No shit there I was, sprinting away from the GOV, shaking my head in disbelief as my buddy “Delta” nonchalantly chucked a random flash bang into the backseat. I glanced back towards the armory as shouts of dismay and utter surprise rang out from the truck, with copious cussing thrown in for extra measure.
DUDE, WHAT THE FUCK!
WHAT THE SHIT!
Mostly everyone in the truck braced for impact or sprinted clear of the vehicle as the grenade cooked off. But let’s start from the beginning.
The team was enjoying another day at the range. We were a small 16-man support team that trained in small unit tactics and expeditionary skills (stuff almost taboo in the Air Force outside of Security Forces or Special Tactics AFSCs), and also ran various MOUT training/scenarios and basic weapons proficiency training. It was a beautiful day in Colorado, but the sun had just set so things were getting somewhat chilly.
We had just finished up our course of fire and were busy loading up our gear in the GOVs to call it a day. As the guys waited for the armory to be locked up, one of our GOVs was parked right next to the armory so we could unload any remaining ammo, lock up the weapons, and get our personal gear hauled back to the barracks. And that’s where Delta comes in.
One of the guys on the team, nicknamed “Delta” due to his proclivity for gucci gear and ardent attempts at high-speed live fire exercises, was the team wisecracker. Now I’m not knocking on Delta whatsoever. He’s a great friend, an awesome guy, and one I do my best to keep in touch with as we go our separate ways. At one point we had trained together to enter the Special Tactics and Rescue pipelines until Delta decided that the path of a fighter pilot was his true calling, because “chicks dig fighter pilots” (actual quote may vary).
To give you an idea, Delta is the guy who wore his ranger panties during the swim portion of a PAST test and had his shorts falling down after every lap as he pushed off the wall because the ranger panties had no drawstring. He ended up busting the swim time because of it. But that’s a different story. Typically fulfilling the role of “that guy” on the team, the good-natured Delta was constantly finding himself in ridiculous, jaw-dropping, and hilarious situations.
Today’s Delta antics involved the showcasing and premier of a flash bang grenade that he had somehow acquired and brought with him to the range. Naturally, it had no relevance to the course of fire and had no bearing on anything pertaining to the team mission, but that was no hindrance for Delta. If the course of fire didn’t involve a vehicle infil for a multi-breach compound assault, Delta wasn’t happy until it did and did everything he could to justify it.
So back to the story at hand. We had parked the GOV next to the armory so we could unload the ammo, lock away the weapons, and cart our gear back to the barracks. Because it was cold, a few of the guys were waiting in the vehicle as it heated up. Unfortunately for the guys in the GOV, the backseat window was also rolled all the way down.
Unbeknownst to anyone else on the team, this moment in time was reserved for the unveiling of Delta’s latest “training device”. Walking casually up to the back window of the truck with a shit-eating grin on his face, Delta calmly removed the flash bang from his cargo pocket, pulled the pin, and said in a flat monotone, “flash out.”
Thankfully, I wasn’t in the GOV at the time and saw the act unfold. As Delta removed the grenade from his pocket, I stopped what I was doing and stared in disbelief.
“Dude, what are you doing with that–“
“GET THE FUCK OUT!!”
All the doors on the GOV but one came flying open as the guys unceremoniously sprinted out of the truck. Stumbling in all directions, cusses from the whole team could be heard.
As the team glanced back at the GOV, waiting for the flash bang to cook off, we noticed that one of the guys was still in the backseat. It was the side where Delta had dropped the flash bang. Virtually frozen in the backseat, one of the guys (we’ll call him JS) sat staring at his feet where the grenade had landed. Shouts from all the guys tried to encourage JS to get out of the truck, but he wasn’t moving. To our dismay, instead of jumping out of the truck when all the other guys had, JS actually picked up the flash bang and examined it closely.
“You’re shitting me.”
“DUDE, GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE!”
“Drop that shit man! That’s a fucking grenade!”
Evidently, JS was pretty tired, totally out of it, and definitely not anticipating that a grenade would be dropped virtually in his lap as he sat in the backseat of a GOV. It was clear that his mind was anywhere but the present as it took him a few nanoseconds to register that he had just picked up a cooking flash bang. As this thought registered, we could see the light bulb turn on as he yelled, “OH, SHIT!”, tossing the grenade to the other side of the cab, where it went off with a loud BANG! not a moment too soon.
As the silence settled, all heads turned to Delta, who was fifteen yards away on the other side of the road, the pin in hand, still with his famous shit-eating grin plastered across his face. He shrugged sheepishly as the guys began to berate him for his shenanigans. Thankfully, it wasn’t a nine-banger or JS would be in a bad way. It would’ve made dinner interesting, to say the least.
“At least give us a heads up next time man.”
“Dude, where the fuck did you get a grenade?”
Delta got shit from us for the next three months at least for his grenade-throwing antics. Somebody shares a grenade video. Comments to the effect of, “oh, well at least he didn’t pull a Delta” instantly flood the conversation. To this day we refuse to let him live it down. We also give JS shit for picking up the grenade that was dropped at his feet. Out of all people, combining Delta’s shenanigans with JS’s demeanor is a terrible, yet hilarious, recipe. Turns out the flash bang was just a trainer, not a full up M84. But that didn’t matter to us. No one ever left the windows rolled down again.
Thanks for listening.
Feature image courtesy of Sandia P.D.