Read Part 2 of Surviving Delta Force Selection here. 

Thousands of Barbed Wire Fences

There was a strict protocol for crossing the thousands of barbed-wire fences that delineated boundaries of the local private land to prevent damage to them. On a particular day, I felt quite clueless of my position on Earth. I crossed a fence and wandered out in a nice grassy field. I moved some 50 meters into the field and took a knee for another fruitless gander at my map. I thought I felt a vibration in the ground below me. I was certain I felt vibrations under me.

I looked up to see a bull, in full gallop, bearing down on me. I was in his field, and I had a bright orange panel (VF-17) spread out on the back of my rucksack.

I got lost and made a new friend.

I thought my ass was dragging in the dirt and that I couldn’t go any farther, but I was wrong! I stood and turned, sprinting back toward the wire. When I thought I was close enough to the fence, I launched my rifle over it and dove over the top strand of wire. I came down hard on my side and just laid there. I looked up at the bull snorting at the fence, mucus oozing from his nostrils. I looked over at my rifle and decided it was much too far away for me to get up and go get it. I did so nonetheless, eventually.

I found myself at the edge of a vast open expanse of cleared land. There were many large spots of just dirt. It reminded me of a parachute drop zone. To my front, at 250 meters as the crow flies, was the hulk of a Volkswagen bus. I studied my map. Nothing! I deduced that I had to have walked myself off of my map sheet; it happened often to candidates in this course.

It was time to seek assistance, so I flipped a mental coin, and it said to go that-a-way. On I marched at an easy speed until I came to a house, a house with a local gentleman sitting in a rocking chair, whittling a morsel of hard oak, hound dog sprawled lazily at his feet. Several long guns leaned against the walls: a shotgun, a lever-action, and a bolt-gun. There was a table littered with empty longneck Rolling Rock beer bottles.