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EIGHTEEN with a BULLET
ISBN: 978-1097814923 Amazon
ISBN: 978-1663549297 Barnes & Noble
A military reject combs the streets of L.A. to find purpose that would return him home into the Army...
...but first he must find a way to distribute peace as he offers the major street gangs a chance to recover what was stolen from them by a crooked betraying faction and a corrupt police department in league with each other.
Joe Lezama is once again dealing justice in the streets of L.A.
...a justice that sparks the fuse of a civil war within the LAPD. Can he stop them or will he accrue the aid of the original street regulators...
the Eighteenth Street Gang?
Both soldiers were roommates. They were tocayos, sharing the same name; Joe Lezama called Joe Brown by his full name when addressing him and Brown referred to Lezama by his last name. When they first met, they did not get along. Lezama changed that, the day Joe Brown had decided to go AWOL (Absent With Out Leave.)
Brown would have ruined his own career and become a fugitive from military law had not Lezama intervene though he didn’t know of Brown’s plans. Lezama simply shared his book of faith with Brown and Brown requested baptism by Lezama. Everything then changed. They were unto brothers and Brown wanted more of such Spirit and camaraderie.
Joe Lezama baptized Joe Brown in the summer of 1987 at Tybee Island and would leave him the charge of establishing a branch of the Church and receiving instructions from the Atlanta Temple on how to proceed.
Joe Brown earned the Army Achievement Medal that year, an award that comes once a year to different individuals. The year prior, Lezama won it and the year before that, Bostick. Each award recipient took time to guide their respective successor unto recognition for excellence in accomplishment.
The two soldiers upon finishing their extra duty chores left the Battery HQ locked and took the keys to the Battalion HQ where Sergeant Freese was pulling Sergeant of the Guard.
“That guy looks hard.” Brown commented on Sergeant Freese.
“He’s one of the Rebels, members of the war council for covert operations.” Lezama notified as they went to their room. Joe Finney, the third Joe was waiting for them outside their billet door.
“Hey, Finney?” greeted the Joes.
“Captain Meador still has you watching over me?” Lezama asked. Finney gestured. “I know, I know, you’re just following orders.”
“I wonder what’s going on in the world.” Brown asked. “Lezama, I’m going to turn on the TV.”
“Take notes for me, Joe Brown. I’m going to jump in the shower.” And Lezama hopped his way into the bathroom stopping in front of Finney. “Are you required to investigate how I shower?”
Finney misunderstood Lezama who appeared to have questioned his masculinity but Joe Brown explained Lezama’s character to Finney as Lezama continued to hop his way into the shower.
“He’s just being comical, Finney,” Joe Brown clarified, “The worst that could happen is to have someone tell him that he is supposed to jump into the shower not hop into it, because then he’ll find a way to make one sole jump into the shower. That’s what he does. He makes the impossible possible and an expedient task. That’s why he’s always chosen, despite his acclaimed badness in attitude, for special missions. He's just a kid.”
Joe Finney was about to comment when there was a knock on the door. Joe Brown answered. It was Pierre-Louise. Pierre-Louise was looking to apologize to Lezama for the incident at the motor pool. He had brought them dinner; Popeye’s Chicken. Then there was a static interference on the televisions set.
Having finished his five minute military shower, Lezama came out of the restroom and instructed Joe Brown to go next door and to have Sanders record the interference while he got dressed.
“Whoever it is interfering with the TV, they’re speaking in a foreign language,” Lezama said, “Nevertheless it is military communication; I’m familiar with foreign numbers. That sounds like Russian.”
Before Joe Brown could carry out Lezama’s request, there was another knock at the door. It was Sanders. “Lezama you have to hear this. It’s in Russian. I’m able to understand it because I’m of Russian ancestry. But there’s a language in the background that I can’t identify.”
“It’s French,” Lezama announced, “I studied two years of French but I’m not fluent. We need someone who speaks; Pierre-Louise?! You speak French!” France once occupied Haiti but left it and in doing so also left behind the French language and culture.
“I got it Lezama,” Pierre-Louise calmed, “Oh no! They’re going to invade my homeland of Haiti!”
“What does that have to do with us?” Finney questioned.
“Everything,” Lezama answered, “We have to uphold our Monroe Doctrine: no Eastern Political or Military influence on the Western hemisphere allowed!”
Brown, you and Finney, alert the Battery. Sanders and the rest of us will head to see the Eyes Man, (pronounced Ice Man) head of the Thunder Cats, first to fire on the gun line. We’ll need the recording.”
“I’m way ahead of you, Lezama, let’s move.” said Sanders being a Specialist, outranking Lezama. Sanders and Lezama used to be drinking buddies and over did it that Lezama had to challenge Sanders to quit drinking on a $500.00 dollars’ bet. Lezama took up music and bought a keyboard and Sanders took up Ham Radio Communications. His radio was what ran interference with Lezama’s TV.
In the past, about a week ago, the three Joes had been watching the A-Team, on TV when an interruption was scrutinized. Someone was shipping into the base a diesel truck load of cocaine coming from Miami. The three Joes led by Lezama, aided by the Military Police and the Eyes Man, interfered and captured the entire troupe of players to include the drug lord, El Topo Juanes.
For Brown and Finney, the event was the first time they ever partook of any kind of real military action. Since then, they pledged their lives to Lezama, who would see them into and out of all kinds of action, nevertheless, Finney remained skeptical as Meador had him under orders to observe Lezama and report on him.
Finney was reluctant to hang out with Lezama because Lezama was mischievous but honorable in all things and alluring in military action. Worse for Finney, he wanted to be like Lezama who was also, exemplary.
Now, the interference on a TV set by a Ham Radio, and a misunderstanding between two friends set the preliminary stages for a chance at combat. Lezama knew this was what he was meant to do; not to die for country but to kill for it.
“Chief?” Lezama asked for his attention.
“What is it now, Joseph?” Freese questioned nonchalantly and half asleep, "It’s 3:28 a.m. Are we going to massacre a town of drug dealers?”
“Uh, Chief? The Russians are invading Haiti.” Lezama informed.
“And what do you what me to do?” Freese asked calmly. “Should I sound that alert? The Haitians are none of our business, but knowing you, Sir, you’ll have us parading about saving the world again.”
“I want you to help me defend Monroe Doctrine.” Lezama answered. Freese almost spilled his coffee. He was presented with the evidence and quickly phoned General Cannady who spoke with Lezama over the plans.
It was simple. Pierre-Louise was to head home immediately and establish a communication center at Haiti where he was to be joined by Lezama who was to parachute as a civilian over Haiti and acquire evidence on what were the Russians’ intentions with Haiti, using the minimal amount of resources to include military funds. Lezama was to take pictures with his own camera.
They were to send three battle ships to back up Lezama once he gave the call back to Cannady when Lezama got to Haiti and had the evidence secured.
They all waited for General Cannady to arrive at the Battalion’s Head Quarters where before the eyes of Staff Sergeant Freese who Lezama called the Eyes Man and Pierre-Louise, then Brown and Finney who joined the group to inform that the Battery had been silently alerted; Cannady had Lezama sign all the paper work. And all present witnessed that Private Joe Lezama was in truth, General Lezama-Medina-Duran, U.S. Armed Forces, Commanding.
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JOE MEDINA: paperback writer, tells intense adventures of joy and pain, life and death, love and hate, law and anarchy, order and chaos to bring a drop of happiness into a world full of bitterness. Cop a squat and enjoy a good Joe Medina book. It's like drinking a cup of coffee. YUM!
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