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from Love's Critical Ground by L.K. Thompson, LTC (Ret.)

Copyright © 2017–2021 Lasrry K. Thompson

Chapter 4

2nd Infantry Division

Camp Casey, South Korea

Middle of the Night War Alert

CQ Shack, Near Dongducheon

0130 hours Sierra



Comment of the Moment: “Let’s see how far this penetration of security goes.”



Spence’s group roused themselves to exit the secure room. Outside near the parade grounds, an alert siren began blaring. Its sound vibrated the walls of the secure room.

Spence blurted, “What the hell? Is that the 'Extreme Alert' signal?”

Cruz shouted, “Hijola! Why are we having an alert in the middle of the night? Are the North Koreans attacking?”

Spence shrugged, “That’s usually what that sound means. It’s been so long since I have participated in an alert, I had forgotten what that sound was for.”

Cruz explained, “Oh, bullshit! The commies up north are probably pulling some stupid ass stunt just to see if we are on our toes.”

Spence affirmed, “Of course we are on our toes. Let’s not disappoint them. Let’s get our asses moving, on the double. Turn off the noise machine and turn off the lights. We won’t lock the doors because the CQ will remain inside on duty. I’m taking my valise with me. Let’s get our asses formed up outside.

He nodded at Aleumdaun, “Captain, if you would, fall in with the officers at the rear of the detachment?”

He spoke to nearby detachment NCOs, “Oh, and let’s not forget. If you have rain gear, put it on. Remember, once you are outside. You’re not allowed to run back to the barracks to get it. So, let’s go outside and be prepared to move out in the rain.”

As Spence’s team exited their secure room, Mungo and his detachment ran from their secure room.

Mungo turned to Slover and ordered, "Slover, if Colonel Bessemer asks for an advanced recon party, I want you to appoint a sharp NCO and four team members to do reconnaissance."

Slover nodded and acknowledged, "Hooah!"

Spence nodded at him and shouted at Mungo, “You’re with me.”

He turned to Harvey, “Form them up in their appointed place. After formation, send our drivers to sign for our deuce-and-a-halves for when we have to move out. Sergeant Major Mungo and I are going to Camp Casey headquarters to find where we will confront the enemy. or to see where Colonel Bessemer wants to make his TOC!.”

Harvey nodded, “Yes, sir. Will do.” He turned to Slover and said, “Let’s do it,”

Slover said, “Roger that, sir.”

Then Slover commanded, “Alright, Intelligence, form up on me,” and he scurried out the door to the appointed spot. He watched the squad leaders come running out of their barracks. He watched them get their personnel in order. The platoon sergeant, SSG Williams, shouted, “Get your shit together, and give me a report on attendance, now!”

Because there were only 40 personnel in Spence’s specially trained detachment, they were able to form up quickly. Of the total, seven were the specially trained team members. Thirty-three were support personnel. SGT Wilson had been the eighth team member, but he had screwed up.

Williams ordered, “Report!”

He received the report from the squad leaders. He did an about face, and reported to Slover, “All present or accounted for.” Williams saluted Slover.

Slover returned his salute and asked, “Who’s not present?”

Williams replied, “Wilson, Top. He’s taking your place at CQ.” He executed an about face and went quickly to his appointed place.

Slover turned about and reported to Harvey, “All present, Sir.”

Harvey ordered, “Give the detachment ‘At ease.’ until we hear from our highers about what’s going on, we’ll stand in the rain. Send our drivers for our trucks, now!”

As they stood in formation in the rain, back at the CQ shack, a Korean cleaning woman entered the orderly room. She pulled her cleaning bag on wheels inside with her. As she entered, Wilson looked up from the paperwork he was reading and asked, “Where is Mama-san One?”

The cleaning woman replied, “Ajumma? She sick. I work tonight.”

Wilson asked, “When did she get sick?”

“Just happened.”

“Why didn’t she call in and tell us like she was supposed to?”

The cleaning woman shrugged, “Me not know.” She paused, and then she headed for the door. She asked, “You want me leave, now?”

Wilson did not want to clean the Orderly Room himself if the new cleaning woman didn’t do the job. He snarled, “Uh, nah. Hell, just clean it and then leave.” He went back to reading the duty roster.

The cleaning woman cleaned the floors of the orderly room. She wiped the desks off, and put the paper trash in her canvas bag. She cleaned the floors of the other offices down the hallway. She went into each secure room, stayed in each cleaning it for a few minutes, came out, and pulled her canvas trolley to the front door. She smiled and said, “I through. I go now.”

Wilson looked up briefly, nodded, and pointed at the door with a jerk of his head.

The woman left.

Wilson went back to reading the paperwork on the desk.

About twenty minutes later, outside in the rain, without explanation, the siren blew the all clear signal.

Spence returned to his unit. He told Harvey to get the men out of the rain. He went back to the CQ shack to check on unfinished business. Harvey saluted and shouted, “First Sergeant.”

Slover snapped to attention and saluted Harvey.

Harvey said, “Get them into the dry, and carry out the orders of the day. Looks like the Commies up north were just pulling some new shit. Now they’re through.”

Slover nodded and said, “Sir!” He saluted, did an about face, and said, “Those who were in your quarters when the alarm sounded, go b...

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