Be A Guy

Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead

In Be a Guy, Yes, You are a Wimp on August 7, 2011 at 8:50 am

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/world/asia/07afghanistan.html?_r=1&hp

This is a damned shame – evidently 20 members of Seal Team 6, the unit entrusted with the take down of UBL are among the dead.

No matter what you want to say about what we are doing in Afghanistan you have to give these SEALS credit. Think of the greatest athlete you personally knew, the stud in your HS or College. The guy who tears it up in the country club Tennis or at the Y basketball….. He’s a pussy compared to these SEALS. Think about the smartest guy you know….. He is not as bright as these SEALS nor is his mind as disciplined…

I had 2 friends who were SEALS.

One told fantastic stories of being towed by dolphins into Hanoi harbor to set mines and eating Vietnamese peasant food so as not to smell like a GI on night ambushes. Much of it I sort of dismissed as bar talk until I saw him pluck out a bartender’s eye. The bartender was preparing flaming shots and Tom had asked him to move his routine down the bar, one spilled and Tom’s beard caught fire. In the blink of the eye Tom struck out and dislodged the eye, sat back down and said “this is going to be bad”.  He tried to surrender peacefully when the cops showed, but couldn’t and ended up losing to the baton and taser.  Tom died of cirrhosis while awaiting trial.

The second man told tales of South East Asia and the Middle East that pressed credulity. Honestly, I felt he was full of it… And then the piece started to fall into place.  Reading a book about BUDS and the nascent SEALS I came upon a picture of Frank.  Next Frank disappeared within days of Iraq invading Kuwait and reappeared 3 months later. I remarked on his tan, which he claimed came from a fishing trip to Costa Rica, and observed it looked more like a desert tan to me.  He wiggled his eyebrows and said “watch TV tomorrow night”. Suddenly, Frank’s tales of secret air strips in Saudi Arabia seemed more plausible. Several years afterwards I spent some time with a client and his Dad. I noticed James Senior wore an “Air America” plane around his neck and asked him if he ever ran into Frank B.  Senior seemed surprised that Frank was still alive and told me “You know the old CIA quip about ‘I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you?’ that’s the kind of stuff Frank did.”

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