The rest of the girls had gone to open the gym so we could sleep in. It was going to be a busy day. I had a nail appointment, a hair appointment plus before that I still needed to do several assessments and set-up programs. Luckily I had been able to get in several tanning sessions in the last few days.
Jeanna and Marcy were working the window as I went into the gym. We had a pleasant greeting, it was good the see her again. I knew they were going over the books. They looked happy. I took that as a good sign.
Marcy asked, “How is Ching Lee this morning?”
“Still sound asleep,” I replied. “If she is not up soon I will take the paddle and go wake her,” I said with a grin.
Marcy with her eyes all big said, “I hope not that would be a terrible alarm clock.”
Wendy came from the tanning booth to get the next waiting lady. She took time to remind me that Carl was picking me up at six thirty. She also reminded me to come over as a couple before we left so she could send her mom a picture.
I began the routine that I always followed with the assessments. Abby was working today. After she finished the physical they came to the refreshment center where I did an interview to see the direction they wanted to go, weight loss, build body mass or just a maintenance fitness program. From that we hit the machines to see what kind of shape they were in and I then worked out a fitness program tailored to them and the results they wanted to achieve.
Ching Lee came running in a huff and was on her knees. “Mistress I have made another error.” She said.
“We need to have a private conversation Ching Lee,” I said. “Follow me.”
In the class room we established how and when we would be slave and Mistress and why it was necessary for our family and in the public eye. I also agreed we would have regular sessions in the dudgeon in the basement. She and I were going to set it back up and clean it then bring all the toys up to the latest models we could find. She wanted weekly but we agreed to every two weeks. Ching Lee was thrilled. I also agreed to teach the others how to take control of her in the dungeon if they were willing to participate. Ching Lee agreed to no more public displays unless it was part of some pre-arranged session. The six of us were family and lovers and nothing was to interfere with that.
I worked into the gym until two then went over home to shower. Then I went to my nail appointment followed by my hair appointment. It was five when I returned home. It was a cold night in late December similar to the nights I spent doing guard duty at the US embassy in Tokyo. On those nights I had worn either man’s long johns or pantyhose and a thermal top under the blues to keep the chill out while working outside guard duty.
I chose a new thong and panty hose that I almost gave up on finding. A slightly padded bra with a little extra lift with low cut cotton shirt to wear under the dress shirt. A pair of thin regulation dark socks to cover the panty hose. The fit of the regulation shirt was good even with the extra padding of the bra. The pant fit was perfect and the belt would hold them in place on my waist no matter what dancing activity I got into. The mirror finish on the black regulation shoes was perfect. I put on a little make up with natural color lip gloss.
I put on the jacket and checked all the medals. I changed my earrings to a conservative diamond and followed that up with the regulation cover that I tucked my hair under.
I stood in front of the full length mirror with a lump in my throat. I was proud. This was the first time that I had seen myself in the jacket with all the medals installed and the Master sergeant stripes on the sleeve. I slid the driver’s license, my Marine ID card and my keys in one pocket and my phone went into the other.
With my over-coat over my arm I walked over to the gym. As Marcy let me in she announced over the PA that I was there. All my girls wanted pictures with me. Marcy must have called the Mom’s. It was only a few minutes later that they both showed up.
Jenny was sporting an ear to ear smile as she stood next to me. Of course I had my arm around her. She whispered into my ear, “If you think you were worn out last night just wait until I get done with you tonight.”
“That works two ways,” I said with a smile of my own. She yelped as I pinched her ass cheek.
Wendy on the other hand looked ready to cry. I asked, “What is the matter?”
“I don’t think Mom will be as safe as I thought,” she said.
“You have nothing to worry about. I promise he will still be a virgin when he goes home.” I said.
She looked confused for a moment and said, “I think it’s a little late for that.” And then she smiled. We had just finished up all the pictures that the girls wanted when Carl arrived. That required another round of pictures in the lobby that Wendy could send to her Mom.
We arrived at the Naval Academy with a few minutes to spare. Carl parked in his assigned parking place that was close to the main entrance to the large hall where tonight’s festivities were to take place. The plebes were acting as parking attendants and escorts walking the officers to the door.
Carl and I made our way to our table. It seemed like I was being introduced to everyone. Carl was very popular. At one point it seemed that I was the only Marine there but as we made the rounds I saw others, mostly officers. I was the only female Marine there although there were hundreds of female Naval officers and middies.
There were a quite a few of the lady middies that were members of the gym. Marcy had offered a nice discount to members and former members of the services. I spent a lot of time with them while Carl was making the rounds with the fellows. I could tell he was getting some grief for coming with a date that was almost young enough to be his daughter.
When it was near start time the high ranking officers and dignitaries came in with their wives and sit at the head table. The Chief of Naval Operations was the last one in; he was assisting his wife who was using a walker. It was easy to tell that she had had knee surgery. I had to look twice – I knew that lady from somewhere – I couldn’t quite put my finger on where. She must have had the same thought because I caught her looking at me several times.
After the opening ceremonies and speeches dinner was served. It was an elaborate meal and done very well for a group of this size. I should have expected it. The Navy was known as the soft service. They were known for dry bunks, hot showers, and hot food and there was always ice cream. The Air Force came in second to the Navy in accommodations for its personal. Even if they had to rough it when they were assigned to forward bases the accommodations were better than the Army or Marines. The meal was a surf and turf type of meal. Salad, crab soup, steak and a mix of seafood with several kinds of fish were available.
It finally came to me where I had seen the CNO’s wife. She had been with a group of proper ladies that had come to tour the gym when we had the open house. Jenny had handed that group off to me. Her name was Dixon, Cynthia Dixon.
Carl was with a group of other navy guys discussing the upcoming Army-Navy game so I took opportunity to go to the ladies room. I stopped on the way and made small talk to Mrs. Dixon, asking how she was doing, what had happened to her knee.
She said, “I missed a step and fell down a couple of steps on their porch, which was all it took. I have mostly recovered but on long walks the knee gets tired so I use the walker just to be safe.” It had happened just two days after she had toured the gym.
After more small talk I mentioned that I was headed to the bathroom and needed to get back before the rest of the festivities started. She said, “If I can borrow your arm I’ll go with you. I was dreading to make the trip with the walker.”
We chatted more on the way and on the way back about many things. More about the gym, how it came to be that I was here with Carl. I told her the whole story about Wendy and her mother conniving to get me to go with Carl. She remembered Wendy from the tour. She asked what ship Susan Adams was on.
We talked about my duty in Japan at the embassy. I lamented on the fact that all the diplomats use me to practice the fancy dances they had to do in a formal affair. She commented that her husband John loved to dance those dances and how disappointed he was that he would be unable to dance a few of them tonight.
“If you approve and he wants to dance to one tonight all he has to do is ask,” I said. Little did I know that the first dance of the evening was the CNO’s choice?
As she sat down back at her table he asked, “If everything was ok?”
She replied, “I am fine, you know the marines are always the first to come to the rescue and they didn’t disappoint tonight. I was in more than capable hands. Thanks BJ.”
“Next time I make the trip I will stop by and see if you need an arm.” I said. She nodded in reply.
Back at the table with Carl I asked what the odds were running for the game while we were watching the Navy band doing its final prep before starting. He began explaining why the Navy team was going to roust Army.
I felt a light tap on the shoulder and “Ma-am, Cynthia tells me you may know a waltz or two. Would you do me the honor of the first dance tonight if the Captain doesn’t mind?”
Carl looked at me and said, “I don’t mind at all. I would love to see her do a waltz.”
We walked out on the floor to a hushed crowd. We danced a waltz that had been one of my favorites many years ago. How I managed not to make a mistake I don’t know, but it was perfect. He asked if I would dance to another later. “Sure, it would be my pleasure.” I said.
As John Dixon escorted me back to the table Cynthia gave me a two handed thumbs up with a big smile.
I hadn’t noticed the camera flashes but that is how the picture of a former Marine Master Sergeant and the Chief of Naval Operations ended up on the front page of the Navy Times, the Navy News Network and the news wire.
Carl was impressed and boldly said so as he led me to the dance floor. We danced several dances including a slow close dance before we sat down. He had an erection that was pressing against me at times even though he was trying his best not to. He was apologetic but I just laughed and said,” It just proves three things, you’re not dead, I’m still attractive, and Susan is in for some serious loving when she gets home.”
Before the night was over I danced with the CNO 6 times, all waltzes. Then there were the others, several admirals, a 4-star general from the Corps that I knew from some where and of course several more dance with Carl. When a few of the guests left the head table Cynthia asked Carl and me to join them. Most of the talk was about sports or some new technical marvel the Navy was working on that most likely too secret for my ears.
As in all things involving men and alcohol the conversations soon drifted into war stories or storms on the sea. Cynthia and I drifted into talk of our own for a while. Then one of the officers asked about my medals.
I touched the first Heart and Star, “These two I earned on Widow Makers Pass. It took the Russian engineers three years to construct Widow Makers Pass. It’s a narrow road blasted on the side of a mountain just wide enough for a truck. At every km there is a space wide enough to pull over if you meet a vehicle. One of you has to back up until you get to the pull off; usually the smallest has to back up. The pass was used to connect Fort North Point to Camp Evil Dog. Evil Dog was used to refuel choppers.
The Taliban would be down in the ravine and loop RPG’s at the convoys as they went by hoping to get lucky. If they did they would climb the opposite side of the ravine and pick off the crews of the trapped convey. We were carrying jet fuel and supplies to Evil Dog. It was a thrown together fuel convoy needed in a rush. The tankers were sent out first with several cargo trucks to catch up later before they got to the pass.
The convey commander was a 1st Lieutenant in the lead tanker; it was his first command and convoy assignment without a superior along. The rest of the crews were greenhorns right out of boot camp and transportation training. I had just made sergeant. The cargo trucks were late joining up. Someone had decided at the last minute that they were to tow a light artillery piece and shells for it. They were so late it would be after dark before we reached Evil Dog. I was driving the third tanker.
The cargo trucks were still more than mile behind us when we reached Widow Maker. The lieutenant kept going. The pass was bad enough for experienced drivers. The greenhorns were scared to death. A simple error and the sides of the truck were dragging the side of the mountain or inches from going over the side. About five miles from Evil Dog the Taliban got lucky.
An RPG took the engine out on the lead truck. The fire suppression system survived the explosion and put the fire out, but the Lieutenant and driver were burned and in shock. I and the driver from the second truck got to them, got them out and carried them away from the damaged truck in case the fire started up again. The Taliban started bouncing small arms off the mountain above us as they were climbing up on the other side. Bullets were ricocheting all around us. I have a scar on my right hip where one got me.
By this time the cargo trucks had joined up and we were all sitting ducks. With the lieutenant out of it I was in charge of a convoy for the first time. The only thing I could think of was to push or blow the truck over the side of the mountain. There was no way to push it. The brakes were locked with no air to release them. To cage the brake chambers before we came under direct fire was unlikely.
We searched the cargo trucks. The only thing we found other than food was the shells for the light artillery gun and a crate of c4 with no detonators, a crate of 50cal belted ammo and two of 50 cal machine guns along with all kinds of maintenance supplies.
I started a line passing the shells forward towards the disabled truck. I was at the front of the line by the truck. I would not assign anyone a dangerous job that I would not do myself. I was improvising and that was impossible to explain. As each shell got to me I put the base of the shell against the mountain and the nose of the shell in the dish of the wheel. I put four shells to each wheel and for good measure 2 of the 4 pound cakes of c4 between the shells and wrapped the bundle with a ratchet strap to hold it together. I did the same at each of the wheels
While I was finishing up I ordered the trucks to back up as far as they could and to stop before anyone went over the side. The Taliban had worked their way high enough to be hitting the tops of the trucks with small arms fire.
I set the 50 cal up beside the front truck. The drivers had been able to back up about 50 meters before they got jammed up. I sent all my men to the rear in case this plan was fubar. My plan was to jig the 50 cal and hopefully set all the explosives off close together
I did not get to shoot more than five seconds when the tanker lifted off the road and over the side of the mountain. The thing hardly dropped out of sight when there was the mother of all explosions and a fire ball was sent hundreds of feet high. The shock wave from the first explosion took my breath away and covered me with small rocks and dirt. The second one blew me back a couple of feet shredding my uniform, skinned up my knees and elbows and knocked me out for a minute. When I got my wits back the rest of the drivers had made it to me and were yelling and cheering the road was clear. We weren’t under fire any more. The fire ball or the concussion cleared the Taliban.
We had bullet holes in the second and third tanker low enough on the sides to be leaking but the plug kits fixed that. They were tapered round wooden plugs you drove into the hole with a hammer. They had heard the explosion at Evil Dog; the valley had carried it like a horn.
It was daybreak when we pulled into Evil dog. The lieutenant and the driver spent several months in the burn center after being shipped home. The base commander was trying to eat my ass for losing the tanker and then for using that much explosive to blow the tanker off the mountain. He was pissed even more when I replied that I was only a truck driver, not an explosives expert. I used what I thought would give the results I needed.
I had to do a debriefing and then the action reports, then more reports for the missing tanker and more reports to account for the missing shells and C4. I did all that while the men were unloading the trucks and getting them ready for the return trip, we were leaving at first light. The return trip was routine.
The MP’s were waiting for me as soon as the trucks stopped. I was to go directly to the base commander. I figured that a trip to the brig was in order. The Camp Evil Dog commander had put me in for a battle field promotion and this Heart and Star.”
I touched the second Heart and Star on my chest as my mind seemed to go into the fog of battle as I started talking; “These two came from another convoy run into hell. The army was taking a beating at Camp John Roberts. It had been originally called Camp Rock Bottom. It came by that name because there was nothing but rock, no dirt to dig foxholes. The soldiers stacked rocks to make protective half circles to shoot from and hide behind. Army Major John Roberts was the first casualty when the army tried to establish an encampment there.
The camp was in a Y where two valleys became one. Who ever controlled the camp controlled both valleys and they were an important smuggling routes used by the Taliban. The army gained control of the camp with a big surprise offensive catching the Taliban off guard. The Taliban did what it had done for centuries in the face of overwhelming force. They ran, simply disappeared into the valleys that were filled with caves both man-made and natural. They regrouped, dug out the arms they had stashed for just such an event, watched and mapped everything the army was doing and waited for more insurgents to join them for a counter-offensive.
They had done it with the Russians and now they were doing to us. The Russians had blasted a tunnel to keep supplies in and provide some shelter. It also proved to be their tomb. The army was using the same tunnel now.
They chose to send no officers on that convoy. It was the first convoy I was in command from the beginning. There were ten trucks. All of them had been outfitted with the latest field developed anti-RPG modification. That was ½ inch armor plate 4 inches wide with 1 on 1 spacings that went from below the below the cab up past its top, with angle plating that directed any shrapnel from an RPG upward to prevent it entering the cab. In the front the stuff was angled with no back plating so the driver could see through. From above it made the truck look like a pie slice.
There was a pedestal mounted mini gun to give some protection but the operator was a sitting duck with his head and upper body exposed. There was a back shield that kept him from getting shot from behind but it limited his gun sweep to 180 degrees. A couple also had the automated grenade launch weapon. There was no protection from mortar rounds or grenades thrown into the bed of the truck other than a heavy duty canvas.
The army had planned to use choppers to supply the camp. That had worked fine for the first month. Every chopper for the last two weeks had been shot down, even the ones sent at night. All of the air drops from the C130’s but one had been captured or blown up.
The camp was desperate. The army was unable to aid the camp because of several big offensives including the one at Al Fallujah that was going badly along with the fact that the camp was beyond the limits of their supply system. They had depended entirely on the air supply system working. The Marine supply base was close enough to send armored trucks with extra tanks and one remote refueling stop.
I had fifteen minutes to review the mission before the complete mission briefing with my men. Someone had been looking out for me. I had ten experienced drivers, ten very experienced soldiers manning the mini guns, and ten experienced soldiers in the right seat counting myself and a medic. This was my 100th convey I had been on. This was a supply mission and no more I was told. We were designated (Baker Box 1) for the mission
I changed the mission. We were pulling out at 0200 and would hit the refueling stop at 1200. I figured two hours to pump 4000 gallons of diesel out of 55 gallon drums with hand pumps and to give the mechanics that were air dropped with the fuel time to check out the trucks for the last part of the run. We should drive into the camp before dark. I sent everyone to get the last sleep we most likely would get in the next 24 hours, possibly the next 48.
We left on time and hit the fuel dump a half hour early and then we left on the second part of the run. We were halfway into the second part of the run when the satellite phone I had been issued rang.
The voice on the phone informed me that “Camp Roberts was under heavy attack and taking heavy causalities. Warthogs (Pork Belly 5) had been pulled from another engagement but had limited fuel and ammo. They had been notified of our mission and position. Continue on but be prepared to abort the mission. The mission has changed, it is now a rescue mission,” the voice said. They were also going to send me a live feed from the drones for as long as they could keep them on station. I relayed the information to my group along with the order to bump up to the next gear and to maintain a safe distance.
I studied the video feed so I could formulate a plan for a grand entrance. It was all fly by the seat of my pants, officers were trained for these kinds of missions. I heard the A10’s go over then I could see them moving away ahead of us. A pair of them was low in the valley and the other 3 were high giving cover. We were 10 km from the camp when they went over. We were 3 km from Camp Roberts when they came back in the same formation 2 low and 3 high. The two in the valley dropped even lower and rocked their wings as they went over.
I had watched the action on the laptop. The video feed from the high drone was poor but I could see the Taliban were only 50 meters or less from the mouth of the tunnel when the Bacon 5 started firing. There were soldiers in front of the tunnel, they weren’t moving or trying to get back into the tunnel when the Gatling guns wound up on the A10. It was not a good sign, we may be too late. The only encouraging thing I saw on the feed was that the Taliban ran away from the tunnel not into it. Hopefully the army still controlled it.
The four-star general that I had danced with was hanging on my every word almost leaning over the table on words of the action. The whole table was quiet while listening.
I hit my command radio that would broadcast in all 10 trucks and the world with my battle plan. “The road widens out a half km from the camp – we are going in three wide. Trucks two and three to my left, and we move in as a group to the right in front of the tunnel. 4, 5, and 6 straight in 7, 8, and 9 take up the same formation and move to the left. End up in a half circle defensive formation in front of the camp. Shoot everything that moves; if you think its dead, make sure.”
The four-star across the table nodded. He knew what I meant. I could tell by the expressions on his face during parts of my story that it was more than a passing interest to him.
The Taliban were recovering from the A10 hit when we came around the bend in front of the camp. The mini guns and auto grenade launchers were throwing fire every where. Dead and dying insurgents were too numerous to do a quick count. When we had control of the immediate area in front of the Camp I sent trucks 3, 4, 5 and 6, 7, 8 to recon each valley but no more than 600 meters, then come back and form the camp defense.
I called into control that we had secured the area and would have a follow up report in a few minutes.
I left only the gunner in the remaining trucks. Soldiers were coming out of the tunnel. The medic and I had started checking those that were lying in front of the tunnel.
I had just stepped out of the truck with my M16 on the ready when I heard from behind “Allah is great”. I turned just in time to take 2 rounds in the heavy vest; a third went through the muscle of my right arm between my elbow and shoulder missing the bones and important things. A short burst from my rifle and several others ended that problem and four insurgent lives.
I asked an army private who was in charge. He responded, “The captain, but he is wounded and not in good shape. Who is in charge in your group?” he asked.
“I am, take me to your captain. I want a complete report.” I called for the medic to follow.
Once inside I told the medic I had been shot in the arm as I was taking the jacket and armor off. I took my shirt off the sleeve was wet with my blood. I didn’t have a bra on, it was just too damn hot under all the gear. Of course the audience grew and got quiet and the moral went up ten notches.
The medic said, “You need a surgeon to do this.”
“Well that is you. Clean it and stitch it up best you can.” I replied.
“The only thing I have for the pain is morphine. It’s going to knock you out.” He replied.
“No morphine, I know you have Advil; give me a triple dose and some gauze to bite on and get started, we are pulling out of here in the morning. Captain, give me your report.”
“Thirty five dead, forty five wounded and 20 able to fight.” I nodded I was biting hard on the gauze.
After the medic was finished and I was back dressed I began giving orders. I started with
“Captain I am taking over command of this post.”
“The Army can’t take orders from the Marines,” he replied.
“The Generals can argue about that at my court martial then,” I replied
“Get enough supplies off the truck to feed everybody and make them comfortable for the night. I want your able men to hit the sack; I want them to be able to do guard duty at 1200. I ordered half of mine to do the same. “
I ordered the two medics to work together to reevaluate all the wounded. I ordered my gunners to do an ammo count for the mini-guns and launchers and to pump the fuel from the extra 55 drums into the truck tanks and to save 10 gallons to burn everything we were going to leave behind.
I went outside to call in by satellite phone, to give the report. It was short, sweet and to the point. I gave them the casualty list and that we were going to evacuate the camp at first light and burn anything left unless I was given a direct order not to. This camp was going to require hundreds of soldiers to keep control of the area not the thirty battle ready that were here. The other twenty would need days to recover.
They said they would call back in an hour or less with an update. One of my men handed me a cheap Chinese made walkie-talkie radio – much like construction foreman used on the jobsite with a range of a couple of miles. He had found it when they were clearing bodies in front of the encampment. There was a heated conversation in Arabic going on. I had had enough contact with Afghan guides and women that I understood most of it except when they were arguing.
The fact that I could hear them meant that some of them were close. If they were to be believed they were waiting for more insurgents to arrive during the night. They were working out a plan to attack at day break.
I napped in the truck with the phone on my chest waiting for the call, dreaming of scenarios to keep my command alive.
It was an hour later that the phone rang. The questions began. The voice asked, “How long would it take to make an exit?”
“We have thirty five bodies to load and no body bags; forty five injured, many of them serious, the twenty survivors haven’t had any sleep in so many days they are walking zombies so bad I worry about them even having a weapon in their possession. We have to unload the trucks to even begin. It can be done. It will be near daybreak most likely.” I relayed the information from the radio we had found to end my side of the conversation.
The voice on the phone replied, “We need to check that out. As commander at the scene what are your recommendations” He asked.
“We unload the trucks in a pile to burn it, load up the dead and make ready to bug out tomorrow morning. At first light you have two B52’s cluster bomb the west valley starting 500 meters from the camp.. We load the wounded, the camp survivors and fire the pile during the bombing and return to the remote refueling site where Medivacs are waiting to pick up the wounded.” I replied.
“I will lay it out to the brass” The voice said and the call was cut off.
I stayed outside in the truck so the satellite phone would have a signal while I was waiting on the call. I filled the time between with napping and scanning the valley with the night vision scope. Just to the limit of its range I could see camp fires and men moving around.
It was midnight when the call came in. The voice said,” Major Jones it looks like your intelligence is correct. We have reason to believe that there may be as many as 500 plus coming your way tomorrow. There may be more than the two B52’s you requested. Five hundred of the enemy would be a good day. Make the preparations as you described earlier. Be ready to move after the bombing raid. Good luck Major.”
I responded with, “Thank you Sir, by the way it’s Sergeant Jones.”
“I’m just reading off the note I was handed Sir,” the voice said.
The four-star general across the table broke into a broad smile when I spoke that bit of information.
I ordered the general supplies unloaded from the trucks. The ammo and weapons were going back with us. I ordered the 35 bodies wrapped in their blankets and loaded in two trucks. It was a nasty gut wrenching job but it had to be done. The wounded would be loaded into five trucks.
Every hour I went and scanned the valley to look for any changes in the enemy positions. By 0300 the trucks had been unloaded and everything loaded that we could preload. At 0400 activity picked up in the valley; the Taliban were preparing to move. We were soon going to be left with no option other than to rake the valley with the mini guns as we were withdrawing.
At 0415 the satellite phone rang scaring the hell out of me. The voice said, “Big Bertha 30 is 10 out coming with the music, be ready to rock and roll. Pork Belly 25 is swinging through the valley picking up fresh meat along the way. They are going to do a little jig in the west valley. Call Piglet 5 on apple whiskey baker when you are ready to tango, they are going to dance with you.”
“10-4” I replied.
I hit the mike on my command radio, the call would go out to all the men in my group, “Lock and load the band is going to play keep your head down”
The B52 turbines were overhead and the whistle of falling bombs was in the air before I made it to the tunnel. The walking wounded were heading to their assigned trucks and those too injured to walk were being carried. The last B52 had dropped its load and banked to the left and away, its bombs were still falling as we were finishing the loading. An army corporal and I checked the tunnel to make sure there was no one left behind. I called for a headcount just to double check. Every one was accounted for.
The warthogs burst out of the south valley and turned into the west valley finding targets. Twenty five Gatling guns winding up were as noisy as the bombs it seemed. One of the army 50 cal. destroyed the generator and several incendiary grenades were thrown into the diesel-drenched burn pile.
We had already changed the radios. “Piglet 5, Piglet 5. Baker Box 1 we are ready to tango.”
“Baker Box1, Piglet 5. The music is playing you get to lead. Jones you get to buy the next round at the club.” It was an old buddy Captain Ronald Brubaker.
“I will buy two for the group and several for you, Brubaker.” I replied.
For the next four hours Piglet 5 rotated ahead and behind in a circle and the tanker to stay with the slow trucks. After the four hours we were in a relative secure area. Four hours later we met the Medivacs and transferred all the army injured while fuel was being pumped into the trucks, this time by electric pumps.
My medic came to tell me to go with the wounded to get a surgeon to look after my arm.
“This was my first command. I am going with it through the gate of the compound even if I am dead. Besides the MP’s are waiting for me there, the army wants my blood for over-ruling their Captain.” I replied.
He nodded and we climbed into the trucks to finish our return to the base. We still had the twenty army soldiers with us as our guests. They had been asleep since the trucks started moving, even the dual engines of the A10s didn’t wake them.
I filled out the action and causality reports on the laptop during the last six hours of the trip. The rest of the trip was routine.
The army soldiers first went to the guest quarters for their first hot showers in days and then the chow line.
My men did the same in our own assigned quarters. After my shower I went to the field hospital to have a doctor look at my arm. I was sitting on the exam table with my shirt off, the surgeon poking and prodding on my arm when in walked Army General John Hood.
“I’m looking for Jones,” he said, “The Jones that led the rescue mission to Camp Roberts.”
“Sir, you are looking at her, when we left here it was a supply mission.” I replied.
“Why did you take of command away my captain?” he asked.
“Sir, your captain was seriously injured, his command team dead, I did what I thought was necessary to guarantee a successful outcome of the mission.” I said.
He stood there a minute in thought then said, “Good decision, good mission. I will send a letter for your file,” then he walked away.
When the fog in my mind lifted I looked up from the table; the four-star was smiling.
“I was just coming on duty in the command center that night. I had three stars then. A sergeant doesn’t have authority to request the bombing of their own position. That falls to senior officers. I read the details of the mission, the request and the intelligence. I settled the issue by erasing the Sergeant off your name on the white board and replacing it with Major. You were a Major on the mission board for 10 hours.
All I ever see of the field reports has been white-washed to protect asses so many times that the truth is gone. Your story filled in the blanks and made me feel like I was standing there with you. We owe you and thousands more like you more than we can ever repay,” he said. All the heads at the table agreed.
Carl and I danced one more dance. I needed it; I was an emotional basket case after reliving that part of my life. It was a slow dance; we held each other close. The lights were down; it was the last dance to close down the place. His erection was moving tight against me and I made sure it stayed there. Near the end of the dance he grunted and came in his pants. I had a subdued selfish giggle. I bet it’s been 20 years since he did that, sorry Susan that was one load you won’t get. The dance was finished.
I said, “We need to go. There is a Spanish inquisition waiting for us at home.”
Edit by Alfmeister