Last Hope

Last Hope




          Virginia was mildly cold this morning as I crossed the Potomac River; I just laid down a wreath on my captains’ grave. Captain Robert E. Lee was quite the company commander.  This guy was totally and without a doubt the most influential field commander in the days of Brazilian war of 1965.  We served together in the trenches and I owe him my life, so I come every November 8th Veterans Day and pay my respects.  I bring him a wreath and I have a shot of Jack Daniels one for me and one for him.  I’m Gunny Sergeant James Lafayette one of a handful of men left of the original 206th infantry supply division.  My unit had the highest casualty and mortality rate of any unit in the Brazil conflict we we’re known as The Red Ball Express.  I sit here just memories in my mind of some thought times in the past, as the memories roll I count on my fingers the men that are alive today thanks to you Captain Lee.

         As I was ridding past The White house the realtors were just putting up the for sale sign on the front lawn.  Makes me sick to my stomach, we fought and died and they take it away from us.  In the name of war reparations, god I hate what this world has turned in to.  After we lost the Brazilian campaign the United States had to repay Brazil a ridiculous sums of money in war reparations.  So far we’ve managed to pay about 75% of the money owed, once the White House is sold that will conclude the final payment and maybe we can get the International Bank off our backs.  Last week they sold The Jefferson memorial to the Chilean investors they got top dollar for it too.  The Lincoln Memorial brought in a hefty price too, that got sold to a Saudi holding company.  The United States is financially broke; it’s just a shell of what it was once.  Every piece of American history monument, park and battlefields has been sold to foreign investors.  When Gettysburg got sold they turned it in to a world-class golf course, no one knows how much I hate these bums.

         We went to war with Brazil because the United Nations showed us that they had Weapons of Mass Destruction and were a threat to the rest of its peaceful neighbors.  The Intelligence was gathered by a British Colonel named Benedict Arnold and delivered to The United Nations Security Forces.  Well the resolution was passed and the world wanted to take care of the threat.  Except The United States and Canada were the only two countries at the time who had enough military power to take care of the problem.  War was declared in 1960 the war didn’t end until 1965; in the 5 years not one weapon of mass destruction was found or of anything remotely dangerous.  It was all a set up Canada ended up having to drop out of the fight in 1962 broke and with its armies decimated.  The United States fought the final 3 years until Wall Street collapsed on the day known as Black Friday and the country went bankrupt.  The war was a hungry monster every day it lasted millions were being poured in to it.  Finally financially broke the United States with the help of the United Nations security detail was able to withdraw out of the conflict.  By the time the war ended we lost ninety percent of our military, the military personnel that did come back came back to misery and poverty.  The world they left behind was gone.  The banks foreclosed homes; the depression rate was the highest amongst military personnel with 8 out 10 guys who came home committing suicide.

        When the dust settled Colonel Benedict Arnold had used to the Brazilian conflict as pay back to the United States for having beaten England in the war of 1776.  Who knew the Brits could hold a grudge  for so many years, so much for a stiff upper lip as they say . He became a cabinet member of the Royal Brazilian Parliament after the war.  Me I often wished I had him in my sights at one time.  He would have met a very quick death by my sniper riffle, but what are you going to do it’s in the past.  So Captain Lee here’s a toast to us the few the proud the fighting 206,where only the best of the best survive.  As the day wore on I left Arlington cemetery and headed back across the Potomac, I hear a news report coming in over the radio that Hurricane Martin is heading for New Orleans and is packing winds of 175 Mph.  New Orleans is the United States only source of oil for the North East part of the States.  If those refineries are hit the North East will be a disaster zone, the United Nations Environmental Commission halted all the drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in 1951 due to tough new environmental regulations.  The United Nations Environmental Commission had been set up back in 1939, to over see all countries who produced toxic sources of green house gases. Which could be damaging to the Ozone layer in the atmosphere high above the earth.  Well the United States and France were the only two countries in the world affected because they both had off shore oil rigs, which produced the highest amounts of toxic gases per ton in to the atmosphere.  The United States shut production off all together in the Gulf of Mexico, France found a way allround. The problem, by scrubbing the exhaust of the pollutant before it made it to the atmosphere.  When the United States requested if France share the technology, France flat out refused because of Patent infringements on the technology.  So the United States had no choice but to shut down all drilling operations.

          As the news reports came in I think quickly I need to do something about this, but what radio is calling for transportation drivers with tractor trailer tanker experience.  I place a couple of phone calls to my old unit buddies from the Marine Core.  I got a hold of Staff Sgt Zachariah Davis he can drive a truck loaded with TNT through hell and back, I saw him do some pretty amazing things with a semi truck back in Brazil.  Sgt Zachariah was living in Atlanta and life had not been kind to him in the civilian world, unemployed a drinker and his nerves had gotten the better of him these days but he agreed to meet me and go do what we did best.  Next on my list was corporal Thomas Jefferson, he was the best diesel mechanic in our batallion, this guy could strip a diesel engine blind folded and reassemble it in less than 15 minutes.  His talents also included driving all sorts of heavy equipment The next guy I don’t really want to call but I have no choice I need help is Lieutenant Quincy Adams.  The lieutenant was too much of a hot head at times; he some times feels he can just charge on to any situation.  But I don’t have a choice I need all the bodies I can get, these are hard times and beggars can’t be choosers.  I pick up the one buddy that lives closest to me Nathan Hale and I tell him the plan, he agrees to put together the finances of what ever we need.

         All of us meet at Fort Sumpter, North Carolina it’s a reunion of the 206th again isn’t it says Zachariah.  Just as im about to answer the Lieutenant answers no it’s more like another suicide mission just like the old days.  Well at least we can get reacquainted while were flying like Dorothy through the air in the twister smirks Thomas Edison.  Nathan Hale came from old money his ancestors were the original owners of the Trans Alaska oil pipe line; they also owned the rights to the Panama Canal.  He was well off right out of the womb but he was a patriot he felt duty to the country was important so he joined the military right out of business School against his family’s wishes.  You have to admire some one like that, the guy doesn’t have to get dirty but he does, I always had respected him for that.    Nathan had ordered that 4 brand new semi tractors be waiting for us at Ft Sumpter for when we arrived.  Nathan would be ridding shot gun with me as my spotter and road captain.  As we left and headed down to Interstate 95, the chat on the two way radios suddenly got quiet.  We all heard the same radio report Hurricane Martin is due to make land fall in less than 48 hours and we still have another 12 hours of travel ahead of us.  As far as we can see there is nothing but darkness ahead of us, it wont is daylight for still another 2 hours.  Were all pretty tired but we are making great time and none is going to stop us.  The plan is when we get there is to take each rig hook up to 3 tanker trailers and we haul them back up North to New York city.  Supplies to New York have been scarce at best since Wall Street collapsed.  No one in the world wants to give credit to the Wall street investors, therefore companies wont ship raw materials from any where in the world in to The port of New York.  Fuel supply runs to New York City are common from New Orleans, but they are never under the threat of a class four hurricane.  If New York does not get this supply of badly needed fuel, the cities utilities will shut down and lives will be lost.  Twelve tanker trucks of fuel doesn’t seem like much but it can help them sustain themselves until the hurricane passes and the supplies can begin again.  The hospitals are the most important; they will be getting the bulk of the fuel then all the remaining city government buildings.

                 We reach the Texarkana refinery in Port Sulphur about noon, the weather already starting to turn ugly.  Thomas Jefferson points to the oil tanker Titanic on the dock about a half mile out. The waves are starting to come over the sides.  All right guys pull your tankers underneath the tank ranks and get loaded.  Zachariah persuades Adams to help him shut the hatches on his trailers, both men had a long history of fierce competition against each other but it was kept friendly.  As the last tanker is toped off, I told Sgt Zachariah to take the lead.  I would run last just like the old days, he’d open the barn   door and Id shut it.   That’s what we called when we would do munitions runs in the war, this way at least we watched each others back in case of trouble.  Hurricane winds are packing up to 180 Mph and just as were almost out of Port Sulphur, we turn to go on to Interstate 10 and all hell brakes loose.  Zachariah locks up his brakes almost skids on to the drainage ditch on the side of the road, Thomas Edison is right behind him and Jackknives two of his trailers trying to stop. Between the wind and pounding rain I try to get out of my cab, but the wind pushes me back in.  I try it one more time we are all stopped and this is not a good thing, as I make my way to Zechariahs rig I realize now why he’s stopped.  Route 10 just got a hole about the size of the Grand Canyon going across it.  The road washed out just out side of the refinery and things are going from bad to worst.  Trying to turn one truck while pulling one trailer is tough enough never mind when your pulling a Super B train with three trailers.  We disconnect each trailer in the middle of the worst hurricane in history, it took us the better part of 6 hours but we did it.  Now we head in the opposite direction we begin running west on Interstate 10, blinding rain coming down.  As we pull in to Misippi things just keep on getting worst, the rain has washed out a lot of the major portions of the highways.  We are driving in some parts that are just wide enough for us to cross the rest of the highway is gone.  Adams checks with me on the radio to make sure that Im ok, ridding in the back of the pack.  I tell him to look ahead not behind; I am ok im running by the seat of my pants but im ok.  The truth is im not ok I got transmission problems with my truck and I don’t think she’s going to make it, but I press on.

            We reach Philadelphia after driving for the last 14 hours, we get a brake from the storm only because were under the eye of the storm.  I ask Jefferson to check the transmission on my rig, she smells and she’s smoking pretty badly I barely held it together by luck only.  Bad news Gunny this is as far as you go Jefferson tells me, you need a new tranny these gears are melted.  Man this is all we need the radio reports that 60 to 75 % of the cities south of us along the coast under water and the storm is not going out to sea it’s following us up the East Coast.  The weather channel is saying the worst hit was Louisiana, it’s been completely buried the levies didn’t hold.  Texarkana refinery is been swallowed up by the Gulf of Mexico; we just made it out in time.  We find a truck stop that has the facilities we need to make the necessary repairs to my transmission, begin working on my truck.  I order the rest of the convoy to move out and go on ahead of me Ill catch up.  All the men say the same thing, either we all go or no one goes they know if I stay behind I may not make it out again.  Jefferson hooks up with a local mechanic Gerald Ford he’s the guy who can get us the parts we need to get going again.  After about 4 hours, which seems like an eternity we head back out again my rig finally repaired.  We run across the Delaware with the rain starting to pour again we are almost there only two hours to go.  We run Interstate 95 like it’s Darlington Speed way, nothing gets in our way were moving faster than a sailor on leave during fleet week.

           At last New York City we cross the Washington Bridge with a full Port Authority Police escort leading the way.  We reach the Manhattan armory where Mayor Martin Luther King is waiting for us with his emergency management team is waiting for the precious blood that keeps the city alive.  As I greet the Mayor he shakes my hand, and the rest of my crews hands.  Gentlemen I hope you realize what great act you have done today he tells us, without this we would have a great loss of life.  We hear on the radio that the hurricane has switched its path and is heading out to sea.  We all give a sigh of relief, especially when we realize how close we had all come to loosing this mission to mother nature.   The next day after a well deserves rest we are all asked to meet at Governors Island for a small ceremony.  The mayor and the people of the City of New York owe you gentlemen a debt of gratitude.  It is for this reason that we are awarding each of you the Citizenship Medal of Honor for exemplarity bravery and unselfish service to the citizens of New York.  After the ceremony was over we each parted our different ways, each one of us knowing and feeling good about ourselves knowing that the Red Ball Express came though once again for the last time.  Zachariah Davis moved to Misippi where he is currently working to rebuild the damage caused by the hurricane.  Thomas Edison returned to school and got his masters in political science.  Quincy Adams married a young lady by the name of Martha Washington and became a preacher in Langley Virginia . Nathan Hale and I returned to Washington where we are working with congress to add amendments to the U.S Constitution to try to halt the selling of our national monuments. I will always remember this mission as the mission where we played footsie with mother nature.









            Dedicated to VP

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Short Story
writing Highwaynomad
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A group of brave warriors from a long time ago,who sacrifice of themselves for the better of others.
A Word from the Writer
When you help others ,your helping yourself so allways help with the smallest of of acts of kindness and youll be helping others.