It Was Axe, My Point Man
I arrived at Fort Bragg at 0500 hours, the day of the debriefing. A little early but that is how our band was trained. The Colonel had trained us to always be prepared, live with integrity, and to discipline ourselves to know our job so we could do it unconsciously . He always trained us to be 10 minutes early, or you where late, and that has stuck with me since he trained me 20 years ago.
Colonel William Clark was a life time military man, now in his 60’s, gruff and a real asshole who makes you do it his way or the highway. He could break a man with his stare. I don’t think he feels any pain because I once saw him take a bullet in the shoulder and still be able to hold a marine hanging from a helicopter with that bad wound. He was one tough son of a bitch, but he always took care of his men.
As I sat in the mess hall waiting for my band mates to arrive. I began to reminisce in my own mind about some of the experiences the band and I had over the years. I thought of the time we were ordered to retrieve the secretary treasurer of Bolivia to bring him back safely to North Carolina and when we arrived he was immediately escorted away after we landed. We where never informed about his importance, or why we were doing what we were doing. The mission was to retrieve and deliver alive. That’s it… that’s all. We never questioned authority, because that is what a good soldier does.
“Hey Manny, you old fucker! You still kicking old dogs and hating yourself for feeling so good? You motherfucker!….You look good old friend”
It was Axe, my point man. He was six feet tall, about 225 lbs. A specialist in projectile combat. He could throw knives, spears, stars, bombs, and of course, his axe. He had taken more men out silently without a sound than he had changed his under wear. He was a true loyal friend and he, along with the other band members would be the only crew I would agree to work with. I trusted them.
“Manny, do you know what this job is all about? I couldn’t get nothing outta Q.” Axe said.
“Not a clue Bro, I think it is a domestic endeavor, but that’s about it. The boys should be here soon. How you been keeping Axe? Keeping those girls safe? I asked?
“Yea Manny, The bitch left, …thank god, and left me 2 angels to raise. Best thing that ever happened to me. I love those kids like they where my own. I watch’m grow every day,…. and they are getting so smart too. Life has changed for me Manny, all for the better, Axe stated.
“That’s awesome Axe man! I am happy for you!” I replied.
We sat waiting for the rest of the band to show up when the big Axe looked at me with eyes on him I had never seen before. He looked at me straight in the eyes and said “I wanted you guys to know this is my last job. I need the money and then that’s it, no more. I gotta raise my girls and be there for them. You know?”
I answered back “Then if that’s true, then it is the bands’ last job.. Like we said, when we all started, when one is out, we are all out.”
Just then Pogo, Q, Sticks and Bronco bust into the mess hall. I could feel all our vibrations go up as if we all knew what the other was thinking. I know that’s what made us such a good team. Our frequency was set at training to think alike, react alike and preform alike.
That’s what made us who we were. We where Red Band 1. Covert ops for search and retrieve and this would be our last job.
Written by: Stephen Brown; Mansfield Grey