LOYALITY IS EVERYTHING

Posted: November 1, 2015 in Uncategorized
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How many times have we seen a college athlete leave college to pursue a lucrative professional career and then leave the team? An institution of higher learning that developed the athlete, provided some level of an education and made it possible for the athlete to become immediately wealthy was left with a vacant spot of a talented athlete. How fortunately we are that the young men and women serving our country place country above their own wellbeing. The sacrifice of the man landing at Utah Beach at Normandy or Iwo Jima in the Pacific are examples the pinnacles of examples of manhood that we refer to as Loyality and dedication to mission.
Loyalty is the defining characteristic of the men and women that built our country; but America does not have exclusive rights to individuals that put duty before self. Over the years I told you of various unique individuals that I had the good fortune to have worked with while in Arabia. People such as Tom O’Roark that was a Marine chopper pilot, Bell test pilot and ultimately had to escape Iran over the mountains to Turkey only to die of cancer, possibly a causality of Agent Orange. And Louie Rotter a British RAF pilot in WWII and Hans Koziennski a German Luftwaffe pilot. They worked closely together in Arabia but had flown against each other in the Mediterranean. As unique as these friends and co-workers were, there was one really unique co-worker that was totally dedicated to his work and displayed complete loyalty; Bill Sime. I had felt there would have to be a special time before I told the story of my piping supervisor and this time has come.
In the 50s, 60s and 70s it took a special person to relocate to Arabia. It took a very unique person to stay. Stories circulated of people walking to the open door of a plane on the strip in Dhahran only to turn around and declare that they wanted to return to the United States. Arabia attracted those that would seek adventure and wanted to live a life that had unique qualities much like those of China Gordon, T,E. Lawrence and Roy Chapman Andrews. Bill was just such a character.
He was just over 5’ tall and had a shaved head. During our many days and nights at construction camps in the Arabian Desert we would exchange war stories; many of his I was slightly dubious to. Bill was born a true Cockney in inner London. To be a Cockney one must be born within the sound of “Bow Bells”, the bells of the Catholic Church of St Mary-le-Bow. This was a melting pot of culture and his father was Jewish and his mother was Catholic. Bill had been a member of the British Special Forces, SAS and he was honest to a fault. He viewed killing in combat as being a part of his job, was un- repentant and thus not allowed to be married in the church for taking a human life without being repentant, it was his ob.
Bill was in the SAS when Great Britain was turning over control of territory to local rule. The SAS was instrumental with assisting with the transition and helping to insure that the new government is loyal to England. He told of fighting to recover an island invaded by Egyptian commandos and how there were no commanders remaining when the battle was over and how they used snipers in minarets to stop riots in the Trucial States much as Americans did in Iraq forty years later.
In addition to his difficult SAS training he was sent to America for HALO training. He would be taken up to an altitude of up to 35,000 feet and had to jump; not once but three times. He told me that when a fictitious military unit was named in the British paper it was really an SAS unit. Great Britain’s Prime Minister referred to the SAS as a necessary evil
Bill despised drugs and told me of chasing drug dealers down a street in London, returning to break into their car, taking a gallon gas can from the trunk, pouring it inside the front of the car, lighting it and calmly walking away.
Eventually even the SAS could not control Bill. For some reason he was sent to a penal island off Bahrain. Visitors would ride a crew boat to the island while guards would throw scraps from butcher shops to attract sharks. I asked why he had not joined the French Foreign Legion. He told me he had and deserted on Bastille Day, France’s Independence Day.
Two things were certain; Bill was a very loyal colleague that was driven to provide professional results and I was dubious of some of his stories. Then on one hot day while driving back to the job site Bill was killed in an automobile accident. This was a blow and I was inundated with calls from around the Mid-East asking for details of their friends end. One day a “Brit” visited me and told of visiting Bill on the penal island and told me stories that reinforced everything that Bill had told me to be absolutely true. Then a few years later a friend told me of being with Bill in London when he torched the drug dealer’s car. I often wonder how much he would have been in his element had he lived long enough to have been in Arabia during Desert Storm.

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