They're the Army Special Forces, people you hear about, but almost never see, and for just one day, Deion Sanders was in their world. Here is his report
Now, you know I always play with intensity. But these guys play for keeps. I've never been in the service, but I don't think this is the way they greet every new recruit. The Army did manage to make me look a little more like a soldier.
Fort Bragg is one of the biggest military bases in the world, so the Humvee is a must.
I came to see soldiers training for combat and around here, that means just about everyone. When I got out to the field, they put me in the body armor that soldiers carry. I don't know how they do it. I'm going to have scoliosis.
Two months ago, these Army Reserve soldiers were home. Now, their whole world has changed.
"Some of these folks are going to end up deployed overseas," said one major. He says he did not really expect to be here. "They're good soldiers. They're ready," he added.
"We're ready to go whenever they call us," said one sergeant.
Reserve or not, every soldier has to know how to fire an automatic weapon. In my new role, I was not the exception.
It was impressive. But it was nothing like the .50-caliber machine gun.
In a war, some of the fighting is up close and personal. That's where the soldiers come in.
"It's all about getting it on," explained one soldier. This is the seventh Special Forces group. And they looked like they were ready to go to war tonight.
They're training for urban warfare, house to house, and I joined the squad for an exercise. They gave me a mask, they gave me a weapon and then, they gave me the green light.
"Watch the windows! We've got people upstairs," ordered one soldier.
It looked like chaos, but they knew what they were doing.
The other team was trying to take me out and I was trying to do the same to them.
A soldier yelled, "You see him, Deion? Take him out, take him out!"
It wasn't like real combat, but it was close.
After about 30 minutes, the firefight was over.
Final score: all winners, no losers. And one very impressed soldier-for-a-day.
I envy all of you. Just wearing the equipment, wearing the gear. You kicked my butt over there.
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