Get Some

Get Some

Posted on February 17, 2024 at 10:51 pm by Steve Solex

Since I opted out of an appearance this week, I’m here in my office in Franklin, Tennessee.  And as I sit here at my desk, hammering out this required blog post for the week, I keep looking down at the Army green paracord bracelet on my right wrist. It’s decked out with a metal badge of an American flag, subdued in black and coyote tan. Hidden behind the emblem is an engraving of the name and service number of one of the greatest men I ever had the honor of knowing and the privilege of calling a friend. It’s a stark reminder of the price that our Soldiers and their families pay for our freedoms. But not only does it remind me of a lost battle buddy, it also reminds me of the exact moment that I knew I was 100% prepared to absolutely destroy you, Mamba. The funny part of this story is it was before I ever even stepped inside of a wrestling ring. It was before I even knew who you were, before I knew who Lee Best was, and before I knew what HOW was.

I was on mission, just outside of Camp Leatherneck in Helmand; a province in southern Afghanistan. Helmand was fucking nightmare, to say the least. Helmand was bordered by Pakistan, which made it a hotbed for cross-border insurgency movements. Making it just that much harder to kill the enemy. Those fuckers would plant IEDs, ram VBIEDs (Vehicle Born Improvised Explose Device) into our gates, and unload automatic machine gun fire into our Forward Operating base, or FOB, and just before we could get out of the gate and chase those pussies down, they would run their raggedy asses across the border to safety, and there wasn’t a fucking thing we could do about it.

Until we could.

Camp Leatherneck
2312hrs
Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Camp Leatherneck
Tactical Operations Center (TOC)

“Those motherfuckers are at it again,” Captain Rocco said as he drove a fist into the wooden desk top he was seated behind.

A live feed of infrared Predator footage from above our location on the flat screen television screen across the TOC showed a suspicious vehicle headed straight for the front gate of our FOB, and it was moving at a high rate of speed.

A young Private First Class manning the radio in the corner of the room chirped onto the radio to warn the sentry of the approaching threat, “Gator 1-3, this is Razorback 1. Be advised, you have an incoming vehicle, possible V-B-I-E-D. Acknowledge.”

“Check,” the crackling voice of the sentry on the other end of the radio replied.

Rocco turned, locked eyes with me, snarled and gave a firm nod. He didn’t have to say a fucking thing, no words were needed, his message was crystal clear. I knew exactly what he wanted me to do.

“Lima Charlie,” I said, acknowledging his silent request using some military slang for Loud and Clear.

I didn’t waste any time and made a b-line for the exit. On my way out I threw on my plate carrier and helmet. I did a quick check of my gear before I stepped out of the TOC. My squad was standing by, just as I had instructed them a few minutes earlier.

“Let’s go boys,” I said as I pulled my NVGs (night vision goggles) down from my helmet and fitted them to my eyes. “Grab your shit, it’s time to get some.”

SGT Wagner, one of my team leaders, threw my M4 to me. I yanked the charging handle to the rear and released it, chambering a 5.56mm round with a metallic click. The guys cheered, as they knew what this meant. Getting Some meant only one thing – engaging the enemy, and that’s exactly what the fuck we were going to do. The rest of the boys followed suit and each of them loaded and locked their weapons and in two-seconds flat the eight of us were in a tight V-formation and range walking toward the gate. The radio crackled to life and called for three humvees to meet us at the gate.

BOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!

The blast from the VBIED crashing into the front gate erupted across the FOB, the flash from the explosion turned the night into day for an instant. We instantly quickened our pace to a run as the sound of enemy machine gun fire rang out from the spot of the explosion. This was a textbook tactic of the enemy: a devastating blast to soften us up, quickly followed by relentless machine gun fire.

“Get in the fuckin’ truck,” Rocco said as he came to a screeching halt beside my in a humvee.

I ripped the door open and leaped inside. Two of my guys quickly jumped in the backseat, while one climbed through the gunner’s hatch and manned the Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun mounted to the top of the vehicle.  We raced through the fire of the explosion and out of the front gate as the sentry returned fire.  

Just as we cleared the gate, two Toyota SUVs zoomed out from behind a suspiciously placed berm and began shooting small arms fire in our direction. Our gunner wasted no time and unleashed a barrage of .50 cal bullets as we pursued the vehicles.

“They’re going to cross the border, sir,” I said, pissed the fuck off.

I knew we had to end this tonight, these fuckers have been getting away with this shit on a nightly basis for the last week. I looked over to Rocco and I could see it in his eyes…we weren’t stopping. I smiled and looked at my guys in the backseat and raised my eyebrows. Both of them began to laugh and pound up on the roof of the humvee.

“Let’s fuckin’ go, boys!” I shouted as we crossed the border into Pakistan, still in close pursuit of the enemy fighters in front of us.

It was in that moment, Mamba, that I knew you never had a chance against me. That was the moment that I learned from Rocco that no matter what, the mission must be accomplished. Facing you in the ring will be nothing compared to the battles that I’ve fought and won. So, while you have a penny for your thoughts, I’ve got 99 cents for deez nuts.  See you Sunday.