I left the C1 compound at 0945 and headed for Camp Vigilance, where my home away from home, Godzilla, that veteran of many border operations has been parked, inoperable for several years. My hope in acquiring the beast way back when was to refurbish it and use it on the border. Alas, time and money, especially the latter, have become a problem. I put the old 76 Suburban for sale on Craigslist awhile back and had it sold, but I backed out. Call me sentimental, but I could not bare to part with it. It needed a transmission and brakes among other repairs and a scrap yard made me an offer. I thought about it again recently and the put the word out via e-mail that I was considering scrapping the old girl if no one wanted her. In less than ten minutes after the e-mail went out, Desertdog, a veteran Minuteman from the great state of Arizona, called to say he would take her.
Hot Shot, another veteran border watcher, my K9 who I also acquired during my over five years of border duty, accompanied me to the old AO. We arrived at Camp V at about 1230, cleaned the rat turds out of the engine compartment and fired the old Chevy up.
We spent the bulk of the afternoon with another veteran border watcher, old friend and Patriot, 36, talked about old times, solved the nations problems and tinkered in his workshop. Then Hot Shot and I headed to the Tecate POE, geared up and rolled east on the border road at 1750.
The first Agent we encountered, and there were many, exclaimed, “Charlie, good to see you! It’s been a long time.” That felt good. It felt even better knowing the old AO is virtually locked down. The only action he could speak of was a group of eighteen that invaded where the new fence ends just west of Cap Rock on Thursday night. All were apprehended.
We pressed east, stopping many times to visit with Agents and reminisce. One Agent on a quad remarked that it was kind of boring out there now. As it should be! I told him he should put in for a transfer to Arizona where it was anything but boring. He replied that they do alternate between the areas.
At 1915 we arrived at Forrest Gate and paid our respects at the tree planted there by Patriots in honor of the slain Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas.
Then we pressed on east. At the 239 we stopped again to visit with Agents from the Campo station and inform them that we were heading on to Tierra Del Sol. The trip through La Gloria and Smith Canyons was uneventful and by that time darkness had set in. We paused briefly at the cross erected on the site were Agent Rosas was murdered.
About a mile west of Red Shank we encountered Agents tracking a single individual who had just crossed illegally into our country. By 2050 we were at Red Shank, removed our gear, visited with Agents on hand and left the border road, having taken about three hours to travel the ten miles of border between Tecate and Tierra del Sol.
Back at Camp V Hot Shot and I bedded down in the back of Godzilla one last time.
Up at 0600 I prepared Godzilla for her departure, clearing out the years of gear and supplies that I had accumulated and stored in her. Horsepuckies, another veteran border watcher and veteran Godzilla mechanic, arrived on the scene about 0930 and soon after that Desertdog and his son arrived with flatbed in tow.
Godzilla was part of the first Campo border watch campaign in 2005 and belonged to a founder of the California Minutemen. I was late to join the CA Minutemen and did not participate with them until April 2006. At that time Bandit was driving her and calling her “Gonzo”. Then she was left behind. Mad Max of the Campo Minutemen lived in her and patrolled the border with her until abandoning her in a local’s field. Lil Dog of the Mountain Minutemen and I bought her from Mad Max. With the help of Horsepuckies, we hauled her up to the top of Patriot Point. The transfer case lay in pieces in the Oaks where Mad Max had taken it apart and was unable to repair it. I purchased one locally and brought it to the Point. Lil Dog and I attempted to install it one day with no success. Upon Lil Dog’s departure, Horsepuckies, Shorty and other members of the Tecate Border Volunteers, installed the transfer case, and hauled Godzilla, along with the rest of the junk abandoned on the top of Patriot Point, off to various local locations. Godzilla came to rest on the G road just west of the 239.
I could not bare to see her sit there and rust so, again with the help of Horsepuckies, and several gallons of transmission fluid we limped her to Camp V.
I want to thank all the Patriots who have helped on the line and who have assisted in keeping Godzilla alive. I would also like to thank all the Patriots who have e-mailed me and offered to take her off my hands. She has a rich history.
Desertdog has assured me she will be fitted with a new tranny and brakes and whatever else she needs and will again “do work” keeping this country safe. I hope to ride shotgun in her someday or perhaps man the .50 cal they plan to mount on top for work in the Great State of Arizona.
If you have any interesting stories about Godzilla’s history and/or pics I would love to hear from you and would post them here with your permission. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I left the border area soon after Godzilla and made it back to the C1 compound, located in a bad barrio just in time for the resumption of a Mexican gang war complete with multiple shootings and several fatalities. While much good work is being done by my peers in Arizona, I will likely not be participating there anytime soon, as the border war for me is right next door. Homeland Security begins at home.
God Bless You All and Thanks Again
And God Bless the United States of America.