Merry Christmas to All, we sincerely hope each and every one of you has a safe and happy day surrounded by family and loved ones.

Originally, I was going to write about a Christmas being away from home, but even a good story and a funny one is a bit depressing when you’re far from home at Christmas time. I never really gave a damn about missing any of the other holidays, but Christmas was always about family time and missing those sucked. So… we’ll go in another direction this morning.

As I’ve said here many times, most of deals with the training side of the house. What you’ll need to do to pass the Selection and Assessment courses and the follow-on training in the qualification courses, with a fair bit of history thrown in.

However, today is another one of those funny, this stuff can… and will happen to you too. Back in the day, the 7th Special Forces Group (7th SFG) ran a training program that we originally called “Protect the Force” and then later “Broken Axle”. It was Level II training for another course taught over in the JFK Special Warfare Center.

This story isn’t about any of that, so please don’t be burning up the emails about OPSEC. A good friend of mine Ronnie B. and myself were the two guys tasked with being the 7th SFG’s points of contact and in charge of the in-house training to bring the guys up to Level II.

At that time, we were going to be working up in the Winston-Salem, NC area. Ronnie and I got orders and were heading up to do a Pre-Deployment Site Survey (PDSS). Our orders stated “POV Authorized”, and since spring had sprung in North Carolina, the weather was perfect. We decided to ride our Harleys up there since it would be a nice trip (about 1 ½ – 2 hours) and we could take the scenic route.

We eased out of Fayetteville and it was a bit chilly but once we hit US 421, there was zero traffic and we put the hammer down. It was an awesome ride until about halfway there Ronnie’s fuel pump start to leak. As luck would have we pulled over right by a small store and he commenced to fixing it. I offered encouragement only as a wrench or any tool in my hand can only be construed as a weapon. As a mechanic? Not so much. To quote Clint Eastwood, “a man has to know his limitations.”

We glanced across the road and saw a bunch of prison inmates, clearing the side of the highway under the watchful gaze of a sheriff who was none too pleased to see “two bikers” there. But soon we were ready to get on our way but before that, we walked over to the cops and asked if we bought some soda for the inmates would they allow them to have it. “Sure,” he said. “As long as it is unopened.” We bought a case of soda and passed it off and got a bunch of thumbs up from the inmates. The cops asked us who we were and they were pretty relaxed after that. Back on the road…