Ever and Always
Chapter 31: Send the Scoundrels to Congress – July 2024

Copyright© 2015 by Banadin

"Do you have a plan," asked Rick?

"Only a vague plan at best," replied Rob.

"We can get rid of our spy by offering him something he would sell his mother for."

"What's that," inquired Rick.

"Get him elected to Congress. That way, he is out of our hair. If you get me on your committee, I will be the 'spy', that way we can control the flow of information."

"I like that, promote him up and away. He might even still be some help."

Marsha chimed in, "If we can manage it correctly he can be a lot of help. We could come out in the open with our program to some degree. Advertise it as a Community Bootstrap Program rather than a survival center. Wigle could be our front man in getting grants from the government and foundations."

Rob got excited, "We could use those grants as guises to funnel Homeland support without it being noticeable. I love it! 'Operation Bootstrap!"

"Sounds good," said Rick, "How are we going to make it happen?"

"Rick you need to pay more attention to politics. The fourth congressional district is in play this year. Our nine term congressman is retiring. Wigle is a Republican so all we have to do is get him past the primary."

"As I said how are we going to do that?"

"He is going to be identified as the person who gets Major Watkins land turned into a major homeland security installation. It is going to bring jobs to the area. He will be a hero," interjected Rob.

"Fine," said Marsha, "but that is only the tip of the ice burg. How are we going to prevent this faction of the Department of Homeland Security from taking over?"

"Marsha they have already made a fundamental mistake. They have put me in charge of this area and personnel assignments. Everyone at that base will be one of ours. What concerns me is they may have in place some sort of mechanized brigade to charge in after we are set up."

Rick pointed out, "We will have to have intelligence from inside; do you know who this group is within DHS?"

"They are the Appalachian working group. I may have overstated things. They have a spy in your group, but I really don't know that they want to take over. Maybe they are just being prudent to make sure that the group doesn't get up to no-good."

"That's most likely; that is the simplest explanation. We tend to see conspiracies where there aren't any." Rob laughed, "What does that say about us?"

"Rick replied, "That we're being prudent. If they are only keeping track to make certain, we won't impose a dictatorship, no harm done. If they want to install their own, we will have a chance. We need to know their intentions."

Rob said with a small sigh, "Unfortunately, you are correct, and unfortunately I don't have a clue of how we can find out their real plans." Rick thought for a moment,"Why don't you see if you can obtain a copy of the table of organization for them and any other working groups."

"From the sounds of it, there is more than one. A comparison may show us what we have to investigate. If they are a one-off group, there will be something different. If they're all the same, then we have to assume it is nothing, or nationwide in scope."

"Rick you are correct, and no matter what they will have to have a link to the military. We have a chance to find out what is going on from the military end."

"Right Rob, we both should have some contacts left, even if they are the children of people we served with."

"Now you are making me feel old, but again you hit it."

Marsha said, "Let me get some more coffee and let's discuss what else has to be done. I would like to hear about your plans for the Watkins place." Marsha bustled around for a few minutes and brought in a fresh pot of coffee and a plate of cookies.

"Fresh baked this morning chocolate chip," she said as she set them down. Both men poured coffee and grabbed a cookie.

"Hmm good," said Rob, "it has been so long since I have anything homemade like this. I think your kitchen will be our command center!"

"Sounds like a plan," replied Rick, "An army should never travel beyond its supply chain. Speaking of supply chain, how do you see it?"

"Rick if this is going to work it is going to have to be almost all teeth and no tail."

Marsha asked, "What does that mean?"

"In the army, all teeth and no tail would mean nothing but fighting units, no support units. Normally, you wouldn't want to get into that condition because if things got bogged down they would starve in place," Rob explained.

"One of the most famous examples of the tail saving the day was at the Battle of the Bulge. Patton rightfully gets credit for turning his armored divisions on a dime, but many don't understand that it wouldn't have worked without the Red Ball Express."

"What was the Red Ball Express, "asked Marsha.

"It was the supply chain for Patton's armored division, without food, fuel and bullets, those tanks would have been useless. It started in August of 1944 at Normandy Beach and kept going to the front line. They made the main highways in France one way, towards the front.

He went on, "They were marked with a Red Ball, which came from railway usage. A red ball meant a high-value freight train which would stop for nothing, like hauling fruit before refrigeration. Each truck had a Red Ball painted on its door.

"They were considered high-value targets by the German Luftwaffe. Over seventy-five percent of the drivers were African-American because everyone knew they couldn't handle combat. So they had them drive gasoline tankers and being bombed. It took fifty four hours to get to the front, think about that, fifty four hours non-stop and driving by vehicles, which had been destroyed."

"That takes a braver man than I. What those guys went through was the real start of the change of attitude about black soldiers, put them with the Tuskegee Airmen a fighter escort group for bombers and they more than proved that blacks were the equal of anyone. Unfortunately, it took till the Korean conflict for them to be fully accepted."

"I have read about the Buffalo Soldiers," said Marsha.

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