4 PAX arrived on time at the designated launch point. More manpower would have been ideal, but conditions are never ideal. Tuck. Zima. Duff. We’ll be okay. Quick pleasantries exchanged. Tick-tock.

On the asphalt lay an envelope. YHC asked only one thing, “Pick a leader.” As expected, it only took a second for the boys to elect someone. Tuck. Experience? Seniority? Respect? Doesn’t matter. There was no bad choice with this crew. Tick-tock.

Our newly elected leader opened and read the mission to the group:

1. Get your team to the upper lot and locate the package. It will be along the SW perimeter of the large parking area. It will include instructions for the next mission.
2. You CAN NOT use the sidewalk by the road. The enemy controls it.
3. If you pass a raised manhole, it must be checked (i.e. Merkins x10 IC).
4. You do not have to run. Yet.

Another quick decision and we were moving. These guys know this AO well. We circled around our flank and crossed the dam. Tuck on point stopped the group at our first manhole and lead a quick search (10 Merkins IC). All secure. Well done. Tick-tock.

We missed an opportune shortcut, up the path near the dock that leads to the upper lot. YHC kept his mouth shut. We still made good time, even with a few added manhole stops, and distance. At the top the men swiftly identified the SW perimeter and our package. I think Zima saw it first. Duff said, “Nah, that’s not it.” He was only bullshiting. He knew. What else would a stack of sandbags be doing under that street light? Tick-tock. Zima read the second mission statement.

1. Deliver these packages to Lakeway Drive. There you will find a second package, and your next mission.
2. Continue to check raised manholes (Squats x20 IC).
3. Check for IEDs on any bridges you cross (i.e. Lunge Walk).

Load up. Head out. Tuck took us back down the hill to the bridge. Which was WAY longer than anyone remembered. Checking for IEDs (Lunge Walk) was a thigh burner. But we picked up speed as soon as we reached the other side. Piece of cake, right?

HALT. YHC pointed out the missed manhole. Burpee penalty. After that, the next manholes were NOT missed. Eyes like owls. Excellent work. YHC also offered T-Claps to the leader on his choice of count. If you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin’.

The distance to Lakeway Dr was a bit further than anyone remembered especially with all the manholes along the way. But we made it. And the random slush pipe with envelope couldn’t be a coincidence. Duff did the honors.

1. This package was booby trapped. You’re dead and must be carried.
2. Pick a new leader and deliver this package back to home base.
3. The bridge was just blown. You must find another route.
4. Continue to check raised manholes (Overhead Presses x20 IC).
5. Continue to check bridges for IEDs.
6. Get us home by 0615.

Okay. Drop sandbags, get the new package. And Duff. Tick-tock.

With the clock running out, YHC stated that the bridge had been rebuilt, but we still had to hustle. Double time back home. Tick-tock. There were way more manholes than I remember. Tick-tock. Duff is revived. Tick-tock. The bridge is secure, so no check needed. Tick-tock. Keep moving. Tick-tock. Faster.

We made it back to home base only 4 minutes late. Much better than the last mission I lead at Gideon, which broke records across the region for the longest 45min Q ever. That was a trip to the upper lot at Sanderson HS. Several miles out. That mission was FUBAR. But we survived. Some just never came back.

At the end of the day, I guess I just want more time. At least an hour. Better, an hour and a half. Something to chew on. With a little grit in your teeth.

Zima led us out. Well done..

’till next time,


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