I get a bra just when I need one the most.

Clint and I excitedly tightened our Swiss seats as we looked over the cliff edge, feeling like kids getting ready for their first roller-coaster ride. It was the hot August of 1993 in the middle of Guatemala. The Guatemalan Kaibil (Army ‘Ranger’) instructors were tying the rappelling ropes to a large boulder at the top of the cliff.

Our first look at the cliff

There would be no belay, no practice, and no instruction for this rappelling practice. There would be no emergency personnel or equipment in case of an accident. Just the way we we liked it – gung ho and high speed! One instructor checked how we had run the ropes through our carabiners and gave us the go ahead. Normally I would have been very careful and slowly gone over the edge, but the atmosphere was so charged with adrenaline that Clint and I bounced out over the precipice. I was singing the “Eyes of Texas” at the top of my lungs. We pushed off the rock face as we descended without care and probably a bit too fast. Now this was living!

The cliff was overhung so that halfway down we were hanging free and Clint and I raced down side-by-side to the bottom. We were laughing, but got our right gloves off as fast as possible – they were smoking! The rope friction was a bit much on our uninsulated leather gloves, burning our hands. We unclipped and started the run around and up the long path to the top of the cliff for another rappel. Off the path a ways I saw something white in the rocks and scrub brush. I called out for Clint to wait and ran over to find an A-cup padded bra lying there in the Guatemalan sun. Odd, but perfect! I ripped the old bra in half and ripped off the straps. “Come on, man! What are you doing? Let’s go!” I looked up at Clint and grinned, stuffing one bra cup into my right-hand glove over my palm. The light turned on in Clint’s eyes and he reached for the other cup. “Gimme that!” I handed him the welcome piece of padding with a smile and we were off up the path for more rappelling with a bit less heat on our hands. This time we would go Australian style!

The Top Five - end of training

19 Comments

  • April 1991, that is.

    Also, Dwayne Convirs was there, too. He’s got the largest paintball game in the U.S. in Wyandot, Oklahoma.. 918-666 ????. is his phone number. “The Bunker” is his place.

    Capt. Rodriguez was still alive…so was Mike for that matter.

    Steve

  • Steve, where you the one that wrote the story? I was wondering if you guys completed the whole trainning? Where you guys cadets? what were the requirements to get accepted and to join Los Kaibiles?

  • Hi guys! Those photos sure does bring back some great memories. Interested i knowing what happened to all the guys later on. Myself i went back home and reenlisted. Was in Bosnia from 95-98 before i retired and joined the civilian life.

  • Looks like I need to post a few more photos!

    The guy to my right in the top photo is Juha Leppanin, from Finland. He sent me home with the finest vodka in the world – Finlandia.

    I have a photo of all you guys standing in the ring of fire (I was sneaking around in the dark, remember?).

    Frode – I went back to refrigeration work, but spent some time in Iraq (2003-2004). Recently did some great tac pistol & rifle training with Paul Howe (Mogadishu / BlackHawk).

  • I wasnt the one writing the story but he and I were on listening post one night. I dont recall his name. My quah was Robert Goodwin. I saw where the Col. got in some trouble. Lee has an open invitation to visit as do all my KAIBIL brothers. Arkansas/Oklahoma border..just south of Joplin, Mo. Look me up on Facebook. I want to go back !!
    _KAIBIL !

  • Guys, I reconnected with a CURRENT Kaibil Officer. I’m working on a training trip to re-visit the base and HQ in Guatemala City. Maybe soon. I’d like to go maybe in September. Feedback?

  • Don’t know if I can afford it right now, but I’d love to look into it! There is a lot of drug-cartel activity down there right now, not to mention what the current US admin would be thinking…

    -john s

  • Steve, Are the Kaibil still in business? I was under the impression that they were disbanded by the 12/1996 UN peace accords …..Yes there were many fond memories…hah!

  • Seriously, guys, get in touch with any one of the group you can and see if they have photos/video to share. I’d be happy to post them here, along with any stories you’d like to share!

    -John S.

  • to all to whom we are bonded with a need to be what we want to be..
    life is a road to burn fast and not walk slow… life is for living and take what comes with a closed fist and a hand on the butt of your gun..

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