You requested it, you've got it...................................... So there I was, Fort Irwin, CA. A proud member of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the famous and feared Opposing Forces of the Army's National Training Center. The year was 1995 and the month was August. I was a short timer. I had my orders. After going from a feared jungle warrior as a member of the 25th ID's cavalry squadron, with a short stopover in the ghettoland of Fort Stewart, I had decided to call my Army time good and head out into the wilds of civilian life. Before I could do that though, I had one more mission left to complete as part of the Razvedka (recon). This last mission had us in the defense. As usual, I had my own BMP (Sheridan with a VISMOD kit). Life was good when I was TC. Even though we usually were stuck hanging with the mechanics before mission, pulling pack at O-dark thirty, once we got into the box, it was time to chill. For the BMP crews, life in the box was pretty dull until Blufor attacked. We were set up behind the BRDMs(HMMWV with VISMOD kit) and they would be the only ones to see anything. Needless to say, I usually got more sleep during rotations than I did back in garrison. This last mission was somewhat different though. The platoon leader usually was 5 klicks in front of anybody and he usually sat up on top of a hill calling in spot reports. This time though, he had pulled back and was setting on top of the hill that I was sitting on the side of. My driver, Christopher Sides, was one of the guys in the platoon that knew his job and knew the area so all I had to do was run the radio and occassionaly pop off the gun at the Blufor. Our augmentee was from Ft. Benning IIRC. We think that he started to like us after being around us for awhile. One could see the tension in his face when he first started riding with us. I guess he thought these two good old boys didn't like black folk. Needless to say, he was wrong and he finally started warming up to us. This mission was a little bit different operational wise. We would usually head out into the box under the cover of darkness, but this time, we went in during daylight. My crew SOP was simple. About 2200 hours every night, we'd call it a day and pull OP on our eyelids until the sun came up. Unfortunately, this was not the case this time around. About bed time, the radio started going apesh*t. A Bradley had overturned about 10 klicks to our north. From the sounds of things, everyone was alright. That was a scary thing to listen to as I had an old platoon sergeant from Hawaii involved in a tragic accident approximately a year and a half before my arrival. He survived, but about 3-4 scouts lost their lives when several Bradleys and a HMMWV went off into Colorado Wadi one night. Then as soon as the traffic started dying from that, we heard the all too familiar sound of a Bradley coming through. They passed probably within half a klick of our position, but since they were pogue duckhunters (F U Timmy), they never knew we were sitting there. Everything finally died down and we called it a night. Sunup came and it was time to engage in mortal battle with Blufor and make them look like ass once again. Now don't take that wrong, because the rules imposed on the leaders and the usual crap leadership, Blufor's hands were usually tied. Our first action came against the pogue duckhunters that passed us the night before. The track was sitting in a wadi. We popped up on the hill and stopped. Since the Sheridans we rode were usually as old, if not older than the soldiers operating them (I was about two years older than the vehicle), my turret controls sucked, so if I could, I would gun manually. I hopped into the turret and put the sights on the Bradley. I looked for someone around the vehicle, and for a few seconds, it appeared to be abandoned. Finally, a soldier appeared and was walking around the back. Now I engaged in conversation with my driver at this point. I don't remember the exact words, but I think my paraphrasing will make the point. Me: "Hey Sides, this guy is getting ready to take a dump." Sides: Chuckles. So I wait for the poor soul to drop his pants and squat down before I unleashed the boom from the Hoffmans. Needless to say, he went into action, but as it turned out, the Bradley was broke, so it was out of play. Unfortunately for us, all the messing around we did down in the wadi enabled the duckhunter's friends to show up. They blocked off the wadi from us. As the TC, I was also the gunner. I could operate the turret while standing up, but with no sights, shooting was a dicey proposition. Somehow, I pulled a hip shot with the tank and got me a Bradley kill. Not wanting to stick around, I threw a HC smoke and landed it into the dry, Mojave desert brush. I told Sides to take us out of the wadi up the hill. That poor, abused Sheridan was good for all of about 3 mph up that hill. I would look back and all I could see was smoke from the brush fire I started. I sure didn't want to stick around and play firefighter, so we finally crested the hill and got out of there fast. Before we could catch our breaths though, the PL called me up. He had a FIST-V spotted and told us to go get it. It was my last mission and I wanted to go out with a bang and I was granted my wish. We quickly located the track and it decided to haul butt out of the AO. I popped off a couple of rounds, but didn't get a hit and the chase was on. For several minutes, we headed through wadis, never gaining any ground. Sides, my driver, was going at it with reckless abadoned. Usually when the FIST-V got to the bottom of a wadi, it would turn and try to get away. We matched the movements. Nothing like sliding sideways in a track vehicle in the sand. After a few minutes of this nonsense, the FIST-V started running east. We gave chase. While we were not getting outrunned, we sure as hell wasn't catching the thing. It had maybe a quarter mile lead on us. Remember where I said we were going east? Well guess who was coming from that direction? My PL jumped on the radio, letting me know that he really wouldn't appreciate us going too much farther in that direction. I kindly informed him that I really didn't give a **** and I was more than willing to play with the Blufor main attack. For some reason, the FIST-V made a 180. So we started going that way. Well it was my turn to let the PL know how I felt about the situation. I didn't have a problem with someone setting off my fancy orange blinky light, but I didn't want my side doing it. Somehow, we ended up losing that damn FIST-V. But it wasn't five minutes later, another one popped up and we decided to go give those guys the whatfor, but I was unaware that the main force of Blufor was close and as we came out of a wadi, we popped up maybe 30 yards in front of a ****ing M1................................................................................... That was my last joyride when I was in the Army. About three weeks later, I was a civilian, my 'entanglement' with a stripper went way south and I was on the road starting my new adventure in life.