Military 4 wheeling

Cpl Anthony Russo 4 wheeling
No brain cells were endangered from excessive utilization during the commission of the described acts. Honestly I can’t remember if it was turkey season or deer season. Ft Wood had one full time game warden so during hunting seasons reinforcements were needed. Usually a seasoned MP was called on and I was thusly honored regularly. Most folks don’t realized that Ft Wood is a very large territory, large enough that the outlaying areas weren’t fenced and almost no roads available. I don’t recall why Tony was working with me as game warden was usually one man duty. Start out about 2-3 AM and stay out on patrol till well after the season hours were over were the designated hours. It had been a long and uneventful day and by the time the hunters had headed for home Tony & I were sort of bored. We were way out in the East part of the area and thought we’d go cross country toward the civilian US 66. It would be a lot easier to hit the highway and got back to post faster, we thought. Well it might have been except we weren’t real sure where we were. Going cross country meant we cut through the woods and skip the old forestry and timber access paths. I have to admit we were having fun and acting like the “kids” we thought we were. Not everyone might know that both hunting seasons are NOT in summer time. It was COLD in the open jeep. The going cross country got pretty rough and we agreed that we wouldn’t cut any fences that we couldn’t fix. It was also slow going and VERY cold. Time passed and it began to be less than fun. Compass heading were right on but we didn’t come to the highway and time was slipping by. Neither of us wanted someone to wonder why we weren’t back. That would result in, at best a LOT of embarrassment and could mean some extra duty or worse. Soon it wasn’t as light as it had been and we knew there must have been a miscalculation on our calculated direction. We didn’t have a check in time but sooner or later we’d be missed. We forded creeks, we held down fences and then righted them and pressed forward. It was getting colder and we knew the fun part had long passed. Now it was GET BACK to post. Did I mention it was COLD? As the sun got lower and lower it was getting colder and colder. We figured we’d crossed most of Missouri but obviously we hadn’t. Our mil. radio hadn’t even caught any static for a long time. We folks, we were lost and very likely not on military territory anymore. No people, no houses and no roads. Some number of hours had passed and it was almost full dark. The minutes became hours to us. Thoughts of ridicule, embarrassment and maybe worst kept passing through our minds. Finally we spied some light in the sky! Wow! Civilization ! Indeed it was and easily recognized as we got closer- a gas station at the South end of Rolla MO AND on the freeway! Ah the freeway! Just a large ditch away. By now it was full dark and it wasn’t warming up – it really was cold. But we’d been in woods and full timber for hours. When we hit the freeway after waiting along the shoulder till no cars were coming along we “hit the road” the paved road. Warmth and safety were just 30 minutes away. I’m sure I mentioned the cold right? Well traveling at low speeds in the woods was nothing compared to the 50 MPH on the open road in an open jeep. That and M 151 A1 was not intended for highway use – top speed was about 50 and that was much too fast on paved roads. We took turns driving as when not driving one could try to get under the dash as much as possible – that was out of the wind and a little heat come from the firewall. Driving was bitter and hands were numb quickly. What seemed like a lifetime we saw the exit and realized we’d have to go through the “Main Gate.” Other MP’s would be on duty there and they all knew us. No options and the hope of warmth overrode caution. We caught a line of cars and fell in and slipped through the “Gate.” We knew we couldn’t drive up at the MP Station or to the company area or we’d be caught. Finally we decided to take the jeep to the motor pool and try to slip it back in. If we were really slick no one would realize it hadn’t been there all afternoon. With me on foot I snuck into the motor pool area and gave Tony the signal to coast in and we pushed it in a parking place. A fairly long stroll and we were at the MP barracks where my car was WITH A HEATER. The laugh was - no one had any clue we had been missing nor would have known. After all we were trained, mature and responsible professional Military Policemen. Tony & I had many good chuckles about the incident AFTER we got warm. Tony & I had a few more adventures as you might imagine.

No comments:

Post a Comment