During my nine months in-country hunting drug cartel kingpins in Colombia, the country held its presidential elections. My three-Operator team and I were sent back to the U.S. until the elections were over, and the incumbent’s policies supported having gringos back in-country hunting its drug lords. It seemed legit, and I was ready for a break somewhere where yucca root was not the meal staple — a burger was in order!

During the couple of weeks I was back, my Squadron Sergeant Major lamented to me with words to the effect:

“Geo, we need to swap you out with someone else on that mission. You’ve just been gone waaay too long and you’re missing too much training.”

I took a moment to press-check my pulse and count backward from 10 to assess my cognizant function.

“Training, Sergeant Major? Training? I’m operational in South America hunting drug lords. Training is the thing you do for years to get to where I’m at right now. But go ahead and replace me. Let’s see… the only other Spanish speaker you have is Wookie, and he is already on my team along with Thor from B squadron — their only Spanish speaker.”

Now, I’m not usually that monumental in my asshole-ery, but the Smadge’s logic seemed to flip-flop like a computer logic gate out of sync with the system clock.

The elections were held. The same president won and his policy regarding the Great White Hunters carried over to his new tenure. Back to the hunt I went — the Wookie, Thor, and me.

When I pulled that mission completely out of South America and returned to my squadron, it was a cinch to fall in-step again with the pace of the brothers, albeit being 20 pounds lighter. It was easy because the squadron’s fast train had continued to speed along without me, and coming home it was just a matter of — alll aboard!