Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The first step was taking an inventory of everything that might be worth saving from what was left of Hunter Army Airbase.  Sure, we know that anything that could fly, most likely took off a long, long time ago, never to return.  Anything else there was still hot with radiation...or so people thought.  We'd been there.  It was still warm, not hot.  The nuke that had narrowly missed Savannah and hit near Georgetown hadn't been a big one luckily.  If the Chinese had meant to take out Hunter, they'd done just that, even without a direct hit.  People avoided the area.  I say "people." 

The Moldi, as we call them around Savannah, somewhat occupied that area.  Atom Bomb Eaters, they called themselves.  It was a reference to their resistance to radiation, one can assume.  I guess their name somewhat described their most unique trait aside from being very, very ugly.  Some folks have said that the Moldi would carry out radioactive metal from inside the nearby bomb crater and place it where they didn't want normal people going.  It was their fault so many areas around Fort Stewart and the outskirts of Savannah were still hot. 

We talked about the Moldi and we talked about the riches of the lightly guarded holdings at the nearby Army airfield.  We'd sit at the Pirate House, drinking lemonade spiked with moonshine or beer that wasn't flat half the time.  The local folk band of the night would play a song and we'd all stop our conversation, regroup our thoughts and start planning all over again when their song was finished. This went on for several evenings.

When I say "we", I mean "us" as in the Broadstreet Bastards.  We more or less ran Broadstreet and East Bay Street.  We controlled the booze, hemp, tobacco and (deleted--street reference to female anatomy) mostly but we dabbled in other things too.  Savannah was a happening place because of us and what passed for the local government loved us.  We kicked a little their way for work on roads, sewage, communications and such.  A long time ago it was called "taxes" but taxes were something you had to pay to a higher power.  We were the higher power in our area and everybody knew we didn't have to pay squat.  But we did.  We loved the place and wanted to make sure it stayed lovely.  It was a jewel in a junkyard. 

But the problem with “some” is more.  You get "some" and you won't "more."  Some call it greed, we called it progress. 

Security was always the problem.  We had fresh water, plenty of food and even plumbing in most areas.  But half the people in Savannah at any given time were just passing through.  You had pirates to the north, Cubans to the south and a growing population of Moldi to the west.  BB had about 50 soldiers, who were nothing but soldiers.  The Marsh Men, another crew, had around 75 but not much gear.  The Salties were mostly fisher folk but they added around 20 well armed troops to the mix.  The local city militia numbered under 100 boots and weren't worth the worn out wool socks our guys threw away.  In all, there might have been around 200-250 boots to defend Savannah at any given time.  This was a problem for business.

The Moldi would raid us about once a month during the winter months and that would trail off in the summer to start up again around late fall.  At first it was 10 or 20 of the diseased mutants would rush in and try to carry off whatever they could.  We'd drop one or two and they'd get a couple of us in return.  Then they slowly started stepping it up five here and ten there.  Pretty soon, we were dealing with 50 or more at a time, often with light military vehicles and remakes (rebuilt civilian cars and trucks).  They had .50 cal weapons and hit us with the occasional rocket launcher, no doubt all salvaged from Fort Stewart.  Now that they were sending their big stuff into the mix and more troops (cheaper and more available than heavy weaponry), it was obvious that their confidence was building.  People were getting scared and some talked about moving.

We came up with all kinds of ideas during our planning sessions.  The best one was a doozy.  The best looking aircraft at Hunter Army Airfield was one of two CH-47 Chinook helicopters.  No, it wouldn't fly but we had people who had worked on them before and was sure it could be made flight-worthy again.  We had plenty of guys who claimed to know how to fly it too.  We could slowly rebuild it where it sat inside a hanger, then when the time was right, fly it back to Savannah.  It wasn't like a jet or a prop-plane that needed a runway.  We'd land it right in Forsyth park! 

Then we'd make it a bomber of sorts.  We'd then burn and blast the Moldi to a scattered gang of ugliness that a small farm work crew could wipe out.  With our chopper-bomber, they'd never come back either.  Then we could work on cleaning up their radioactive mess and expanding some too. 

Work began in the spring.  First, a few of us with a couple of mechanics slipped out to the air field.  It took two trips but the grease monkies figured out all the parts we needed to get the thing airborne.  All we had to do was get it to fly a few miles into the city.  No problem. 

It came time to make the final move.  The crew of tech had sneaked into the airfield for the last time and made their final touches.  They radioed in and said that they'd seen a few Moldi poking around the tower that stood near the hangers.  I remember the radio being filled with static, often a sign of radiation. 

This wasn’t the first time we’d seen a small patrol like that.  They were always small and infrequent, apparently never detecting us or noticing our work inside the hanger. 

Everything was set.  The aircraft was fueled and all it needed was a pilot. 

We went in during the early morning hours, just before dawn.  Since we weren’t carrying any tools, parts or fuel on this run, we entered at the far end of the airstrip.  It was heavily cratered from the war and fast movement was difficult.  It was the cautious man’s path though.  You could move from one crater to another, sure to have plenty of cover if you took fire.  I was carrying my Mossberg MVP in 5.56.  It was a bolt action rifle with a fluted barrel but what was special about it was that it took standard NATO 5.56 magazines.  I had a small Nikon scope mounted on it which wasn’t the most fancy example of optics but worked well for me.  The rifle’s wooden stock had someone’s name carved into it in Chinese.  It wasn’t uncommon for the Chinese to use American weapons and it wasn’t that uncommon for us to recover them at some point.  The rifle had most likely been snatched from a sporting goods store showcase and carried around by some Chinese soldier or brigand.  I’d found it wrapped in an oil cloth in a deserted cabin cruiser that was drifting down the Savannah river one day. 

I had carried a single grenade of local manufacture and a road flare.  If things went bad, we’d stick the flare into the fuel tank and make a run for it.  Once we started that bird up, the Moldi would know exactly what we were doing. 

We had no idea after we’d wenched the aircraft out that so much racket was to ensue.  The thing is, there is only so much you can do to get one of these birds ready to fly without cranking it up.  You’ve don’t want the first time you crank it up to be the first time you try to fly it too.

I was strapped into one of the fold-down passenger seats in the back.  The pilot tried the first start, which made a lot of racket and blew thick white smoke everywhere.  Cursing and coughing, he tried again.  The second time was the same result but with less smoke.  Again and on the third try, he got it.  The engine began to torque up and soon the blades were spinning.  That was when something thumped on the wall opposite from where I was sitting.  Then a window shattered.  I pulled my pipe gun out of its holster as soon as I was out of my safety belt.  I easily kicked the rest of the safety glass window out as another bullet hit the chopper near where the first had struck. 

A pair of Moldi was shooting from behind a low brick wall in front of a one story administration building.  One had some sort of long gun, maybe homemade and the other had a pistol of some sort.  They weren’t doing much damage but at the time, nobody knew what the chopper could take.  My pipe gun was a break-open single shot pistol that fired a 20 gauge round.  It was made from a small door hinge, a piece of pipe and a crude action but it worked.  Up close, it was a murderous bastard but at the range between us and the Moldi, it was a grouchy old man hurling insults.  I fired it anyway, at least to let them know that we were shooting at them. 

The pilot was a quick thinker.  He lifted into the air just a bit and swung the old girl around 45 degrees.  This put our aft section and our M60 facing them.  BUMP BUMP BUMP BUMP BUMP!  It began taking apart the brick wall the Moldi were hiding behind.  Cover became concealment and not even adequate concealment.  Brick flew everywhere around a cloud of reddish dust.  Magically, our gunner didn’t hit either one of them and they were able to take off running before he fired another short burst after them.  Both had gotten away. 

This encounter is what I think doomed the whole operation.  The pilot and crew were all spooked a little bit and rightfully so.  We had to get out of there and fast.  The pilot took us up about like being on a rocket powered express elevator.  I swear to you all that I heard something metallic snap towards the rear of the chopper.  Nobody else seemed to notice as we began to head towards the city. 

Suddenly the chopper jerked hard to one side and back again.  My head slammed up against the seat so hard that it felt like I’d hit against bare steel instead of cushion.  I cursed and before I could ask what was going on, we were spinning out of control.  The world was a sickening blur of motion.  The pilot was good and fought the craft hard but it wasn’t enough.  The hand of almighty himself was all that could help us at that point.  I don’t know how high we were or how fast we were going but I remember it crossing my mind that everything would be fine if I just held on, even though strapped in. 

I don’t remember the crash.  We can all assume that I was knocked out when we hit.  The chopper was nearly broken in half and there wasn’t a soul anywhere as I glanced around.  I painfully undid the straps and struggled to keep my balance on the tilted deck.  My head was killing me.  I just wanted to shut my eyes and stay perfectly still.  But I couldn’t.  There was a horrible itching sensation all over me. 

That was when I stepped out of the wreckage and found out where I was.  I was just on the edge of “THE” crater.  It was a good place to land since it was mostly water and mud with no vegetation.  It wasn’t a good place to stick around in though, since the radiation levels were still high.  That was why I’d been left behind.  I wiped the blood from my nose and mouth and realized that the others must have assumed I was dead when they did an evac.  There was a blood trail leading out of the crater and I knew I’d gotten lucky in the middle of an angry mob of bad luck. 

The first thing to do was leave.  You don’t mess around with radiation, friends.  The M60 was still on its mount along with half a belt of ammo.  I left it, just grabbing my rifle and praying that the scope wasn’t knocked off zero or broken completely.   My grenade and flare were both missing too.  I assume the survivors had apparently had time to grab those items on their way out but not make sure I was really dead.

The mud wasn’t as bad a tidal sludge but wasn’t easily navigated through either.  Struggling through it zapped all my energy.  Before long, I found myself completely out of breath and with my head pounding worse than before, laying in some tall swamp grass.  It was safe to assume that the grass wouldn’t have grown where it did if the radiation levels had been dangerously high.  The way my head felt, death would have been a release anyway.  But just when one might think it couldn’t hurt any worse, it did. 

As I got up from my resting, I tried not to cry out in pain.  It was so awful that I fell to my knees and puked.  Noise discipline was not a great concern anymore.  Where were the other guys, I wondered as I re-collected myself. 

In the distance, there was a snapping of rifles and the familiar pop of pistols being fired.  Trouble.  The Moldi must have come to investigate the crash and ran into our guys.  Then a firefight was on just to the north east of me.  Our guys didn’t stand a chance, I figured.  Besides, I wouldn’t have been much help in a fight since it hurt to walk, much less run.  The best path to take, I figured, was straight north.  West would take me right back into the frying pan. 

For as long as I could, I’d walk with my eyes closed.  The idea was to just open them long enough to check the path for obstructions.  I frequently stopped to rest.  After about an hour, my head was feeling better.  Not great but it was better enough that movement wasn’t a problem.  Sleep was on my mind now.  Every few minutes, I’d ask myself, “are you nuts?  If you sleep here, you’ll be found and killed!  Just another 500 yards and you can lie down.” 

This went on for at least a mile or two.  Coming across a stream was great luck and a long drink of water made me feel a lot better.  Just when I was contemplating walking the rest of the way to Savannah, I noticed a small overturned wooden boat.  It looked like it had been there for year, just a few yards from the stream’s bank.  After a quick check for snakes sleeping under it, I crawled beneath and passed out.  My dreams were replays of the crash, over and over again.  Sometimes a detail would be added or omitted, such as landing in a lake of fire or hitting an oak tree to explode. 

Something thumped hard on the side of the boat.  I woke up and blinked, trying to remember where I was.  Again, something landed hard against the old wooden john boat.  That was it, I thought.  I was caught.  I could risk a shot at my captors or do myself a favor and put one through my own head.  Decision time was coming fast.

“Come out of there!” a hoarse voice shouted. 

I held my breath.  Maybe it was just one of them.  I could shoot him and make a break for it. 

“Get up, you lazy bum!” called the voice again.  “Help us with the net!  The rain is coming!” 

Saved by assumption.  The Moldis were working a net in the stream and thought I was a worker sleeping in an apparently popular hiding place. 

“Yeah,” I replied back in a rough voice, trying to sound like a Moldi.  “Be right there.  Got to put some clothes on.”

The voice became a little more aggravated.  “What do you need clothes for in the water?  Come on before a storm hits.” 

Good, I thought.  They were working the stream in water deeper than what you needed to roll your pants up to collect a net from.  I supposed they were using a barricade net.  But there is one thing to know about a Moldi.  Don’t think just because the ugly mongrel is barefoot that he won’t chase you.  Their hide is tougher and a good portion of them don’t bother with shoes. 

As soon as the fisherman walked away cursing at me, I slipped out from under the boat and headed off in the opposite direction.  Maybe I’d gone fifty yards when I ran into, literally ran into, a young Moldi about my same height and build.  He had been coming down the trail when I’d ran smack into him.  He sat there flat on his ass, palms flat on the ground, staring at me in shock.  I leapt to my feet as I bought the butt of my rifle up into his chin.  He fell backwards, his head striking a small tree’s trunk. 

I pulled out my trench dagger.  It was a piece of rebar sharpened into a point with the other end bent around into a knuckle-duster type grip.  I started to sink the dagger into his chest but noticed that he was totally unconscious.  Now, I’m not a humanitarian and if I was, it wouldn’t have mattered since I don’t consider Moldi to be human.  But it was a matter of time and noise.  I let him slide, that is, if my blow from the stock of my rifle didn’t kill him.  I doubt it did.  They are a tough breed and anyone knows not to try one in a bare knuckle boxing match. 

For a moment, my headache was gone.  I ran like the devil himself was on my heels.  Tree limps and brush hit me in the face but I didn’t care.  I just ran down the little game trail, hoping I was still going in the right direction.  I finally fell to the ground, out of breath and seeing spots. 

I’d bought myself a little time but not much.  Quickly, I recollected myself and got back moving.  Was I being followed?  Maybe.  Who was following me?  Fishermen?  I knew enough about the Moldi to know that warriors seldom engaged in menial labor.  Aside from hunting, they spent most of their time preparing for the next raid.  That didn’t mean that a few fishermen didn’t have a rifle or a shotgun between them.  I had to be close to Savannah territory and they had to know their chances of a violent encounter increased for every foot they got closer to our land. 

I found a clearing or what was close enough to be a clearing in the thick swamp.  If someone was after me, they’d have to pass through it.  Snatching down a few branches, I made a hide and waited.  Thinking better of it, I removed my 10 round magazine and replaced it with a 30 round NATO magazine I carried as a spare.  A thick pine tree was my brace and I held my scope on the trail.  Hopefully, the scope was undamaged in the crash.  At that close range, it shouldn’t have mattered that much if it was off a little. 

I didn’t see the whole Moldi but I saw the color of his shirt:  brown.  It was a dirty looking homespun wool shirt.  I didn’t think, just pulled the trigger.  I saw a spot of red appear on the shirt and a scared hand reach up to grab it.  Looking back, it would have been a better idea to wait and shoot the second or third man in line.  But nerves were worn thin and common sense was only lingering on the porch. 

Curses came from across the narrow clearing and shots rang out.  I didn’t move.  Bits of tree limps and leaves fell around me from the return fire.  I didn’t budge.  The scope was on its lowest power but I still had to look around it to see if I could detect movement.  I did.

BAM clack-clack BAM! I put two into the bush that had shaken.  A Moldi fell dead and rolled out a little ways into the clearing.  I worked the bolt and swung my rifle to where I’d heard noise.  A hot pain flashed across my jaw, just about the jaw line.  Damn I was hit…

It wasn’t that bad but enough to make me take my eyes off the targets.  A buckshot pellet had cut the side of my face.  But I had been lucky.  Another inch and I would have got hit in the mouth or the neck.  It bled like crazy, turning my collar red. 

You join a gang because you think you are tough.  You stay in a gang because you turn out to be.  I was tough. 

I brought my rifle back up and aimed at where I thought the shot had game from.  A raspy voice shouted an insult my way and I pumped three more rounds in the area it came from, though I doubt I hit the foul mouthed fiend that I had wanted to.  Just then I heard screaming and shouting as 4 Moldi burst from cover and charged.  What happened next was like watching a slow motion video. 

I hit the first one in the leg, a terrible place to hit a Moldi since most will drag along after you.  This one did just that, pipe gun in hand.  The second one took a round in the mid section but didn’t seem to realize he was hit.  He just buckled over, nearly falling and continued to run towards me, screaming.  The third I missed completely.  I don’t know how but I did.  The fourth took a round center-mass and fell flat on his face, sliding through the grass for about a foot.  That left me with two to deal with who were immediate threats.  By now they were too close for my scope so I just sighted down the barrel and fired.  I hit the wounded one a second time, this time in the chest.  He stopped his charge, holding his left breast and looking at the ground.  Hit but not down. 

I’d just chambered another round when the uninjured one was on top of me.  He was flailing fists but doing no real damage since most of the blows were landing on the top of my head.  The rifle was knocked out of my hands before it could be used as a club.  I got to my trench dagger and swung it up at the Moldi.  I got him across the arm, making him jump back.  Blood ran down over his deformed skin, across his fingers and dripped onto the ground. 

He cursed and shouted for his comrade, who was coming up behind him slowly, a pained expression on his face.  “Use your pistol,” he urged, pointing at me. 

“Use your knife,” the wounded Moldi replied, pointing to a machete handing in a homemade scabbard on the other’s rubber belt.  “Not a very big one.  Not a very good blade either.” 

The wounded Moldi still held his pistol ready.  I wondered if I could make it for my rifle just a few feet away.  The uninjured Moldi just stared at me from behind wild eyes. 

“Give up,” he grunted.  “Give up and put down your blade.  We might trade you back for goods.”

I knew that never happened.  Moldi were never bargained with, not in a situation like the one they wanted to put me in.  Besides, I had enough sense to know that any deal made in the field by lightly armed underlings wouldn’t be honored back in their settlement.  They frequently burned people to death and anyone would choose bleeding out on the forest floor to that. 

“Come on, bitch,” I said, beckoning with my left hand.
The wounded Moldi laughed and then coughed.  “Kill him, tough man.” 

Always bet on the guy who is fighting for his life if the odds are anywhere near even.  Never bet on the guy who is fighting to save face.  The Moldi took a step towards me, machete in hand.  I threw my trench dagger right at his face.  It didn’t stab into him but cut him open badly.  It was better than it flipping and hitting him with just the handle and knuckle guard though.  Blood poured from his forehead and over his face as he swung wildly with his machete.  I jumped to one side to put him between me and the one with the pistol, who already had it up aiming it. 

I got my hands on the rifle and fired, hitting the attacking Moldi in the chest.  He fell to his knees, dropping his blade.  The Moldi held up his arm, like he was about to call a “time out” and then fell backwards, dead.  I had another round in the chamber in seconds. 

The wounded Moldi held his pistol on me but I had a good chance of hitting him too.  Time froze for a moment.  Slowly, I took a step backwards.  The Moldi didn’t move but stared at me with soulless eyes.  Every step I took put me further from him and improved my chances.  I heard distant shouts behind him and knew that there were more on the way, undoubtedly fresh and well armed.

I don’t remember making the decision to start into a run but I did.  A shot cracked behind me and a bullet whizzed by my head.  Later, it was easy to figure out that the Moldi who I’d wounded was as close to a private citizen as Moldis got.  His ammo was his own stash and he was reluctant to use it unless he really had to.  No burst of 5 or 6 rounds came but I still ran like a mad man.  The odds of me holding them off a second time were slim, even though I still had half a magazine in my rifle and another 30 rounds in my pocket, plus my 10 round magazine. 

After running another exhausting mile or so, I didn’t hear the sounds of pursuit anymore.  I kept up a brisk pace for another mile and found a FASCAM shell right where the trees started to thin out.  FASCAM shells scattered small land mines everywhere and after 10 years or more, they could be covered over well by brush.  That was bad but what made it worse was that I knew I was near the entrance to a more recently planted minefield.  The only good news was that it meant I was almost home.  I knew a few of the minefields near the south-west of Savannah but was familiar with the one in front of me.  The best thing to do, I thought, was crawl…slowly.  I crawled through the wet grass, feeling ahead of me with the butt of my rifle.  I finally saw one mine, a large anti-tank mine, partially unearthed by erosion caused by a tiny stream.  Anti-personnel mines were what I was afraid of though.  Those were hard to detect and even a bump from my rifle could set one off. 

I looked up to see if I was still being followed.  Nobody was behind me, yet.  But I saw something that caught my attention.  A white tailed deer grazed just 50 yards from me.  I’d been so quiet and slow that it hadn’t seen me.  There were a lot more deer now than there used to be.  One reason was less people and another reason was that people saved ammo for killing other humans, generally only hunting deer as a last resort.  This one perked its head up and tested the air.  It must have smelled me.  I watched as it slowly figured out where I was and took to a bounding run, right back towards Savannah. 

It wasn’t perfect but it was better than nothing.  This deer hadn’t stepped on a mine with his four legs; maybe if I followed him, I’d do fine with two.  I got into a high crawl and followed where the deer had run.  This was a better idea than you might think since most AP mines I knew of in the area were bounding-mines or generically called “bouncing betties.”  Your chances of surviving one improved if you were lower to the ground, or so I’d been told. 

Stealing a glance behind me, I saw a horrifying sight.  At least 30 or more Moldi were all standing here and there along the tree line.  They all looked well armed and most wore camouflage clothing.  They didn’t shout or curse, much less shoot at me.  Apparently, they knew full well about the mine field.  They all stood like hungry dogs watching a cat from behind a glass window.

Why weren’t they shooting?  The must have been worried about the rusty old guard tower, barely visible in the distance and the bunker at its base.  No doubt it had a machine gun or two but from behind cover, could have done little to the group at that range.  They could have all dropped down after killing me and any return fire (if any) would have only nailed one or two by accident. 

The problem I had besides the Moldi standing at the edge of the minefield was one of animal mechanics.  The deer covered a lot of ground quickly when it ran and normally left several feet between each time its hooves hit the ground.  There was a good chance that it had leaped right over a mine that I would be sure to crawl over. 

I was almost through the minefield when I lost track of where the deer had ran before.  Cursing, I looked around to see distant shapes, slowly retracing my path behind me, keeping low as well.  The Moldi had been waiting for me to get through the minefield so they could follow safely. 

A hatch flung open on top of the round concrete bunker and a person wave out to me.  A long rust stain ran down from the hatch to nearly the bottom of the weather-worn bunker. 

“Come on!” he called.  “Just run straight ahead and you’ll be ok!” 

I got up to my feet and ran.  The light snap of a .22 rifle sounded from the tower, first one or two shots then a rapid burst.  Why such a light rifle, I wondered?  The Moldi were now running as well.  I got to the barbed wire and carefully tried to get through it without being badly cut.  No luck.  I got cut several times but after a minute, got through it.  Fortunately the wire was lighter near the bunker, the idea being that in front of the bunker was the worst place to be anyway. 

Bleeding again and with my clothes torn, I ran for the bunker.  A knotted rope was thrown over the side and I began to climb it.  A rifle round smacked the concrete near me and the .22 on the tower began to snap away again.  There was no way they could hit the Moldi who were a good 250 yards behind me. 

I got to the open hatch and someone helped me inside.  The hatch slammed behind me as I dropped a few feet to the top of a wooden staircase.  “Come on and bring your rifle,” said someone who had just dogged the hatch and came down a latter behind me. 

The person was a man in his 30’s wearing a brown garrison cap and old Marine digital camo.  He had an M14 in his hand and wore a black armored vest.  I ran behind him down a dimly lit hallway that led towards the front of the bunker.  At the end of the hall was another round hatch, which the soldier rapidly turned a crank to open.  Daylight came through wire-mesh partially covered gun ports.  Two more soldiers were aiming rifles next to a fake machine gun made from PVC pipe and plywood. 

“Don’t shoot until you know you’ve got a shot,” the soldier said to me.  “If we can’t keep ‘em back with the .22’s then we wait until they get within 50 meters before we let them have it.”

I didn’t brace my rifle out of the gun ports like the soldiers did but took aim from further back in the room, bracing from some stacked wooden crates.  Nobody there seemed to have much experience.  I waited until I had a clear shot and fired first.  I hit the Moldi right in the spine, dropping him cold.  The others in the bunker began firing too and we had three Moldi down in no time.  They paused to return fire and one of the soldiers hit the floor of the bunker, holding his bloody neck.  They tried to move forward again but we killed two more of them.  It wasn’t worth it to them and the rest turned back, retreating same way they’d came in.  A light mortar barked from behind the tree line but its shells fell harmlessly around the bunker but did manage to break a window out of the tower.  Ironically, I don’t think a single Moldi stepped on a single mine.  I was starting to doubt there were that many still out there.  I knew that the militia occasionally moved mines from one field to another, depending on the threat and depending on how easily the particular mine was to move. 

The soldier on the floor died while we were waiting for a quad to ride out from the nearest outpost to do a medivac.  I was taken back to Savannah were I was treated for mild radiation poisoning.   

Nobody else survived the operation but me.  As a result, the Moldi occupied the airfield instead of just patrolling it occasionally.  Apparently, they’ve started working on one of the old aircrafts, having our same idea. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

AJ shows us how to be a man about it. (Updated)

Aj is a soldier.  He's the type that whose body you'd expect to step over post-battle at the Alamo.  He is probably the finest example of a border ranger out there and in my opinion, a damn fine human being. 

He was always a quiet guy and at our first meeting, I didn't peg him as a nationalist until after we swapped a few jokes.  AJ was loyal to JT sure, but more so to the mission at hand.  JT gave him a lot of lip too, which he patiently endured.  The man could patrol all day in 100 degree heat and stop to change a tire in five minutes.  All that considered, he was a friend to everybody out there.  Without him, we'd have spent more time trying to make it to the freeway on foot than doing what we had set out to do. 

Aj said the most I'd ever seen him say on his facebook page today.  It looks like he has turned and  faced the demon looming at our backs since the start.  His post is in response to the article on the Veterans Today site which initially gave us a glimmer of hope. 

"After reviewing the 9-11 recordings in their entirety, I request that this article be amended in respect to Lisa and her family. I can verify it is her voice, and after the 1st gunshot, you can hear JT say "You fucked up" before moving to kill Lisa. Its with a sick and heavy heart that I say that JT dishonored himself and betrayed us all, but mostly he betrayed Lisa, who took him in during some of his darkest days. He betrayed Amber and Hiott, who tried to help him with his campaign, and patrolled with him, and betrayed the innocent, little Lily, who was only just beginning her adventure through life, all people he had sworn to protect."


For someone who doesn't talk much, he said it all.  The sadness of all this is crushing.  But we have to face it for what it is now.  I respect AJ and I know he'd never go off half-cocked on anything, much less something as important as this. 

I'll never, ever get the image of that little girl's face from my mind.  She'll be there in my dreams and thoughts for the rest of my life.  But we'll continue on. 

They say in every life a little rain must fall.  I guess we're in a downpour with zero visibility right now. 

If AJ wants me to, I'll take down his post.  It just hit me as something that needed to be said at this point. 

UPDATE:  AJ asked that I add this to the post. 

Yeah, just put an addendum in there: JT was a strong, outspoken, and natural leader. He put himself out there so we didn't have to. He took the brunt of the abuse and hatred from the media, and put the crosshairs on himself if it ever would have come down to a cartel hit. His downfall may be pride, he was too proud to realize he needed help, since he was so used to showing a strong hand to our adversaries. I wish I had known he needed more help, or another place to stay, since it appears Lisa and JT were not getting along, though whenever I visited it didn't seem apparent, as far as I knew, she supported his efforts to stop narco-terrorism and the war against Americans. To all the Patriots out there, be strong, but stop and take inventory now and again. The struggle for survival is not going to be won in a single generation, as it has taken decades for us to get where we are, and we cannot afford to lose anymore Patriots.

And there you have it.  I'm going to expand on this more later but I agree with AJ, JT positively needed help.  He'd mentioned to me that he suffered from PTSS from things that happened to him while he was a Marine.  He had a quick temper as well, but always seemed to rapidly get it under control.  Nobody here is making an excuse for him or what happened.  All we can do is help provide a few hints as to what was going on in his head. 

I did know that he was in a complicated living situation.  However, I didn't think it was so much the result of a relationship going sour as it was his desire to be closer to the action.  With fuel prices at record highs, we all were trying to come up with ways to be closer to the border.  We'd talked a lot about campers and for all I knew, he was working on getting one.  He was going to pull it close to where we deployed from and live there most of the time.  It was my idea since I had a camper at a retreat once, which I had lived in comfort on and off.  I had told him that it was a difficult thing to secure but simple to maintain and highly mobile.  We'd talked about solar and wind power next.  If we'd ever completed the project sooner, maybe things would have been different.  IF IF IF.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Most of us turned our backs on this man when he asked us to help him in the desert war zone which is the US/Mexican border.  Some of us sent gear or a little cash, most of us sent him excuses.  A lot of people didn't like him and tried to drag him down while claiming to be on the same side.  He did something a lot of people in the movement didn't like:  he clearly demonstrated that he believed in the cause.  It wasn't about who could get the biggest turnout at a rally or meeting, it was how many bad people he could keep away from our homes. 

He stuck up for people he didn't even like.  He'd confide in friends about not being able to stand someone while elevating them to sainthood in front of the media.  All for the cause. 

He didn't have a family of his own.  He was too busy fighting for yours. 

Most people go out the way they've lived.  A lot of people will go out docile, sick in the body or the head, cursing the darkness until then end rather than have ever taken the time to light a candle.  The Christian's Bible says if you live by the sword, you will die by the sword.  I hope that part is true.  Jt died by the sword, as he had lived.  Our enemies change their story constantly, re-arranging the horns on Jt's head.  The enemy quickly offered the sheeple a verdict, dumped into the large feeding troth called the media.  Some gobbled it right up, some stood back and waited to see what it was made up. 

We have all seen someone set up in our lives.  Some of us even claim to have been set up ourselves, victims of the systems absolute power to condemn.  The worst fate imaginable fell upon the shoulders of this man, all in the form of a media who would never, ever let this man be a hero in death that he was in life.  His loved ones were killed, including a little baby that he helped care for, though no blood relation of his own.  Though she was half-American Indian, JT once told me one night while on patrol, "who else is going to help look after her?  What other chance does she have?"  We'll never get the image of that smiling baby out of our heads.  I feel that JT, my friend, died trying to save that baby.  Yes, the irony would be too strong for public consumption. 

JT created the US Border Guard to "go to war with the army we had, not the one we wanted."  What bold, direct and uncompromising words.  Everyone in the movement is waiting for the "army they want to have."  JT was out stopping illegals while skinheads crews warred against one another, Net-Nazis clicked away against one another on their keyboards and everyone was trying to out-white-power the next guy.  He'd go into the CZ with anyone who was sincere, regardless of politics. 

Now the truth is coming out, like droplets of water from a crack in a huge dam.  But nobody is going to offer an apology or even a sympathetic word when the dam finally breaks (if ever).  Too many hated him for raising the bar and breaking the operating standard OP of publicity stunts, smear campaigns and the occasional drunk-out.  The ones of this side of the fence hated him for proving so many of them were just full of hot air.  The ones of the other side of the fence hated him for not being nervous racialist, posting on the internet or slipping through the night with fliers.  There was an understanding between the enemy of the much of the leadership in the movement:  you can play but play by our rules.  JT didn't play their game.  He made up his own.  We were all lucky to get to play it a few rounds, those of us who did. 

I know what the shoe would be like on the other foot.  If the same thing had happened to me, JT would not back down from trying to clear my name.  I love life, I love the world around me and above all else, I love the new little people I see tottering on shaky legs and babbling out their first phrases.  I wager to say that JT loved it all about the same.  And he loved his own life but not enough to keep him from giving it.  If I had to bet, he and Hoitt gave their lives in an attempt to save their loved ones. 

"Isn't this a beautiful place?" he ask me once in a while, speaking of the desert we called the "CZ."  "You know, this was all grasslands once.  We Europeans brought over cattle that ate the particular grass that used to flourish here." 

He'd stop and say something like that about every half hour.  The man wasn't full of hate but rather in awe of the dynamics of life.  I sent him the book Might Makes Right which helped him further understand nature's role in the world of man, since he already seemed to understand clearly man's role in the world of nature.  Nature was our DI.  It was about what could be held against those who would take.

JT lived a life of poverty.  He didn't have to.  He was smart and easily motivated.  He left a promising political career to seek truth.  Besides transportation, JT only owned a library of book and the gear he needed in the field to do what needed to be done.  Yet even with those few things, he was generous with it all.  He would drive for hours to pick up someone who needed a ride to the CZ.  He frequently sent me books to read.  I sent him Might Makes Right and Revolt Against the Modern World (though I doubt he ever had a chance to finish it).  And for Christmas last year, with the help of some other Border Rangers, sent me an AR-15 rifle as a gift.  I recognized the stock and furniture when I took it out of the box:  it was made from JT's last rifle. 

On closing, I have to relay this short story.  During an operation, I had worn a very nerdy shirt and glasses to help avoid a lot of grief at the airport.  During the op, my BDUs became smelly and caked with dust, like everything else!  I had the luxury of taking a shower at Harry's house before the trip back to the airport.  Putting back on my muffy, I saw that my plain looking shirt had been nearly ripped in half.  I couldn't travel like that.

When I got to JT's house, I waited in a dirty tee shirt while he went inside (careful not to wake the baby) and fished me out another shirt to wear home.  He came back with an urban camo shirt that fit me like a poncho.  "This is kind of huge..." I said.  "Want me to mail this back?"

"You can have it," JT said.  "Whenever I get assassinated, it'll be worth something." 

I laughed and said, "Straight to ebay!" 

No, that simple but big shirt will go in that box where I keep all my dedications to my dead friends.  May a tragedy like his never land at your feet, friends. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The truth can be a stubborn thing.

This article tells us an entirely different, more plausible story.  This makes sense in an ocean of complete mainstream media non-sense.  Like I said, the truth can be a stubborn thing but it will eventually rear its head.

Friday, May 4, 2012


There are very few times in my life that I've ever felt confused.  95% of the time I have a clear picture of the goal ahead, a straight shot to it, over, around and through the situations on the way. 

(Above) JT, Harry and I plant an American flag during the first phase of OLSII.  Veckal Valley.

These recent sad events are not the case.  JT, someone whom I loved and respected as a fellow warrior is being accused of the most horrible crimes I'd ever heard tell of in recent times.  I have no idea what happened and all my theories are just as wishful and flimsy the rest that are floating around.  Nobody knows and we're all afraid of what the possibilities are.  If you wonder why we have a hard time buying cloudy "their" versions of events, here are some reasons why.

People have pointed out the dozens of things that don't make sense about the whole thing.  I'm not here to list those, item after item along with variations.  Once the truth comes out, it will all be worthless except for the one that hit the mark maybe. 

I'll tell you what I do know for sure though.  Often while out on patrol, JT would talk about caring for Baby Lilly, Gilbert's lost little girl.  In fact, after talking to people, I discovered that most people who knew JT from a distance, assumed that Lilly was his.  He spoke about how caring for the child was the white thing to do.  I'd call around bedtime and JT would ask me to call back so he could help get the baby down for the night. 

Am I trying to paint JT as a saint?  No, what I am trying to do it convey to you some of the confusion everyone has over the charges being place on JT by the media:  baby killer.  How did he go from someone who loved children enough to care for one which wasn't his own, to someone who would gun down an infant?  I'm not making a statement, I'm asking a question. 

JT was very kind over the phone to my little daughter.  He always called her "sweetheart" as she babbled into the phone at him.  In fact JT was supposed to come be Santa Claus at my house last year.  "I get it.  Because I'm fat, right?" he said before he agreed.  "I'll put on the tights for a bro, I guess." 

My daughter, not much older than Lilly, even thanked JT once for bringing me safely home from a long patrol.  You would have thought he got a letter from the president (of another country).  Kids liked him too.  Even little Mexican kids would crowd around him and ask him if he was in the Army.  He's respond with "yo es Commando."  and leave it at that. 

I'm not telling you all this to justify or soften the facts of what happened.  What I am trying to do is illustrate to you all how we can't buy what the media is saying.  Once we hear it from law enforcement, then we'll probably have to take our medicine and accept whatever happened as the way it went down. 

Little Lily's face will be in my dreams for the rest of my life.  Whatever happened and no matter who did what, Lilly is gone.  She didn't get the chance we all go.  If you can read this, life has dealt you a better hand than little Lilly.  Her happy short life ended too quick and violent.  All a little child knows is love.  I'm sure she loved her mama, grandma and from the pictures, seemed to love Hoitt very much too.  The people who loved her was her life, which judging from the pictures, she never stopped smiling at them.  I can see her smile now and it makes it hard to avoid braking down. 

My last conversation with JT was about a movie he wanted me to watch.  This was Tuesday night and we talked in length about it, and barely anything else.  JT didn't watch much tv but when he did and something caught his eye, he'd email or call me about it.  I'd say on average I'd talk to JT about 3 times a week.  And almost daily he'd send out a group email or txt offering valuable info or just words of encouragement. 

When I got the call sometime on Wednesday, I was shocked but immediately thought that the whole thing was Cartel related.  It took me a while to even entertain the possibility that it wasn't. 

This is the first time I've sat down to think of all the good things about JT.  I've been holding back any good thoughts in case what the press said was true.  Two days later and the finally say hasn't been said.  But I remember JT in the field.  Every body's safety was his first concern.  His jokes around the campfire were enough to make your ribs hurt.  The man could make you laugh, I don't care who you were. 

Controlling they say?  He's guilty of that but that was because he was natural leader.  Occasionally we'd lock horns over one issue or two.  One was my tactics and load out.  He didn't like my AK-74 though he did like me carrying 300 rounds of ammo for it.  We argued about it one night to the point where he hung and called back asking for my address.  He then told me to expect a box of parts in the mail.  He'd sent me an AR-15 parts kit.  Upon opening it, I found a book on Russian military power as well. 

I'd say 1/3 of my desert gear came from JT himself.  He'd call me up and tell me that he found something I need and had placed it "in my tote".  He'd store all my gear in a plastic container labeled "Drake" and would place items inside if he thought it was stuff I could use while in the CZ. 

He and Harry would stick their neck out for anybody who came out to help.  JT drove like a maniac through the light traffic of Sunday night Phoenix, trying to get me to my plane on time.  He even saw a rode closed but attempted to slip past it in desperation.  I stopped him finally and said it wasn't worth going to jail over. 

His quickness to help a stranger wasn't expected either.  But after a while, if you saw someone stranded beside the road, you knew JT was going to pull over and see what he could do. 

We don't know what happened Wednesday afternoon.  We do know what happened for years out in the deserts around the CZ.  I will make absolutely no effort to excuse or downplay any crime committed by anyone, friend or foe, but people have to understand that we're all against a high wall of pure shock.  This would be like a co-worker you'd work with happily for years coming home and doing the same thing or at least being accused of it in the media. 

I'll write more on this as the day goes by and things develop.