I mentioned our parties with the Germans in my first book, The Red Circle.

Two parties were especially worth noting, and the first of those occurred shortly after our snowshoe trek up to the Ahmed Kheyl cave complex.

By the time we got there on the night of this particular shindig, the Germans had already been hitting it pretty hard. As you’ve no doubt gathered by now, SEALs tend to be a pretty high-voltage, hard-partying bunch. But those KSK guys? They could drink.

We arrived to find they had already set up a little tent where they were serving beer. The stereo was turned up loud, and they were singing and marching in circles to the music. Something interesting was going on, but we weren’t sure quite what. We stood there watching them. We couldn’t understand the music’s lyrics and had no idea what the context was.

Major Mike spotted us and headed in our direction. He had heard about our showdown with an angry Afghan mob, and as a result, we had a special standing with these guys and Major Mike in particular. He came over next to me, put his arm around my shoulder, and said, “Hey, please do not be offended by this, I just want you guys to know what this is all about.”

He proceeded to tell me that a lot of his guys had grandfathers who had served in World War II, and they were very proud of the fact that their ancestors had fought to the death. During those final war years, quite a few soldiers in the German army had “gone missing” —in other words, they had deserted and fled. Most of these KSK guys had family members who had never quit and had fought to the end and they were proud of them.

As he was explaining this we realized what it was we were listening to. These were patriotic World War II German songs. This was their war music. JESUS! Hitler marching music!

By that time all the Americans had gathered around the two of us, listening to what Major Mike was telling me, while all these Germans were singing and marching to their World War II songs. It was hypnotic.