The Blame goes to;

Let’s see, Biden blames Trump for closing the schools. Okay so, Trump blames Biden for not reopening them.

Biden blames Trump for the border wall holding back illegals. Okay so, Trump blames Biden for allowing illegals in.

So, what would happen if the communist controlled the country and we had one leader that we all had to vote for and if not, he wins anyway. Sort of like what the Democrats or trying to accomplish now. I wonder just how many would be happy then?

Just a note

So, if you are watching the news about Israel you can or at least I can see the Lords work in making preparations for His soon return. I do hope you are ready.

Reapers War:

Chapter Five

If It Could Get Worse

January 4, 1985:

CNN broke the news with a report from the anchors desk about some major events that could possibly have catastrophic results. The sudden death of Kem Kyung Long’s father was being reported as an assassination, and Kem Kyung Long’s uncle being put to death as well. It seemed, according to Kem, that he was accused of attempting to overthrow the North Korean government and Kem couldn’t have that. Kem claimed that now the new party would be further solidified.  The ranks would be stronger, and unity would be maximized.

“I am the new “Great Leader,” he said, and as the new leader, his first order of business was the order to begin the deployment of new troops along the DMZ and repositioning those already there.  The ruthlessness of his act and the military order brought the current political situation to an even more dangerous level of instability.  Analysts reported, according to the intelligence they were able to obtain, that “Kem Kyung Long,” was indeed proving to be eviler than his father, a coldblooded and unpredictable terrorist who would continue to operate a terroristic regime.  Kem made it plain that his father was spineless, but he was not. And a new twist was thrown in, something the U.S. suspected but not confirmed. He revealed that he had nuclear weapons and would use them.  He further added that Japan, Guam, and the U.S. were their targets. With this latest report, Kem fully expected the U.S. to begin deploying more troops into the region and especially into South Korea.

In the White House Situation Room:

              “Mr. President, if it could get worse,” said the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General James Wilkinson. “Nukes change’s the game and if he is really intent on using them then we need to be ready to strike first or we need to send a team in and neutralize him.”

              The President, Albert T. Rogers, listened to all the thoughts and recommendations, and starting a war with North Korea would have disastrous results and he didn’t want to do that.

              “First of all, what is our current military strength in South Korea?” The President asked.

              “Sir, at present we are about 28,000 strong and that in my opinion won’t last a day if he decides to attack,” Said General Wilkinson. “We need to get more troops into the area and do it now.”

The President thought about that. War was something he did not want, and he knew the people of the United State didn’t want one either, but he could not let Kem go unanswered. “Two things, I need proof of Kem’s intentions, just because he says he’s going to use nukes does not mean he is, and a preemptive strike package just in case he does. Also, issue orders to the bases in Japan and Guam to put troops on standby for deployment. But we don’t, I say again, we don’t, pull the trigger unless there is no other option, and I mean no other.”

The Joint Chiefs all looked at each other and smiled. They have been waiting to do something about North Korea for a long while and now they were hoping this was going to be their chance.

“Yes Sir,” The Chairman said.

The President turned and left the room.    

For the next couple of weeks, the world watched as North Korea built its troop strength indicating that without a doubt the new Great Leader meant business.  

The Joint Chiefs of Staff again met with the President.

“If Junior does have nukes,” said the Air Force Joint Chief.

“As I said before, if he does have nukes and he intend to use them we strike, but we are not making the first move, let’s make sure first.”

During the UN Security Council, it was said that the threat was proving to be increasingly real and strongly condemned such actions and recommended sanctions.

Meanwhile, in South Korea, the U.S. commanders there had an up close and personal look at what the North Koreans were doing, and it didn’t look at all good. This was not just some exercise that junior had dreamed up, no sir, this was the real deal. He was planning on attacking the south and he was going to do it very soon. They really didn’t think, or at least they hoped he wouldn’t, use nukes. But either way, conventional or nukes, if he did it today and the US forces being vastly outnumbered as they are, they would not be able to stop them.  With two U.S. divisions, and one brigade of Army, about 10,000 Air Force and Marines, totaling roughly about 28,000 men against the ten to quite possibly twenty divisions of North Korean troops already in place, and the additional divisions to the west and east, it would to be a slaughter.  They needed help. 

It was very cold as the winter months in South Korean proceeded into the New Year. Snow and wind made it even colder, and especially, when the wind came in off the Yellow Sea.

Fifty feet below the surface of the Kum River, a Sang-O class midget submarine slipped silently along.  The captain, quite experienced, successfully navigated the tiny craft through the channel with an occasional periscope check to guide his way.  On board he carried Lt. Chung and his North Korean Special Ops deep strike team.  The captain of the sub had done this before and was about to do it once again – infiltrating those preparing for the re-initiation of hostilities on the DMZ.  The success of this mission was vital to the upcoming invasion set for June 25.

At midnight, the small craft surfaced and kept its decks awash, thus keeping a low profile.  The captain waited for the signal from shore and, when he saw it, he turned toward it.  A few minutes later, he pulled up alongside the small dock and the five-man team off loaded. Quietly they talked to their escort and, when they were ready to go, they made their way into the city.  From there they would obtain civilian clothes and South Korean ID’s.

Chapter Six

    Kunsan Air Base:

It was 0530, and a very cold and extremely unhappy Captain Shawn Beckman sat in the passenger seat of an old M151A1 jeep.  He looked at his map and frowned – all he had was a mark on the map indicating their destination and that made him even madder.  He couldn’t help wondering why his new commander had assigned him to be in command, especially since he had just arrived and hadn’t had time to orient himself to the area. 

Beckman looked down at his watch, 0600.  He grumbled as he stepped out of the jeep and looked around.  Each vehicle was dark, and he could barely make out the driver or the man next to him.

“Let’s go,” he shouted sharply, and got back in.  He looked over to his driver, a sergeant whom he did not know and hadn’t taken the time to get to know, and asked, “Do you know where we are going and can you get us there.”

The young sergeant turned, smiled, and said, “I can get us as far as the Kum River.  After that, it’s anybody’s guess.”

Captain Beckman just looked at him, turned slowly back around, and for about three seconds didn’t say anything.  When he did speak, he said, “Well, this ought to be interesting.”

At that moment a young staff sergeant, who was nearby had overheard the captain’s question, he came over to the jeep.  “Sir, I’m Staff Sergeant Howard, and I would like to offer my assistance.”

Beckman looked up at him. “And what assistance might that be, Sergeant.”

“I can read that map pretty good, Sir, and, if you don’t mind, I do believe I can get us to our destination and without difficulty.”

Beckman looked at him with a smirk then said, “Very good Sergeant, you have the job.”

Howard instructed the young Sergeant in the driver’s seat to go and join the second truck.  He got out, grabbed his gear, and headed for the truck.

“Thanks Sergeant,” he whispered, “I am so glad to be away from this officer,” and walked over and got into the truck.

Howard put his gear in the rear of the Jeep, climbed into the vacated driver’s seat, and fired it up.

“Captain, I’m Staff Sergeant Howard, glad to meet you, Sir,” Howard said, as he got ready to go.

“That’s great, Sergeant. Now, let’s go.”  

“Roger that, Sir,” Howard said, and pulled out.  

He led the convoy of eight M-35 Deuce and a half’s, transporting a ninety-man detachment of Security Police, twenty Combat Com personnel and their equipment, plus fuels and maintenance personnel, out the main gate of Kunsan Air Base. Their destination was a hilltop fifty miles south of where they call no-man’s land – the DMZ.

The captain pulled his map from his jacket pocket again and saw that their route would take them across the Kum River Bridge.  He was pretty good at figuring distance and time, so he computed that it should take them about another forty-five minutes.  He then made a few notes.  Man, I hate this assignment, he thought, and if I have anything to do with it, I won’t be there very long.

After the forty-five minutes, he figured he could see the bridge.  He reached for the handset of the radio, called in their status. He was told the rest of his supplies would be brought up by a CH-53 Jolly Green Giant helicopter.  “Roger and out,” he said, and put the handset back into its case.  Why couldn’t they just take us all out by chopper?

In a house near the south end of the first of three Kum River Bridges.

Lei Chung and his team were up early.  He had gone outside to breathe the fresh and crisp morning air and to watch the daily hustle and bustle of the people.  From where he stood, he had a clear view overlooking the City of Gunsan and the Kum River.  He was intrigued as most of the people went to their workplaces and others, probably military personnel, returned back to their base after a night out.  He took a sip of tea, and something caught his attention.  It was eight American military vehicles in convoy, in a close formation, and approaching the bridge.  He watched as they got closer and then crossed the bridge headed north.  He turned around and went back inside, mentioning his need of a vehicle.  He was told where to find one.  So, today, Sergeant Kyung-gu and he were going out to find it.  If it was suitable, they would obtain it.  That was no problem. As a North Korean Special Force operative, there was no room for feeling or conscience.  And he had neither.

The Trip Up to Rebel Station:

It was a long, bumpy, and tiring trip for Captain Beckman and his men, and it seemed as if they would never get there, but just as the sun was going down, the convoy from Kunsan finally reached the road that led up to their objective. The Captain ordered Sergeant Howard to pull up to a stop. Howard complied and stopped where the road began to go up. All the others came to a stop and the drivers and men got out. They needed to stretch their legs. Captain Beckman pulled the map out of his jacket again and opened it up. He found where the road was and the area at the top labeled SAMM-RI. He followed the line up and saw how curvy it was.

After about another ten-minute rest the Captain said, “Okay Sergeant Howard, let’s go.”

“Load em up,” Howard shouted. A minute later, he waved his hand in the air forming a circle and then pointed. The other drivers got back into their trucks and off they went.

The narrowness of the road made the way up was very exciting.   

Sergeant Howard was happy that a chopper pilot had conducted an overflight of the hill and noted it’s lay out. The six miles up was scary to say the least, but finally he drove into the area of their new home.  He breathed a sigh of relief as he pulled the jeep up to a small building just inside the entrance and parked.  He got out, waved the other vehicles in, and told the drivers to park them in a line.

The captain got out of the jeep and stretched his legs.  “Alright,” he said.  “Let’s get some teams out to search and clear the area. Once that’s done, we’ll find a place to bed down out of this cold.”  He waited for a second.  “Howard, get on the radio and inform Kunsan of our arrival and status.”

“Copy that, Sir.”

The night was cold, but the men survived. The next morning, they were up early and began offloading their equipment.  Putting their new home together was going to be a hard job and they didn’t have a lot of time to get it done. 

Combat Com immediately sent out a few men to find a suitable place for them to set up operations as well.  It didn’t take them long, either.  Strategically it would make sense to put the Com unit in the center of the compound, but the Captain, not really knowing or caring anything about that, didn’t say anything about where Com wanted to set up, so they set up on the exposed Northern end.

During the survey of the area, the captain saw the three very old and dilapidated towers.

“With a little bit of work, Sir, we can put an M- 60 up there and use them as lookouts,” Master Sergeant Watkins said, as he looked up at the bottom of the one, they were standing underneath.

“Okay, Sergeant, sounds good.”

They continued around the area making notes.

“Hey, that building right there, it looks to be in good enough shape,” Griffin said, smiling.

They had found the old warehouse and after going inside and seeing what shape it was in, they determined it was good enough and got the men working on setting it up for operations.

The men got right to work. They found a suitable place, an attachment at the end of the main building, to set up the new Rebel Base. All the com equipment was off loaded and moved in.  

When the Captain and his survey team returned the Captain laid out his plan.

“Here is how I want it broken up.  QFEBA from Osan will take the south end and our QFEBB will take up positions on the north. You got that Lt. Patterson?”

“Yes Sir, the positions on the south.”

“Okay, Sir.  And the way I figure it, we’ll need about twelve bunkers.”

“That sounds right.”  Captain Beckman paused for second while he thought.  “Campbell, I want you, Lt. Patterson and the Master Sergeant to get our posting and manning together.  I expect it to be done by close of business today,” Captain Beckman said smartly.

“Yes, Sir, we are on it,” Lieutenant Campbell said.

At the end of the day, a diagram of where they should establish the bunker positions and who would have what bunkers and towers was in Captain Beckman’s hand.

“Sir, here are the positions and who has what bunkers.  There needs to be two twelve-hour shifts and a QRT for each sector.  I’ve already put out a guard rotation.  We’ll get started on the work details in the morning.”

“Very good, Sergeant, now, let’s get some rest because we sure are going to need it.”

Reapers War:

Chapter Four

“B” Town the Security Police Club House:

“Have you met the new Captain,” Howard asks as his squad prepared for their deployment.

              “I seen im,” Walters said in that deep southern drawl, “but aven’t met im. D-you know where he’s a comin from?”

              “I heard from a base in Georgia, someplace called Robins Air Force Base.” Griffin said as he got up, went over to the bar, and got another soda.

              “We’ll I hope he’s a worth som-n,” Walters said remembering the last Captain.

              “What about the Ell Tee, ain’t he going?” Pierce said as he joined the conversation.

              “I think so,” Howard came back.

              “Well, all I know is that the Reapers have been called up and we go where the action is,” Hammer said as he came from behind the bar with a soda and a sandwich in his hand.

              “So, when do we depart?” Peirce asks.

              “We convoy out in five days, according to my sources.”

              “And we are taking deuces, eight of them.” Parker said with excitement. He loved the idea of getting out there. He was for sure ready.

              “And what is our mission?” Hathaway asked as he sat down with the rest.

              “I’m not sure, but from what I have heard we are going somewhere far up north, something about a communications site. I think Combat Com is supposed to set up and do whatever they do.”

              “So is it just one 44-man team or . . .”

              “Another team from Osan got here a couple of days ago and they will be going with us.”

              “Okay gents, enough chatter. Let’s get on over to supply and see what we can get our hands on,” Howard said.

              They all got up and followed Howard out the door. Once outside they loaded up in the CUC-V, he borrowed, and he drove over to the supply building.

Reapers War #3

Chapter Three

                                                              Captain Shawn Beckman

December 27, 1984:

Captain Shawn Beckman, Security Police, arrived in the Republic of South Korean and processed through customs. He heard the same things about a possible war with North Korea, but he didn’t take it seriously, as a matter of fact, he rejected it altogether. He’s too afraid to do anything, he thought. After clearing customs, he boarded the bus headed for Kunsan, his new assignment.  He thought about it during his flight, and he was still thinking about it on the bus and the more he thought about it the more resentful he became. Korea, he thought, of all places it has to be Korea. That meeting with the Major was a sure surprise, and what he said about if he didn’t take the assignment it could be the end of his career, so, essentially, he really didn’t have a choice. His mind went back to that day and he still resented it.

Robins Air Force Base, Georgia:

It was October 1, 1984 a slightly chilly Tuesday morning in Warner Robins, Georgia.  People were going to work.  School buses were taking kids to school.  It was just another normal day.  On Robins Air Force Base, Major Lawson of the 78th Security Police Squadron was sitting at his desk drinking a cup of coffee.  He came in early to go over the new gate plans when a sergeant from the personnel office came in and delivered a package addressed to Shawn Beckman, Captain, 78 Security Police Squadron.

“Thank you, Sergeant.”

“Yes, Sir, have a great day.”

He had made sure that it was delivered to him and not Beckman, because he wanted to be the one who presented him with it.  He kept an eye on the main door to the building and when he saw Captain Beckman walk in, he smiled.  A few minutes later, his phone rang, and he picked it up.

“Captain Beckman.”

“Good morning, Shawn.  Could you come to my office for a minute?”

“Sure, Sir, be right there.”  He hung up the phone and made his way down the hall to the commander’s office.

Shawn Beckman graduated from Officers Candidate School as a 2nd Lieutenant back in 1971.  Two years later, he made first Lieutenant and went Homestead AFB.  When he was promoted to Captain and was immediately given the position of Executive Officer, he thought that his life was now going to be all gravy.  After a year, he received orders to Robins AFB, Air Force Material Command.  Gravy duty, he thought, another Cush-job.  All I have to do is ride the gravy train and make major.  Now, after nine years and still no promotion to major, he was beginning to wonder.

“How are you doing, Sandra?” Beckman said greeting the major’s secretary as he walked into the door.  He walked past her and into the commander’s office.

She didn’t say a word but nodded.  Then she smiled because she knew what was coming.

“How’re you doing, Sir?” Beckman said, as he came in.

“I’m doing okay, Shawn.  Have a seat.”

Beckman noticed there was a slight smile on the major’s face, but his voice had a rather serious tone to it.  “Is everything okay, Sir?”

The major looked at him.  “How long have you been here, Shawn?”

“It’s been right at three years, Sir.  And I might say that I have enjoyed it.  Been some rough spots, but over all a good three years.”

Major Lawson then smiled.  Beckman saw the folder in his hand and a thought occurred to him.  I’ve made major.  Major Lawson handed him the envelope.  Beckman smiled, looked at it, and hesitated.  He figured he’d play along with the joke.  He took it and slowly opened it up, reached inside, and pulled out the paperwork.

He looked at the heading and went flush.  “Orders Sir, I didn’t put in for orders.”  He looked at his new destination.  “Kunsan … Korea, Sir?  I’m going to Kunsan, Korea?”  He looked up in surprise. “You can’t be serious . . . Korea.”

“That’s right.  Korea.”  The major said with a big smile.  “It’s time for you to get orders and they are in need of a qualified captain so, you are it.  Besides, you’ve been riding the gravy train around here long enough and it’s time you get some overseas command under your belt.  It’ll help you when it comes to making major.”

“But, Sir,” Beckman said wanting to argue his point.

“No buts.”  The Major paused for just a moment.  “I know you don’t want to be rifted, do you?  If that’s the case, your career is over.  So, you’d better, for your sake, take the orders.”

Beckman looked up again, no smile on his face, and still the look of surprise.  “Well, I guess it was just a matter of time.”  He stood up.

“Good luck.”

“Yes Sir, thank you, Sir.”  He saluted and walked out.  Well, I’ve managed so far.  I think I can manage over there.  What he did not know was that he was about to be put right into the fire.

Kunsan Air Base:

Beckman was still deep in thought when the bus pulled into the parking area at the visitor center of Kunsan Air Base and when it stopped, he was up quickly and walking down the aisle ahead of the other passengers to the door.  He stood there for a second until the driver opened it, when it did, he felt the cold air rush in. He stepped down off the bus into the cold and brisk air, the chill cut right through him.  He shivered.  He turned and went quickly around to the cargo compartment to retrieve his bags.  When he got them, he stood there looking around for a few minutes, then turning he walked toward the steps that led into the visitor center.  Definitely not happy about his new assignment to the point of resentment, he stepped up on the first of ten steps. At that moment, he heard a vehicle drive up.  Curiously, he turned around to see who it was. He saw a colonel quickly step out of what he thought was a staff car, and approach him rather hurriedly.

“Captain Beckman,” Colonel Christopher said, the vapor forming from his breath.

“Yes Sir,” Beckman said faking some enthusiasm and saluted.

The Colonel returned his salute. “I am Colonel Christopher, welcome to the Wolf Pack, how was your trip?”

“Good.  As a matter of fact, it seemed rather fast and,” keeping up with the pretense said,” I am looking forward to this assignment.”

“Well, I’m glad to hear you say that. Hop in and I give you a ride to the Squadron.”

“Yes sir, thank you.” Beckman opened the door to the back seat and put his stuff inside, then climbed into the front. The warm air felt good.

The colonel drove off and continued, “I’m sure you have been watching the news and have seen that North Korea has been threatening war. As usual everyone in the U.S. still thinks it is his normal banter, but we here in country don’t.”

“Yes Sir,” Beckman answered, starting to feel a little uneasy.

“We here in this country see things a little differently than those Washington politicians and though they say nothing is going to happen others in the field say that we need to get another communications site up there as close to the DMZ as possible.”

“We sir, a communications site, sir,” Beckman swallowed hard because he was thinking he knew what the colonel was leading up too, so much for the gravy train.

They pulled into the squadron and the colonel parked in his spot.  He got out.  Beckman sat for just a second more and then open the passenger door.  He went to the trunk.  The colonel opened it and Beckman got his bag out.  The colonel smiled.  “Let’s get inside to my office.”

They went inside.

“Have a seat,” the colonel said.

Beckman sat down.

“So, as I was saying.  All the field commanders got with Major Command, MAJCOM, and pressed the issue. We convinced them and they have issued a directive that a communications site be established and secured.  We were told to look for a site as close to the DMZ as possible, one we that would be good for what we have in mind. Over flights were conducted in various areas and they found one suitable for what MAJCOM wanted.  It’s on a hill – on the site they found several buildings that can be repaired and put into use very quickly. Once they decided which site would suit their purposes, they sent a notice to me and told me how many had to go.  Now a forty-four-man team required a lieutenant to command, but they want two forty-four-man teams.  So, we are sending one and Osan is sending another.” Colonel Christopher stopped and looked at Beckman, and then continued,” the men from Osan have already arrived and are waiting, Lieutenant Patterson is their commander. You can guess what I am leading to,” The Colonel looked at Beckman. “A captain has to command it.”

Beckman’s jaw dropped and he went flush.

“So, you being the new Captain means you get the job.  I understand from reading your record that the only time you were in command is when your commander went on leave or was TDY, so I’d say your timing couldn’t have been better.  You will in-process here, and in five days, convoy out with eight deuces, any questions?”

They became silent.  Well, you wanted to make major, Beckman thought.  He just didn’t know that he was about to be in for the worst of the worst possible situations.  He also didn’t know that his former commander had made a phone call and talked to the commander of the eighth SPS. 

“Yes sir, one question, is where we are going supposed to be secret? I mean with us being that close to the DMZ it stands to reason we wouldn’t want people knowing we are there, especially with it being a communications site, or a listening post as I would call it.”

“No, the operation orders which are being finalized don’t mention secret.”

“Okay sir, thank you. Oh yes, when will I get all the operations order?”

“I’ll call you when they’re done, and we will go over it. And one more thing, I know you’re new to this so I want you to listen to your NCO’s, they will help you.”

“Yes sir, thank you sir,” Beckman snapped to attention and saluted, turned and walked out. As he walked out of the Colonels office of huge wave of fear swept over him. What has he allowed himself to be put into? He walked down the hall to the orderly room and gave the Sergeant his orders.

Reapers War

Chapter Two

Eight Months Earlier:

It was near the end of 1984 and the same old rumors of war permeated the minds of the Washington leadership.  

“There’s the same old news again,” said a White House staffer.

Central Broadcasting Station, CBS, was telling the American people how the North Korean Great Leader was at it again. He said the U.S. military holding its yearly exercises was proving to be a threat to his country.  And, of course, he responded in kind with threating military strikes and, war.  But since he has cried and threatened so many times before, the U.S. has stopped taking him seriously – instead we just shrug it off and say his is nothing but a loudmouth having a tantrum.

“He’s not going to do anything. Besides, China and Russia won’t back him up, they will just let him hang himself and that will be the end of that,” said another White House staffer. But in South Korea, it was a whole different story. Every soldier in the T.O., Theater of Operations, knew that war was definitely coming and from all the indicators, it was going to be very soon.

Near the DMZ:

Under the cover of darkness, a five-man North Korean Special Operations deep strike team, led by Senior Lieutenant Lei Chung, made its way to their rally point.  They were part of an advance element of the NKPA, North Korean People’s Army. Their specific missions included murder, assassination, execution, seizure, destruction of communications and high value targets.  This team was one of the best of the best, the ultimate warriors.  

When Chung and his team reached the DMZ where they were to cross, their guide met them. He would take them through one of the infiltration tunnels to the other side, their objective; enter South Korea unnoticed. However, an unexpected contact almost put that plan in jeopardy.  As they came to the end of the underground tunnel, they encountered a ten-man South Korean patrol. Both teams reacted, but Chung and his team, were quicker. A sudden but short exchange of gunfire erupted resulting in the death of all ten men of the South Korean patrol.  Now Chung and his men had to move quickly. They thanked their escort and slipped silently into South Korea.  

With their first objective met, Chung led his team west toward their next rendezvous, a small submarine.  Its mission was to get them close to their first target area, the American air base located south of the Kum River – their first target designation, Kunsan Air Base.

The Defender: Reapers War

Chapter One

Peace is Our Profession War is just a Hobby.

May 31, 1985

In war – nightmares and reality coexist – and for a combat soldier it becomes very difficult to determine which one is which. The worst part is when the nightmare actually is reality.

As the flight from Japan to South Korea continued, Jakes thoughts drifted back to another time, another war and remembered a dream where he saw the foreboding figure of death, the destroyer of men, aka the Reaper. He was very much acquainted with this figure because he’d seen him up close and personal and it terrified him. He remembered when . . . Jake opened his eyes at the sound of the pilot’s voice over the intercom.  He looked around him and then down at his watch. He was finally here, in South Korea and about to be in the nightmare of another war. He did not mind it really, after all, he was Ready Eager and Prepared and has been this way since he joined the Air Force and went to Vietnam, or so he tried to remind himself.  I will get off here and be transported to Kunsan, a place way down south and out of harm’s way, at least for a while anyway, he thought. He wondered just how long it would take for the war to reach him. He would read about it and watched the news about it and believed from all those reports that it was true, but the question was, was it going to be conventional or was it going to be worse, Nuclear, and the worst factor or reality of all is the loss of life. Soldiers, American and enemy, along with civilians were going to die. And another unknown factor, China, and Russia. If they get involved, World War 3 would surely be the result. He thought about the irony of a motto he saw outside of a Bomber Alert Crew billet, it read ‘Peace is our Profession, War is Just a hobby.’ For Jake, the nightmare was about to get worse.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the Pilot said. He told them they were beginning their decent and would be landing at Inchon shortly.  He ended by saying, “Welcome to the Republic of South Korea.  It is Friday, May 31st, the weather is cloudy, the temperature is 85 degrees, and there is some rain in the forecast.”

Jake checked his watch again.  Twenty to twenty-three hours.  I called the total flight time right.

As the big plane, referred to as a Stretch 8, touched down at 0945, South Korean time Jake looked out the window.  Even though he was air borne qualified, he hated flying and was glad to be back on the ground.  Smiling, he opened his notebook and finished his entry that started with the flight from Patrick Henry Airport in Newport News, VA, to the airport in Kansas City, a six-hour layover and then onto Washington State, Hawaii, Japan and now South Korea.  He wrote a few more things then prepared to get off the plane and head for customs.  That would probably take a little while, so he knew he would be waiting.

As Jake walked through the terminal, he could feel the tension; and it was high. Of course, the threat from the North Koreans was serious and the military wasn’t waiting on word from Washington, they were ready now. War was on the horizon – as a matter of fact, it was knocking at the front door. For Jake the thought of another war brought two reactions, one excitement, the other, apprehension. In his mind, as was in the minds of anyone ever being in a war, there was nothing good about it. Death and destruction are never good.

He followed the other passengers through the terminal toward the baggage claim area.  As he walked along the talk sounded strange. The people spoke in a mixture Korean mixed and English, which to him made it sound, all jumbled up.  He noticed as well that there were more Security Police than normal patrolling and stationed at strategic points. He smiled because these men were trained and ready. These men were the finest and no matter what they would give a good account of themselves.

Finally reaching the baggage claim area, he stood where he could watch for his bag.  It had special markings on it making it easier to spot when it came around.  After about five minutes, he saw it, grabbed it, and threw it over his shoulder.  He looked for the customs sign and headed in that direction.  He checked in with all the other military personnel and proceeded through the main area and into the holding room.  There he went through baggage inspection and received an in-country briefing.  The group was informed about what was allowed and not allowed in country, the usual security policies in place, and the current threat level.  The thoroughness was not surprising.

First Sergeant Pete Steel of the eighth Battalion, 75th Rangers, out of Camp Page, stepped onto the bus that was headed for Kunsan Air Base.  He found a seat about midway and sat next to the window. With the war coming the Air Force had requested someone be sent to provide some additional and last-minute combat training to the Security Police there and they wanted the trainer to be a Ranger, so he was selected.

It was 1230 when Jake cleared customs.  The customs inspector told him about the bus leaving for Kunsan in about fifteen minutes.  He closed his briefcase, picked up his duffle bag, and walked outside.  He found the bus and gave his duffle bag to the driver to load into the cargo compartment then he boarded.  He walked down the aisle to about the middle and stopped.  There was an empty seat next to an Army First Sergeant.  Jake noticed the patch, 75th Rangers.  “Mind if I sit?” Jake asked, looking down at him.

The Army First Sergeant, who sat by the window, looked up, and then pointed, “Have a seat.”

Jake put his briefcase in the rack above him and sat down.  He stuck out his hand and said, “Sergeant Jacob Anderson, Air Force Ranger Combat Security Police.”

They shook hands.

“Didn’t know the Air Force had any Rangers,” the Army First Sergeant said. “Pete Steel, US Army, 75th Rangers, roll tide, whoo-ah.”

Roll tide. Another Alabama fan, Jake thought. Jake was a Georgia Bull Dog fan, so he just smiled.  He had no idea that he and this sergeant would meet again and very soon.   

“Where you headed, Sergeant Steel, US Army, 75th Rangers roll tide whoo-ah?”

Steel smiled at how Jake said his name, and then at how he added the “US Army Ranger roll tide” to it.  “I’m on my way south to some jack leg Air Force Base,” he said, returning the sarcasm.  “To help some jack leg Air Force cops with some real deal combat training …” He paused for a second.  “… And you?”

“South as well, to Kunsan.”

Steel smiled. “Well, alright.”

The bus pulled out around 1300 and the driver announced that normally the trip to Kunsan would take about four hours.  This time, however, it was going to take a little longer than expected.  They had to make a stop at Osan Air Base first.  He said that should take about thirty minutes.  Jake and Sergeant Steel just shrugged and chalked it up to normal.

The thirty minutes went by relatively fast and when the bus finally entered the Osan Air Base main gate, Jake began to get ready.  He figured on going into the terminal to get a drink and use the latrine.  Ten minutes later, the bus pulled into a parking area near the visitor welcome center and the driver opened the door.  Jake, looking out the window, noticed a civilian style jeep parked next to the curb with a tech sergeant standing outside the driver’s door in camouflaged BDUs.

The bus driver told everyone to take a break and be back in ten.  Everyone got up, except Jake and Sergeant Steel, who waited.  Everyone moved past them while Jake watched the sergeant at the jeep.  He was just standing there with his hands crossed over the top of the door and leaning against it, observing everyone getting off.  It was as if he were looking for someone in particular.  Jake took a breath, got up, and for some reason grabbed his briefcase.

“You going somewhere,” Sergeant Steel asked.  He opened his eyes and looked up.

“Yep, I need a drink and to use the latrine.  Besides, I want to talk to that sergeant standing there at that jeep.”

“Man, I thought you might have decided to stay the way you grabbed your briefcase and all.”

Jake smiled and stepped out, walked down the aisle, and watched as the sergeant by the jeep approached the bus.  Jake got to the door and stepped down to the bottom step, stood in the door for a second, and then stepped down out of the bus.

“Are you Anderson?” The technical sergeant asked, as he walked up to him.

Jake paused for a second then said, “That’s what they say.  But my momma, she calls me Reb.”

“Reb,” the sergeant laughed.  “Well, my name is Landis, and I am your ride.”

Jake looked at the Jeep.  It was compact with very flimsy doors and it looked like the top would blow away with the slightest of breeze.  “Well, nothing against you and I’m for sure not questioning your abilities, but I think I’d rather ride in that jeep.”

              Landis looked at him with a puzzled look on his face.  Then realizing what he had just said about him being his ride, laughed.

“Are we really going to drive all the way to Kunsan in that?” Jake asked.

“Nope, not driving and definitely not to Kunsan.”

Jake looked puzzled.  “If we are not driving, and we are not going to Kunsan, then —”

“Oh, well judging by the surprised look on your face, I’d say you have not gotten your ‘Oh-official’ notification.”

“Nope, I guess I didn’t.”

“Well, let me enlighten you there, Sergeant.”  Landis reached back into the jeep, pulled out an envelope, and handed it to him.

Anderson took the envelope, opened it and took out the set of orders and read the word “reassigned.”  He looked up, “Rebel Station?”

“Yep, when Colonel Christopher, the Commander of the 8th, heard you were a Ranger and all, he just had to make sure you got to wonderland.  Of course, the captain, he didn’t like it when he heard about it.  He hated it even more when he had to send me to get you, not liking you and all.  I’ve been here now for a day just waiting.”

“What do you mean by the captain not liking me?”

“Well,” Landis said as he looked at the Ranger Tab, “you ain’t exactly his kind of person with you being a Ranger and all.  So,” he said with a big grin, “welcome to a place that’s as close to no-man’s land as any Security Police ever wants to be and that is to close.”

With the exception of the captain not liking Jake, he figured on finding men who were well trained and ready for action. He wasn’t ready for what he was about to find.