The RF was dispatched again, but they didn't find anything. About an hour after they left, the sedan came back and the local police sent their helicopter out. They also found nothing. That night, we were doing our interior patrol and we heard three gunshots. Everything went quiet, then we heard somebody moving in the corn field surrounding our base. The next day, we patrolled outside the wire. At the wood line, we found a newly set-up deer stand facing the missile site. Anyone in that stand had a clear shot of our emergency response doors.
"Operation Enduring Bambi"
To this day, I don't know what that was all about. It could've been a test by our own guys. It might have been a Soviet probe. Or it may have been a really confused but persistent deer hunter with impeccable fashion sense.
The People Guarding Your World-Destroying Super-Weapons Are Expendable
Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
This was the Cold War, so we had plans for an imminent Russian invasion. And they were crazier than a basement full of badgers on mescaline. If our base was compromised, our "rescue" would consist of four A-10 Warthogs. They would run grid-square strafing runs over our entire site, placing a 20mm depleted uranium round every 12 inches until every living thing in the area was "liberated."
Master Sgt. Blake R. Borsic
Then nuke it from orbit. Just to be safe.
In the event of a tank invasion from Russia, our strategic mission was to turn a sizable amount of Europe into a solid strip of nuclear death that the tanks couldn't cross. The Nike Hercules were also equipped for surface-to-air firing, in case the Russians went that route. Here's the thing: If we launched all ten of our missiles, even at max distance, we'd all be killed by radiation in a matter of days. At one point during a briefing, the question came up to command:
"Where do we go after we launch?"
"We fall back to Dusseldorf Airport and provide security to all the people we're evacuating."
"But if we launch those nukes, not a single plane will be flying, because of the EMP."
He allowed that this was correct.
"So you're saying we don't have a single viable 'B' mission ... we're just expected to die?"
It got reeeeeeal quiet then.
Ramona Murdock/iStock/Getty Images
"On the plus side, your Mom will have the nicest, cleanest flag in the neighborhood."
That kind of stress has long-term effects, especially on a stupid, unprepared, unqualified teenager. I had nightmares regularly, from the time I left the service until about eight years ago, when I sought out counseling. Now I only have them maybe once a year. The nightmares are always about the same thing: me launching missiles at my Mom and Dad's house during a birthday party, and watching them burn.
Postscript: The Nike Hercules Missile system was decommissioned in the early 1990s. They were never fired in war, as evidenced by the lack of sledgehammer-wielding super mutants surrounding you.
Robert Evans is the Editorial Manager at Cracked, and he runs the Personal Experience article team. His twitter is here.
For more insider perspectives, check out 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza and 6 Insane Things You Learn Overthrowing Your Own Government.
Are you on reddit? Check it: We are too! Click on over to our best of Cracked subreddit.
Have a story to share with Cracked? Message us here.