13 Dec

Now, buddies, I’ve had lots of! Let’s go back to the episode of the Wonder Warthog Special. Every one of those guys was a buddy to me. And everyone one of us would take a bullet for any of the others. But that was different, as we were part of a military unit, where our teamwork was paramount. The failure of any single individual to do his job could quickly cost the life of one or more of the others. That breeds a sort of interdependency that is unique to the military. Our dedication to the team was all encompassing, but it was to the TEAM. Each individual was a member of the team, but as individuals, we were only buddies. We might drink, fight or play together, but the real relationship was between members of the TEAM.

Casey, or the Warthog, as he was known, was a good buddy. He was pretty much fearless, and when he was in a combat mode, he was totally dependable. On the other hand, when he was in a party mode, you could only depend upon him to do the least expected thing.

Joe, or the Little Fat Chief, was all business on the job, too, but off duty, he was just a 150 pound bundle of testosterone, looking for an outlet. Great guy to have at your side, but you didn’t want to have your eye on the same gal.

Jimmy, sometimes called JW, more often known as Elmo Ray, was our rock. He could always be depended upon to think of the most easily forgotten detail, which might save our collective ass, later. He also had a knack for keeping us out of trouble, when we were partying. Well, he tried, anyway.

Emmet, or The Baron (short for: Baron Von Douchebag) was our front man. Remember “Face” on A-Team? That was the Baron. He could talk anybody out of anything. He was also our wheelman. He could drive anything with four wheels, through the eye of a needle.

Rudy, lovingly called Radar (Radar Ears) was our Comms guy. Given ten minutes and a couple of paper clips, he could hack into any communication network, and erase all traces of his presence. He was also our Gunny, responsible for outfitting us with small arms.

Then there was Mark, or Belt Tip (that’s a story for another book!). Mark was our youngest member, with no real specialty. He dabbled in everything, as we all did, and he was a decent machine gunner. But he hadn’t been with us long enough for us to decide where he best belonged. He was willing and capable, and showed a lot of promise. Fairly young and not yet corrupted, he typically showed a lot more decorum than the rest of us, when in a party mode.

Last, and possibly least, came me… Doc. My nickname was The Knob, short for Knobby Body. JW usually called me Roy Gene. Knob was a nick given me by Casey, because of prominent bumps on top of my shoulders. I was a rifleman, and boat coxswain. Older than everyone else on our team except Joe, Jimmy and Casey, I should have been one of the most mature.

These guys were all my buddies, and on the job, I know that each one of them would have taken a bullet for me. One, in fact, did.

Off the job…..well, let’s just say we had a hell of a lot of fun.

And none of us ever took a bullet for that!


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