2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Good Luck Steve (aka The Naked Warrior)

Not content with letting Al Qaeda have just one shot at his butt, tomorrow my good friend Steve Bliss takes off for yet again another adventure across the seas and into hostile lands...this time to Afghanistan!! Oh boy, fun! I wish him good luck and happy hunting in the wilds of A'gan and challenge him with one last mission....naked combat.
Steve and I go back over 2o years and were once known in some circles as "The Naked Warriors". During a rotation at the National Training Center (NTC) at Ft. Irwin, CA (right smack dab in the middle of Death Valley) we got hot. Really hot. Hot enough to do stupid things if we had the right encouragement. Digging a fighting position all night in 90+ degree heat for an engagement the next day only to have some well rested O/C (Observer Controller) drive up in a Humvee with a clean uniform and tell us we had been "killed" by artillery was just such encouragement. Totally disgusted with the turn of events we said "F!!K it" and stripped down naked save our boots, helmet, LBE and weapon. We proceeded to run up and down that damn hill looking for one of those supposedly live video cameras to give the O/C folks back on post in their air conditioned little room a showing of our fruits and vegetables for their gracious decision. Luckily for us we never found one. Our deed grew to legendary status in our company in no time flat and we were both labeled exhibitionists and required to register as sex offenders. OK, maybe not that last part, but we did get some strange looks from that point forward.
Steve in recent years showing that he has kept himself in naked warrior shape much more than yours truly. He never misses an opportunity to show off his monkey.

We did a couple other naked assaults in the next few years. Once we stripped down and crawled through the woods lost for a bit (no place to tuck our compasses) until we heard the sound of generators. We followed the sound until we came upon an encampment. The lack of noise and light discipline painted the unit as some rear eschelon support type unit. Time to break up their beer and card game fun. Running into the middle of it we immediately started firing blanks widely with Steve opening up with a M-60. As we were leaving the AO post haste, I heard a chorus of strangely high pitched voices...females!!! Doh!! Steve and I retreated back to our hootches in our own defensive perimeter (sneaking back in through a "friendly" LP/OP) and quickly got dressed before we were caught. Sure enough there was a bit of a stink the next day with some high ranking REMF types wanting to know who caused all the racket. Thank God they never asked us to strip down for a lineup. I am sure the camo stick writing of "Eat Me" and "Pull on this" would of given us away.

I left that particular unit shortly thereafter to pursue my new calling as a REMF myself, but Steve kept up the tradition as long as he could. He even went so far as to have a (I imagine very short) naked assault in Alaska at the Northern Warfare Training Center (NWTC) to trump me as the all time greatest naked warrior the Army has ever known. Steve left the unit shortly after that but the tradition in Company B was kept going for a while, culminating in a naked road march by an entire platoon one night in what must have been a most fabulous short arm inspection for the books.

Steve and I lost track for many years until July of 2006 when I was at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin getting ready to deploy with the 437th PSD to Kuwait and beyond. Standing outside of the DFAC waiting for a bus I caught glimpse out of the corner of my eye of a familiar face walking by. STEVE!! I grabbed him by the shoulder and he wheeled around like he was ready to punch whomever grabbed him until he noticed it was me. Man, that is something I will never forget.
The Naked Warriors re-unite! July 2006.
He was up there doing the same thing with a medical unit from Michigan. We shot the bull for a bit until we had to go our separate ways, pledging to stay in touch. A few weeks later we were going through combat convoy ops training and I was told my squad would be getting a driver from another unit since we were so low on licensed drivers. I was told my drivers name....Bliss...no freakin' way. We had a couple of more days to laugh about old times and ponder new times together before we again parted ways.

I haven't seen Steve since but have kept in touch while we were both over in theater and once we both got back. Facebook is a great thing! While I was stationed primarily in the rear and only went into harms way a few times, Steve was embedded in a Air Force security unit as medical support (I guess the AF does not have a MOSC for a combat medic) and was right in the thick of IED hell in Iraq for a year. Why he would volunteer to go back and do it again is just the way he is and I think we all are better for him and those like him, damn few left!

The closest the bastards got to getting Steve. Results of a EFP IED that luckily went underneath Steve's vehicle without doing any permanent damage to anyone. Steve's face was looking out that window then the device went off. Go get some payback man.

So Steve, buddy, if you get the time I challenge you to one last challenge and a mission...combat naked. If you can get me photographic proof that you are the extreme naked warrior by doing a naked stunt in a combat zone I will do the unthinkable. I will wear a UofM shirt the day of THE GAME and post it on Facebook.
Good luck buddy, come back with your shield, or on it.
~ Pete
May thine enemies be struck blind and dumb,
May thy ruck be light,
May thy ammo be plenty,
May thy family and friends be safe and secure.
May your days be long upon this earth.

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