When I first heard I was being assigned
to Colonel Smith's A-Team I wasn't sure whether I should be flattered or scared
to death. They were good.
I heard all the stories about them but
That first mission I did with him
convinced me of both, but I wouldn't have traded places with any other man out
Faceman came to us living up to his
nickname, looking far too pretty and innocent to be out there.
The other guys used to tease him about it, but within a week he had them
queuing up to trade favours, swap duty shifts and fork out cash, MPCs or
anything else worth trading, in exchange for his various acquisitions.
Silver-tongued didnít begin to cover it.
Face could sell you your own right hand and leave you thanking him for
it. All those wild plans of
He joined up during one of the odd
lulls we'd get from time to time where we'd go weeks without an engagement.
Everyone was pretty jumpy by the time we got sent out and it was a bad
one. All hell broke loose before we were
even out of the jeep and I saw Face go ass-over and lose his helmet.
I guess it would have been funny if we hadn't been about o get blown away
--My Anything-Anyplace-Anytime unable to hang onto his own hat--as it was I
slapped mine on his head and told him he owed me a real Hershey's candy bar when
we got back.
Next supply chopper that came in after
we got back brought a crate of them.
Everyone was pretty used to
In the first few week he got a cautious
sort of acceptance--certainly no one wanted to get on his bad side, and no one
doubted the usefulness of his ability to fix just about anything that drove,
shot, or flew. It wasn't until later that
I realised he'd been just as wary of us as we were of him.
He'd been shifted from unit to unit his entire tour, always the
troublemaker, the outsider. That's no way
to build trust and you need trust under fire. You've
got to know you can rely on the guy next to you.
You can't really trust unless you're
trusted in return though and
And then there was Murdock.
I guess that was another of
Murdock was unique though--howling on
takeoff, singing all the way to the LZ and then grinning and waving like we were
away on holiday when he dropped us off. He flew like he expected gravity to make
a special exception just for him and, like more or less everyone else, I was
never quite sure where he drew the line between confidence and recklessness.
Crazy or not, he hauled us out of the
heat more times than I can count. Like
that one out of Danang. That was a
screw-up if ever there was one. Our air
support had been shredded, there was so much flak even the medevacs had
withdrawn and we were just trying to keep our heads out of the firing line.
I sent up a smoke but I was pretty convinced we'd had it.
There was just nothing left in the sky to come get us.
I damn near gave a howl myself when I
heard Murdock's voice over the radio telling me to vector him in.
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