I move back to his side and he tries to say something, but his throat's raw and he can't talk. I lean in, apologizing because I can't understand.
"How much... how much... longer?"
I know these guys. He wants to know how much longer he has to stay here before he can go back downrange.
Exchanging glances with his nurse, and deliberately misunderstanding, I tell him he'll be out of the Intensive Care Unit in a couple of days. Even in his sedated state he knows exactly what I've done and gives me the dirtiest look imaginable.
Then, "fffff.... mmmm fffff.... "
He's saying, "Friends... my friends... "
I tell him everybody from the truck's ok. He did good, everybody's ok.
His face screws up like a child's as he breaks down and cries with relief.
I watch the tears roll down over the ointment covering his face, over the seared redness of his skin, over the blisters on his nose and lips.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Exercise those tear ducts
A post by Maryann. H/T: Cassy. He is just one of those who fight for the freedoms we enjoy. He'll be back.