Friday, January 23, 2009

The Assault

 It was May 21st, 2005.  They attacked at night, just after the first heavy rain of the monsoon season.  They came at us from all sides without warning.  Because we were taken by complete surprise there was chaos as we tried to repel the attack.  We marshaled our forces as best we could to fight off the advancing army.  The low level strafing was murderous.  We had no defense against this type of attack.  You could hear screams, “The lights, the lights, turn off the damn lights.”  One by one the lights went off but it was too late, the enemy was everywhere.  Our best defenses, meticulously prepared and no expense spared, had failed.

            In the real scope of things, we knew there would be an attack, but there were varying opinions as to when it would come.  Almost one year before we had repelled a similar surprise attack.  Our forces had overwhelmingly defeated the invaders.  The enemy had been so badly defeated we really didn’t think they could rebuild their forces so quickly.

We retreated a short distance to regroup; there was nothing else we could do.  The number of enemy casualties was beyond comprehension.  They had mounted an all out, Kamikaze style, assault.  The effect on us was, to say the least, demoralizing.  Much to the credit of our forces, they fought like hell.  That’s the only reason the enemy lost so many and we didn’t suffer any killed: only wounded.  

We were out numbered by at least 1000 to 1.  Some of us wanted to cut and run; but to where?  The fact was there was nowhere to go; we were surrounded.  So we fought.  

It took all of our courage to mount a counter attack at the time when we thought all was lost.  In this fight there is no surrender; neither side takes prisoners.  With the lights finally off we launched our counter-attack.  We blasted them out of the air and we smashed them on the ground.  The battle lasted for almost three hours and in the end, it was only our spirit that drove us on against their massive army and air force.  In spite of overwhelming odds we came through victorious; the enemy was again defeated.

There was one negative aspect to this victory; my wife and I had to clean up floors that were covered with thousands of these damn flying ants.


            Thailand is rich in many things including insects.  The rainy season starts in mid April to early May.  The first rains of the Monsoon season bring many hatchings.  The first ones are usually the largest.  The number of insects is truly overwhelming.  Unless your house is hermetically sealed, the insects will get into your house.  Having any lights on is like an invitation.  They come at dusk and will come by the thousands.  We have screens on the windows and doors but the smallest gap is a way in and the insects have an uncanny way of finding every one.  Before this incident we had some rain, but not a major down pour.  This day we had a major down pour.  Our street flooded and the sewer overflowed.  The hatching was huge and we were inundated with flying insects of more than one variety.  My wife, who is Thai was not particularly bothered, but I, an American from Oregon was scrambling to contain the infestation.  I had never seen anything like this before.  I would like to think I will not see this again............BUT..........I know It will happen every year. 

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