Preface: I can't believe it has taken me this long to put this up on the web. Short background: While in Iraq, we had a guy in our Detachment who was "that guy" in terms of story-telling, self-dilusions, and generally making himself a legend in his own mind. He told several stories to people regarding his past deployments that were so easily detectable as lies, they needed to be written down.
So...someone did. I cannot take credit for the writing here, although I wish I could. This story (part one of which starts below) became quite famous throughout MND North, and rightfully so -- it was the ultimate form of "call-out" to a guy who deserved to be called out. What you are about to read, as scary as it seems, is based on things that actually came out of his own mouth. Which parts are his and which are the author's? You be the judge, and laugh it up knowing in the back of your mind that most of it came from the mind of the subject of the story.
His name will be witheld -- you know, in case his family knows how to Google -- and if you don't "get it," don't worry. This is not a piece intended for all audiences, but more for the sake of a few (and getting this on to the world wide web for future use).
Without further ado, I give you The Lonely Watch (with a hat-tip to the true author, who knows who he is).
I sat atop the hill above our humble little outpost, looking out over the windswept mountains of the Hindu Kush. I had grown to enjoy coming up here to collect my thoughts. The wind blew through my unkempt hair and beard as I contemplated the events of the last few hours. We had just received a briefing for tonight’s mission. I was still in shock over the pronouncement of tonight’s objective. We would be attempting an operation I would have thought impossible just a few short hours ago. We were going to invade Iran!
“You have been assembled here to be a part of one of the most secret missions of this war.” said Col Dalton Fury, the SF team commander. He was addressing an assembly of a dozen grizzled, elite warriors in attendance at the pre mission briefing .
“You have been selected for your skill in your specialties and your experience in these types of operations. Tonight’s target will be Objective Snake Oil. You will be going 35 miles behind the Iranian border to assault this suspected Al Quaeda training camp.” COL Fury pointed out the objective on the large map mounted on the wall. “You will be inserted here at LZ Bogus and make your way to positions here on the Northwest side of the village.” He traced the route out on the map. “Psyops.” COL Fury stared me down with his piercing gaze.”I need you for the most important stage of this mission. I need you to do a tactical callout once we deploy at the objective.”
“Roger, Sir” I replied “Our loudspeaker is the biggest asset we provide. I’ll prep a message right away”
“Thanks SSG W. I always know I can count on you” the COL said. Undoubtedly, he felt more approving of me than he would admit in front of all these men. “Now go get ready men. Your country is counting on you.” With that we were dismissed from the briefing to prepare for the mission.
I began by cleaning my weapons. An M-4 with a 203 grenade launcher mounted underneath. Not many people can match my skill with the 203 so I am forced to carry the extra weight of the weapon. As much as I hate carrying the extra weight, I know I can make the difference when things go wrong out there. Next, I double check the MPLS, better known as the Man-Pack Loudspeaker System. Sure enough, it plays the tactical callout message loud and clear. Finally, I take out my Peltor headset, replacing the batteries to ensure they will work the whole mission. I throw two more AA batteries in my pack just to be sure.
Now the team is assembled on the trucks. I look over and see COL Fury walking over from the TOC to see us off. “Gather ‘round gent.” He shouted. “Everyone hand over your name tapes and ID cards.” The COL commanded “You’re going sterile on this one. We don’t need the Iranian government finding out US troops are operating inside their borders.” The quiet evening air was disturbed by the sound of tearing Velcro as we removed every last bit of evidence that we were Americans.
“Mount Up” shouted the team leader. I began to get nervous now. I wondered would I ever see my family again? Would I make it back alive? My mind was racing but I calmed myself with the knowledge that I was highly trained and surrounded by the most talented men in Special Operations. I pulled my Peltors down over my ears and hopped onto the back of the GMV, a Special Forces version of the Humvee. I stood up, holding onto the turret ring as we sped away towards the setting sun. Towards our destiny.
To Be Continued………