For The Evil and Incorrigible
Thomas Calabrese – Katie Wyatt grew up on Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base. Her mother, Calena had Antiphospholipid Syndrome, a medical term used for genetically inherited thrombosis. The affected gene caused her body to make certain clot-forming proteins that don’t work the way they should in high altitude or flying on an airplane, but at sea level, Calena was completely normal. This health issue qualified her to be in the Exceptional Family Member Program.
It also allowed First Sergeant Mace Wyatt to maintained Camp Pendleton as his permanent duty station while being assigned to the 13th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) a deployable unit. Mace was the consummate Marine, he stood six foot five inches, weighed 245 pounds, was strong, tough and took great pride in being a leatherneck. Mace loved his country and was willing to go into harm’s way whenever called upon. He demanded twice as much of himself as he asked of anybody else and earned the respect of his men by being fair and straight forward. A young Marine always knew where he stood when it came to dealing with Mace Wyatt. There was no ambiguity in his life and when Mace said something, he meant it. It could be a rough, tough and merciless world. Mace had the displeasure to come in contact with some very bad people during his career and when the rules of engagement allowed it, he sent some to their final resting place. Like he said to his young Marines, “even worms have to eat.”
As a father, Mace watched with pride as his daughter grew and matured into a good and honorable young woman. One of his favorite sayings to her was, “A person who is prepared for a fight is usually a tougher adversary than someone who goes looking for one.”
“Discretion is the better part of valor and walk slowly and carry a big stick,” Katie responded, “Don’t worry Dad, I won’t forget what you taught me.”
Mace and Katie went into the backyard of their government quarters on Camp Pendleton. Mace was in the lead when suddenly he spun around and swung his right arm at Katie. Instinctively she ducked and forward roll and came up in the fighting position, “I saw that coming a mile away.”
Mace threw several punches and Katie blocked or eluded them, “You’re getting better …that’s very impressive defense. Now show me some offense.”
“I don’t want to hurt you, they might arrest me for elder abuse,” Katie joked.
“Talk is cheap, put your money where your mouth is,” Mace encouraged.
Katie did a flying side kick that caught her father in the solar plexus and then threw a couple jabs that bounced off his shoulders. Before the playful sparring could continue, Calena came outside and commented, “Far be it for me to interrupt this father daughter hand to hand combat bonding session, but dinner is waiting and I’d rather stop you now before you get too bloody.”
“Truce?” Mace said.
“We live to fight another day,” Katie grinned.
During high school, Katie played soccer, tennis and volleyball while maintaining a 3.8 grade point average. Her club soccer team was scheduled to play in a tournament in Rosarito Beach in Mexico. Mace was training with his unit so his wife Calena decided to travel with another family whose daughter was also on the team to watch Katie play.
Before his wife and daughter left for Mexico, Mace imparted some words of parental caution, “Be careful down there. With all the people illegally coming across the border, the cartels are working overtime. I don’t want you taking any chances…understood?”
Calena reassured her husband, “The only places we’re going are the hotel and the soccer field…right, Katie?”
“Affirmative,” Katie kissed her father, “Don’t worry, I’ll protect mom.”
The three soccer fields were located inside the grounds of a private resort. The families and players were cautioned about leaving the area after dark because some areas could be dangerous. Katie’s team won both its games on Saturday and was scheduled to play in the semi-finals on Sunday morning. Katie had dinner with her mom and several families in the hotel dining room. Calena commented to her daughter, “I’m a little tired, I’m going back to the room and watch television. What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to hang out for a while, I won’t be long,” Katie replied.
After her mother left, Beth Jamison and Lori Penner approached Katie. Beth whispered, “We’re going to go into town, want to come with us?”
“No, not a chance…and if you’re smart, you won’t go either,” Katie warned.
Lori said, “We’ll see you in the morning.” The two girls walked off.
Thirty minutes later, Katie was sitting near the swimming pool and enjoying the atmosphere when she saw Beth and Lori by the front entrance of the resort. She got up, walked closer to get a better look and saw them get in a taxi and leave the grounds. Katie cursed to herself, “Why in the hell didn’t they listen to me.”
The wise thing to do would have been to turn her teammates in for leaving the grounds, but by that time Beth and Lori could be far away. Katie ran to a taxi, got in and told the driver, “Follow that taxi that just left.”
The taxi that Beth and Lori were in stopped in front of Club Boom Boom. The two young girls entered through the front door just as Katie drove up. Music was blaring, lights were flashing and people were dancing as Katie came up behind her teammates and grabbed their arms, “We need to get out of here.”
“I’m glad you decided to come,” Beth smiled.
“Anybody ever tell you that you’re an idiot,” Katie lashed out.
“One dance and we’ll go…c’mon lighten up,” Lori said.
“You dance and I’ll wait,” Katie said, “But I won’t wait long!”
Beth and Lori danced with two young men for 30 minutes while Katie waited. Eventually she lost her patience, walked on the dance floor and said, “Let’s go, we’ve got a game tomorrow.”
They two girls said goodbye to their dancing partners. Beth commented, “I need to use the ladies room.”
“Me too,” Lori said.
Katie said, “I’ll get us a taxi and meet you out front.”
While standing next to the taxi, Katie saw her teammates struggling with two men in the alley who were trying to put them in a van. Without hesitation, she ran to help. Katie knocked one man down with a flying kick and punched the other man in the solar plexus. Another man with a gun approached and warned, “Get in the van or I’ll kill you right here.”
Katie and her teammates had no other choice but to comply.
Next morning, when Calena and the parents of the other two girls realized they were gone, a search was immediately conducted on the grounds of the resort. The Mexican authorities were also notified. The valets that were on duty the night before said that two girls left in one taxi and another girl left by herself. The taxi drivers remembered that they took the girls to Club Boom Boom. It was time for Calena to call her husband and inform him of the situation, “Katie has disappeared with two other girls. I need your help.”
Mace maintained his calm even though his heart started to beat faster, “I’ll tell my unit that I have a family emergency. I’ll call you when I’m on the road and you can give the details. That way I can hit the ground running.”
Upon his arrival at the resort, Mace conducted a quick investigation and came to his own conclusion, “I showed a photo of Katie to the valet and he said that she left right after the other girls did.”
“Which means you think she went after her teammates and not with them,” Calena surmised.
“Exactly…you and I know that our daughter wouldn’t be so stupid to go into a Mexican town at night,” Mace said, “That’s not her style.”
Mace embraced his wife in his strong arms and said reassuringly, “I know that you might not want to hear this, but I think we’re going to have to put our trust in our daughter to get herself out of any bad situation she might have gotten into. We’re not going to stop doing our part, but remember Katie is strong, tough, smart and I trained her for situations like this.”
“I need to believe that she’s alright,” Calena said.
“Then do, our daughter is a warrior,” Mace said without hesitation.
Mace and Calena stayed in Mexico for three more days before the trail went completely cold then returned to Camp Pendleton. Mace immediately requested 30 days emergency leave from the Marine Corps and told his wife, “I’m heading to border to get some firsthand Intel from the guys on the frontline, I’ll stay in touch.”
“Be careful,” Calena hugged her husband.
Katie was being held captive with her teammates and two dozen other girls in a warehouse located 20 miles from where they was taken. The five sadistic guards intimidated and terrorized the young girls by pointing their weapons at them and making threatening remarks. They would laugh sadistically when the girls cried and cowered in fear. Katie pretended to be compliant, but her mind was working on an escape plan. She carefully assessed her surroundings and determined how capable her captors were.
There were three entrances to the building, two were padlocked, but the third one was used by the guards to come and go. The men were arrogant and assumed that the young girls were too scared to try and run away. They just sat around playing games on their phones and drinking. Katie spoke and understood Spanish and did her best to sit within listening distance of her captors to get information that she could use in her escape. When she overheard the guard in charge talking on his cellphone, she knew that they were being taken from this location the next day, Katie had to make her move because she didn’t how much more secure the other area would be.
Back at the border, Mace spent five days and nights at the border talking to the agents about the human trafficking problem. The agents were overwhelmed by the massive influx of illegal migrants and drugs into America and were extremely willing to share any information they had with the concerned father.
Agent Rick Desmond lamented, “This is unsustainable.”
“It’s like giving a bucket to a passenger on the Titanic and telling them to start baling, “Artie Garza added, “As the ship sinks to the bottom, the Captain yells out, we have everything under control.”
While standing on the American side of the border, a barrage of large stones came flying their way. One Border Patrol agent was hit in the arm. Mace grabbed him and pulled him out of harm’s way as everybody ran for cover. He asked, “What the hell is going on?”
Rick answered, “That’s the drug cartel, they have spring loaded catapults, they load a couple dozen stones on it and then shoot them at us. It’s their way of distracting us so they can smuggle fentanyl and other drugs at a different location.”
“How do you respond?”
Artie shrugged, “We walk away…the Director of Homeland Security says that rocks do not pose a significant threat and we should not respond with force.”
Mace picked up a two pound stone and commented, “You get hit with one of these and it will cause some significant damage to your body.”
“You’re preaching to the choir, leatherneck. What I would like to do is find every self-serving politician who thinks that there’s no problem down here and line up them up so the cartels can have some target practice. After a couple days, let’s see if they still have the same opinion,” Another barrage of stones flew overhead, but landed a few feet short. Rick commented casually, “We know their range so we know just how far to fall back.”
Mace saw a group of men laughing in the distance, taunting them with profanities then turned to the agents, “I’m on leave so my rules of engagement are a little different than yours. Anybody got a baton I can borrow?”
Rick handed his metal baton to Mace and fifteen minutes later, the skilled Marine came up behind the five men who were loading stones on the pneumatic catapult. Without warning, he started hitting the men with the baton and seriously injured them all. While the men were lying semi-conscious on the ground and covered with blood, Mace broke the catapult beyond repair. As he started to walk away, one of the Cartel members struggled to his feet and came after him. Mace hit him five times in the head and killed him.
When he returned to the American side of the border, Mace handed the bloody baton back to Agent Desmond, who asked, “How did it go?”
Mace winked, “How did what go, sorry about the blood, I tripped when I was walking and cut my hand.”
It was the last night before the girls were shipped out and luckily for Katie, the guards had too much to drink. She was lying down in the corner and quietly got to her feet and tiptoed over to one guard who standing alone with his back turned. Katie snapped the man’s neck and caught his dead body and set him down on the floor. She positioned him to make it look like he was sitting comfortably instead of being dead. Katie took his knife and pistol and checked the magazine to make sure that it was loaded. When she got near the other four men, Katie made sure she had an unobstructed field of fire and took aim. She shot the four men and after they went down, she moved closer and gave each man a killshot. As Katie looked down at her dead captors, she felt no remorse, in fact it was exhilarating to kill bad people. This was a habit she could get used to. The sound of gunfire awakened the girls and she called out, “We’re getting out of here!”
The girls got in the back of the large panel truck and Katie opened the large garage door then got into the driver’s seat. The guards were so confident that the girls would not do anything, they left the keys in the ignition. How thoughtful of them, Katie started the engine and turned to her fellow captives, “That is the sound of freedom!” The truck raced into the night and forty minutes later, they reached the border and made contact with US Border Agents.
Rick Desmond received a radio transmission then walked over to Mace, “I’ve got some good news for you. A truck with some girls just approached the border crossing. One of the girls identified herself as Katie Wyatt. I’ll take you there.”
“Let’s go!” Mace said.
It was a joyous reunion for father and daughter. Mace pulled out his cellphone and called his wife. He handed it to Katie who said “I’m fine, mom, I’ll be home soon.”
It was a lot easier adjustment for Katie then it was for the other girls who were not as strong physically or mentally as her. Over the next few months, Katie met with various organizations about the human trafficking crisis along the border. She was asked to testify on Capitol Hill and Congressman Adam Tollman, an open border zealot sought to discredit Katie with his hyperbolic rhetoric, “From what I heard, you and your friends went into town to get drunk and then made up the excuse that you were taken hostage so you would not get into trouble with your parents.”
“Have you ever been to the border?” Katie asked.
“I’m the one asking the questions!” Congressman Tollman snapped back.
“You’re an idiot,” Katie responded, “Everybody knows your record of being a political hack and a disgrace to the country.”
“You can’t talk to me that way!”
“Why not… can’t you handle the truth?” Katie said.
“It is obvious that your parents never taught you anything about respect for authority,” Congressman Tollman grumbled.
“They taught me a lot about respect, my dad is a Marine and he told me that respect is earned, not given,” Katie said, “Why would I respect you…you’re political vermin and have earned nothing ,but my contempt.”
“Your father is a disgrace to the military,” Congressman Tollman lashed out.
Katie warned, “You can say what you want about me, you can even call me a liar, but you’re walking on the fighting side of this leatherneck’s daughter when you insult my family!”
“You’re a young girl, you think you can scare me? I’m a duly elected Congressman!”
In a split second, Katie leaped out of her seat and ran across the floor and started punching Congressman Tollman. By the time she was pulled off, she had knocked out three teeth and broken the bureaucrat’s nose. Because she was a minor, it was hard to prosecute Katie for assault. An anti-trafficking organization paid for her legal fees and they used the defense that Congressman Tollman antagonized Katie with his verbal attacks. She was given six months’ probation and ordered to receive counseling. A small price to pass.
The backlash from the public was so severe that Congressman Tollman was forced to resign from politics. Of course, as a card carrying member of the Deep State, he had no trouble finding employment with a Chinese company that provided capital for anti-American movies.
After Mace got out of the Marine Corps, he found a way to utilize his special skills and still spend quality time with his daughter. They were in mutual agreement on this key core issue, ‘It is the sworn duty of a country to secure its borders from invaders and protect its citizens from harm. When the government betrays the public trust, patriots must rise up to fill the void. Mace and Katie were a lethal combination and their rules of engagement were simple; Show no mercy for the evil and incorrigible. It didn’t matter to this father daughter duo if their targets were in the public or private sector….they did what had to be done. Their next meeting was with Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Rangers at Eagle Pass, Texas.