Watch My Six


Photo Caption: Beautiful couple with the American flag in a wheat field at sunset. Independence Day.

Work as a team, pull together, and cover one another, as you would your Wingman.

It is believed that the term “Watch my six” began in World War I. The world was analog back then; pilots referred to the front of the plane as their twelve, making the rear of the aircraft their six.


When one pilot would tell another to “Watch my six” or “Cover my six,” they were asking their wingman to watch their back, be their eyes, and protect them from enemy fire. Their relationship was a cohesive unit built on a foundation of trust and was unlike any other.  They knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had one another’s back.


2001 changed our lives forever, as it did for so many Americans. I (Matt)  had been enlisted for a little over a year and was working in the missile field running nuclear convoys. I was on a typical “trip,” as we called it; however, this time, it would be a “trip” that would change the course of my career forever.

The guys and I always planned an outing after each trip to the field, and this time was no exception.  Bags packed, Elk tags in hand, it was our favorite time of year.  Early September in the Rockies is a spectacular time for an outdoorsman. However, planes hit towers that day, American’s perished in the wake, and as I arrived to do change over on base, my team and I were instructed to keep our weapons and return to the field.  For how long, we were not told.  We knew America had been hit, Threatcon Delta was in place, and we were at war.  As a Nuclear missile cop, the realization of us actualizing nuclear warfare became very real.  To say we were all stunned, sober, and scared would have been an understatement.  When I signed up for this, I never really took a moment to comprehend the possibility that I may have to go to war.


All the training I had learned, I now had to use. There was no time for a refresh or a check-up. This was real. While watching footage of the planes hitting the towers, there was a moment when we all looked at one another; no words were said; however, instinctively, we knew we would “Cover each other’s six” until the end if that was what it took. Looking back, I could not have picked a better team of young men to fight alongside me and face whatever was ahead of us. We trained together; we knew one another’s strengths and weaknesses.  Where one needed support, the other gave it. We did not have time to complain or pick at one another. The magnitude of evil was tangible. However, we were committed to stopping at nothing to fight for one another and our freedom. We pulled together knowing the mission in front of us was more significant than ourselves; it was what drove us on and gave us the strength to accomplish the goal.

Give what you want, and you will get what you need.

It is of the utmost importance in Marriage to “Cover each other’s six” There is an enemy who seeks to kill and destroy the sanctity of what God holds so dear.  Kristina and I have learned over the years that we are each other’s Wingman.  The magnitude of evil exists; however, we are in covenant, and we pull together because we know that the mission in front of us is more significant than ourselves.


I (Kristina) am a “Gilmore Girl” (if you know, you know). One of my favorite episodes is “Luke’s dark day” Luke and Loreli have just begun their relationship; however, they have known one another for several years. There is a town event, and Loreli tries to get Luke to go; however, he vehemently refuses, causing her to feel a bit confused and a little upset.  Suddenly, Luke disappears, and Loreli has no idea why.  Then, while in town, the “townies” keep commenting on  the day being “Luke’s dark day.”  Loreli has no idea what they are talking about.  Later on, she sees Luke, and he explains it is the day his father passed away, and the way he deals with it is by going fishing.


September 11, 2001, is Matt’s “Dark Day” In our Marriage, I have learned to “Watch his Six” by enabling him the space to “go fishing.”  I realize he needs that day to be, to process the events for that day as he feels he must.  He does so in a healthy way but in a way that is his own and private. As his wife, I must not force him into events on that day. I have blocked that day in our calendar and don’t make plans for him.  It means so much to him that I give him that space.  He comes home peaceful, refreshed, and with a renewed perspective on why he does for our nation what he does.

His hand of power and providence preserves, protects and defends.  This is His desire for us as Husbands and Wives.

Psalm 139:5 says, “You have hedged me behind and before, and laid your hand upon me” That word “Hedged,” in other translations, says “Hems,” or “Beset,” This word is a military term meaning to besiege. God “Hems” on all sides of us, “Hedges” himself, in front and behind us, “Covers our twelve and our six” so that we will not escape. He holds us fast in His grasp, exercising His authority over us. His hand of power and providence preserves, protects and defends.  This is His desire for us as Husbands and Wives.

We had a pastor and his wife tell us years ago to become lifelong learners of one another. Whether husband or wife, take assessments on what your spouse needs and meet those needs. Work as a team, pull together, and cover one another, as you would your Wingman. Give what you want, and you will get what you need.

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