Tuesday, June 13, 2006

VALOUR-IT - A short Story

So there you are, just another ground pounder walking the dusty streets of Basra on a civil patrol, not really looking for the bad guys, just making sure everything is calm.

It’s oppressively hot, and you feel the sweat dripping down your spine beneath your Interceptor body armor. The sun beats down on your kevlar helmet, and a thought flits through your memory that this is kinda like last summer’s football camp, between your junior and senior year in high school, when it was so damned hot, but the coach made you practice anyway. As your eyes flit over your surroundings, you wonder whatever happened to that pretty girl that used to work at the internet cafe just down the.......


Half-remembered sounds, and a miasma of blurred images is all you remember. You remember the sounds of your buddy, as he held you, telling you to hang in there, that everything will be all right. You remember hearing Doc’s voice, not the happy go lucky “sailor voice” that joined in the din of spirited conversation back in the FOB, but the low and intense voice of a medical professional as he works on saving a life. You hear the platoon sergeant’s voice as he talks on the radio, imploring the folks on the other end to get a Medevac bird at his position - right now!

Things get kind of woozy after that, but you know that you were in a helicopter, and later you hear that they had to bring you back from the dead three times… When you wake up, you are in a hospital room. They tried to liven the place up, but there’s no way to disguise the fact that you are in a place where really hurt troopers go. I’m not dead, you think, and then, I still have my eyes…

Your nose itches from the flow of oxygen from the mask over your face. It’s natural to reach up to scratch, and miss your face. You look down your arm, and see a swath of bandages were your wrist used to be. You look down your other arm, and find that it ends at about your elbow.

Oh God…


Oh, man, what am I gonna do?

You were going to go to school next year, when your unit rotated back to the States and was deactivated. You had everything set up. You were going to be a computer programmer… Now I don’t have any hands. What do I do now?

The doctors and nurses come and go, barely noticed in the haze of meds dripping into your body. They tell you that your wounds have been stabilized, and that you’re out of danger.

A couple counselors come to talk to you about your recovery and rehabilitation, and what to expect…

And then another person comes into your room, carrying a laptop computer…

A few hours later, on a computer sitting in a study somewhere in the Mid-West, right next to some publications left behind by the Army Casualty Notification team, a new e-mail pops up.

“Dear mom and dad, you have probably heard that I was injured pretty bad, but at least I am alive. I am writing to let you know that I am okay. I am using a computer with my voice, because I cannot type, but at least I can e-mail…”

VALOUR-IT: Giving wounded war-fighters another kind of voice. Please be generous…

The above story was written by Sgt. B of The Gun Line
Hat tip to Semper Gratus - Be Grateful You Are An American


At Friday, June 16, 2006 9:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you ever thank someone who has gone thru this?
I hope his family & friends give him the support he so badly needs - and so richly deserves!


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