I was up early. After breakfast, Andy and I went to the hospital to see my wounded and talk with the doctors. The injuries were worse than I had been told.
The doctors did not want to, but accepted that they would be shipped back to the US today. The men did not want to go home either, but understood the options were better there for rehab and could spend time with their families and assist in training as they felt like it.
Linda called to tell me that the investigators were at Entebbe waiting for us to pick them up. Andy sent the Blackhawk.
On the way back to the embassy, Andy and I stopped at the lumber yard. The owner supplied a name and number and even called to set up an appointment; the stone contractor would be there when we got there.
Andy and I were meeting with the contractor when I could hear the Blackhawk in the distance. The contractor had not had work in two months and desperately needed work. He could start as soon as he got his equipment. A handshake was all he needed and he got it.
The chopper was circling to land, giving the investigators an aerial view. I was standing in the front door watching a glass contractor repair the broken front door. The two terrorists had tried to get into the front of the embassy through those doors, only to run into Linda, Ellen and Alice. The interesting thing was there were no stray bullet holes; they had made every shot count while under stress.
I was in the kitchen at the coffee pot when I heard, “Hello stranger, have you got an extra mug?” in Russian.
“You don’t sound like a stranger and I have plenty of mugs for old friends,” I replied in Russian. When I turned around not only Frank but Eric, Victor, the triplets and several more people – including Senators Whitby and Harrison – were standing there. The ones I did not know, I had shaken their hands the day I took the oath.
“This place looks like a war happened outside,” Senator Whitby said. “And you look like you have been in one.”
“There was for a while,” I replied. “I may look bad but they are worse and I won. The only problem is I took no prisoners so there was no one left to sign the surrender document, so the war goes on.”
After the coffee a complete tour of the embassy grounds was undertaken.
“Take all the pictures you want first; clean up and repairs are starting in a few minutes,” I said.
And take pictures they did; every single car, both trucks, both walls, from on top of the embassy, the deflection wall we had built that now had most of the flag paint missing. There were several pieces of steel from the truck that were deeply imbedded in the wood. It would take the skid steer to get them out.
Howie had crated the drones up this morning; there were only 2 of the general purpose devices left assembled and they were in one of the eight foot crates – out of sight out mind, so to speak.
I walked away from the group to call Cory Richfield, “Make me 10 more of each device. They worked quite well.”
Then I called Robbie, “Order another 1000 pounds of ball bearings.”
We talked about the Blackhawks I had bought. He had already received shipping manifests for them. They were to start arriving in a week. Chester Crane Company was going to leave a crane on site to unload them.
I finished the calls and then went to stand with the investigators to watch the skid steer wrestle the truck out of he east wall and off the mangled steel pilings. The contractor was going to straighten them as best he could.
The contractor said it was a family business. When he showed up he must have brought every son, cousin, nephew, son-in-law and then some. They started putting the wall back up from both ends and the middle.
There were four different groups mixing mortar in pans with a mortar hoe and chipping mortar off the rebar they were going to reuse.
I noticed when I was walking around that there were ball bearings everywhere. I wondered if any business had one of those parking lot magnets we could rent or buy to collect them.
I would find out after this group left; so far, no one had said anything about them so there was no need to bring attention to them.
The investigators were ready for the closed door circus to begin. I resigned myself to the task as I filled my coffee mug again. It was going to be a long morning and afternoon.
I watched the satellite tapes that Frank had brought and were played. I explained things and answered questions. There was some video from the embassy cameras for a while. The truck bombs destroyed the cameras on the east and west walls at the very beginning of the attack so there was no external video on the servers.
The only video was of Alice, Ellen and Linda in the front office. The investigators were dismayed but I was happy that there was no close up video for the world to view the things that happened outside. I felt pretty sure the satellite footage would never be released.
Three hours into the process, Linda handed me a note that the flight from Morton Field would be landing at Entebbe and that they would need both Suburban’s, the limo, the Blackhawk and the flatbed truck to get everyone here. I wondered why it had taken so long; there must have been problems getting everything together – and why did they need a truck?
“Give it to Andy,” I replied as I handed the note back
While I was in the meeting, Andy had all the personal gear of the ten injured men packed up. When the Suburbans returned, they and the two limos would go the hospital to pick up the men and carry them to Entebbe. Investigation or no investigation, I was going to the hospital to see them off.
The meeting continued as I plugged the thumb drive into the screen connected computer. The thumb contained all the pictures that Andy’s men had taken of the dead and their ID’s. If they had any on them. I handed Frank the clicker and left the meeting. I had seen all of them yesterday and I did not need to see them again.
An hour later I could hear the chopper landing. I was in my office – the gate cameras were the only ones working – and saw the Suburban’s come through the gate.
I started to the back to see when Andy would be ready to transport the wounded to Entebbe; I wanted to see them off. I opened to door to be staring at both Jenny and Vicky.
“I’m not saying that I am not glad to see you, but what the hell are you doing here? This is not a safe place.” Then I hugged and kissed both of them.
“Your face looks sore, VCATS did not show how bad you were hurt,” Jenny replied.
“I thought you may need a lawyer during the investigation,” Jenny replied. She read my eyes and then, “I thought it was as good an excuse as I was going to get to come see you.”
I hugged and kissed her again, “Who is looking after the boys?”
“Both Mom – Moms; I accumulated pumped milk ahead for 4 days,” Jenny replied.
“What is your excuse?” I asked Vicky.
“Jenny needed a bodyguard, it’s the best one I can think of, besides Lorrie, Ching Lee and Marcy insisted,” she replied. I hugged and kissed her again.
“Let’s go VCATS to let them know you are here, and then we have to get moving. By the way, what did you need the truck for? ”
“Potomac pharmaceuticals donated the drugs on the list you had. The men unloaded them to get them out of the sun and into the garage,” Jenny said.
“How did you get all that in a G5 with the 17 of you?” I asked.
“We didn’t, we came in the C130. We also brought the company doctor and two medics. General De Marcus found 10 stretchers to convert the C130 into an air Medevac for the trip home,” Vicky replied.
After coffee with our Washington friends, we made the trip to the hospital. Doc Burns and the two medics took all their medical records, patient care recommendations and enough meds for them to make the flight back to Morton Field. It took five ambulances to carry my men to Entebbe. Most US ambulances were set up for one patient; these were set up to carry two.
I said a tearful good by to Jenny and Vicky, “Just four more weeks, maybe sooner now the attack is over. Let me know when you land and what the arrangements are for our men.”
My guests from Washington stayed the night in a hotel in downtown Kampala. Frank had dinner reservations with his old friends I had met at the dance and others, I was sure.
I stayed with my men to have supper. I had 15 new faces and names to learn; Jenny had left me copies of their files to help with all that.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.