BrothersInBeretsU.S. Army Special Forces Team ODA-213 was together again, not counting those who had died. The team rallied on Memorial Day, eight of the twelve that made up an SF Green Beret team. Hair had turned gray; the eight of us probably weighed twice as much collectively as the twelve had when we were parachuting out of airplanes and inserting onto LZs by chopper.

Brothers. Closer than brothers, bonded by hardship, danger, and adventures that spanned the globe.

We were now the Geriatric Green Beret team. And we had our stories to tell. Hundreds of them.

Mad Dog. In a bar outside Fort Bragg, Mad Dog stood up and, “I’ll buy you a drink!” while over half of ODA-213 and a team from the 7th Group slipped out the back door to avoid confronting the biggest, meanest-looking female in North Carolina;

The Rock. The only soldier in Special Forces to cause a four-car pileup on a Texas freeway by wagging his serrated tongue at a carload of girls;

P.D.C. Got the moniker from an old movie that began with, “I was born a poor black child.” One look at the kid with ears and “I was born a Poor Dumb Child” stuck;

The Old Man. Team Sergeant, wounded in Vietnam, leader of the “Anthropological Tour” on pass. The “Animal Tour” hung out at strip joints and cheap bars;

L.T. Team leader, revolted to be served “poodles and noodles” (dog) at a dinner hosted for us by the Mayor of Inchon, Korea;

Tommy Hands. Doctors put his foot together crooked after he broke his leg during a parachute jump in Korea. Had to be re-broken and re-cast. The team helpfully provided photos of our booted feet so the Docs could see what feet ought to look like;

Young John. Airsick during a “barf jump” caused by a long NOE (nap of earth) flight, he slipped on vomit going out the door and went out upside down;

Bovine. The tidy one. ‘You’ll get us all sticky!”

Tall T. Kept hitting his helmet on top of aircraft;

Uncle Pablo. Once gave me his niece to marry.

After a Central American op, we returned smelling so foul the brass burned our uniforms;

During a desert training session, we put up signs at base camp to keep score. Rattlesnakes, 5; SF, 12;

Snow was so deep during cold weather training we stuck in it up to our web gear when we parachuted into it;

An Asian pilot dumped the team into a frozen river in the middle of the night. To prevent freezing to death, the team wrapped up in parachutes and burrowed into a silo full of chicken manure…

Brothers. Closer than brothers. Always.

Last season the History Channel aired the miniseries SIX, based on SEAL team missions. SIX: BLOOD BROTHERS and SIX: END GAME by Charles W. Sasser is the two-volume novelization of the miniseries, now available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and most book stores. It is now a continuing series on History Channel.