Friday, October 14, 2011

One of the things I have gotten pretty good at in my life is


It started as a kid playing the various games we played as scouts and after school. It later helped me in the army.

The army in its infinite wisdomm once sent me to a SERE course where I was supposed to evade the hunters. Of course the hunters knew the area a hell of a llot better than the trainees did and it was generally conceded that virtually every evader would be rounded up, which they generally were.

I decided early that I really didn't want to go through the prisoner interrogation stage of the course which is what happened after you were captured so instead of following the herd I took off on my own.

I had gone about a quarter of a mile when I found half of a GI steel pot.

Half a helmet? Wait a minute. You found half of a steel pot? How could that be?

To this day I don't know how it had been done but somehow some private had managed to snap a USGI steel pot helmet clean in two. The break was almost perfectly fore and aft. Looking back on it I suppose it should have been no surprise. The American GI is capable of anything.

If you put a pair of privates in a room with a pair of bowling balls and orders to leave them alone, you will come back to find one missing and the other busted in half. Of course, neither of them will know what happened.

Anyway, near the helmet was a small depression that looked like it had been a foxhole or something back in WW2 or Korea. I could lie down in it so I used the helmet and gathered up a bunch of dirt and some tumbleweeds and buried myself, covering my face with a rag so I could breathe and simply waited until well after dark.

It was a long day and I heard people nearby. I suppose they were looking for me but I can't say for sure. Twice they passed by close enough so I could feel the vibration of their footsteps. I don't know how close that was, though because I kept still.

After dark I was up and moving. I'm pretty sure everyone else had been caught by then.

With no compass I came across a road and found a ditch until a likely looking vehicle passed by. I flagged it down and hopped in. It was a Deuce 'n half from a grunt unit and I found out it was headed into garrison.

The driver was a good guy and dropped me off near the Academy Boulevard gate and because it was well after duty hours I hitched a ride home and got cleaned up.

The next morning I reported for formation as if nothing had happened and the First Sergeant 'bout like to have a cow. I was hauled straight to the Battery Commander for interrogation.

After I had explained how I had manage to evade capture I looked at him and stoutly said, "Sir, it is the duty of the soldier to evade. If he is captured it is his duty to escape."

He looked up sharply. "You're right," he said. It was then I knew I was off the hook.

He called Battalion S-3 and spoke. The major he spoke with apparently went nuts.He had played hell getting slots in that school and he had expected good little soldiers to complete the course.

The BC got him setled down by pointing out that I had done my job. I had evaded successfully and I couldn't be slighted for that. After he finished with S-3 the phone rang.

It was the SERE school people. The BC asked them if they were looking for one Sergeant Piccolo and they were. He informed them I was in front of him.

I don't know what the other end of the conversation was but the BC said to him, "Apparently this sergeant is a magician of some sort and a magician never tells." Chuckles.

He looked up at me and shook his head.

"I see no point on sending this man back,: he said. "This little weasel would probably escape ten minutes later and disrupt your entire program. As for the survival portion, that too would be a waste of time. When this guy forgot his lunch money last week he simply pulled a rabbit out of his hat and ate it."

Chuckles followed and he hung up.

I went back to duty in the battery.

A couple days later at morning formation the BC came out and pointed to me.

"Meet me at the motor pool after lunch," he said.

I was worried and after formation I asked Top what that was all about.

He gave me a very amused look. "You're going to Camp Red Devil to pick up your diploma," he said, shaking his head.

After lunch the BC and I hopped in a jeep and went to Red Devil where. I got my diploma, but only after some other captain grilled me. It was really a trade of sorts. I had to explain how I successfully evaded in return for the diploma.

On the way back, the BC told me to go straight to the S-3 shop and have a copy made for Battalion files as it would get the S-3 major off of his ass. Having the diploma would mollofy him as it would serve as proof that one of our guys had passed a school they fought to get slots in.

So how does this all fit in now?

I'd love to take my PRC-320 and be the hunted in a fox hunt by the local ham radio club. I'd just bet I'd manage to get away from them by being quick and moving pretty fast and popping up in unexpected areas.

It would be a blast to be chased again.

After all, someone as to chase me as at my age I am too old for the ladies to chase me anymore.

Or maybe I am not, but it would be fun to be chased.

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