Border Update 12-14JUN09
I left the C1 compound at 0700 with the intent to stay on the border until at least 16JUN but it was not to be. However, for me anyway, it was a very interesting, if not unusual, border weekend.
Hot Shot and I arrived in Jacumba at 0910. It was a breezy 57 degrees. We gassed up and then headed to John Finn’s place, the oldest Medal of Honor Winner.
I arrived there at about 0930 and was welcomed into the man’s home as if I was an old friend. We had never met but I had heard from 36 that Mr. Finn loves company. I was regaled with stories about everything from that morning on December 7th, 1941 to the salvage business to the making of violins, motorcycles and more.
The man is a national treasure and I am so blessed to have been able to spend that time with him. He agreed to let me video him and to place parts on this blog. I will be editing all the clips together at some point but am unable to include them all here as they are too long. I stayed there for over three hours and hated to leave. He really seemed to enjoy visiting one on one in his living room and when I left he headed outside to his workbench, hacksaw in hand, and proceeded to saw a rusty hunk of iron in half! On July 23 he will be 100 years old! A birthday party is being held for him at the La Posta Diner on June 27th.
Then I headed to Camp Vigilance to offload some stuff into Godzilla. Originally I had planned on participating in some training with BPAUX, but heard my advisor from U.S. Evolutions would be in the area that same weekend. Being ever grateful for the training, tips and technical support he gives me I opted out of the BPAUX training and worked with U.S. Evolutions all day Saturday.
Friday Night I spent a few hours on the line west of Campo but turned in early in anticipation of the next day’s work. While at Zuellner’s High Point a single went BTM below me and then met up with two men north of the oaks across from me in Mexico. I suspect they had a group in the trees behind them
The line that night between PCT and 241 was well manned with Shorty, Horsepuckies, Miramar, Bravo 2, Wildcard,Viking and FN9 all present. Jawbone manned the 239 to the east. I left the area about 2200 and drove the border road all the way to Red Shank before exiting out Tierra Del Sol at 2315.
I arrived at the appointed spot and met the boys with US Evolutions about 1000. We worked with different experimental cameras, transmitters and imaging equipment for a few hours before getting down the more mundane but equally essential tasks of fence repair. I volunteered to be on the ignorant end of a shovel and dug a trench to bury landing mat sections below the fence line in areas where invaders had dug “rat holes”. In the process the boss found an illegal alien’s wallet, which would later be turned over to BP.
After the manual labor was completed I was treated to a tour of some border areas that I was not so familiar with and was even given a short lesson in tracking from a former Border Patrol Agent.
Then we headed back to HQ where we were fed burgers and homemade chocolate chip cookies. I was given the Thermal unit to use and we rigged it up to record images though I think, in the middle of the night, I experienced an operator malfunction as it seemed my experiments did not record.
1845-I went back to Camp Vigilance, rigged up the truck for night ops and then took a nap.
2230- Woke up and headed out to the line west of Campo. I patrolled to the west for a time.
14JUN09 Flag Day
0030 Hot Shot and I hiked into a usually busy area on a well worn trail and set up for the night. We stayed there, scanning the fence line from 0100 until 0500 and never saw a thing on the thermal except cattle. Wildcard stayed at Patriot Point all night and was the only other border observer in the area, except for Jawbone to the east at the 239.
It was a slow night. C’est la vie.
0530- I headed for the Donut Hole Where I remained for many hours. there was very little visible activity.
About 1000 BP told me two came in about 0830 on the west face of Patriot Point and the dog was tracking them.
1030- Jawbone headed home.
1115- FN9 showed up
1125- My spousal unit called to inform me that the sewer at the C1 compound was stopped up. I tried to direct from afar some corrective measures to no avail and at 1240 decided to cut my mission short, leave the area and take care of the matters at home.
I hope to be back on the line by Independence Day. If you can, please stop by the area for the SECURE AMERICA NOW event. If you do decide to come head for the border west of Forest Gate road in Campo. I’ll be there to do work as extra eyes an ears for the Border Patrol. Care to join me?