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Spring Shibi (Pt. 3 - The final installment)


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The C-47 rumbled along at a north by northeast vector. The entire company was TIRED. After all, we had done what nobody had ever thought was possible. The scale of the destruction would be talked about for years to come. Any of the 3 letter agencies, or other shortened acronym "teams" would have been proud to pull off what WE had just acomplished. The PERFECT extraction. Swoop in. Blow the living $hit out of the enemy. Swoop out. No losses. No casualties. Everything had just come together. And as we all know........you gotta love it when a plan comes together.

Some of the members were sleeping. They deserved it. Others were still wired and wide awake......yet sitting silently, listening to the drone of the engines. A few, were just........staring. Not seeing anything. Just staring into nothingness......the blank wall of the inner fuselage.......or out a window into the passing black sky. The sound of the old radial engines were both mesmerizing and soothing all at once. Each member of the company was simply doing "his thing" to come down off of the complete adrenaline rush that they had just left behind. We all knew that it would take time for the feeling to wear off. AND.....We were all completely okay with it.

From my position in the back of the craft, through the haze that still hung in the air, I made out the figure in the Co-pilot seat. Drew gave a slight point to the right. With that, the plane did a slow, lazy turn to due East. Then, the sound of the engines being fire-walled was all that you could hear. The aircraft sped off into the night.

Flash forward.

It had been a couple hours, and the aircraft was approching the Virginia/DC/Maryland border. (yeah, I know....we sped up time). All of the team members were up....wide awake....and ready. Everybody was preparing for the final phase of the plan. Each member going through thier own prep that they had practiced many times. Waiting. They knew that the OP was coming to completion. With that.....the plane turned hard to start it's way down the Potomac river. After all....commercial planes use the river as common guide for thier glide path. So we should look like a "ghost", or reflection on the air traffic controllers screens. Minutes ticked by as we made the approach. Once again, tucking down to "nap of the earth", or in this case....."nap of the river". We were ready!

0 Hour! At just the last possible moment, Planeflyer yanked up on the controls (damn near putting his feet on the dash). The craft gained just enough altitude to clear the trees that lined the riverbanks. He banked the plane hard to the right, then quickly stabilized it, all while yelling out "HERE WE GO!". Down beneath us......appeared concrete......just as was planned. Route 66 was beneath us. (that's a major route in and out of DC for those that don't know) The engines barked and backfired as the throttle was pulled back to almost zero. AND WE WENT IN!

Jon SLAMMED the plane down onto the highway. Knowing that the craft was 1), not planned on being used once it was landed, and 2), needed to land quickly so that the teams could dispurse into the trees that lined the road. The landing gear straining under the vertical force, almost buckled........but somehow survived the harsh impact. Seconds now ticked by as the aircraft came to a screeching halt...as the sound of the props in full reverse pitch thundered in the still dark early morning.

At the moment that the craft came to almost a full stop.....the team members came pouring out of the aircraft. There was no stopping any of us now. One after one, each member was diving out of the aircraft and moving away at almost a full on dead run. Within a minute.......the entire team (including pilot), had melted into the woods. The objective was at hand. All teams were in sync.

Approximately 3 minutes later! Dawn was just breaking.

All of the team members gathered. And we all walked out into a clearing from the trees and stood in front of the darkened (from time) bronze statue. Dirty. Tired. Bloody. We were all proud to be who and what we are. Every man stood and gazed upon the symbol for what we had done our duty for. For Servicemen.....LEO.....Civvies. All like minded indivduals. WE STAND PROUD!

Drew, 98, Robo, Edge, Unforgiven, Stain, Hemi, DNP, Planeflyer, Blue, Shepp, Farkle, Zebra, Easy, Mikedaddy, Bubba, Sketch, SS, Wash, Matt, Adam, Shibi, Jtallen, Beach, Armed Eye Doc, Magwa and R2...................all looked proudly at the IWO JIMA Memorial. Then, moments later, turned in unison........and all gave a silent salute to all of our fallen brothers, as they gazed from the overlook onto Arlington National Cemetary.


Dawn was rising as the team dispursed. Everybody was now heading towards the extraction point. It was time to make a silent egress. The team would come together again. (maybe a July 4th OP)


Enjoy your Memorial Day brothers!

Guys like us bleed Red, White And Blue!

I have nothing but respect for each, and every one of you.


Edited by Rsquared
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