What, where am I?
Blurry–everything was blurry. Raymond forcibly blinked once, then twice. It didn’t help. Still blurry. Movement around him–he could see shadows, but damned if he knew what they were. Everything moving in slow motion back and forth.
The base of his skull emitted a loud rhythmic thumping. He heard nothing other than a high pitched scream as though he was standing beside his old high school football coach constantly blowing a whistle. Through the constant shrill came muffled distant yelling, like someone with a mouth full of mashed potatoes. It was a mass of meaningless sounds hitting his ears forming a non-coherent buzz of feedback.
Does someone need help? What’s going on?
He could not focus, the pounding buzz drowning out his thought. Shadows moved through the blur. He could definitely make out a tan colour on the blur. His vision came back a bit, more like looking through slurry water, it was someone.
Someone leaned over him. He couldn’t breathe. Panic started to set in. The pounding in his head got louder as his heart rate increased. The need to flee immediately flooded his senses, he was in danger. The ground pushed up into his back like multiple fingers poking him, holding him.
Need to get away. This is not right. What the fuck.
A gasp of breath. The new air in his lungs shooting searing pain down his side.
Holy shit that hurt.
“He’s … around. Hey, stay … you.. … hit … got you.”
The fuzzy shape hovered over him. All he could see was a shadow of a mouth moving, the voice coming through in spits and spurts, like a radio with a bad signal. He commanded his legs to move, trying to sit up and assemble some sort defensive posture. His energy vanished. His vision formed a tunnel in front of him, getting darker, the sounds dimming at the same pace.
His radio crackled to life, and he winced. Startled back from the dimness. A blast of sounds came through clearly but still distant.
“Line 9: None. I say again, none. Break. How copy?” The radio crackled.
“Bravo One-three, Roger,” the blur responded.
“Alpha One-one, direct to op frequency, await contact from medevac helo. Be advised escort following, keep element together.”
“Roger, Bravo One-three clear of net. Out.”
What? I need to get up. Someone needs help. So tired.
“Shit, Sarge. Stay awake. Look at me.”
Sarge — yes! That’s me. Hey, I heard that! Who’s hurt? Give me a sitrep.
“Hey, Smitty, pop smoke. Dustoff is inbound!”
Memories came back slowly at first, like pages flipping in a photo album. A dirt pile on the side of the road, out of place. The FNG walking oblivious towards it. His last thought of running towards the noob, yelling.
A burning coldness radiated through his left side.
He took another deep breath. It hurt like a son of a bitch. He used the pain and the lung full of air to force out a groan.
“Bolton?” Fuck, that hurt.
“Shit, take it easy Sarge. Stay still. Bolton’s fine. He pissed himself and has a few scratches, but he’s gonna live. You two are getting a ride back. You are going to be okay. Keep your eyes open and on me.”
“Bravo one-three, bravo one-three, this is urgent hotel five-one inbound on your position, yellow smoke confirm, over”
“Bravo one-three, confirm yellow smoke, over”
“Hotel five-one, roger. Clear a spot boys we are coming in. Over.”
I originally wrote this as a post specifically for remembrance day without knowing about @jonknight‘s contest. It’s a stand-alone short of a fictitious medevac extraction. It could have taken place anywhere in the world, with any of our country’s teams, any day outside. I wanted to try to give everyone the feeling of being in that precarious position. I also feel that it’s important for us to take a minute to remember not only those lost but those that have returned.
We remember veterans around the world with different observations, some of us call it Remembrance Day and others Veterans Day. Remembrance Day and Veteran’s Day were originally called Armistice Day based on the November 11th, 1919 anniversary of World War 1. In the U.S. it was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 at the end of the Korean War. It is meant to honour all Veterans.
In Canada, we observe Remembrance Day along with the other Commonwealth nations. In many of the Commonwealth N
Inscription of the complete poem in a bronze “book” at the John McCrae memorial at his birthplace in Guelph, Ontario
It’s the little things that get me. I saw a video of a contingent of Canadian Soldiers marching after a memorial service, in Belgium. Waiting patiently on the side of the road was a young boy who salutes the passing troops. The platoon commander gives the eyes right command as they pass the young boy. The eyes right complement is typically reserved for dignitaries and is one of the highest paid compliments by a passing contingent of troops.
As we come up on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour and 11th minute take the time to remember. Remember the men and women from the past. Remember those men and women serving now. We must remember to speak to our future generations about war. They must not forget.
Veterans Support Groups
If you know a Veteran that needs help. If you are a Veteran that needs help please reach out to one of these organizations.
Wounded Warrior Project – https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/warrior-care-network
Veterans Crisis Line – https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/
Soldier On – https://soldieron.org.au/
Department of Veterans’ Affairs – https://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/mental-health
If there are others please put in the comments below.