Why You Never Have To Worry About Your “SIX” in Fort Bend

Have you ever heard phrases like “Check your SIX,” or “I’ve got your SIX?”  At first blush, they sound like the start of a childhood prank like “XYZPDQ” (Examine Your Zipper Pretty Darn Quick).  You look down, and the prankster taps you in the face for being a fool.

These are actually terms of life and death in military aviation.  From my first hour of flight time in the U.S. Navy to my 1,362nd and last hour of officially recorded flight, it was drilled into my head that if I was going to get shot down by another aircraft, the shooter was peppering me full of holes from behind.  Air combat and intercept do not care about latitude and longitude. North, south, east and west are meaningless during air engagement.

The only thing that matters in combat in the sky is, “Where is the bad guy relative to me? Is he off my nose, my starboard (right) wing, my port (left) wing or is he behind me?” To express that relative relationship in a rapid manner to avoid being killed, we use the standard 12-hour clock superimposed on our plane.  If you’re in the cockpit, 12 o’clock is dead in front, off your nose. Three o’clock is straight off your right wing. Nine o’clock is off your left wing – just like a clock. Test: Where is 11 o’clock? Answer:  Sightly off your nose to the left from the cockpit. Four o’clock is on your right side, slightly behind the right wing.

Six o’clock is right behind you. You’re in trouble if the enemy is there. The enemy is hard for you to see, and you’re filling his windscreen. You’re the dream target –  you can’t shoot, and the bad guy can shoot as long as he wants.  He’s locked on your SIX.

The way to address that natural tactical disadvantage is to have a friend who is always behind you, protecting your SIX from the enemy.  It’s your WING.  You focus only on hitting the target.  Your WING is right behind you, keeping any bad guy engaged with him or her instead of you.  Your WING is covering your SIX. Your WING knows there’s a good chance they’ll have to let the enemy get on THEIR OWN SIX to protect you. They may not come home, but you will complete the mission and help the good guys win.

I hope as you read this column, you thought, “I’ve never been in the military, but I’ve had a guardian angel in Fort Bend who helped me through some very difficult times. I’ve had my own wing!”  That’s Fort Bend Strong.

Your Fort Bend WING may not know you. You may not know them well, if at all. None of that matters. Fort Bend WINGs are always protecting your SIX. Always Fort Bend Strong.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Stafford. www.baps.org.

Here’s a recent example of a Fort Bend WING protecting a neighbor.  My friend, Jignesh, accepted my monthly challenge and emailed me a story of a Fort Bend WING in action. Jignesh’s friend, Dr. Patel, attends the stunning BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Stafford on Brand Street and Avenue E. On May 2, 2020, a friend named Sitte gave birth to her second child, son Gaddiel. Joy filled their home – father Rem, mother Sitte, enthralled four-year old sister Lana and newborn Gaddiel – one healthy, happy family.

On May 21, only 19 days after Sitte gave birth to Gaddiel, Rem came home to find Sitte unresponsive. Her doctors found multiple aneurisms. Sitte was gone four days later.

Rem and Sitte had no relatives in America – no WING – to rely on for help with the now motherless kids. Rem didn’t know it, but he already had a Fort Bend Strong WING in Dr. Patel. Despite having last had a baby in their home since 2010, Dr. Patel and her husband took two-week old Gaddiel into their home the same day Sitte was found. Dr. Patel’s faith inspired her to “help others in times of need without expectations.” The brothers and sisters at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir helped in making funeral arrangements for Sitte. Rem discovered that the minute he found Sitte in distress, his SIX was covered by neighbors – WINGS!

We all know we are just like Rem. If we are in trouble in Fort Bend County, feeling like we’re overwhelmed and about to get shot down by life, we have a community of WINGS who have our SIX!  That’s Fort Bend Strong!

I’ll conclude with my usual request and prohibition. The request? This monthly column is called Fort Bend Strong because it celebrates the amazing, true stories of our friends in Fort Bend County.  I need a WING for future columns; I need your stories. Please email me at pete@absolutelyfocusmedia.com with your personal story. The prohibition? No politics. Period.

We are Fort Bend Strong!