The Pain Clinic – CLOSURE!

IF YOU’VE READ MY BLOG, Nightmare of Turmoil – The Pain Clinic
This post is the closing page for that post. Bringing this kind of “crap” home with you, hurts… for a long time; it’s emphatically War.
I was blood-soaked from head-to-toe. A medic finally arrived and began to bandage me up. Steel was sticking through my combat boots and I wanted them off. I keep telling “whomever” it was caring for me, to take my boots off.
Although I had both eyes covered I could hear the incoming rockets and small arms fire intensifying. The concussion from the direct-hit was starting to subside somewhat and I could faintly recognize the explosions. I was moved to a bomb-crater until the Medi-Vacs could get there. I felt like I knew where the rockets were fired from and tried to tell our lieutenant but I’m sure he thought I was in shock. Finally, I heard the blessed rotor blades as the cut through the air in-bound. However, I noticed,from the sound, tha they were circling our position and wasn’t attempting to land. I screamed out at whoever was around and declared, “Why aren’t they coming in to get us?” Some voice replied, “We’re under intense heavy an assault, they’re waiting on gun-ship escort.”. There was no mistaking the Cobra’s. When they arrived the enemy hid…quick. The gunship fired a twenty millimeter cannon that fired 6000 rounds a minute; the sound was frightening, much like that of a chainsaw running at full throttle.
As the Cobras opened up I felt two GI pick me up and started to run with me. I had done this very thing many times, but never seen me being on the wounded end. I was totally blind with a broken left leg and shrapnel wounds from head to foot and I knew the VC would attempt to shot the very chopper down that I was about to be placed on. The morphine was trying to put me to sleep but I knew if I went to sleep I’d probably never wake up; I fought off the sleep.
I was finally hoisted up to the chopper deck and clipped in at the top of the rank; I knew the chopper would be full. I was now more frightened that I’d ever been while in Vietnam. As the rotor intensified in order to lift off with a full load, I cried out to anyone on board, “Did you get David?” Someone screamed back through the smell of death, gun-powder, and the noise of war, “We got what we could find.” I knew David had been hit – I had part of him in my hand when I first opened my eyes after the rocket exploded. I discovered that the RPG had hit him in the chest. It hurt!
In the years ahead, even until this very day, during a time of tranquility or a potential moment of hush while private and alone, I still hear those frightened and dying soldiers’ voices. EVERYONE was desirous to leave that meat grinder. Awaiting the chopper to finally pull itself free. That momentary hoist from the Earth thousands and thousands of choppers had made throughout the war was, for me, the most frightening moment of my life. Yet, even today, with millions of words, countless days, trips and events piled atop that September evening in Southeast Asia, those words find their way back into my mind and, like an unwelcomed intruder the Medic declared, We got what we could find. Just one simply war story. This story just happens to be mine; living in the “pain clinic.”


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