Over the years,
this little place has become my favorite watering hole. I like coming in here
to play a little pool, or to get a drink and relax. It's not a fancy place like
some bars I've been into in the past, but at least it's clean, and the people
that work here, along with the regular patrons are friendly.
I'm sitting at
the bar drinking a cold beer and enjoying the music that's playing on the
jukebox, when Sam, the bartender comes over and asks, "Need a refill Bill?"
"Yeah, why not
Sam," I answer as I hand him my empty glass.
turn around in my seat and look toward the table across from me. I sit there
and listen as one of the men at the table is telling his war stories to the woman
sitting next to him.
"Do you know
them, Bill?" Sam asks as he places my drink on the bar in front of me.
"Nope, can't say
I do," I reply in a raised voice as I turn around to face Sam. "Don't want to
either." I take a drink and then say, "That guy wouldn't know what combat was
if it jumped up and bit him on the ass."
better watch what you say," Sam warns me. "That's one bunch of boys you don't
want to fuck with."
"So, you know
them?" I ask.
"Yeah I do," Sam
replies. "The one guy is an Army Ranger; he comes in here with his sister a few
times a month. I'm not sure if she's in the military, but I know he is.
"No shit," I
comment. "I've never seen any of them in here before."
Before Sam can
say another word, the man at the table, who is telling his story, walks over to
the bar where I'm sitting at.
"Now John, I
don't want any trouble," Sam says. "Go on back over to your table."
"Old man, I heard
what you said a few minutes ago." John says to me, ignoring what Sam has just
said to him. "I didn't appreciate what you said about me."
"Is that so," I
say as I turn to face him.
John fires back. "Old man, you're asking for an ass kicking by running your
fuckin' mouth like that. If you got the balls to step outside, I'll give you a
fuckin' ass kicking that you'll never forget."
"Son, I haven't
had a good ass kicking in a long fuckin' time. In fact, I think I'm overdue for
"I'm not your
fuckin' son, you old fart."
about that," I shot back. "My son would have more brains than to pick a fight
with someone without first knowing who he's fuckin' with."
better back off," Sam warns me. "John is a trained sniper and someone you
shouldn't be fuckin' with."
"Oh, so you're a
old man, so don't fuck with me. I'm a G S nine sniper, and you should know that
the Army has taught me how to kick some serious ass. You don't want me to open
a can of whip-ass on you. I'll put a fuckin' hurtin' on you like you've never had before."
"Ha," I chuckle
as I stand up. "Are you threatening me, you little fuckin' asshole?"
"It's not a
threat old man. It's a fuckin' promise, so don't push it if you know what's
good for you."
"Oh I'm getting
scared now," I shot back. "Please don't hurt me."
takes a swing at me. I stop his fist from making contact with my face by grabbing
it with my bare hand. I apply pressure to his captured fist, squeezing it hard,
sending a severe pain up his arm.
"Ah, ah," is all
John can say as he drops to his knees in pain.
"Now, as I see
it you only have two choices here Mr. Dickhead," I say as I apply more pressure
to John's hand. "You can take your so-called G S nine ass back over to your
fuckin' table, sit the fuck down, and enjoy the rest of the evening; or we can
go outside, where I will beat your fuckin' ass so bad that your mama won't even
recognize you. I didn't start this, but you can bet your fuckin' ass I will finish
it. I don't start fights; I finish them."
John looks up at
me bewildered. I have no doubt that I now have his full attention. I reach into
my pocket with my free hand, while keeping constant pressure on his fist with
my other hand, pull out my I D card from my pocket, and show it to him. "Now
son, I want you to take a real good look at my I D. As you can see, I'm an Army
lieutenant general." I pause for a brief moment before continuing. "You will
cool your fuckin' bullshit right now. Also, from here on out you will not
address me as old man or old fart, you are to address me as sir. Furthermore, I
will call you, whatever I fuckin' feel like calling you, is that clear?"
"Yes sir, sorry
sir," was all John can say.
I release the
hold that I have on John's fist. He quickly gets to his feet and snaps to
attention. "Good evening sir," He says, and then walks back to his table and
"Damn, this is
the first time I've ever seen John back down," Sam comments, stunned by what he
has just witnessed. "Usually it's the other way around."
"No harm's been
done," I comment. "He's just trying to be someone bigger than he really is."
"You mean he's
not a G S nine sniper?" Sam asks.
"For all I know,
he may be a sniper," I reply. "But there's no such thing as a G S nine sniper
that I know of."
"Oh," was all
Sam can say. "So, I take it that you're in the service?"
"Well, you can
say that, but if I tell you anymore I'd have to kill you for security reasons."
"You Army boys
are something else," Sam says as he shakes his head in disbelief, and then
walks away to attend to his other customers at the bar.
I sit there at
the bar, thinking about how I got to this point in my Military career. I joined
the Army in 1979 right after I graduated from college. Then, after I graduated
from Officer's Basic Training, I went to the Officer Candidate School at Fort
Benning, Georgia. From there I went to Colorado Springs, Colorado, for supply
and logistics training.
When I arrive at
Colorado Springs, Colorado, for supply and logistics training it is obvious to
me from the start, that running a supply and logistics department is the same
as running a business, and I know just how to do that.
At the time, the
only problem I have is how to operate the new computers that the Army is using.
The computers back then are a lot different from the ones we use today. They
are set up as computer terminals, consisting of a keyboard with a small TV
screen attached to it, and hooked up to what is known as the main frame.
quarters is a lot like the dorm I stayed in when I was in college. Jack, my
roommate, is more like a brother to me rather than my friend. I'm surprised to
learn how much we have in common. I guess that's why we hit it off so well from
The officer in
charge of overseeing our living quarters is First Lieutenant Jones. He is only
one pay grade above us and thinks he's hot shit.
Jones does everything by the book and sometimes he can be a royal pain in the
night, in mid August of 1979, First Lieutenant Jones catches Jack, and I trying
to smuggle a twelve pack of Budweiser into our room. Jones proceeds to rip us a
new ass. You might have thought we ripped off the Declaration of Independence,
or the Constitution.
Jones, being the
asshole that Jack and I know he is, restricts us to our quarters for the
remainder of the weekend. We have no idea what is going to happen to us, but we
know without a doubt that we are in deep shit this time. That asshole Jones is
going to fry our asses for sure.
night, we sneak out of our room and head to the computer room. When we get
there, Jack opens the door with the key he has, and we enter. Inside there are
several computer terminals that line each wall, and a row down the center.
Jack wastes no
time; he heads for the computer terminal closest to the door and sits down in
front of it. He turns on the computer and waits for it to warm up. Moments
later, he starts typing on the keyboard. "I'll get even with that fuckin'
asshole," he mumbles "He'll pay for fuckin' with me this time."
I have no idea
what Jack is up to until I see the first lieutenant's name come up on the
computer screen. Soon afterwards, Jack is in the lieutenant's service record
"Oh fuck," Jack
suddenly says. "Oh fuck," he says again.
I look at the
computer screen. A message, Security
Breach Has Been Detected, is flashing on the screen. "Jesus Christ Jack;
let's get the fuck out of here."
Without saying a
word, Jack turns everything off and we get the hell out of there, locking the
door behind us.