This post will be a rare treat, but one of the most difficult posts, yet. For this one, I plan to divulge what I have learned about Seal and Mercenary cultures thanks to some exposure in the Navy. If you hear nothing else, hear this: these guys are heros, and their stories deserve to be told. They gave their very souls to defend our freedoms and liberties, and many paid the ultimate sacrifice. This is a overall recap of my experiences with these brave soldiers. Enjoy.
It was just another afternoon in Norfolk, Virginia. I left Naval Station Norfolk and dropped into a different base. I can’t remember if it was an Army or Marine base, but I knew I was going for two things:
- To shoot guns
- To hang out with the mercenaries
I frequented this range. Even though I was active duty Navy working security, the Navy wouldn’t let me shoot on base because I wasn’t 21. However, the mercenaries didn’t seem to care. They would even pitch me a free box or two on occasion. We discussed guns, politics, food, languages, and exchanged stories. I only shared about the time when rifles came out. These guys had seen real combat, and they were open about it. They were even somewhat open about the fact that they were mercenaries.
When they shot on the range, they would also shoot from a holster pull, and the target was usually 5-7 yards. They were fast, and they were deadly accurate. When I was on their range, I never got flagged for rapid fire. I had a person say something once. He came over to me, tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I would stop the rapid fire. He was trying to teach his wife to shoot and it was making her nervous. As he was saying this, my target was coming back in. He took one look at the target and one look at me, then back at the target. He kinda waved and said, “Nevermind. Thank you for your time, sir.” I guess he liked what he saw! I never really got the chance to get to know the mercenaries outside of the range. I probably should have, but I was a combination of terrified and star struck. These guys were the real deal, and it was cool to hang out with them.
As far as Seals, I didn’t really get to know many Seals while I was in. I was a Gunner’s Mate, and most Seals are Gunner’s Mates. At one point, I had orders to do VBSS with them, but I ended up backing out because I wanted to make a real difference. I have had the privilege of running into a few since discharge, and they were cool. They know how to party. I’ll give them that!
These are a special breed, and some of them assimilate back into normal life. They may be your neighbor, landscaper, lawyer, server, student, teacher, IT guy, roofer, entrepreneur, investor, pastor, police officer, federal agent, plumber, cook, or doctor. They sit in the back of your churches and theaters. They stand with their backs to corners at parties, eyes on exits and on any potential troublemakers. They are the Ghosts…the true laborers of freedom, and they can point to 10 more where they came from. Those 10 know 10 more each, and those know 10 more. They are a network, a band of brothers, and they are patriots, not terrorists. Don’t believe the propoganda.
Wagen, over and out.