Monday, May 09, 2011

How I Almost Got My Purple Heart (Warning: Graphic)

Not me, but pretty close. I’m a lot scarier looking, and my gun is, uh, bigger.
I think it was bad enough for a purple heart, but I’m glad I turned it down, ‘cause that’s how I roll. Read on.

It was a night like any other night, but it was somehow different, I could feel it. It was 2045 hours, and the sun was over the horizon. There was still plenty of light for moving around, but the enemy, if camouflaged and not moving would never be seen due to the amount of foliage in the AO (that’s area of operations for you non-combat-type-peeps). I gathered enough ammo for a long patrol, and, if necessary, a good firefight, but left my heavy (and loud) gear behind. Would I regret it?

I had some doubts about that night’s patrol, but not many, considering my experience. Keep in mind that I usually worked alone, but the enemy had been able to move around lately at will, and was learning to adapt and blend to the environment. The enemy’s movements used to be audible over the sounds of the night, but he was getting better, and it was now spring, with the sounds of wildlife awakening all over the valley. Where before I could track the enemy when he broke cover and moved, or when he called out, there was now noise discipline – no sound to be heard. I used to lie in wait after determining his travel routes and how he thought, and would ambush from a position of strength, or move up silently by covering inches in minutes and moving along the ground, the fear of me hanging in the air. But things were different that night, and I’ll never be the same.

Sometimes, I look at my wounds and think of what I could’ve done differently, and how to pass along what I’ve learned. Some look on my obvious pain with concern and pity, but they wouldn’t understand what I’ve been through. No. You’d have to be there…
[Warning, the rest of the story, and graphic pictures of combat wounds below]

The gory stuff

Pretty bad, I know. It’s something I’ll have to live with, and will probably haunt me for, well, a couple more days.

Alright, so airsoft is a pretty rough game, just look at that blood! I mean, when my 14 year-old son hit me, it really hurt, but, in my defense, I didn’t cry until I saw the blood. And, even though a band-aid was available, I refused it until I was sure there were enough medical supplies for the more serious wounds. There were none, so I went ahead and used one.

No medals, no glory, just doin’ my job. Yep.

Important reminder

This is obviously tongue in cheek, and is all in good fun, but for those of you who have really earned and deserve the awarding of a Purple Heart, you have my undying respect and gratitude. We can only write blogs like this, and play games in our back yards because of of real heroes. Thank them as often as you can.


petersonnj said...

I thought this blog was great. I got really into it and then laughed my ass off. I can wait to read more.

Nathan Teodoro said...

Thanks- I enjoyed writing it, but not getting shot up by my son. Thanks for the comment, and please let me know if there's any suggestions you have.