Editor’s Note: Geo’s memoir, Brothers of the Cloth, a true account of special mission unit soldiers, is now available for pre-order. You can purchase it here.
A U.S. Navy admiral “owned” the Balkan State of Bosnia under the behavioral tutelage of the United Nations Peace-Keeping organization. He was the sheriff, the police chief, the governor, the president of the country until such time humanitarian order could be restored in the civil war-ravaged nation. There to offer Personal Security Detail (PSD) services was a 12-man team of Navy SEALs from SEAL Team Six (ST-6), also known as DEVGRU, Dam Neck, VA.
The day came for the Admirable to be replaced by an Army general to take over the country, but the general didn’t want SEALs at his back; he wanted his own men — he wanted Delta to fill his PSD role. I embraced the thrill of being on the first of many teams of Unit (a nickname for Delta) men to deploy in-country for the mission.
A piece of good news met with us during our preparation to deploy to Bosnia: the detachment leader (Petty Officer Kevin S.) was a SEAL that we all already knew from days of working with ST-6 in British Guyana. The Guyana mission had been an 11 on the one-to-ten ANSI Scale of Misery. Conditions like that typically just make for better bonding. Kevin was an amazing man, drawing the admiration of all the men in my squadron.
My first introduction to the incumbent team was when I was selected along with three other Unit men to conduct a movement to the Sarajevo airport to pick up the admiral. Ours was to ride along with the SEALs to learn the routes and maybe pick some brains for any valuable skinny on the in-and-arounds of Sarajevo.
Kevin met us at the U. S. Embassy lobby and brought us upstairs to the team room where the SEAL detachment was assembled. Scotty called out an introduction to the room for us. We four just stood there as not so much as a single eye gestured our way; like they hadn’t heard Scotty, and we just were tables or chairs… anything but men. Us furniture exchanged a mutual this-is-going-to-be-interesting glance and, out of respect for Kevin, remained chill.
One man stepped forward and introduced himself as Thatch. He was open, pleasant, and helpful… and not a SEAL, rather a support driver. That explained his decent disposition. Crapshoot leaned into me and remarked: “I wasn’t even aware that we raped all their grandmothers…” I tried to hide my grin but could not. I couldn’t have said it better myself — who pee-peed in these pouty little frat boys’ Wheaties?”
It was a quick glean by all of us that the SEALs, in fact, spoke to NO males whatsoever in the embassy other than among their so-cool selves — no other American men, no local men, no military men from other nations… they only dumped their un-wanted schmooze on any and all females, provided those carried multi-nationally-sanctioned, signed, stamped, and laminated gender cards.
“These SEALs seem to be blindly driven by a mortal quest to demonstrate once and for all that they are indeed NOT homosexuals. Or, come on… really WHAT the phuq is up with these turds?” Poor Crapshoot was younger than I and less experienced at tolerating pure, crystalline, multi-faceted, categorical asshats than I was.
“You see, Crapshoot… ST-6, even more so than the Air Force, is the quintessential boys’ club in all of the Milky Way and immediately surrounding galactic clusters to include the huhangus cluster in the constellation Virago. They represent poorly-guided behavior as it was earliest detected in primitive man, the fossils of whom were first discovered in the (very) early Asian Pleistocene. Some authorities, Dr. Richard Leaky namely, suspected that this behavior branched off with Paranthropus Robustus and died out… yet here it is today right before our very eyes; is it any wonder that we should feel… disoriented, Crapshoot?”
“Yeah… I guess so then, geo… I mean when you put it like that.”
We continued to get the elitist snobbery cold shoulder from the incumbent PSD team all the way up until we loaded our convoy vehicles. We decided to split into two, two-man teams to cross load and keep the crowd out of the maneuver vehicles, me teaming with Crapshoot since I already liked the cut of his jib that day.
We were in the lead vehicle. The lead vehicle is supposed to set the pace of the convoy in such a way that it provides a smooth ride for the VIP carrier behind it and ensures that the convoy never (ever) comes to a complete halt for any reason.
The follow-car should be aggressive like you can’t even imagine, racing all over blocking vehicles from getting near the VIP carrier, blocking traffic upfront so we can coast through red light intersections, and preventing any outsider from infiltrating the convoy. You put your best wheelman in the chase/follow-car.
Right out of the Embassy gate the driver of our car began taunting other drivers, tapping their bumpers and aggressively steering them off the road onto the road shoulders.
“What in phuq sake is he doing?” Crapshoot lamented.
“I don’t know… maybe today is Opposite Day?” I postulated emptily.
Suddenly the driver just felt like we weren’t going fast enough (or wanted to show off to the Delta pukes) and jumped across the median, slamming Crapshoot’s and my head into the roof. We were now plowing into oncoming traffic honking and swerving, swearing, and forcing all oncoming cars off onto the road shoulders.
Ahead was an intersection with red lights against us. We plunged into cross-traffic causing a horizontal-tower-of-Babble traffic jam in the intersection. Our driver careened us through the intersection and into a sliding right turn still into oncoming traffic.
The rest of the convoy was behind us moving in proper lanes with traffic and we pushed upriver looking for other horny Sockeye Salmon to mate with.
“How is this even still a convoy?” Crapshoot called out.
I totally got him and had to query our SEAL driver:
“What in the actual $hite is this horsephuqery?!? JUST PULL THIS CAR OVER NOW, DUMB-$HITE!!”
Rather than pull over, the SEAL cut hard to the right in an attempt to jump the median again and gain the lead position once more in front of VIP carrier which was totally unprotected to its front. He failed — really? — to take into account that this median on the main drag carried the trolly train tracks. He hit the tracks so hard that he knocked both front tires off of the rims instantly deflating them as we came to a stop, straddling the rails.
The two remaining “convoy” vehicles raced by us, the bulging eyes of Kevin glaring at us in disbelief as they passed. I got out of the car, slammed the door as hard as I could and started walking away from it. Crapshoot was right with me. We walked far enough away that if the car were to be suddenly swarmed by angry citizens of Sarajevo… it wouldn’t include us.
Crapshoot and I were livid as we discussed the unlikelihood that these Barnum and Bailey ST-6 boys were capable of doing the first thing right. Local cops of Sarajevo descended on them quickly with the glee of three months of frustrations finally getting paid back. The SEAL driver exited and moved toward us at a quick march.
“Go back to your vehicle, man; keep us the phuq out of your bursting radius! Besides, we’re not females, right?!” I called to him.
“We were told you speak Bosnian!” he called back nervously.
“He does!” returned Crapshoot, “Now get the phuq back to your vehicle.”
Two Embassy cars approached us. One sped off west toward the airport and the other stopped for Crapshoot and me. It was Cos, our Delta convoy follow-car driver coming to lift us back to the Embassy.
“We heard,” Cos began, “Kevin S. called over the radio saying what happened and to send a car to pick you up and another one to meet them at the airport so they can have a full convoy to bring the admiral back. Crowfoot is in the care that continued on to the airport.”
So, this simple move for the SEALs was about to end in mission failure due to their immature borderline schizophrenic hijinks, if not for the Delta trash who they completely disrespected coming to back them into a graceful mission save.
“Cos, swing by that broke-dick car on the tracks… I want to tell those cops that those two SEALs are Serbian spies who say the Cops of Sarajevo are all flagrant crossdressers.”
“No, Cos; no, not really…”
On the way back to the embassy, Cos laid on the skill that gifted him the wheelman position in the convoy follow-car, weaving through traffic at a high-speed rate, break jabbing and chowing down on the gas. We flew by inches from a line of cars parked on the shoulder. Cos’ side-view mirror struck a car and the mirror exploded, showering the entire interior of the car with tiny glass flechettes. Cos drove the rest of the way back with one eye tightly closed, swearing…
Crapshoot and I shot each other one more this-is-going-to-be-interesting glance.
By Almighty God and with honor,
This article was originally published in 2019.