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New to the story? Start reading here: Prologue


July 25, 2012 0330

I don’t think any of us slept well last night with the impending stupidity.  If fear could be smelled by the nose, the air would reek of it right now.  We’ve completed our safety checks on each other’s CBR suits and are ready to go.  At the last minute I’ve had climbing ropes and some tools added to the back the Hummer just in case we need them.

Tyler and I have said “I love you” to our spouses and kissed our kids on the forehead as they lie sleeping.  Meagan and Melanie were very stoic about everything.  They reminded me of what you would imagine Viking wives to be like.

Before I glove up here I wanted to put this last image on paper.  Michelle and Bryson in full combat gear and CBR suits, standing next to the FAV holding hands.

Maybe there is hope yet.  Talk to you in 48.  I hope…

July 25, 2012 0900 Shelley

OK, this is a lot different than processing medical bills.  I know Grey said I’d have no problems while they are gone, but I’m terrified.  Meagan and Melanie are off working with the kids keeping them occupied.  I’m trying to oversee the refueling of vehicles, but I have know clue how this works.  More of a figurehead than anything else.

The days are gone where you didn’t have to carry a sidearm or wear cammies.  Life was easier in so many ways and so much less worrisome.  I’m scared that I will let these people down.  All these lives that Grey entrusted to me.

Jeff has been a big help in getting some patrols and listening stations up around the camp just to be on the safe side.  I’m going to suck it up and do the best I can.  I think that is all Grey expected of me. 

If they don’t come back I’m not sure what I will do.  Probably cry, have a meltdown, and then go forward.  You know, FIDO (Fuck It and Drive On).  I learned that one from Bryson and Grey.  They are full of them.

There is a very tense feeling in the air.  I guess it’s kind of like when the President would visit a foreign nation.  That feeling of the unknown.  Dread, that’s the word I was looking for.  People just look down right now.  They are all staying occupied but still…

We did have one final transmission from the team right before radio contact cut out.  They said they were fine and were making good time.  Grey said they hoped to be back ASAP.  I certainly hope that’s the case.

July 25, 2012 1400 Shelley

Fueling went well.  They are going over the engines and vehicles now to make sure everything is good.  No new info from the short wave.  Same transmissions as before.  They did say they found a carrier signal, but there was nothing there.  Not really sure what that means though.

Kids are playing and frolicking around the camp playing a huge game of it tag.  Funny to watch.  They are so amazing.  Makes you wonder if you were that care free as a kid.  Jeff and I are loading spare clips and trying to organize a couple of the trucks better for easy access to gear.  For not a lot of people, we have a ton of crap.  You never really realize how much it takes to keep a group of people on the run, well, on the run.

I’ve got a surprise for the kids and moms tonight.  We have A DVD player and A television.  In all our rifling around through gear Jeff and I found one of those cigarette lighter AC adapters for a car, so I thought we might have movie time tonight.  I’ve got “Finding Nemo” and “Lady and the Tramp” so we’ll put those in as a treat.

Everyone seems to be feeling a little better and a little more hopeful.  I think they take the lack of communication as a sign that they are not in trouble as opposed to thinking the worst.

July 25, 2012 2000 Shelley

I was right.  Behind one of the trucks all the kids and some parents are perched watching movies.  I hear giggles and oohs and ahs from over there.  Kind of makes you feel good when you can do things like that.

While Grey can be an annoying ass sometimes, there are other times where he just amazes me.  He has really picked some great people to be around him.  Everyone helps with the activities in camp, that they can do, when they can do them.  Four people just stood up after dinner and collected all the refuse from the MRE’s and took them out into the woods and buried them.  No one needed to be asked.  It was just done.  I think this is why we will be successful no matter how much dread we may feel at times.  We are all selfless in our actions.  Maybe this is what Marx intended when he developed Communism.  We just have a patriotic twinge about us.

Meagan came over after dinner and handed me a wrapped up paper bag telling me it was a present from Grey.  Something to hold onto until he got back.  When I unwrapped that bag I found his flask with the Navy emblem on the side.  Just like him.  Going into God knows what and leaving something for someone else.  When I opened it he had even filled it with my favorite, Jack Daniels.  Grey is the type of guy that always has the right thing or the right words to cheer someone up.  I took a nip from the flask and felt the warmth spread through my core.  It was good, so I toasted Grey and took another.

July 25, 2012 2300 Shelley

I don’t know what he was doing out here last night or who he was talking to but I have a good guess.  Probably a lot along the lines of the discussion I had with ‘The Man’ earlier.

I hope they are OK.  Not just for my sake but everyone’s.  They may see some bad stuff in Terre Haute but them appearing here in camp would be an amazing moral boost to everyone at this point.

Stay safe, my friends.

Chapter 16