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Columnists : Ted Nugent
Last Updated: Aug 6, 2010 - 1:11:39 PM
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Nuge Goes to GitMo
By Ted Nugent
Nov 5, 2007 - 9:08:44 AM


Wheels up, 2:30pm ET, November 2, 2007, we take off in the pouring rain, departing straight out of the Leeward side of the US Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Our USAF DC9 is once again loaded to the hilt with weapons of mass rock-n-roll construction as my hearty bandmates and crew and I take off from the US warrior epicenter on this Communist Island, deadheaded homebound, back to my sacred Michigan deercamp swampgrounds. We just spent three rather frustrating yet spiritually invigorating days with the hero warriors of the US Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard and Marine Corps, right here on one of the many frontlines of freedom. Our hopes included a good old fashioned rock-n-roll hellraiser concert of the highest order, performing the heart and soul battlecry soundtrack for the greatest warriors ever known to mankind. My entire tribe went to great lengths to reorganize and manipulate personal schedules in order to join the ol Whackmaster on this intense freedom celebration adventure. My band and many of my master sound and stage technicians had to come from Europe and beyond so that they could show their sincere appreciation for the military’s great sacrifices. I had left deercamp during the electric-rut days of Halloween, November 1 and 2, surely the three most magic deerhunting days of the year in Michigan. Though nowhere near the sacrifices made by the great US Military Warriors, it is only a trip to say thank you to them that could possibly tear me away from my deergrounds at this time. I did it without hesitation and I’d do it again. But these three days are mythical to say the least.

But alas, Mother Nature, as she is want to do, threw us a vicious left hook with a savage tropical torrent raging throughout the Caribbean, and though we persevered with much gusto and eventually made it to Gitmo, the intense storm surge prevented all but my manager and assistant to join me and Admiral Bianchi on a treacherous flooded Hummer ride through dangerous high waters to the Navy speedboat that sped us across angry seas to the wayward side of the Gitmo bay. Ugh. At least I was able to hang onto the Ma Deuce .50 cal and a pair of .308 M240s for hardware enjoyment. Improvise, adapt and overcome indeed.

Though not able to perform, I was humbled and moved nonetheless to spend some high-energy quality time with 100s and 100s of courageous heroes in uniform and their brave families, my spirit powerfully fortified with every handshake and photograph we took together. There is no question that these are the brightest, most professional, most patriotic men and women of goodwill and decency the world has ever known. Statistically they are the smartest people around, and have clearly dedicated this intellect and sense of duty to God, country and mankind to intensely researching the war on terror, probing every scrap of evidence, and thusly determine their choice to volunteer to put themselves in harms way, training with all their hearts and souls to be the best soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines that they can be in order to halt evil wherever they may find it. Brave volunteers. There is no greater sacrifice a human can make than to volunteer to lay down one’s life for their fellow man. These enlisted men and women are saints with M16s. Godbless and Godspeed the warrior BloodBrothers all.

There was a clear and present openness to their candor and conversation during our time together on Gitmo. The moral was gungho, the spirit and energy positive and buoyant, their sense of humor and focus forthright. They come from every walk of life and every state across this great land, and they all have a story to share about their love of the great outdoors and rock-n-roll. It seemed that they were all hunters and fishermen and even a few fellow trappers thrown in amongst them. Many military heroes have pictures to show me of their recent deer, turkey, moose, bear, hog, pheasant, bass or other game that they are so very proud of. To connect so with these great outdoorsmen and women is very special. We are SpiritWild BloodBrothers for sure. We had a grand time celebrating the great American outdoor traditions and heritage of hands-on conservation, and each and every one were either a member of the NRA or at the very least a hardcore vocal supporter of our sacred Second Amendment. Their oath to protect the US Constitution is proudly taken to heart. I looked to them for wisdom, strength and soulfulness, and found it all in unlimited quantities. Semper Fi.

I spent a long phone conversation with private first class Mike Stilson of WA who was bedridden at Bethesda Naval Hospital about to go in for his 20th something surgery. This heroic 19 year old marine had taken an IED (improvised explosive device) centermass on the frontlines of the war on terror, and was lucky to be alive. He had honored me with his request to shoot the breeze with his “Uncle Ted” and we talked at length about his great love of elk hunting in the wilds of his homestate of WA. His mother was at his side in the hospital room, and he described the photo on his table of the stunning 6x6 bull elk his father had bowkilled this season. For a brave young man with his guts blown out, he sure showed what marines are made of, for he expressed with certainty that he would be back in the wild again before too long, chasing the mighty wapiti himself, with his dad and brother. I told him that all his American hunting BloodBrothers pray for his full and quick recovery, and promised him that we would go hunting together as soon as possible. Another great American hero who will make it. Pray hard for him and all of them.

My poor bandmates were hopelessly stranded by the roiling 14 foot waves that blockaded access to the wayward side of Guantanamo Bay where we had been scheduled to rock, so they sat helplessly with all our stage-gear with nothing to do except stay out of the wind and rain. They too made the best of their time and shared war stories with enlisted men and women, roughing it in the Spartan barracks of the base with a history dating back to 1494 when Christopher Columbus first called the bay Grande Puerto. It wasn’t until 1898 that a battalion of US Marines landed here and made camp nearby as the first US troops ashore in Cuba in the Spanish-American War. In 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt signed the original lease agreement with Cuba for Naval Base Guantanamo Bay and in December of that year, Cuba turned the base over to the United States.

Everybody on the base were eager to tell me stories of the whitetail deer that the brass had brought over for hunting many years ago. They roamed the island in great numbers, along with African guinea fowl and nasty banana rats, a strange mix of warf-rat, possum and koala bear that flourish in the tropical vegetation. I was invited to join them for a silenced .22 rifle nighttime spotlight rat hunt, but the violent weather prevented us from giving it a go. A once overpopulated herd of deer had been reduced by a culling operation, but there were still sightings here and there. The wild goat population had been wiped out years earlier, as their voracious appetite was destroying the habitat.

As a sportsman, my eyes nearly blew out of my face when we drove over the fingers of land jutting out into the estuaries and marshes. Shorebirds and ducks of various species by the thousands were rafting along the reed infested shoreline, begging for a decoy spread, duckblind, a 12 gauge and an eager Labrador retriever. It was surely the most ducks I had ever seen in one place in my life, and the setting was absolutely ideal for hunting. I am talking with the authorities now to see if it is at all possible to go duck hunting on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  

Cubans (like Mexicans on our southern border) continue to take their lives into their own hands by trying to sneak into the US base at Guantanamo Bay. We all know why. Communism, in all its various forms, is just another name for slavery, and people created in His image and likeness by God, have freedom and individualism burning in their souls. It is the heroic dedication of the US troops who secure and protect freedom wherever you find it, and all people want in, except of course, the slavemasters and their henchmen. To hang out with the protectors of freedom buoys my spirit and makes me a better man.

As a victim of a failed education system in America back in 1967, I was totally clueless regarding these historical facts of good over evil and the essentiality of waging war against Nazis, communists, tyrants, dictators and all evil monster wherever they showed up. Ignorant of it all, I was not called nor did I volunteer to serve. Now as a middle-aged American, I take a cue from the warriors whom are better than I, and now I too go into harm’s way to Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond to say thank you to those who serve and protect. We must all do whatever we can to say thank you and show real support for the good guys waging war against evil. But by the sacrifices of warriors go we the people.

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