TAKE DAT BACK SAY YOU SORRY
You\'re a little boy from a poor family � You have no Father and your Mother
waits each day to \"hopefully\" buy bread in long lines before it sells out...
Two slices before school, if you\'re lucky; Meat once a month to \"only\"
flavor the potatoes for dinner� You are only allowed three days worth of food
in your home by law. The authorities can enter anytime they want to inspect and
arrest. You\'re only Jacket is a tattered light one that your Mother stuffs
with newspaper to keep you warm. When the paper gets wet from the snow and rain,
it\'s heavy and useless�
You live in Poland� And under Communist Rule�
As you become a teenager, it\'s time to help your Mother� But how???
The Black Market, that\'s how, but it\'s not that easy�.
First� You \"jump a train,\" meaning you blow off buying a ticket and head to
Russia on top or in a boxcar wearing your newspaper coat. The trains you ride
have conductors bribed by the Black Market who slow down a few miles from their
destination so many of the passengers can jump and wade though several miles of
snow and avoid checkpoints entering the cities� Once in Russia, you buy Fur
Hats. (Pronounced \"For\" Hats with a Polish accent.)
You \"pile up\" in known Black Market Houses each night for a few Rubles, the
Police check each legit Hotel register and query each quest� You can\'t be
caught with more than one change of clothes�
You \"skirt\" endless checkpoints and Police and jump another train heading to
Hungary, also under communist rule to sell the concealed Hats. You take the
money from Hat sales and roll the bills tightly, wrap them in plastic and
swallow them to avoid confiscation.
You \"pass\" the money a couple days later in Bulgaria, also under communist
rule, and buy as many cigarettes as you can hide and jump another train for
Romania and sell the cigarettes. In Romania, also under communist rule, you buy
as many Levi Jeans as you can wear all at once, and head back to Russia and sell
the outlawed Jeans and jump another train back to Poland.
After dodging checkpoints, dealing with Black Market thieves, confiscations,
arrests, and Police beatings when caught, the final tally of the adventure is
$40 and you live like a Polish Donald Trump for awhile.
$40 is a HUGE sum during communist rule�
What next??? Well� After two years of eating potatoes in a Gulag for being
arrested as a Political Prisoner you come to America and become a Navy SEAL�
I\'ve known Australians that were Navy SEALs, I\'ve know British ones and a few
other foreigners that were SEALs; Tom from Poland was the most notable�
Many outsiders think that all SEALs have nicknames and \"Call Signs\" and we do
not� Honestly, most times someone gets a nickname in SEAL Team is when they do
something stupid as SEALs have a long memory�
Tom was an exception, an exception made from the Rocky Movie where Rocky fights
the Russian \"Ivan Drago\" and it was befitting of Tom�
Tom\'s nickname quickly became \"Drago\" to all who knew him in SEAL Team�
Tom wasn\'t a big guy. A little under six foot, maybe a buck eighty when he
arrived at SEAL Team TWO. I remember him well with his THICK Polish accent as a
new guy and his \"I don\'t understand\" BS he pulled when he\'d screw up to get
out of trouble� It never worked�
Tom understood English as well as any American SEAL� But you needed to admire
Tom\'s biggest misunderstandings are cultural differences and a HARD life�
Tom had it rough as a kid and was very proud to become an American. He didn\'t
like being called a Pollock�
You basically had \"ONE CHANCE\" to apologize to Tom if the word Pollock or
slipped somehow and you were just being malicious .
Don\'t get me wrong� EVERYONE in SEAL Team pushes each other\'s buttons, that\'s
what we do� That\'s ALL we do� But the cultural differences from Tom being
Polish were VAST� And not many understood it�
TAKE DAT BACK� SAY YOU SORRY�
If you didn\'t� Tom would make you say I\'m Sorry \"Three Times\" using his
fists and was famous for it�
Just one of those things learned in a Gulag� Nobody messed with Drago�
Drago\'s shining moment came when he was asked to go to Iraq and support a
shorthanded SEAL Platoon there. When the deployment ended his name wasn\'t on
the list of guys returning so he just stayed and operated with the next arriving
Platoon. He also became a Liaison with the Polish Grom.
Grom stands for \"Grupa Reagowania Operacyjno-Manewrowego or Operational
Maneuver Response Group. The acronym Grom means \"Thunderbolt,\" and they are
feared by their enemies�
Drago began \"double dipping\" for Direct Action Missions. Conduct one with the
SEALs, conduct another with the Grom� His exploits were legendary�
Drago\'s downfall, if you can call it that, came when he made a phone call back
to the States to get a new set of Night Vision Goggles he\'d broken. \"Who is
this\" came the reply and \"You\'re WHERE???\"
An oversight on paperwork, he\'d been forgotten in the shuffle somehow. Instead
of saying something long before Drago decided he was having fun and just stayed
Drago showed up and helped for the final November Course training the guys.
Outside of telling the most entertaining stories with his thick Polish accent
he\'d run some Hand 2 Hand training for the guys and yell \"STUP MAKING DOS
FACES, YOU ARE SCARINGGGGG ME� \"
I\'m sure he\'ll return next year for the courses� And I\'ll work hard to get
him to show you guys how to swallow and smuggle money�