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Stone Cold American Patriot -Thomas Calabrese

By   /  May 5, 2024  /  10 Comments


Target of Opportunity

Thomas Calabrese – Nicholas Novato joined the Navy after graduating Vista High School and after six months in the service, he decided to apply to be a Navy Seal. Nick’s motivation at first, was to get away from mundane job duties of being an apprentice seaman. The recruiter gave him the impression that he would be traveling around the world on a ship, seeing new places and experiencing new things. It wouldn’t just be a job, it would be an adventure.

Nick quickly came to the conclusion that being on a ship was definitely more work than adventure. When he saw a flyer in the galley encouraging sailors to apply for the Navy Seals, he thought, what the hell, I might as well give it a try. Little did he know what awaited him, Nick wouldn’t have signed up if he did. The best analogy that he could come up with was; it was like being thrown into the deep end of the pool with a 50 pound dumbbell. Nick could drop the weight and swim to the side of pool or he could use every bit of his strength to stay afloat. When he reached his breaking point, he had an epiphany and his whole perspective on life changed at that pivotal moment. Nick came to realize that anything of true value doesn’t come free. In this case that price tag was pain and overwhelming physical and mental exhaustion.

The attrition rate in Seal training is almost 80 per cent and the instructors made it extremely easy to give up. They would repeatedly offer, “Ring that bell and this all stops for you!”

 Nick would be a liar if he said he didn’t think about their offer numerous times a day. He wanted to be part of something special so embraced the challenge with every fiber of his being. It came down to this for him…succeed or die.

Five deployments, three Purple Hearts, Silver Star and Bronze Star and his Special Operations career came to an end in Lebanon during a firefight with Hezbollah terrorists. One of his teammates went down from a bullet wound to the upper chest and Nick ran through a hail of gunfire to reach him to provide emergency first aid and stop the bleeding. With his teammate on his way back and trying to reach cover behind a stone wall, Nick’s right leg was riddled with machine gun fire and  he fell to the ground. Using the remainder of his strength and bleeding profusely, he dragged his comrade to safety. The two Navy Seals were medevac’d and it took five operations to repair most of the damage to Nick’s leg. Doctor Herbert Baker was a skilled surgeon, but he couldn’t perform miracles, “I did my best, but unfortunately, your military career is over.”

Nick showed no emotion and calmly answered, “Better men than me have given more…thanks Doc, I appreciate your efforts.”

After being medically discharged from the Navy, Nick returned to his parents’ home in Vista, California and continued to rehab his leg muscles with various exercises, but no matter what he did, he couldn’t get rid of the limp. Accepting the inevitable with the same determination that he showed in his military career, Nick moved to the next chapter of his life. He enrolled at Mira Costa Junior College to take advantage of his G.I. educational benefits and got a part time job driving a forklift at an automobile supply warehouse in San Marcos.

Nick’s younger cousin, Christine Connelly was a senior at the University of Alamida University in Los Angeles and was majoring in biochemistry. Chris had a special connection with Nick and being an only child she liked to think of him as her big brother. she was immensely proud of Nick and prayed every day for his safety when he was in the Seals. Now that Nick was home, she called him regularly to check in and see how he was doing. Whenever Chris came down to from Los Angeles to visit her parents in Escondido, she would call Nick to let him know that she was in the area. They were more than relatives, they were close friends. On this particular weekend Chris called Nick, “How about meeting me before I head back up to LA?”


            “I know its short notice, but how does an hour sound?” Chris asked.

            “It just happens that my social calendar is clear and even if wasn’t, I’d always make time for you. Name the place?” Nick said.

            “I’ll be heading east on the 78. How does the Teri Café on Plaza Drive sound?”

Nick responded, “Yeah, sounds good…meet you there at 1700 hours.”

While eating their dinner, Nick inquired, “When are your finals?”

            “This week, otherwise I probably wouldn’t go back for a while,” Chris said.

            “I’ve been watching the protests on the news,” Nick said, “It looks like things are escalating on your campus.”

            “If the administration had taken a stronger stance in the beginning, we wouldn’t be in this mess. You know what they say, if don’t you stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. Right now the administration doesn’t know what side to be on, the regular students who just want to go to class or the agitators who are threatening to cause more problems if their crazy demands aren’t met. When people afraid to enforce law and order, they’re going to get unlawful disorder.”

            “Do you want me to take a few days off work and go with you? I’ll walk you to class and walk you back,” Nick offered.

            “I appreciate the offer, but I’ll be fine. The main protest is at Simpson Quad and my classes are on the far side of the campus. I’ll just avoid them,” Chris said.

            “I’m only a phone call away…if you need me, I’ll be there,” Nick promised.

            “I know…I appreciate it,” Chris said.

Next morning, Chris was on campus and could hear the protesters yelling profanities in the distance. As she walked down the tree lined pathway she caught a glimpse of the large crowd confronting the police. She took a right turn and saw a group of masked protesters removing the American flag from a pole and replacing it with a black flag that had the words; Death to America. When the protesters started to burn the American flag, a symbol of freedom for millions of Americans, Chris instinctively ran forward and grabbed it out of their hands.

One of the men reached for it and Chris slapped his hand away. When another man pushed her, she punched him in the face. Another protester came from behind Chris and hit her on the head with a club. After falling to the ground, the other protesters descended on Chris with viciousness. They kicked and beat her for over three minutes, but she refused to release Old Glory from her grip. Chris would have been killed if it had not been for two police officers who came into view.

One of the protesters told his cohorts, “Let’s get out of here!” and they ran off.

Chris was given emergency medical treatment by the paramedics then taken to Alamida Hospital for a thorough examination. X-rays showed three broken ribs and numerous bruises and contusions. A CT Scan of Chris’ brain convinced her neurologist to put her in a drug induced coma to minimize the swelling.

Relatives from both sides of Chris’ family arrived at the hospital to show their support and this included Nick Novato. He sat for hours next to Chris’s bed and spoke to her as if she was conscious and could hear him. In her unconscious state, Chris kept hallucinating and in every one of her dreams, Nick was encouraging her to climb a mountain, swim across the lake or take one more step. Four days after her attack, Chris awakened and saw Nick sitting next to the bed and commented, “What’s going on?”

Nick’s face broke into a big smile, “What’s going on with you?”

            “I feel like I’ve been asleep for a few years,” Chris said.

            “It’s been four days…the longest four days of my life,” Nick said, “I’ll let the family and doctor know that you are awake.”

Thirty minutes later, Doctor Trace Bondi came into the waiting room the encouraging news, “It looks good, the swelling has gone down and Chris is alert and talking. We’ll keep her two more days for observation and if everything progresses like I think it will, Chris should be able to go home.”

The family burst into applause and shed tears of joy.

Chris went back to Escondido to recover from her injuries at her parents’ home and Nick came to visit, “You’re looking good.”

            “I’m about seventy percent right now, but each day I’m getting a little stronger. I’m going to the gym to work on strength training next week. Want to go with me?”

            “I will when I get back,” Nick said.

            “Back from where?” Chris inquired.

            “I have some business to take care of,” Nick said evasively.

            “What’s going on, Nick?” Chris persisted.

            “I just have some things to take care of. I would have already been gone, but I wanted to make sure you were alright,” Nick said.

            “What are you keeping from me?” Chris demanded, “Whatever it is, I can handle it.”

Nick rubbed his chin and responded, “You’re right, I am keeping something from you. You’re more than a survivor, you’re a warrior. That’s why you couldn’t let those thugs burn our flag. Two things I can’t and won’t ever accept, first one is when anyone attacks my family and the second one is when they attacks my country. When they hurt you, it was a formal act of war. Don’t worry about me, I’m trained to deal with bad actors. My current mission is to hold them accountable.”

            “How can I help?” Chris said.

            “You’re still recovering,” Nick said.

            “I know I can’t go with you, I would just slow you down, but I’m very good at researching things on the internet. Protest organizers use social media and I can help you find where they’re going to be. Even a former Navy Seal needs good Intel…right?”

            “Let do it,” Nick smiled and shook hands with Chris.

It didn’t take long for Nick to get his gear ready to go. He went to a local tailor and had them sew an American flag on a black hooded sweatshirt. Above the flag were the words, I Love America and beneath it these words, Respect The Sacrifice. On the front of the sweatshirt were three words; Support Law and Order. He bought a pair of combat gloves with buckshot in the knuckles, steel toed boots and a retractable baton.

With Chris’s help, Nick drove to U.C. Berkeley to start the beginning of his crusade. His cousin sent him photos of some of the paid instigators on his cellphone. Getting out of his car, Nick slipped the baton up his sleeve and headed into the fray. His rules of engagement were simple; the protesters could yell all they wanted, but once they laid a hand on him, there would be a price to pay.

The first masked protester pushed Nick backward and the former Navy Seal responded with a crushing right hand that sent his assailant to the seventh level of unconsciousness. Three more men decided to start swinging. Nick pulled out his baton and broke their kneecaps and forearms with powerful and strategically placed swings.  While they squirmed on the ground in excruciating pain, Nick kicked them with his steel toed boots and heard their ribs crack. By the time, he got to the end of the field, ten more violent protesters needed medical attention.

Nick took off his sweatshirt and took a circular route back to his vehicle. Checking his cellphone, he called his cousin, “Where to next?”

            “Portland,” Chris said.

            “I’m on my way, I’ll call you when I get close,” Nick said.

There were several protests in Portland and by the time Nick moved on, another 38 instigators were in the hospital. He stopped off in Seattle where he put a damper on two more violent riots,

Nick drove east to Chicago where he engaged in a dozen more altercations. The major difference in this crime-ridden city was that many of the protestors were career criminals and illegal aliens who saw the protest as an opportunity to loot and burn businesses. When a man pulled a gun on Nick, he took the weapon away, shot him in the head and two more men who also drew their weapons.

Nick called Chris with the new developments, “Things are changing in a hurry and not for the better. I’m going to need a few things that are more emphatic than just a club and my fists.”

Nick detoured from Chicago to Liberty, Missouri where his former teammate Steve Garchon lived. He explained what he had doing and Steve responded, “How can I help you?”

Nick handed Steve a small sheet of paper, “I need some equipment.”

Steve smiled, “I know just where to go.”

The two former Navy Seals went to a gun shop and Steve introduced his buddy to an older gentleman who served in the Marines during the Vietnam War, “Denny Lane this Nick Novato.”

            “What can I do for you?” Denny asked.

Nick handed Denny a list, “I need these.”

Henry looked at it and responded, “No problem.”

Three hours later, Nick had a FNP -45 Tactical Pistol with three 15 round magazines and 100 bullets and an Osprey Cobra noise suppressor. Steve asked, “Want me to come with you?”

            “If things get any worse, we may all have go to lock. I’ll call you if I need you.” Nick promised, “The battle against evil never ends,” then pulled a wad of money and offered it to Denny, but he wouldn’t take it and responded. “Save it…you can repay me by killing our country’s enemies.”

When Nick got to New York, it was total chaos. There were riots all over the city. Instead of making himself a target like he did before, Nick went into stealth mode. He wore a plain black hooded sweatshirt, a mask and a baseball cap pulled low on his forehead. He walked among the crowd looking for the organizers and they were not hard to find. Three men were sitting on a bench watching their useful idiots scream, curse and fight with the police. Nick walked up behind them and shot each one in the back of the head.

Chris called that evening with some news, “I found out something that I think you’d be interested in. There is a delivery coming to the protests.”

            “What kind of delivery?” Nick asked.

            “I can’t be completely sure, but it looks like tents, bricks, shields, gas masks smoke grenades,” Chris said, “I’ll text you the address…be careful.”

            “Roger that,” Nick said.

Nick stopped off at Home Depot to buy some materials and chemicals that he could use to make bombs. When Nick arrived at the location that Chris sent him it was on the outskirts of town. Two semis were parked in a vacant lot and a dozen armed guards surrounded them. It was foggy and this was an asset to Nick intended to use to his advantage. He silently crawled on his stomach toward the back of the first truck, took aim and shot two men in the head. Nick crawled under the truck and placed his makeshift explosive charge on the large gas tank of the truck and set the timer for ten minutes. Nick crawled over to the next truck and repeated the process. While making his escape, Nick shot three more terrorists then disappeared into the fog. He found a ravine that provided reasonable protection and looked at his watch. It was counting down and only ten seconds remained.

Varoom! The earth shook under his body and the smoke mixed in with the fog to create a surreal environment. Nick made it back to his vehicle and drove off.  He could hear sirens in the distance and headed back to California to re-evaluate his plans. What started out as a peaceful protest had quickly metastasized into violent uprisings that advocated the destruction of capitalism and America’s Constitutional Republic. It was all part of a heinous globalist agenda funded by Marxists, anarchists and foreign adversaries. Nick had won this battle, but the war would continue.

To some evildoers, Nick Novato appeared to be a target of opportunity, only to find out that he was actually their most dangerous victim.  To the few who had served with or truly knew him, Nick was a stone cold American patriot who would never stop fighting to protect the country he loved.

 The End


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  1. Robert says:

    Kind of a different type of Seal.

  2. Tom says:

    Happy Sunday and Cinco de Mayo, Tom! WoW!! Lots of morts in this one…and those SOBs deserved every bullet! I really like your phrase: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything!! ” Awesome words. Navy SEALs are God’s Merchants of Retribution, my friend! And they are all Stone Cold American Patriots!

  3. John Michels says:

    Although the story is fiction the point is factual and maybe the folks will wake up before it is too late

  4. Tony says:

    Quite a story by Mr. Thomas Calabrese in this Sunday Press, it may read like fiction, if it were not unfolding each day on our college campuses. It may seem a bit extreme but the ring leaders are not truly college students. Their are some sinister people with money behind these demonstrations and in some cases violence that is being orchestrated by people for their own means. The Police, God Bless them, can only act within the laws and when directed. I am certain for the Vietnam Veterans that have witnessed this before feel this demonstrations are an instant replay of their home coming. The students want the hard working tax payers to foot the expense of their education only to conduct themselves in this manner.
    I think parents would be wise to investigate the holdings of the Universities and Colleges their children like to attend. If you can not afford the tuition check into other schools that cost less. Lastly, do not defund the Police to pay for ungrateful students, but fund the Police for your Protection. Thank you Mr. Calabrese, this story rings a bell.

  5. Jon Gregory Nielsen says:

    Who in your life makes up the overall personality of your Navy Seal hero in your story today? (Enquiring mind(s) want to know)

    Thomas Calabrese = A patriotic Marine for life who has a “point blank” style of writing along with sound intellect and timely stories every week. Stay strong.

  6. marty says:

    Why people have to destroy things to make a point, I will never figure out.

    Great current story Tom.

  7. Patrick Madden says:

    Man, it’s good to hear from you again.
    This Florida is different, good though.

    Susan had a fall in August; broke a hip. Hasn’t really recovered. Changed our lives.

    Tell me more about you?

  8. bob wolf says:

    enjoyed the story.

    i hope nick follows the money. and takes out the financers.

  9. Terry L. Lutz says:

    Great story that addresses our current sad condition on so many college campuses. This is a result of the indoctrination that’s been happening for several generations throughout our educational system. I like the way the Navy Seal takes care of business. Thanks Tom!

  10. Patrick Madden says:

    Very interesting 3 stories. Took a lot of work. I appreciate it

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