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.

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.

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