East Harlem Firefighter Daniel Swift learned late yesterday that he will be aboard a military plane leaving Germany today, unless a more severely
injured soldier needs his spot.
Swift, a 24-year-old medic, and his fellow Army National Guardsmen are not taking their homecoming for granted.
"I feel guilty, you know, that I get to go home and so many of our buddies aren't," said Sgt. Felix Vargas, 34, who will leave a German hospital
with a steel rod bolted inside his right leg.
Vargas was one of five soldiers - all of them New Yorkers - riding in an armored Humvee that was bombed Monday by insurgents outside Baghdad.
The blast killed Bronx Firefighter Christian Engeldrum, 39, and Long Island soldier Wilfredo Urbina, 29, who was driving the Humvee. After the Sept.
11 attacks, Engeldrum heroically helped raise a battered American flag at Ground Zero - a historic moment captured in a Daily News photo.
Vargas and the unit's gunner, Richard Cornier, of Roosevelt Island, survived the attack because of the brave efforts of Swift.
"He pulled me out - it's that simple," Vargas told The News yesterday while recovering at the German hospital.
"I remember after the vehicle finally stopped flying through the air, like on a roller coaster, hearing a voice yell out: 'Anybody alive? Anybody
"It was Swift," Vargas said.
This is a truely sad story,but atleast a brave man did'nt have to stay a day longer in this seriousely overstated war..too many lives,young men &
women lost their lives and got scared for life in the name of democracy...
Soon the Black Watch forces are expected to leave Iraq,if I understood correctly....
Hope this war gets to see it's closing chapter in history and we can all move forwards,ahead with our lives peacefully and safe not just for us but
for our children and their's.....