A Fellow Seabee Helps Represent the Brave in Las Vegas

It’s been quite some time since I’ve felt compelled to post anything here, politics is a useless blame game where both sides are increasingly the same. So feeling enough to want to sit down and crank something out that I care enough about to finish.

This is one of those rare instances.

Getting ready for bed Sunday night, I looked at Twitter before I closed up my laptop and saw something about Las Vegas police scanner reporting shots fired at a concert venue. Holy crap!

I turned on the TV, and sure enough it was on every channel already. My wife, daughter, and I are planning to go there in November, so this hopefully was a mistake. Fireworks. Something.

No. No mistake. You know the story already.

Well it turns out my friend Mike from my Seabee days was in Las Vegas at the concert where Jason Aldean was playing. Seems like not a week or two ago he just made Chief Petty Officer (E7), and I’m sure this was him and his wife celebrating.

Big and Rich had just been playing an hour earlier, and with cellphones lit, the crowd waved and sang “God Bless America” together:

What the shooter hadn’t apparently counted on (hopefully) was the large number of first responders attending the concert off duty with their families. Active duty military and reservists were also in attendance, many with combat experience.

Big and Rich knows this, and they call out to bring some of them on stage with them, and shout out to those who remain in the crowd.

So the shooting starts during Jason Aldean’s final set, and in the first video I saw I was struck by the way the crowd moved. When the shooter was reloading, they were up en mass moving toward exits. When he started firing again, down they went to whatever cover they could find. The ones I saw weren’t stampeding, they were being led.

One of those leaders turns out to have been Mike.

His wife was the first to to post publicly about their horrific experiences escaping the carnage. Mike, as usual, was all business:

Finally they made it home to the LA area, and Mike posted a pic he took before the show started, back from where the better memories came.

We often wonder how we would react in a situation like that. I hope for myself I would be at least with half the poise as ol’ Chief Lopez.

Hoorah, brother.

About Erick Brockway

Living in Camarillo, CA, about 45 miles North of LA. I have a son, and two daughters. Working two jobs (welcome to California life), plus a (now retired) reservist in the US Navy Seabees so life is busy!
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1 Response to A Fellow Seabee Helps Represent the Brave in Las Vegas

  1. Michael Lopez says:

    Erick – thank for the kind words. You already know what I’m going to say “I was just doing my job.” I needed to ensure the safety of my wife and as many people that I could help while we were evading the chaos. It was devastating to say the least but with my training and with the grace of God we managed to get through it. I feel blessed and grateful that all of my friends were able to make out alive as well but the fate of many others were not so lucky. My heart goes out to allmofnth families that are still suffering their losses. May God bless us all.

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