Cast of Characters
1. Sergeant Nate Harris Point Man M16 Rifle M9 Beretta
2. Sergeant Mark Hoover Intelligence M16 Rifle M9 Beretta S&W Model 625 JM
3. Sergeant Luke "Doc Kennedy Medic M16 Rifle M9 Beretta
4. Sergeant George Webster Radioman and Forward observer M14 Rifle M9 Beretta
5. Sergeant Ryan Sherman Demolition specialist M16 Rifle M9 Beretta
6. Master Sergeant Hank Foley heavy weapons M249 S.AW. Beretta M9
7. Captain Robert Randolph Commanding Officer of special forces team 762 M16 Rifle Beretta M9
8. Chaplain Jeff Brooks
Sergeant mike Hoover a Green Beret stationed at Fort Bragg North Carolina is saying goodbye to his Grandparents the day before his tour of duty in Iraq. When it's time for them to board their return flight to Indiana, Grandma said goodbye first Grandpa said goodbye second.
After saying more prayer together they got onto the plane for their return trip back to Indiana.
Mike returned to Fort Bragg and his assigned barracks, once he was back to the barracks he sat down on his bed and he read his bible.
When it was time for supper Mike put his bible back into his pocket and along with the other soldiers in his barracks Marched to the mess hall for supper.
When it was time for Mike's turn in the line and he got his plate filled with food and his coffee cup full of black coffee.
Then he found a place to sit down and after saying grace he ate his supper. When he was done eating Mike was still hungry so he got in line a second time for more food and more coffee after eating his second plate of food and second cup of coffee.
He turned in his empty food tray and coffee cup then he walked out of the mess hall and back to the barracks.
When he got back to the barracks he sat down on his bed and resumed his bible reading. When it was time for lights out Mike got into bed and went to sleep.
The next morning Mike and the other soldiers got out of their beds, made them, got dressed and went to the mess hall for breakfast.
After eating breakfast Mike and the other soldiers in his barracks waited and they waited for news.
An hour later an officer came into the barracks and he made the following announcement. "Soldiers in one hour you will board your flight for Iraq that is all."
Then the officer left the barracks a mix of emotions ran through the soldiers in the barracks. Some men smiled other men cheered at the prospect of going off to war. But Sergeant Mike Hoover did not cheer or smile he felt the overwhelming urge to pee his pants!
So he ran to the nearest latrine went inside dropped his pants and boxer shorts sat down on the toilet and proceeded to pee heavily.
When he was done peeing Mike pulled up his boxer shorts and pants then he went over to the sink and watched his hands thoroughly.
Then he left the latrine and returned to the barracks. One hour later it was time to board the transport plane and fly off to war.
Mike grabbed his military luggage and along with his fellow soldiers made their way onto the c-130 transport plane that would fly them to Iraq. When it was his turn to take his seat he took his seat and sat down then he placed his military luggage next to him. Once everybody was on board the plane's doors where shut and the pilots started up the airplane's engines and the plane went down the runway.
When it was down the runway and had picked up enough airspeed and lifted off and became airborne.
As the c-130 was flying along Mike thought about all of his friends and family back home in his hometown of farmhouse Indiana.
Waiting for him to come home from the war.
He also thought about all of the experiences that he had been through to get him to this point in his short military career.
Basic training at fort Leonard wood Missouri airborne school at fort Benning Georgia Special Forces at fort Bragg North Carolina and last but not least sniper school also at fort Benning.
After a long plane ride the c-130 touched down in Iraq and came to a stop the doors opened and the soldiers started to get off the plane, Mike grabbed his gear and got off the plane, and marched over to an area to wait for his orders. When it was His turn in line an officer shouted NAME! AND RANK, mike replied last name Hoover First Name Mike Rank Sergeant!
Then he officer handed him an envelope containing a set of orders. Mike walked out of the building once he was outside he opened the envelope and he read his orders out loud.
"Well according to these orders I have been assigned to special forces A-team 762 stationed at camp sierra deep in the heart of Iraq."
"I am replacement for the team's intelligence sergeant Sam Simpson who was recently killed in action."
After reading the orders a second time he put them back into the envelope and into one of his shirt pockets. Then he looked for a chopper who would be willing to fly him to his destination.
After brief search he found a Blackhawk helicopter pilot who was willing to fly him to his destination.
So Mike got into one of the helicopter's seats and once the pilot got the chopper's engine started and revved up he flew the sergeant out to Special Forces camp spring. After a long helicopter flight the chopper landed at the Camp Mike thanked the pilot for the flight grabbed his gear and got off of the chopper. Then he reported to commander of Special Forces camp Sierra Captain Robert Randolph.
When Mike located the Captain's office he knocked on the closed door in a polite and respectful manner. A few minutes later a loud voice shouted "Enter! The door is unlocked!" Mike opened the door and walked into the captain's office stood at attention in front of the captain's office and he said "Sergeant Mike hoover reporting to the captain as ordered".
Then he handed the captain his orders, Captain Randolph read the orders twice when he was done reading them he looked at the sergeant and he said to him.
"At Ease sergeant at ease now that I have read your orders follow me and I will give you a tour of the base."
So the two men left the captain's office and Captain Randolph gave the newly arrived sergeant a guided tour of Special Forces camp sierra.
When the tour was over captain Randolph showed Mike to his bunker then he left the sergeant alone in his quarters. Mike unpacked all of his gear and then he cleaned his M16 and his Beretta M9 Service pistol. Once they were clean Mark put the weapons back into the deployment case under his bed. Then he sat down and wrote some letters to his grandparents.
The first month of Marks Iraq war Tour of Duty was rather quiet but in the first week of February it heated up in a big way.
He was sitting outside of his bunker reading his bible. when his team point man Sergeant Nate Harris came running up to him.
After taking a few minutes to catch his breath he looked at Mike and he said "Sergeant Hoover we have a mission briefing in Captain Randolph's office in 10 minutes."
Mike looked at Nate and he said "Thanks Nate I will be there as soon as I can". So Mike closed his bible, put it back in his shirt pocket, left his bunker and ran to Captain Randolph's office as fast as he could.
When he got to the captain's office he took a seat to wait for the other members of his team to arrive. A few minutes later the other team members arrived and the Captain began the mission briefing.
"Gentleman the CIA has established a top secret radio station on top of hill 700 and their using to monitor insurgent communication traffic; the Army has been rotating Special Forces team to provide security at the radio station."
"Now it is this team's turn now this mission is not going to be easy the enemy attacks the hill at least once sometimes twice a day." You will be on the hill 5 days and nights. Now if you don't have any questions of concerns you are dismissed".
When the team was dismissed they each returned to their individual bunkers and got ready for the next day's mission. The next morning the team got breakfast got their gear grabbed their weapons and they headed for the helicopter pad. When they got to the pad the chaplain said a prayer with the team then they boarded the Blackhawk helicopter and the pilots got the choppers engines revved up.
Once the engines had enough speed the pilots lifted it off the pad and off they went to perform their mission.
After a long nerve racking flight the Blackhawk landed on the hill. The team quickly got off the chopper and setup a defensive perimeter. Once it was setup the helicopter left.
The first 3 days and nights of the mission it was quiet really quiet. So Mike used the quiet time to get to know his men better. He listened to their various gripes complaints and concerns.
Their main complaint was that they Army did not issue a Multi-function pocketknife and they felt that this was a necessary item.
Mike took note about their complaint and he promised his men that he would take it up with Captain Randolph when they returned to Special Forces Camp Sierra.
On the morning of the 4th day the team was eating breakfast, when they dogs of war were unleashed. They grabbed their weapons and they started shooting back at the enemy that where attacking hill 700.
Halfway through the 4th day the men started to run low on ammunition.
So Mike called over his team's demolition specialist/ forward observer Sergeant Ryan Sherman over to his position.
"He looked at Ryan and he said "Show me the map that you have of the hill."
Ryan opened the map case and showed Mike the map of hill 700 that he was supplied with. Mike took one of the pens that Ryan had in the map case and he marked several key locations where he wanted airstrikes brought in and he also marked a large area where he wanted artillery brought in.
Once all the locations on the map where marked sergeant hoover looked at Ryan and he said "Remember I want you to bring in the airstrikes FIRST and the artillery strikes SECOND do I make myself clear Ryan." Ryan looked at Mike and he said "yes Sir! Airstrikes First and Artillery strikes SECOND"!
Ryan located the teams Radio Man Sergeant George Webster and they began to go to work.
They brought in airplanes from the Air Force the navy and the marines and these planes bombed and strafed the areas that they were assigned to bomb and strafe.
When they were out of ordnance, Ryan called in the artillery strikes and the U.S. Army artillery fired truckload after truckload of high explosive shells onto their assigned targets.
When all the artillery strikes where completed the front of hill 700 was quiet really quiet. At the end of day 5 the helicopter was brought in and the team left hill 700 and returned to Special Forces camp Sierra.
When the chopper landed back at the base the team got off of it and went directly to captain Randolph's office for their mission debriefing.
When the debriefing was over with the captain handed out the team's mail and then he dismissed them. Mike got several letters from his grandparents and a large heavy box from his grandpa.
He put the letters into the pocket of his fatigues then he left the captain's office and went straight to his bunker. He set the box on the desk and placed the letters on top of it.
Then he grabbed his shower gear and headed for the showers. When he reached them Mike stripped off his dirty fatigues and combat boots and he proceeded to shower and shaved when he finished cleaning up.
He dried off and put on some clean fatigues and his combat boots. Then he carried his dirty laundry to the base laundry facility after getting the dirty laundry taken care of Mike returned to his quarters.
First he opened his letters after reading them he wrote replies put them into envelopes addressed them and put a stamp on them.
He put them aside so that he could mail them later then he turned his attention to the box that his grandpa had sent to him. Mike removed the tape and after removing the packing material he saw the following items.
A brand new S&W Model 625.45 caliber revolver several boxes of ammunition a cleaning kit and a mahogany brown shoulder holster.
At the bottom of the box there was an envelope Mike opened it and he read the note that was inside of it.
"Dear mike there is a .45 caliber handgun tradition in our family. Your great-great-grandpa owned a colt peacemaker, your great-grandpa carried A S&W Model 1917.45 caliber revolver during WWI and I carried A S&W Model 1917.45 caliber revolver during WWII."
"And now it is your turn to carry on this tradition so I went down to the gun shop and I bought a S&W Model 625.45 caliber revolver for you I also bought some ammunition and cleaning kit the shoulder holster I had to special order. Love grandpa."
Mike put the note away then he strapped on the holster put the revolver into it and grabbed a box of ammunition. Then he headed down to the base's shooting range to test out his new revolver. He loaded the cylinder with 6.45 caliber cartridges closed the cylinder and proceeded to test that gun.
After firing all of the ammo he cleaned up the mess returned to his quarters and cleaned his revolver. Once it was cleaned he went to the mess hall for breakfast after getting his tray filled with food and his coffee cup filled up he found a place to sit and he ate his breakfast.
When he finished breakfast he turned in his dirty food tray and he coffee cup and he proceeded to return to his bunker. He was halfway their when he realized something.
"Oh darn it I almost forgot to talk to the captain about the men's pocket knife complaint." So he turned around and headed to captain's Randolph's office when he got their he went inside.
He cleared his throat then he began to speak to his commanding officer.
"Captain Randolph I have thing I need to discuss something important with you."
"Sir during the mission on hill 700 I was able to get better acquainted with the men and they have a complaint."
"The Army does not issue a Multi-function pocket knife and they feel that this piece of gear is absolutely necessary."
When Mike finished speaking the Captain cleared his throat and he said to sergeant hoover.
"Sergeant your right the men should be issued a pocketknife by the Army."
"I have been in this man's army since 1968 when I enlisted as a private, and back then we were issued a Multi-Function pocket knife called the Demo Knife It was made by the Camillus knife Company."
"But it's not issued anymore and Camillus does not manufacture it anymore either which is awful because it's a good pocket knife."
"Here is what I suggest you do go down to the base computer lab, and do some knife research if you find a knife you think would be suitable for you and your men show them the information."
"If they agree bring the stuff to me and I will personally run it up the chain of command."
After their discussion Mike ran to the base's computer lab got onto one of the Computer's, and onto the internet then he went to the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife company website.
The young Sergeant searched and he searched for a good pocketknife for his men, after all he was the leader of his 6 man team, and it was his job to make sure that their needs where taken care of.
After more than an hour of searching and reading he came across the Pioneer Swiss Army Knife, he read everything he could find about it on the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife website.
When he was done with his reading Mark printed off all of the knife information that he had found and read it again. Then he took the stuff to each individual member of his team.
They all agreed that the Pioneer Swiss Army Knife was the knife that they wanted. So Sergeant Hoover took all of the information that he had gathered to Captain Randolph. The Captain took the information from Sergeant Hoover read it over then he said.
"Sergeant I read this information and I will take it up with the higher authorities in the Army's chain of command."
At the end of the day Mike got ready for bed, he stripped down to his underclothes then he got into bed and went to sleep.
On the 5th and final day of their stand down Mike and the other members of his team were eating breakfast when the base P.A. system made the following announcement.
"Attention all Personnel will Sergeant Hoover and the other members of his team report to Captain Randolph's office ASAP." Mike and his team immediately ran out of the mess hall, they did not even bother to finish eating their breakfast. When they got to Captain Randolph's office they all noticed a big box on his desk.
After they had all sat down he began his presentation, "Gentlemen after you returned from your mission on HILL 700 Sergeant Hoover came to me with a complaint, and this complaint was that the Army did not issue a Multi-function pocket knife to you."
"Well I instructed him to go to the base computer lab and do an internet search for a suitable pocket knife."
"After completing the search he took the information to each of you and you all agreed that the Pioneer Swiss Army Knife was the knife that you wanted."
"So he took all of the stuff he had found and gave it to me. I took this paperwork to the higher authorities in the Army Chain of Command, and they agree to supply you." "With the pocket knife that you requested, please come up here one at a time to receive your knife."
The men did as the Captain instructed and one at a time they were presented with their new pocket knife. When the Captain's presentation was complete they thanked him.
And they thanked Sergeant Hoover for the efforts that they put in on their behalf. Then the captain dismissed them from his office. The next day it was time for another mission briefing.
"Gentlemen there is a terrorist compound deep in the heart of Iraq, your mission are to raid the compound, and bring back any and all intelligence that you can find.
"Does anybody have any questions concerns or comments?"
Mike got out of his seat walked up to the intelligence map that Captain Randolph had hanging on the wall, he studied it for several minutes then he began to speak.
"Sir this compound is deep I repeat deep in enemy territory and I think the team should carry a triple combat load of ammunition Hand grenades we will also need to carry double load of Water and a double load of MRE'S.
Once he was done speaking he returned to his seat then the Captain dismissed them. The next morning the team ate a quick breakfast then they put on their gear and headed for the helicopter pad.
When they got their Chaplain brooks said a prayer with the team then they got ready to board the chopper.
But several members had trouble boarding the chopper because of the extra weight that they were carrying.
So mike helped them board the Blackhawk. Once they were all on board the pilots revved up the engines and once they were revved up enough.
The pilots lifted the helicopter off of the pad and off they flew. When they got to their mission objective they pilot dropped the chopper 30 yards away from the compound.
The team got off of the chopper and waited until the engine noise from the chopper had dissipated. Then they ran toward the compound as fast as they could.
When they got to the entrance door, Sergeant Nate Harris the team's point man kicked it open. Then the team entered the building and searched each room one at a time and in each room they found load after load of documents computers and computer hard drives.
After searching the last room Mike and his team found some empty cardboard boxes in the compound and boxed up all of the Intelligence stuff that they had found, when one box got full Mike would seal it up with the duct tape that he carried in one of his pockets.
When all of the boxes where filled up Mike instructed the team Radio man Sergeant George Webster to call in a Black Hawk Helicopter to pick them and the boxes of intelligence up.
When they chopper came in The team put the precious boxes on board as fast and as carefully as possible, once all the boxes were on board, the team prepared to get on board but the Chopper's crew chief and the pilots said "Sergeant Hoover there is not enough room for you and the boxes of intel."
Mike looked at them and he said "Alright I want you to fly back to the base and deliver this to Captain Randolph, then get back here as fast as you can."
After he had given the helicopter crew men his instructions the chopper lifted off. He turned to his men and he said to them "Fella's there was not enough room for the boxes and us on the Black Hawk so the stuff we found is getting delivered first then the chopper will come back for us."
"let's get a defensive perimeter setup inside of the building that we just raided it will offer us some protection just in case we get attacked."