Normally after graduating from the course, you could take up to 30 days’ leave to spend time with your family, but Marcus had already sacrificed his leave time to get himself placed immediately into the sniper course for his second go at it.,Now the only way he could see his family before deploying would be if we let him out of the FTX, or final training exercise, which would normally add about one more week’s time on the course.,The FTX was a graded mission, so theoretically it was mandatory, but hell, Marcus had clearly made it through at that point, so I worked it out for him to skip it and have that week with his family.,Marcus and three teammates — Matt Axelson (Morgan Luttrell’s best friend), Danny Dietz, and Michael Murphy — went out on a reconnaissance mission in northern Afghanistan, not far from the area where we had run so many missions with ECHO platoon.,The next time I saw Marcus was more than a year later, in the late summer of 2006, on the deck of the USS Midway off San Diego where the Navy was holding a big fundraiser.

By PAUL J. WEBER and JAKE BLEIBERG

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A sprawling blast of winter weather across the U.S. is likely to blame for the deaths of two people in Texas, where an unusually snowy emergency Monday knocked out power for more than four million people, shut down grocery stores and air travel and closed schools ahead of frigid days still to come.,As nightfall threatened to plummet temperatures again into single digits, officials warned that homes still without power would likely not have heat until at least Tuesday, as frustration mounted and the state’s electric grid came under growing demand and criticism.,Massive power outages across Houston included a facility storing 8,000 doses of Moderna vaccine, leaving health officials scrambling to find takers at the same time authorities were pleading for people to stay home.,Temperatures nosedived into the single-digits as far south as San Antonio, and homes that had already been without electricity for hours had no certainty about when the lights and heat would come back on, as the state’s overwhelmed power grid began imposing blackouts that are typically only seen in 100-degree Fahrenheit (38-degree Celsius) summers.,State officials said surging demand, driven by people trying to keep their homes warm, and cold weather knocking some power stations offline had pushed Texas’ system beyond the limits. read more