"We were in the training area learning how to conduct off-base nuke weapon convoys. The scenario included the tow vehicle' 'breaking down'' which prompted us to establish a National Defense Area. I was a perimeter guard facing outward so I could only hear what was going on behind me.
Sergeant Cox arrived at the scene with a mock truck mechanic, aka Sgt. Lamp, which he was escorting into the area. Inside the ropes, there was a Peacekeeper with a trainee in the turret manning the 60. I heard them open the hood and Lamp was saying stuff like "well, le' me see here. Kain't see nuttin' wrong. This is lookin' kinda wiggly right here." I was trying not to laugh.
Suddenly, "60-man" starts blazing away (we had blanks and barrel adapters). We all turned around and Cox says "okay, okay stop the exercise!" Lamp is looking up at 60-man and grinning. "Why the hell did you shoot me?" he asked. The trainee said "because you walked away from your escort, sir!" Lamp shook his head and Cox was beside himself.
After a lengthy remedial briefing on the use of deadly force, we were formed up. Then, and this is why I loved this guy, Lamp ordered 60-man to write a letter to his wife. He wanted 60-man to explain why he killed her husband. It was due the next morning at guardmount. We all laughed and we were dismissed.
Next morning came and sure enough, Lamp ordered 60-man front and center and then instructed him to read the letter out loud. 60-man did and it went something like this:
"Dear Mrs. Lamp, my name is Airman ________. I am the individual who is responsible for shooting and killing your husband. He was being escorted into a National Defense Area when he walked away from his escort. I felt him to be a threat to the resource and opened fire on him. I am terribly sorry and...." That's as much as I remember.
He gave the letter to Lamp who commended him on how well it was written. That was 31 years ago and I'll never forget it."
Academy Class Photos