I was born July 25 1940 and my name is Samuel David Grey. I enjoyed learning new languages and could speak and understand seven by the time I graduated from high school. My father had been a veteran of World War II and came to believe a man should be able to defend himself. Because he did, I was taught kung fu and judo from an early age.
By the time I entered the Army I was a master in both arts. I also practiced the Japanese art of Kendo. Like most boys of that age, I was taught how to use a rifle and enjoyed hunting with my father. I was what he called a natural with a rifle and rarely ever missed.
When I was twenty, I decided to join the Army. I had dreams of serving my country and this was how I was going to do it. From the start I was singled out, first for Airborne training and then a sergeant major talked me into joining the Special Forces. I was a know nothing private and worked hard to keep the sergeants happy. When I got orders for Vietnam I didn't even know where it was.
We were supposed to be advisors to the South Vietnamese soldiers but were not allowed to return fire, even if we were fired at. On my first patrol we were skirting a small open area when automatic fire raked the patrol. Sgt Jones was in front of me and as I dove for the ground I saw his body jerk several times. By the time I reached him, he was dead.
That was the beginning of the war for me and during my first year I went from a private to a Sergeant First Class. I was only supposed to be there for a year, but I was asked to stay with a new group that was just forming. It was another three months before anything happened and when it did, it wasn't pleasant.
Almost the whole chain of command for the company was killed in a month and before I knew what was happening I was asked to accept a battlefield commission. I stepped into the bunker where Colonel Peters and Major Sims were talking and came to attention, "You wanted to see me Sir?"
The Colonel smiled as he looked at me, "Yes Sam. Harry and I have been talking and I made a couple of calls to the General. We want you to accept a battlefield commission."
I blinked and looked from the Colonel to the Major, "A commission?"
The Colonel grinned, "It's not like you haven't already been doing the job."
I smiled back, "As long as I don't have to wear the damn shoot me bars."
They both laughed and the Colonel picked up a pair of gold lieutenant bars. He handed them to me, "You can leave them off when you're in the brush."
Six tours of combat later, the war was over. I was a Major and while many officers were asked to leave the services, I was asked to become a courier for the State Department. Courier was their way of saying black ops. When I retired after twenty years, it was as a full colonel.
I had met a woman and fallen in love. She taught electrical engineering in a southern California university. For the next twenty five years we lived and loved each other although we never had any children. I spent my time attending any classes that drew my attention. Ellie had insisted I have a night to myself so she arraigned a poker night with several of the more prominent professors.
Ellie died five years ago and I was lost. I stayed in our house and lived day to day. When I was diagnosed with cancer and given only six months to live, I was almost relieved. There I was seventy years old and dying of cancer. My friends didn't feel that way though and talked me into cancer therapy.Visit in the hospital
I was three months into the therapy and sick and tired, mostly sick. I was in the hospital for a few days and the constant attention of the nurses was driving me crazy. When Jasper came in I was ready to start planning an escape. He was twenty years younger then I. Jasper was a professor of bio engineering and was working to create something he called nanites.
Every Monday at our poker games we talked about what we were working on and got fresh ideas from each other. Jasper worked to create the self replicating nanites. Henry was trying to create something to do with time. George was working on a new means of energy. Jasper looked worried as he sat down beside me, "Hey Sam, chased any nurses lately?"
I glared at him, "Funny Jasper."
He grinned and looked away. We talked about a few things and then he looked at me, "I think I have a problem Sam."
He knew what I had been before I retired. I looked at the way he was sitting and tried to sit up more, he moved closer and helped me. I leaned back and sighed, "Tell me."