With all the prevarication and deception going on in politics, bureaucrats cleverly spinning tales to put their best foot forward and cover a few square inches of exposed rump, plus the duplicity that exists between nations, it's getting harder for a man to appreciate those who have mastered the fine art of lying. One of my genuine regrets when all the old Scout & Raider, Naval Combat Demolition Unit, frogmen, and SEALs pass on, is that their humor will die with them. I got a real taste of it during last month's annual UDT/SEAL Reunion in Littlecreek, VA.

At the well-attended Saturday morning business meeting, three hundred of us shared breakfast and listened to our Association president tell us what had been accomplished the past year, heard about the scholarships awarded and saw its recipients, and found from the treasurer we were still solvent. Then we were treated to a talk by a former jet pilot, grown into a witty Air Force general, who is now attached to the Special Warfare staff. He was good, real good, as the saying goes, with a laid-back, North Carolina good ol' boy delivery, a keen perspective, and a sharp sense of humor. I've heard stand-up comics who were far less entertaining, and our table laughed heartily at his remarks.

During a break, some of the older frogs dating back from the Korean War started swapping stories. They related such bold, impudent, inventive lies that I cannot help but try to pass them on. Too bad I'm not a Chaucer to tell them in verse, but the stories have such ribald appeal they can suffer being badly told.

The first I've called, "How Bill and Joe saw Bob Hope." One sticky, hot Christmas during the Vietnamese War my two friends took in-country R&R to visit Bill's cousin and two chopper pilots they knew. They heard a Bob Hope show was being given in the area, and climbed aboard an army bus to get to the mountain where the show was to be held. On arrival, they peered down at the stage far below. It looked about an inch wide from where they were. Hoping to find a better vantage point, Bill and Joe descended the slope toward the stage, wondering how they could find a way to see and hear the show. Just then, an army bus with a Red Cross on it pulled into the area. A group of NP patients and two nurses disembarked and proceeded to a medical gate that led to front row seats. Joe told Bill, "Take off your insignia," as he stripped off his own. They fell in line with the patients, shuffling toward the gate. A sharp-eyed Army lieutenant noticed and stopped them, so they pretended to be bonkers. Bill said, "We're with them. Mentally disturbed patients go with their nurses." One of the nurses looked questioningly at Bill, and he said softly, "My buddy and I are back from the jungle and want to see Bob Hope." She smiled and said, "We're not going to give you away!" The women looked over at the suspicious army Lieutenant and waved. Navy had just defeated army! Joe positively beamed as he told me how much he'd enjoyed that long-ago show, which was an award for ingenuity and brass balls far larger than those of Donald Trump! No evasive duplicity or sheepish word parsing for them: honorable men like these take offensive action and tell bright, brash, bold LIES.

The second story defies naming. Joe and two other SEALs, wearing full body weapons, were in Vietnam on a short trip to pick up orders at the Coors, building, which housed the C.I.A. The area was highly sensitive and securely guarded. As they entered, a sentry halted the three, looked them over, and said they'd have to check their weapons at the gate. They refused, so he called his Officer In Charge, an army lieutenant, who soon arrived on the scene. In the ensuing argument about removing their weapons, Joe told the lieutenant he was interfering with official SEAL business, and finally told his men to take him in charge. Pulling their weapons, they did, and took him under arms to the C.I.A.building. Joe demanded the duty people there place the prisoner under arrest and take him to jail. Then, quickly getting their orders and gear, the three left, never to look back. Well, maybe a covert peek in the rear view mirror!

Keep in mind these audacious, ornery, totally unjustified, mind-numbing sorties took place against OUR troops. With that kind of a unit operating in our own military, it's a wonder other nations ever risk war with America. More important, if we have enough SEALs and people like Bill and Joe, we'll certainly never lose one. The moral of all this, if there is a moral, is that if you want to really assert yourself, you must have impudence, nerve and imagination. Spin control is for sissies and bureaucrats. No UDT or SEAL would ever stoop to it!

Sam Orr
World Traveler
and Philanthrope
(Location Unknown)