……………..Setting: After describing my encounter with tiny antelopes called Dik Diks , President Bush comes to Somalia, ~Dec. 31 1992 or Jan. 1 1993………………..
I have often joked over the years how remembering all the dik diks running through the bush reminded me of my first wife. If you don’t get it, you’re the only one who didn’t…….
Anyway, now Bush was in the bush, staying in our Brigade HQ, and he brought his own diks; The Secret Service.
As night fell, I was given a shift guarding the entrance to the Brigade CP. Inside was the leader of the free world. Suddenly two secret service agents emerged behind me carrying towels, heading off to do some hygiene (I guess?).
“You guys know the password to get back in here, right?” I asked them.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, we got it.” One of the two hastily replied, seeming annoyed that a lowly Specialist in the Army would bother them with such trivial shit.
“Okie dokie. It’s getting dark, just making sure you know the drill to get back in.” I said smiling to myself, wondering if they really knew “the drill”.
After about an hour or so, it was completely dark out. I heard them before I could see them as they blabbed loudly in the dark, stumbling closer to me, until I could finally make them out.
“HALT!” I yelled out, raising the M16A2 I was using to pull guard with.
They didn’t stop.
“HALT! WHO GOES THERE!” I shouted again. And again, they didn’t stop.
“SCHICK SCHICK!” rang out as I charged my weapon and repeated “I SAID FUCKING HALT!”
“WHOA WHOA WHOA, Hold on! He’s going to shoot!” one said to the other, holding his arm out in dramatic fashion, flailing like a bird, and stopping his comrade.
I gave them the challenge phrase.
“Huh?” one replied.
I repeated it again and got no intelligent reply.
“Now is when you’d give me the fucking password” I said, knowing who exactly it was, but with plausible deniability of actually knowing. This isn’t a game and you do everything by the book for a reason.
“Um.” one said then hesitated, then blurted something out.
“Nope.” I responded to his incorrect guess.
He then followed with something else.
“Nope, wrong again! Advance to be recognized. Slowly.” I ordered them as they took a few steps slowly toward me.
“Halt! Far enough. Now put your hands on your heads and walk backwards towards me, one at a time.” I ordered.
As the first idiot stumbled backwards in the dark, I forcefully steadied him, checked for weapons, and then turned him around so we were face to face.
“Oh, hi! I remember you! Remember that password thing we talked about when you left? Yeah. I sort of wasn’t fucking kidding.” I said before letting him by and then telling his buddy to follow.
Neither of them looked very happy, which made me extremely happy.
We’re in the most dangerous country on Earth and I’m guarding the entrance to where the leader of the free world is sitting down to a nice dinner of MRE BBQ pork, and you thought you could fuck around on my watch? I had no aspirations to being THAT guy, the one on CNN who was on guard the night the President of the United States was killed because I didn’t think passwords were important.
“You fellas have a great night! Smooches.” I said smiling as they walked back into the compound.
I guess they know “the drill” now. And yes, I’m an asshole. Don’t judge. I played football, not chess. But I can beat your ass at that, too.
Excerpt from “Into the Unknown” from “Behind the Gun”
Copyright© Bravo Charles & Behind the Gun 2016