I've been sitting here a while, mostly stiring the thoughts around, my brains always been a stew pot. Mostly I've been looking back over my times in SAS. I can still see all the people I've known, the names are pages long now. My thoughts have gotten me to the point of hysterical tears, but I actually do feel a hell of a lot better... if a bit out of character. That's the difference between the man and the machine.
The amount of time I've putted in, the era I joined up, the distance I place, helps me to look at things and see the truths there. It gives me a way of seeing things no other member I've met understands, because either they are to close, or to blind. That's something that's always separated me from my peers, past and present.
I came to SAS during a golden era, one hard fought for under Randoms command. Either it was SAS's second or first golden era, perhaps even third, I'm to young to know that. The first great war I witnessed came during Heims period as commanding officer, it nearly destroyed SAS, and it helped push the "Good ol'days" into the history books, where us old farts and the aging farts still remember them. I saw the first and only Dishonorable Discharge (DD) in SAS history, and almost the entire clan either walk out or die of a broken heart; those who didn't agree with James getting booted, and those that were so hurt at what the incident cost us. Most of my best friends in SAS drifted off into nothing, to damaged by it to participate as they once did, but caring to much for SAS to harm her by dropping out on the spot. It was a bloody mess, one I spent collecting information and dispersing it to the other members, trying to help them keep the faith. Darkest days I ever did see, even if my for bearers saw much worse.
Out of that train wreck, was the world my generation came of age in. We took to the trenches and worked like everyone else high and low did, SAS quickly recovered, and we pressed forward one foot after the other. I've seen the people we help mold come and go, both in good and bad alike, I've seen it all. In many ways, I feel that Rasa, Myself, and Rouge, were to young for the job set before us, but it's boots we and our peers had to fill in order to survive. Through that is where cancer developed, and anyone who saw those days will agree, except those to close to the matter to see the wider scope of what happened. Dave and Rasas training sessions are really what built SWAT 4 from a passing fancy to a serious element of SAS life, and where the sins of our fathers first came into sight.
When I was young, I had the feeling of being groomed to be a Sergeant, watched over if you will.Whether I was or not, it's with that same nature that I watched over the generations after me. Hexen is and has (sadly) remained, the only one to hit Trp to remind me, of me. The same sort of dedication, that drive to train, and so on, it made him one of the best. Miles was a little sap that grew on me, from someone I merely looked after, to being an incredibly dear friend, a teammate, and someone I consider a brother. When a young punk named Lazkostriker came along, he too became one of the important subjects my generation had a hand in, and one of the best instructors in SAS history, even better then Rasa. We helped shape what those members became, intentionally and unintentionally, and I had felt among them, is where our replacements would come from, but alas, not only did we out live the monsters (in both positive and negative senses of the word) that we helped to create, I have also outlived the others in my generation.
Through the people we helped bring into the SAS, lead to the wars that followed what we saw, and instilled a lingering cancer that was hard to remove. It's that single thing, that I feel with the greatest remorse, because I was a part of it. Some might hold Rasa (whom I still consider a brother) responsible, but I hold us responsible, our generation. We're the ones that made the curse or sat idly by when we should have acted. Members that followed, grew up waiting to receive the mark of a beast without even knowing it, even I hadn't realized it until the line in the sand was years back. The generations that learned from mine, would go on to be some of the hardest working members in SAS history, as well as some of our worst...no ones a saint.
It would take 3 wars to ride us of such things, one batch at a time. I still know people that grew up in that slop of a situation, but survived it without becoming tainted by their surroundings; they are the ones I'll have to trust, not to make our mistakes over again. Many of the others that came up through that mess were not so lucky, and fell into one trap or another. They are all gone now, along with some good souls, and some who could have been spared if they had come aboard during better days. It's been my place to see what becomes of members, my honour to see them come full circle, and like wise, my pains and joys to watch what marks they would leave behind for others. That's why this last and final war has taken so much out of me, because it proves that we were the real failures, not our commanders. If GCHQ has truly failed at anything during all my years of membership, it was in trying to lead stray hearts to water rather then shoot the horses early on. Honestly, I wonder if my generation never happened, would 3 out of 4 of the world wars in SAS have ever happened?
I'm tired of seeing good people brought into an uncertin future, all to often it hurts once the dice has stopped rolling. It's the life of a phoenix, of death and rebirth from the ashes. Whatever successes my generation achieved, whatever positive influences we've made, none of it can outweigh the mistakes we made, and the mistakes we helped influence. That's the legacy I've seen extinguished. I don't know if it was just our inexperience at being NCOs that help breed what kind of members we became, or if it's just our true selves coming out bit by bit. But I know this, the generations who will fold the next ones to come, are much better prepared then we were, and that is the comfort I find there.
SAS is now poised to become better then it has been, there's no more wars to fight, no more dark cloud over head, and I pray, there never will be again. My crystal ball says in a few years, members will come aboard in golden days the way my generation did, GOD willing, they will be a success should they ever be forced into the ground we had to uphold.
Generation means different things to different people, for me, it is groups of people: who entered and spent their times as Recruit and Trooper together along much the same time frames. My generation was Rasa, Myself, and Leon, with Rouge and Mandolore coming into the picture just in time to be apart of it, or one very close to it. Rouge and Mando were mostly trained by those that trained the rest of us, but we were Troopers at the time, so it may be fair to call them the generation after us.. Leon and Mando on the other hand, lacked the activity to have any real positive or negative impact compared to the rest of us old war horses. I have seen a great many generation of recruit come and go.
I hope that GOD will smile upon SASs future, and forever shield the new wave from racking up the things I've seen. Sure, I've been in the trenches, an integral part of SAS, it's something I committed to early on. We are always gonna need people who can do that, I just hope they do a better job then we did.
Spidey01, Warrant Officer Class One, Special Air Service 22nd Elite Virtual Regiment; 2005-2010 and beyond.