Authors: L. Douglas Hogan
The speech Lieutenant Colonel Buchanan gave after the Flip sent shivers down the spines of all the men he took command of. Early in the speech he gave a window of opportunity to everybody who wanted to leave and return home. He knew that giving them this opportunity would reserve to himself only the most loyal and principled men. Lieutenant Colonel Buchanan would rather command three loyal men than three hundred whisperers. That wasn’t the case for Buchanan; he had the respect of every man that worked under him or around him.
That day he only lost forty-seven men, including all but one officer, Captain Riley, from Company C, 6th ESB (Engineer Support Battalion). His highest enlisted Marine was Gunnery Sergeant Franks, Company E, 4th Recon Battalion. Buchanan would rather have Franks than an officer on any day of the week. He was headstrong, firm, and knew his men and work. He shared the ideals of a free America and the principles of the Constitution, just as Buchanan did.
Buchanan was a major when he saw the recently constructed southern border fence come down along the border. Not long after that, a flood of Muslim extremists came flooding through with hundreds of thousands of Mexicans. Both poverty and destruction swept through the country with devastating end results. Buchanan knew then what was on the horizon, but he chose to stay in the Marines and prepared himself, mentally, for what he knew would inevitably follow. He sat helplessly watching as extreme left-wing presidential candidates won election after election. Each election won because the candidate pushed new and bright ideas for welfare programs, each one accelerating the growth of program-dependent Americans. It was only a matter of time before the America Buchanan grew up in was gone altogether.
Buchanan was looking for several tugboats running north along the Mississippi River. His recon teams had gathered the intel not long after the lights went out. He knew they were full of American prisoners destined for what the government heads called a “relocation protocol.”
Basically, all existing Americans were to be slowly rounded up and inventoried into categories comprising of “Education,” which fell into Agenda 21’s definition of essential, and “Ill,” which fell into the definition of nonessential. Age was also a consideration. Children were separated from families and inventoried the same way, but utilizing a different protocol. They had to meet certain criteria to be considered essential. Buchanan was resolute in his desire to impede the progression of a holocaust-style event. His Marines were behind him one hundred percent.
Recon Battalion was ahead of the primary force by a couple miles. They had Gunnery Sergeant Franks as their senior noncommissioned officer.
“Seven Foxtrot, Seven Foxtrot from Bravo One. Over,” Buchanan called on his now antiquated military PRC-77 radio.
“Seven Foxtrot. Over,” Gunnery Sergeant Franks replied.
Gunnery Sergeant Franks was a hardcore Force Reconnaissance Marine. He’d served several tours of active-duty service in the Middle East, battling extremists on their own dirt. He retired from active-duty service to enjoy some leisure in the Reserves. Now his CO was calling him on the radio.
“When are we going to drop off India and pick up Big Mike?” Buchanan asked, referring to the route they were traveling along the Illinois River. The plan was to follow the Illinois River from their base in Peoria to where it bleeds into the Mississippi River.
“One mike,” Franks replied, which was military jargon for “just a minute.” After doing some figures on his map, he picked up the handle of his PRC-77 and called Lieutenant Colonel Buchanan. “Bravo One, Bravo One, Seven Foxtrot. Over.”
“Seven Foxtrot, this is Bravo One. Over.”
“Bravo One, we will be intercepting Big Mike in fife mikes. Over.”
“Roger that, Seven Foxtrot. Stop where you are and set up a perimeter. We’ll be on CP briefly. Over,” Buchanan said as he put down the mic and looked at his driver, who was a Weapons Company platoon sergeant.
“Catch up with FORECON and help set up a perimeter. I pray to God this isn’t going to be a left-handed monkey wrench.”
Gunnery Sergeant Franks and his Recons had set up a perimeter on State Route 100 at an old ferry station, just a few minutes from the town of Grafton, Illinois. Lieutenant Colonel Buchanan, along with Weapons Company and Captain Riley’s Engineers, pulled up in their convoy to meet with Gunnery Sergeant Franks. Buchanan stepped out of his HMMWV (Humvee) and waited on Captain Riley. They shook hands and together walked up to Franks, who had lowered a hatch on one of the HMMWVs and laid out a tactical map.
“Sorry for the comics, sir.”
“What do you have, Gunny?” Buchanan asked Franks.
“Well, sir, I’ve sent a couple Recons ahead to survey the area. I’m waiting for a sitrep on the condition of the town. So far, they’ve located a business building that sits on the interchange of the Illinois and Mississippi, with a flat roof that would be perfect to set up Weapons Company.”
“Great work, Gunny. How long have your men been surveying?”
“They were ahead of us by several minutes. They should be calling in a report anytime now.”
“Seven Foxtrot, Seven Foxtrot, Echo Four Juliet. Over.” The transmission came through clearly to Gunny Franks.
“This is Seven Foxtrot. Over.”
“Seven Foxtrot, the packages are in tow from the south, fife miles northbound. Over,” the corporal on the radio relayed to Franks.
“Copy,” Franks said in a hurry as he, Buchanan, and Riley, along with every Marine on foot, scurried back to their vehicles and took off towards their destination.
Recon had set up a perimeter prior to the arrival of Weapons and Engineer companies. Corporal James, Recon Scout, met Gunny Franks and pointed out the flat-roofed building from which they were going to make their assault.
“Listen up,” Buchanan yelled to all the Marines. “This is live action. There’s no Naval Criminal Investigations here; there’s no Uniformed Code of Military Justice. Your country needs you now because its government has betrayed it. There’s a dozen tugboats heading down this river and they’re under the control of Blue Helmets. Blue Helmets are not American; they are foreign invaders welcomed into this country by a tyrannical white collar. Your mission is to destroy the tugs and save the shipping containers they tow. Inside those containers are American prisoners that the government considers obsolete because they are ‘average’; we are going to save them in an attempt to restore natural order to the people of the United States. Do you understand?”
The Marines all shouted in unison, “Oorah!”
“Then get to your post and stay frosty. We’re about to rain on their parade!”
Nathan rose early the next morning and went about his daily routine. After eating some grub and chitchatting with the new members of the group, Nathan sat down on an old car and began to think. He looked around at all the faces. He didn’t know any of them, except for the small talk they shared in passing. He knew that to be successful with any kind of mission, he would have to take a tally of what he called “assets.” To Nathan, assets were skills that could be beneficial to the group. He also knew that his group couldn’t be called “Southern Illinois Home Guard” for long. Eventually he would have to drop the group name and return to the obvious: “the people.”
Nathan called Denny, Jess, Zig, James, and Ash and requested they get the word out for a “sixteen hundred meeting.” All five of them agreed and went around town, requesting everybody meet up at the old firehouse at four o’clock. About an hour later, the faint sound of choppers were heard overhead. Everybody stopped in their tracks to try to determine where the sound was coming from.
“Everybody into the woods, now!” Nathan yelled as loud as he could.
The command was heard by everybody in earshot and repeated by everybody until every person was running towards the tree line.
“Leave your things and stop what you’re doing,” Nathan yelled as he ran.
There was a great crowd of people running toward the woods that made Nathan concerned about the possibility of being spotted from the air. The sound was getting closer and closer, but it was hard to determine where the sound was coming from.
When the last person had entered the woods, Nathan said, “Everybody needs to keep their voices down so we can hear what’s happening overhead.”
The sheer number of people in the town was greater than Nathan had ever anticipated. He made the quick decision to have everybody in the woods rather than inside their homes, because he did not know the intentions of the incoming helicopters. He was fearful of a carpet bombing on the small town of Gorham. He didn’t know what intelligence had been gathered on his group, if any at all, but he was not going to risk it.
It seemed like ten minutes had passed before the
whoop, whoop, whoop
sounds of the helos finally rang out overhead from the south. Nathan could see the helicopters through an opening in the canopy. There were three US Black Hawks and two UN Mil Mi-24 attack choppers, Russian by design. They whirled right past the town of Gorham and continued their flight trajectory along the Mississippi River, heading north.
Nathan felt comfortable having the people remain in the woods for a while. So they sat quietly and had conversations amongst themselves for some time. Nathan, Jess, and Denny were sitting next to each other. They just sat and listened to their stories of family, loved ones, friends, their homes, and so on. It was all nostalgic thinking, but Nathan knew things would never be the same. But he knew he, for one, wasn’t going to lie down without a fight.
Nathan listened to the people until their voices began to fade away into the background of his mind. Suddenly he was in deep thought and he had lost all sense of time and location. His memories and his own thoughts of family, friends, and home took over, until he began thinking out loud.
“Life isn’t about yourself. It isn’t about property or possessions, although those things are good and rightful if you’ve earned them and worked hard for them. Life is about liberty. It’s about being free and having the right to make your own choices without the government telling you what you can and can’t do. It’s the right of the American citizen to be free from control so long as it does not impede the rights of another.
“I served my country because I saw an ebbing away of those rights. I knew that some sad day my country would need my training and experience. I knew I couldn’t get it from sitting on my sofa and complaining about the elections. I saw in myself something that every single oath taker should possess, a love of American liberty. Without it, government-trained men and women possess the necessary ingredients to produce in themselves a tyrant. That is what we hide from now; that is why we run; that is why we stand together.”
When Nathan was done, he was no longer sitting, but standing, and everybody in sight was staring at him and standing. He was facing them with his back abreast the tree line. Everybody knew that something bad was amiss.
“When did the UN start flying attack choppers with US escorts over US airspace?” Jess asked.
“I don’t know, but I think it’s safe to say that given everything we’ve seen in the last two days, America is under attack from both foreign and domestic enemies.”
“What do we do?” a lady’s voice asked from the front of the group.
Without hesitating, Denny answered her question. “We take it back.”
Nobody rebuked or rebutted the idea. Everyone stood there and thought on it until the sound of helicopters had disappeared into the background.
Jess stepped forward, past Nathan and Denny, out of the tree line, and faced them all. “I guess the only thing left to do is reorganize.”
“It’s a huge task,” Denny responded.
Nathan, walking out of the tree line, walked up next to Jess and said, “Yes, it is, and it’s going to take sacrifice. It’s going to cost blood and treasure.”
A male voice from the group asked, “What do you mean by it’s going to cost us ‘blood and treasure’?”
Nathan thought for a second on how best to answer the civilian-minded question. The only answer he could surmise wasn’t a difficult or hard-to-understand response. It didn’t take a military background or a degree in history. He looked at the crowd and uttered six easy-to-understand words.
“It’s going to cost us everything.”
Nathan stood at the front of the room in the old firehouse, looking upon all the people that had come to trust his leadership. Next to him was standing his best friend Denny, Jess, Ash, and Zig. Before the helicopters came buzzing in earlier, he was about to have the group leaders organize everybody according to what Nathan called “assets.” Nathan was now taking his time to address concerns and to follow through on his plans.
“Okay, I know many of you are worried, maybe even scared, and that’s perfectly normal. Unfortunately, we don’t have the pleasure of giving in to those emotions right now. Things are transpiring so rapidly that procrastinating only strengthens the resolve and completes the end game of our enemies. The longer we sit tidy, the more likely UN troops are going to roll through our back door. We’ve already seen UN ships, choppers, and busses. Only God knows what else is out there or how many.
“What I need to know right now is how many of you are veterans, former law enforcement, or whatever else we can use in way of experience. I need to know who are nurses, who are public speakers, everything! I need to know what each of you did before the Flip. America needs you. None of you are worthless. You all have an ability that can be used to restore America.”
“There’s no restoring America,” a man said from the crowd. “It’s too late for that. We never had our window of opportunity because the wool was pulled over our eyes decades ago.”
“What’s your name, sir?” Nathan asked.
“Mike,” the man replied.
“Why is it you feel we can’t restore America?”
“Because the odds are against us. We’re dead in the water,” the man said.
“The odds,” Nathan repeated. “I don’t believe in odds, Mike. Do you know why?”
“Do enlighten us,” the man said.