Thursday, December 07, 2006

Really Unconventional Operations

I flew to Manila for some emergency dental work this past week. What a relief it was just to get a hot shower, but more on that when I get time.

Once back on our island I had to wait a few hours for a helicopter ride back to my teams base camp because my team was too busy to pick me up. While waiting, I received a fair amount of teasing from some of the guys. Not because they were too busy to get me but because of what they were doing.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were sponsoring the Philippine Girl Scouts for a two day event at our location and my team assisted by teaching a few classes. Green Berets have a reputation for womanizing and having a team in close contact with a few hundred teenage girls can put a lot of commanders into a nervous sweat.

Events were over before I returned and had a chance to settle in so I did not participate but, from what I have seen and heard, this was one of the most effective combat operations we could have performed. In typical teenage girl fashion, the girls identified a few favored U.S. soldiers. They would wave and giggle as they walked by or swoon when their favorite soldier was announced. It was cute and these guys continue to get teased but the effects have gone far beyond our base camp. These guys have achieved celebrity status here.

Now, when we drive the streets, the girls run out and shout out the names, or nicknames, of the soldiers they recognize. This may have some effect on our egos but, more importantly, it is a tactical victory. Having a few hundred adoring fans will make the terrorists think twice before targeting us and also adds several hundred extra sets of eyes that can warn us of possible danger.

I feel safer.

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