thankyou gentlemen, I’ll give you a call when I am done with them”. The thing about the top of the Space Needle was that nobody could see or hear the violence and perversion that went on up there, which is exactly what Emanuel Mendez wanted.
Meanwhile at Camp McCoy
We had decided to take up the Army’s offer for support and training, plus the offer from the Town and the Sheriff. Rather than accept a massive influx of recruits we had decided to start with veterans first, and then we added others. Rather than try to retrain the veterans from scratch we had decided to see what their MOS had been and try to go from there. Our volunteers ranged from young men and women who had recently gotten out of the service, all the way to a few Vietnam veterans who were accepted as trainers. The oldest to try and join was one very pissed off Korean War vet who was none too happy when we tried to explain to the man that at 90 years of age he simply was not going to be able to help fight.
One of our most important additions was a retired Army Master Sergeant who had been an 11C/Mortarman (or as we had been clued in by Brad… a “Charlie or a Chuck”). Master Sergeant Tom Brady (yeah… we all laughed our asses off at his expense) was well versed in using mortars in both flat and mountain terrain. His career had included 8 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, a few of which were spent lugging and lobbing 60mm mortars in the mountains.
One of the first deliveries we had received from Camp Petry had been a six pallet C-130 airdrop consisting of 60mm mortar tubes and projectiles, M240L as promised, two M2 Brownings plus demolition and in enlisted terms… a “metric shitload” of ammunition.
Jake, Brad, Rich and I were sitting around shooting the shit during a break in training when the dull bang of a mortar landing in the distance causes me to start. “I wish those fuckers would practice somewhere else.”
Brad laughed “Get used to it, and quit being a bitch”.
My retort was quick and in the voice of a character from a cartoon we all watched when it was still younger. “Heeey, fuck you buddy!”
Rich: “I’m not your buddy, guy!”
Jake: “I’m not your guy, pal!”
Brad: “I’m not your pal, friend!”
And of course, It was up to me to finish it. “I’m not your friend, guuuuuuy!”
We all fell out laughing, tension relieved. South Park quotes were abundant around camp, along with Team America and other off the wall comedy flicks from the past.
I placed my hand on my knee and grunted as I stood up, immediately getting attention from Rich.
“You good dude?”
I wince a little. “Yeah, my back is sore from lugging that damn .50 cal barrel out to OP One, plus my knee is sore from that damn ruck march but it’s been getting better over the last month.”
“Yeah, that’s because you’ve lost a lot of weight, fatass!”
I looked down towards my feet… my gut had most definitely shrunk but who knows how much wait I’ve lost since we didn’t exactly have a scale way the hell up here. “Dude I might be able to see my junk now!” I joked.
“Not likely” from Brad
Rich just held two fingers up, about a quarter inch space between them and shook his head “no”. Who needs enemies when you have friends like this?
“Fuck you guys. I’m going to go see how MSgt Brady is doing with his boot ass Chucks.”
The trip to the Mortar range was a 20 minute drive, about a quarter mile down the canyon, they had setup at the lowest point of the ravine to fire on one of the higher elevated targets today. As I pulled up to the 100 yard marker from the mortar pit I could see the team prep and then fire another round, resulting in another impact, this one on the other side of the ridge, which was being spotted by another mortarman. I got out of my truck, grabbed my ear muffs and started walking as Tom went through another series of commands.
“Drop 30, left 20”
One of the younger veterans turned the dials on the tube.
A different man prepped the high explosive round in his hand
What should have happened was the soldier hold the round, and wait for command. What happened was he held it and then dropped it directly down the tube.
MSgt Brady immediately shoved the soldier off his feet and stood over him, screaming. “You stupid fuck, did I give you the command to fire?!”
The troop knew he fucked up. “NO MASTER SERGEANT!”
“Get on your damn face and push!”
The soldier immediately turned and started doing pushups as his trainer looked at me and headed my way.
“Having fun yet?”
Brady smiled. “Oh yeah! That round slipped out of his fingers, but this lesson will ensure it doesn’t happen again. Hell it’s happened to me before.”
“How’s the training going?”
“Good, they are naturals. That was actually our last round for the day… excuse me.” Brady looked over my shoulder. “RECOVER!”
With that the young man jumped up from his pushups.
“Sounds good, you guys want a ride up in the truck?”
As the mortar team packed their equipment and loaded it into the bed of my RAM Bady and I continued to shoot the shit. He tried to explain the math of mortars to me but who am I kidding? I suck at math, unless it involves calculating an aircraft’s center of balance or can be read on a tape measure I was lost… angles, charges, azimuth: might as well be speaking Japanese to me. I think he realized my eyes were glazing over from the topic so he switched it up just as the mortar team piled into the truck, one of whom made the poor choice of sitting in the turret that we decided to leave in place in the bed. His curses after the first few bumps in the dirt path entertained us.
Brady started with his new topic. “So what are we doing with the 16 and 17 year olds that joined up?”
“Well we don’t want them in direct combat operations yet so we’ve been training them with the positions around the camp. Observation Post duty, radio training, medical training and other general support. All are learning how to drive the big transport trucks so they can aid in logistical support when needed as well. They’ll get the same combat training as us, but they won’t be put with a line unit until they hit 18, hopefully this shit doesn’t last that long.”
“I’d rather it be my generation’s fight, than my children’s”
“Exactly. Unfortunately, my son has already been involved in a firefight when we ambushed the column at the Pass, but I’d rather he not know the weight on your soul when you take a person’s life.”
“True. My 17-year-old daughter Chloe is out here, she keeps talking about wanting to become a Corpsman. The training Doc Rios is giving has really impressed her and I think it might be her calling. She turns 18 in three weeks.”
“Good to hear, we have Doc, plus a Medic from Nam who’s in charge of behind the lines treatment and transport. I can’t remember his name but I know he has a prosthetic leg so he can’t exactly move well enough for combat duty.”
“God help me, but Chloe wants to be up front. “
“That’s tough MSgt, but you know there isn’t anything our guys wouldn’t do to keep their medics safe.”
“True. So if I may ask, I’m obviously from a mortar MOS but I hear you used to load planes but we don’t have any. You don’t seem the type to sit on your ass so what have you been up to?”
“Furthering my Machinegun training, as well as operations at the TOC for days my back is feeling messed up. Matter of fact after I drop you off I’m grabbing my Browning and headed to the training area. Well, here we are. Take it easy and I’ll see you
“Sure thing, thanks for the ride and conversation.”
After I parked my truck I retrieved my belt fed baby from my tent, I muttered a curse as I positioned the 32 pound gun onto my shoulder. “I shoulda made a damn MG42 and saved myself a good 10 pounds of weight.”
I hadn’t heard Zach walking to the tent but he heard me complaining. “Quit bitching you old fucker, that thing saved our ass on the way over.”
“You love it because you got to have all the fun. Here… you carry it, I still need to grab the tripod and spare parts kit.”
“Fine, give her to me, I’d hate for you to pretend to throw your back out again.”
“later, if you ask nicely.”
Good God we had issues. All of us. But it made the shitty situation tolerable… hell who am I kidding, we were like this before all this shit started.
Zach looked at me impatiently. “Hurry up, the other teams coming to train are already at the 2.5 ton.”
“I know. We better hurry because SFC Caldwell is training us today and he doesn’t like when we are on civilian time.”
The drive took about a half an hour, not because of the distance but because of the terrain. One section was a steep grade which needed to be driven with care. The area we set for machine gunnery training was atop a ridgeline to the east of the camp.
The gun positions were at the very top of the main ridgeline, looking down one of the larger canyons. We had plywood sheets painted white with black circles as targets set at 300, 500 and 800 meters, these allowed the gunners to get a visual on what the impact area of the bullets looked like. This is known as the “Beaten zone” and the longer the bursts of fire the larger the beaten zone got due to gun movement.
Once we arrived Caldwell had us all hop out and circle around him before he got started. “Alright, last week we trained on using the guns during ambush, and then patrol movements. Today we are going to use them in static defenses with the tripods. We have seven of you here because that is how we set up a two-gun weapons squad. One squad leader, two gunners, two assistant gunners, two ammunition bearers. You are all familiar with your roles, set the 240L on the left, the .30 Cal on the right. Squad Leader, take control of your crews. You have 2 minutes to setup. Go!”
Rich Immediately got everyone’s ass in gear. “Get your shit and get moving! Brad on the left, Jim on the right! I want those tripods set correctly and I expect those guns ready to roll!”
There was no slow movements on my team, I was gunner, Zach the A-gunner and one of the new dicks from town was our ammunition bearer. Zach Hauled ass past me, carrying the tripod and spare parts bag. He had sprinted the 25 feet to our gun pit and setup the tri-pod by the time I had managed to get to him. I moved the gun into position as Zack slid the mount pin through the receiver, securing it to the mount. The new guy Paul had a belt of .308 out of the can and shoved the pull tab in place which was followed by me pulling the charging handle twice and shouting out “Gun two up!”
Rich responded “Standby! Gun one hurry the fuck up!”
We looked over and snickered as Brad’s team struggled to load the 240. He looked pissed. Finally, he had it set and reported up just as SFC Caldwell called time and approached Rich.
“You barely made it in time. What was the problem?”
“Gun one was a little slow on the loading. Brad, what was going on?”
“Dipshit here tried to load my belt in backwards!”
Brad had been assigned two of the town’s veterans who had not had machinegun experience. One thing we had taken into consideration while assigning training fields to the volunteers was not only prior experience, but also prior injuries. Guys who had gotten their bells rung too many times during deployments from IEDs were put in spots where they were less likely to experience another TBI, too many could be debilitating. His assistant gunner had been supply guy but he wanted to contribute and be a fighter. We were all learning.
Caldwell approached Brad’s team and addressed the A-gunner.
“Make sure you feed those rounds properly, lives could depend on these guns so we cannot afford to fuck this up. Take a can of rounds back to the tent after the training. Practice pulling them out and make sure you have it right. Every can has the tap on the same side with the bullets facing the same way, the key is to orient your can before you open it. Handle in your left hand with the locking hasp facing the gun, open with your right and the rounds will face forward. Oh shit, you’re left handed that explains it. Practice it tonight, learn to use your right to open the cans and not your dominant one and it’ll solve the problem.”
“Awesome. Brad pay attention to this shit, don’t just get pissed.”
“Got it, my bad.”
“Alright, guns are up. We are going to go over how to talk the guns, burst lengths at different distances and the effects of the beaten zone at range as well. Each man in the teams WILL be firing and rotating to the other two roles. We will be changing barrels so I hope you have your heat protecting gloves or else you’ll get to visit Doc after this.”
Caldwell reached for his radio’s push to talk button and held it in. “Range control, Range Master one.”
“Go ahead Range Master One.”
“Range 5 requesting permission to go hot.”
“One, permission granted, report when finished.”
“Copy, RM one out.”
With the Range hot he looked at Rich. “Squad Leader, I want both guns up and a belt fired at the closest target, and I want those guns to talk. Proceed.”
“On my command! FIRE!”
We spend the next few hours expending rounds provided to us by our new fledgling government. One of the benefits of Missouri joining the FAF was that it brought with it the Lake City ammunition plant which had been a major ammunition supplier for the US Military since 1941. Ammunition was not currently a problem.
Training like ours isn’t the only one going on, at any given time we have multiple classes occurring, everything from basic weapons familiarization to combat tactics, engineering and demolition to construction. We are most definitely not a calm camp.
After training had ended we policed the area of brass, links and trash then all loaded up and took the drive back to camp. As we pulled into the parking are by the trees we could see two flags being risen on our newly added flag pole. The first being the original Stars and Bars of the US because it was our goal to reunite and re-establish the United States of America, the second was a new one. The banner was all black save for a white rectangle in the upper left corner, within which were four stars of different colors. Green for Army, Red for the USMC, deep blue for the Navy and Coast Guard, and a light blue for the USAF, these represented the four service branches from which we all came from. On the right side of the banner were two different insignias, the top most was a white rattle-snake with “Don’t Fuck With Me” in yellow. The lower right had a white skull and cross-bones with “Get Stacked” under it, a warning to would be aggressors.
Someone in the truck with us asked the question. “Get Stacked, the hell does that mean?”
Zack spoke up. "It means we will stack the bodies of our enemies like fucking cordwood.”
I looked at Brad. “You finally finished the design huh?”
“Yeah, it’s based off the banner of the Veterans Exempt unit from the war of 1812, a bunch of Revolutionary War veterans too old to join the military but still wanting to serve.”
“I like it, it’s fitting.”
I found a couple of mistakes. Do you want me to keep pointing them out, or will that be annoying?
Once again awesome and more please!!
Ok. Will do.
Originally Posted By 2T2_Crash:
By all means please do, the more help the better.
Talking about the MG range.
"....I still need to grab the Bipod and spare parts kit.” ..."Today we are going to use them in static defenses with the tripods."......“Get your shit and get moving! Brad on the left, Jim on the right! I want those Bipods set correctly and I expect those guns ready to roll!”
Can we have another chapter now?
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