Saturday, December 12, 2015

Terror attack at San Bernardino

OK… my oldest daughter calls it the “Brusso curse”.
I think all of you might have heard of the terrorist attack here in CA this week. I was mere blocks away. Let me tell you the story and what the take aways are are.
A good friend of mine Frank Seringa was pinch hitting for another good friend of mine Richard Bentley who takes me to my surgery appointments at the VA in Loma Linda. I’m allergic to the numbing agent they use “Lidocaine” and it makes me become much like a modern zombie. Not safe to drive home for sure so I was scheduled for surgery Dec 2nd at 2 PM PST.
Off frank and I went and we arrived at Loma Linda with cops running down the freeway in the same direction as we were going. Strange for sure.
I thought at one point Frank was getting pulled over in his Prius just like mine… but nope. Was strange for sure.
Then as we exited the freeway and turned left on to Mountain View in Loma Linda… there was a stream of traffic leaving the area. I had never seen that before. It was wall to wall cars leaving the area getting onto the freeway we just got off of. No worries I thought.
Now Frank has never been in the military or the like so he is new to this stuff. But on to the VA hospital we went. We got there and found a parking place rather quickly which is odd too.
Out of the car we walked to the North entrance next to the emergency room and police station. We were meet by a guy who said this entrance was in lock down. We had to use the main entrance. No worries I said as we walked around to the front of the hospital. As we were walking Frank said “isn’t that a military or police term?” “Lock down”… I said yes but why were they doing just locking down one door? It made no sense to me and off we go.
When we got to the main entrance there was a WHOLE lot of people there, more than I ever saw before. I told Frank to say on my Six… which I don’t think he understood but he followed. We made our way to the North elevators and up to the third floor. I checked in and sat down next to Frank who had cell service as I didn’t. I couldn’t get on the open Wifi or anything. Then we started seeing the coverage of the terrorist attack which was one exit down from us and about 1 to 2 blocks west of us.
In a matter of minutes a doctor came out of the door and said the hospital was in complete lock down.
No one can come in or leave.
My first. I said really!
He said yes and exited the clinic stage left.
Wow, ok what is happening I thought? As Frank and I watched we had 12 dead at the time and 17 wounded. Ok… then they called my name. I went into the doctor’s office, I have meet her before and we talked.
She didn’t want to do my surgery based on what was going on.
I told her since we were in total lock down it would be fine and can we look at some other issues I’m having as she wouldn’t be having any more patients that day… she laughed and placed a call to verify my news. She confirmed we are not going anywhere. She got a bit upset and said she would be right back.
She left the door open and I heard other vets talking about it.
They were trying for formulate a defensive plan. I stepped out and said. Do we have any acid? We have liquid Nitrogen to freeze tissue let’s get that together. Any IV poles.. Make great Bo staffs etc. I suggested why don’t we Evac the first floor and concentrate on the stair wells for our defense. Everyone got into the spirit. Make our stand in a choke point to maximize our chances. The loved it and went off… the Doctor came back… did a few things with me and off I went.
Before the doctor came back, and since I was on the 3rd floor I had a great view of the tactical things going on. No one was coming or going but that didn’t worry me. I could see I10 moving in both directions this time. That is a good thing as we can get home if we can get out of here.
Tons of helicopters overhead and more police then I have ever seen. Police cars going everywhere and doing house to house searches. I want to go home and not be in this silly shit.
So I told Frank just follow me and don’t look back. We took the elevators down to the ground floor. Walk with purpose and out we went. Lucky as we exited the cops at the lockdown door were busy with people trying to come in. Out we went and got into the car.
The rest is history as we got the hell out of Dodge City.
Take aways.
1. If you are going into a city and everyone is trying to leave… pay attention.
2. If you can get a parking place easy at a VA facility leave.
3. When you walk up to a Federal facility and someone says they are in lockdown… leave
4. If you find yourself in this position get as much medical attention you can as they have no more patients for the day! I did except the surgery I needed.
5. When you egress… walk with purpose and don’t look back… we did.
6. Always remember you are the weapon!
Lessons learned and a great adventure as usual. I only wish I could have been closer to the event. I loved the vets who were planning to defend the place and not run. They were all talking about running into the event… not from it! Wheel chairs and all… have to love them and their spirit!
Master Peter Brusso

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