They Walk Among Us Ch. 03byboneams©
The story picks up where Kevin has been in the Navy for a few years and has made it through initial training as a Navy Seal. All names are fictitious and if I have offended any of my Seal friends, I apologize. I mean no disrespect to any past or present Seal, I enjoyed working with you. To my faithful readers, as always, enjoy the journey.
June 1993, Naval Special Warfare Group Two, Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Virginia.
Lieutenant Adam 'Dawg' Dawson sat at his desk reviewing the personnel files of the new transfers coming into Seal Team Two. His Seal Platoon was due to deploy to the Mediterranean in a week and he was one man short. His point man, Larry Giere, broke his damn leg on a practice fast rope rig a few weeks ago.
He tossed the stack of files on his desk and rubbed his tired eyes. He had been at this for three days now and it was taking its toll on him. His relaxing moment was interrupted when his CO, Commander Scott Walton, walked in and sat down. Usually when your Commanding Officer walked in you came to attention pretty damn quick. One good thing about the teams was that they dispensed of most military courtesy because the rank didn't make the man, your abilities did.
"Well Dawg how's the gene pool research coming? You find your replacement yet?" Walton asked as he pulled a cigar out and lit it.
"I think I'm going blind looking through these Scott. If this is what I get to pick from then I think I'm fucked," Adam told him.
"Sorry about that buddy, but that's all I could get my hands on. You can't be serious that you can't find one usable body out of that stack?" Scott asked.
"The closest I got is this damn kid," he replied as he pulled a file out.
Dawson tossed the file over to his CO and then laid his head back over his chair. Scott flipped through the large file on Electricians Mate Second Class (EM2) Kevin Dvorska. It took ten minutes to get through all the Navy paper work on him. Swim quals, jumps, Basic Underwater Demolitions training, background check and so on. When he finished he tossed the file back on the desk with the others.
"He sounds like a great fit Dawg. What's your problem with him?" Scott asked as he took a long drag of his cigar.
"Jesus Skipper, did you see how green that kid is? He goes with us, I might as well pack a six month supply of Huggies with us," he told as he stared at the ceiling.
"Ok granted, he's 23 and fresh out of training, but hell his test scores are off the chart. According to his instructor review, he was the best point man he'd ever seen. And I quote 'like he has eyes in the back and side of his head.' Scott told the tired Lieutenant.
"Yeah, so I read in the file. But his background check says he's a rich boy and I don't need any Rockefeller's kid taking me out in the bush in Bosnia.
"Oh I see your point. You know not too long ago I had a green Lieutenant Junior Grade with me on a few ops. I thought he was a bit of a moron and a show off but he seemed to turn out pretty good," the skipper said.
"I know and you should have shot me back then and put me out of my misery," Dawg said as he looked at his CO.
"Look. Give the kid a try. Bring him in and talk to him for awhile." Commander Walton said then stood up and pulled the door open.
"I'll make a deal with you Adam. If he shits himself while he's in your office, I'll pack the Huggies myself," Scott laughed and left the team leader to decide what to do.
The O-course was designed to test a Seals endurance and agility. Most Seals endured it because it was part of their physical conditioning. EM2 Kevin Dvorska thought is was the best jungle gym in the world. As he pushed his six foot frame through the make shift drainage ditch, he laughed to himself. He couldn't believe that the Navy was actually paying him to do this. When he finally reached the end, he ran past Boatswain's Mate Chief Petty Officer (BMC) Bob Holiday who was scoring his time.
"Not bad rookie. Pretty fair time considering your only ten years younger than most of us around here," he told him.
"Thanks Chief. What's the next hoop you want me to jump through?" Kevin asked his evaluator.
"Now that you bring it up smartass, Lieutenant Dawson wants to see you over at the company briefing room. I think you'll enjoy the hell out of that hoop. Now get your ass in gear and double time it over there, and I better not see you stop to smell any roses on the way," Holiday told him.
Kevin snapped to attention and saluted. "Aye, Aye Chief," he replied with a smile and sprinted off towards HQ.
The three-mile run didn't take him too long, only 17 minutes, not his best time but hey, he did just get off the O-course. When he walked in the door he made a stop at the water fountain and pulled a towel out of his pack. It probably wouldn't be a good idea to drip sweat all over the L-Tee's floor. When Kevin found the briefing room he knocked twice.
"Enter," Lt. Dawson said.
Kevin opened the door and walked in. "Sir, Petty Officer Dvorska reporting as ordered," he announced. He was the new kid on the block and was still required to show proper military courtesy until he proved himself to the rest of the company.
Adam Dawson didn't respond, he just kept looking through the file on the 23 year old Navy Seal. If he was going to part of his fire team he'd have to prove himself pretty damn quick.
"At ease Dvorska," Dawson said but still didn't look up.
"Your file indicates you scored pretty high on the Navigation Course training. From what I can gather from your evaluations, everyone wants to adopt you," Dawson told him.
"Thank you Sir, just trying to be the best I can be," Kevin replied.
"That's the Army fuck wad. You trying to get a sense of humor without permission?" he asked.
"No Sir," Kevin said quickly
"I didn't see anything in your file that said you were a part time stand up comic. Is that what you want to do on your off time? You want to do comedy routines?" Dawson said sternly.
"No Sir. I was just informing you..." Kevin answered but was cut off by the strict Lieutenant.
"Oh I see, you're an Information Specialist. I guess that could come in handy if we ever find ourselves out on an op without a phone book," Dawson said sarcastically.
EM2 Dvorska remained silent. He knew no matter how he answered it would be wrong. The instructors at Coronado pulled this shit all the time. He didn't like it but they wanted to see what it would take to break you and get you rattled.
When no reply came, Adam Dawson flipped through some of the pages in the file and then looked up at the new Seal.
"File says you spent some time in the fleet before applying for the Teams. Why'd you leave the comfort of a bunk on the ship for a mud hole with us?" he asked him.
"It was too easy in the fleet, I wanted to challenge myself to be better, Sir," Kevin replied.
"I see. Well I think I can help you with that goal. I'm a man short on my fire team and I need a point man. I set up a little training op for us, just a little prisoner snatch scenario. You want to take a walk through the woods in the morning?" Dawson asked.
"Yes Sir. I feel that I..." he replied with a smile.
Adam Dawson came out of his chair quickly. "I didn't ask you how you felt shithead! I couldn't give a flying fuck how you feel! Just be here at 0400 for the brief. Now get your sweaty dripping corpse off my carpet – now!" he screamed at him.
Kevin snapped to attention. "Aye, Aye Sir," then turned and left the room quickly. Chief Holiday was wrong; he didn't enjoy that hoop at all.
Once EM2 Dvorska was clear, BMC Bob Holiday entered the briefing room and took a seat next to his team leader.
"Jesus Christ boss, think you could have been a little louder? I mean they didn't hear you at the Chow Hall. Want me to bring the kid back in so you can try it again?" the Chief joked.
"No thanks Bob. To be perfectly honest with you, I thought I was pretty good," he told the Chief.
"So who'd you get to play perimeter security for the package? Miller's team would be a good setup to start him out on," Bob asked.
"Not enough time to dick around here Bob. Bravo squad is inserting in the training area tonight. We go in at 0700 tomorrow," Dawson replied.
"Damn Adam! Bravo will eat this kid alive, not to mention the rest of us. Why didn't you just hit him with a baseball bat and see if he could take that?" he said.
"He's supposed to be the best so I'm sending him up against the best. What's the matter Bob, nervous?" Adam joked.
"Fuck it. At least we'll be home for lunch because this won't take long," Bob said and got up to leave.
0345, Seal Team Two's company briefing room.
Kevin Dvorska entered the briefing room and found the three other members of fire team Alpha sitting in the high back chairs. They quickly got to their feet when the newest addition walked in. A large black Seal extended his hand.
"Hey welcome to the team. I'm Machinist's Mate Second Class (MM2) Carl Werner," he said as he shook his hand.
"Hi, I'm Kevin Dvorska. Nice to meet you Carl," he replied.
"Let me introduce you to the rest of the clowns. This wiry little guy is Hospital Corpsman Third Class (HM3) Don Sharp, lovingly referred to as Doc," Carl said.
"Eat shit wiener," he replied tartly.
"And let's not leave out our very own illegal alien Aviation Ordnanceman Second Class (AO2) Dan Vasquez. We can't come up with a good nick name so we just call him V-man," Carl said with a large smile.
The muscular Mexican shook Kevin's hand. "Nice to meet you, we hear you're a hell of a point man," V-man said and then turned to Werner.
"And Carl – I agree with Doc here, eat shit," he said.
"Nice to meet you all, but I don't think I made the team yet. Lieutenant Dawson doesn't seem too pleased to have me aboard," Kevin confided in them.
"Yeah we heard. I wouldn't be to worried about that, he starts off that way with everyone," Carl Werner said.
"He's not kidding you Kev. You should have seen him go at the wiener. I thought he was going to cry when he finally got kicked out of L-Tee's office," Doc replied.
Before Carl got a chance to fire back, the door swung open and Adam Dawson entered followed by Chief Holiday. When the Lieutenant reached the large map at the front of the room he turned to face his fire team.
"I hope all of you got acquainted with Petty Officer Dvorska here but I wouldn't get too chummy, he may not be here long," the Team Leader said and then turned towards the map.
"The OP this morning gentlemen is a prisoner snatch. The package should be in this general vicinity here, about three clicks away from the insertion area. Our mission is simple. The helo will drop us off about a mile off shore and then we insert with a zodiac boat the rest of the way in. Once we secure the package, we exfiltrate west to this LZ, any questions?" Dawson said.
Bob couldn't hold the shitty news from his teammates. "Yes Sir. Who will be providing perimeter security?" he asked.
"That will be handled by Bravo squad. They inserted last night about 2100 hours," Dawson said. He was trying very hard not to smile.
"Awe come on L-Tee, Kev hasn't even unpacked his sea bag yet," Carl Werner complained.
"Yeah Sir, and besides, they had all night to set up for us and Kevin's never been to the training area," V-man added.
"If you're done crying in your cereal, we pack out in 30 minutes," he said and then walked over to the rookie. "Welcome to the Navy Seals," then walked out with Holiday on his tail.
"What's the matter Carl? Is there something I should know about Bravo squad?" Kevin asked.
"If you give Senior Chief Stall's team overnight to prep the area, you normally come home in a bag. I can't tell if L-Tee has a hard on for you, so I hope you got your shit in one sock for this one buddy," Carl said.
Ten miles north of insertion point, Southern Operational Training Area.
Adam Dawson's team appeared loose and ready to insert. The inflatable zodiac was bundled up and ready to deploy out of the H-46 helicopter that was taking them in. Adam was occasionally checking on Dvorska. He knew the other guys would have filled him on Bravo's rep, so he wanted to see how he was handling the extra stress. To Kevin's credit, he studied the map of the area the entire trip in.
The Crew Chief tapped Adam on the shoulder and informed him they were five minutes out. He shook his head and stood up. He tugged on his equipment harness to signal everyone to do their checks. Kevin kept looking at his map so Dawson kicked his boot to get his attention. He really couldn't blame him; he only had a few hours to memorize the area.
When they reached the insert area the helo dropped down to fifteen feet and slowed down to ten knots of forward air speed. Dawson gave the signal and the team pushed the zodiac out of the rear hatch and jumped out after it. Once everyone was clear, the H-46 Sea Knight darted out of the area.
Meanwhile deeper in the operational area, Bravo squad was huddled together near their ambush sight. Lieutenant Junior Grade Peter Newman moved over next to his teammate and in some sorts, mentor.
"You hear what I hear Andy," he asked.
"Yep, it sounds like Alpha is right on time, they should make the first trip wire in about a half hour. With any luck we won't have to do a thing, that kid they picked is pretty green," Senior Chief Andrew Stall told his team leader.
Andy turned to his own point man, Petty officer First Class Frank Griffin. "Are you sure you guys put enough traps out Griff? You know how much I hate losing," he asked him.
"Give me a break Andy. Rick and I were out there most the night while you guys sat around and drank most of the booze. I've only been coming out here for the last four years and there isn't a rookie alive that will get by all the shit we put out. Poor kid won't know what hit him," Griff said.
"Better be safe than stupid. Jim, head out and shadow them in. If it looks like their getting close, you stand by to flank them, got it?" Andy told his medic, Jim Jenkins.
"Sure thing Andy, here I go," Jim replied and headed out in search of Alpha team.
"Alright everyone, in your hides and lets wait for the fun to start," Andy said.
Kevin Dvorska was thirty meters ahead of the group with Adam Dawson right behind him. He had been in this op area before and knew that Dvorska was heading straight down a path that Bravo was sure to trap out. This was definitely going to be a short morning. The bad thing was – he was going to have to dig through the files again and find another candidate.
Suddenly Dvorska stopped and froze. Seeing the point man stop, everyone else followed suit and knelt down on one knee. They were well-trained operatives and keep their assigned areas covered. Dawson moved up next to Kevin to see what the problem was.
"Hate to tell you this Sir, but there's a bottle of Johnny Walker Red trying to flank our right side. He should be in position in about one minute," Kevin told his team leader.
"I don't get the humor Dvorska," he said quietly.
"It seems like Bravo squad had a little party after setting up for us last night. One of them is trying to flank us, I can smell it on him," Kevin whispered.
"You're fucking shitting me. You smell it on him," Dawson said sarcastically.
Kevin nodded his head and indicated the spot to check out. Dawson turned to the squad and indicated for Carl and V-man to check it out. While they were gone, the others scanned the forest for further trouble. After about five minutes the two Alpha team members came back, but they had company.
Jim Jenkins was walking behind them with red paint marks on his chest. He didn't look happy at all. Dawson knew there were five guys in Bravo squad, so that meant he was now up against only four. His odds were getting better.
"Nice call rookie, but you're not done impressing me, lead on," Dawson told Kevin.
The team only moved a few hundred yards before Kevin had to stop again. This time he pointed to the ground just in front of him. When Dawson came up he looked ahead but saw nothing out of the ordinary. Kevin crawled a few feet then stopped. He moved a few loose bushes out of the way and that's when Dawson saw the trip wire.
Bravo squad was living up to its reputation. Dawson pulled his side cutters out and went to cut it when Kevin stopped him. The new point man moved some other brush out of the way and found the trip wire was actually holding a small branch in a bent position. It was bent because it was the trigger mechanism for another trip wire to the real trap, a claymore paint mine.
"Those sneaky fuckers are starting to piss me off," Dawson whispered.
"Don't sweat it Sir, I think I know where they're gonna set up the ambush anyway," Kevin told his team leader.
"I'm all ears Dvorska," Dawson said.
Kevin pulled out his map and laid it down on the ground as the Lieutenant gathered his team.
"Ok guys this is how I see it. These guys know I'm green so they knew I'd take this route, it was the logical step for someone who has never been in this area. About another click west of here is a bottleneck, just before the area of the package. If I had a new point man hunting me down, I would have sent someone to shadow us all the way in as an extra precaution. If I did something stupid like, not follow their game plan, they'd have a set of eyes to clue them in," Kevin explained to his team.
"You figure this all out on the way in Dvorska, or are you just clairvoyant?" Dawson asked.
"I guess you'll have your answer once we're on the bird home – alive – Sir," Kevin replied.
"Hey L-Tee I've got an idea on how to pull this off if the kid is right," Carl Werner said.
Werner filled the team in on his idea and once they had it designed Kevin Dvorska led his team deeper into the woods along the clearly visible path he discussed earlier. They had to disarm no less than ten traps set by Bravo squad. Kevin could tell right away that he was hunting some very talented Seals that should be assigned as instructors. These guys were making his first instructors look like amateurs. When he reached the destination that Carl Werner wanted he signaled for the team to hold up.
"Alright everyone you know what to do from here. Everyone waits for my signal and watch your step out there," Lieutenant Dawson told his team then turned to Kevin.
"Ok rookie your up. Try not to get us all killed," he told him.
Senior Chief Andrew Stall could hear the new point man approaching his teams hide and nestled closer to the brush concealing his body. He really needed to have a talk to the instructors at Coronado on their training techniques.
'This kid is making enough noise to wake the dead,' he thought.
Stall didn't have to wait too long as Alpha's new point man slowly walked to the start of the bottleneck. He didn't see the rest of the squad behind him, he was making another fatal mistake by leaving his team too far behind. If they fell behind the team wouldn't be able to provide cover if he got him. When Kevin stopped and looked down, Stall knew he had him.
'That's it kid, you play with my little toy and let your teammates gather around you, and then I got your ass. Who fucking trained this bozo?' he thought to himself.
Kevin had his weapon pointed to the left of his position as he pulled his side cutters out to cut the wire. He busied himself with moving the brush and debris away from the claymore paint mine as he waited for his team. The stench of Johnny Walker Red was overwhelming and he knew that he hit pay dirt. His just had to delay a little longer and wait for L-Tee's signal.
When Stall didn't see the rest of Alpha squad he got a weird feeling something was wrong. He knew if he took out the kid he at least had Jim Jenkins out on their flank to push them towards him. Senior Chief Andrew Stall raised his weapon up and prepared to put three paint balls in the center of Kevin Dvorska's chest.