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But I didn’t want this! Not like this!

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posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 10:29 AM
“Pssst! Wake up, Stand to.” The Platoon Sergeant gently kicked my feet and moved on. I thought, “Does he ever sleep?” It was O’dark thirty and I was having trouble focusing my mind after only two hours of sleep in the past 24 hours.

We were out in the middle of nowhere and I thought, “Here we go, another long hot day of patrol.”

I had just rolled off my back and grabbed my weapon when all hell broke loose. Multiple RPGs detonated, followed by sustained bursts of machine gun fire meant to keep our heads down as the insurgents crept ever closer. Chaos reigned and I could hear cries of “Medic!” over the fire. Crap! We were taking casualties. I knew these guys and I wanted to avenge their death and pain. I fired at the flashes in the night, not knowing if I hit anything, but hoping I did.

I heard the LT yelling into his handset requesting air support when his sentence was cut off in midsentence, followed by another cry of “Medic!”

But the thing that sticks with me is the Platoon Sergeant; He was like a beacon of light. Directing fire where it needed to go, shooing the medics off the dead and directing them to help those who were still alive. He was everywhere. Always calm, always sure.

I know only minutes went by, but it felt like eternity. As the sun rose, I felt a glimmer of hope. We, no…I, was going to get through this. The incoming fire started to peter off as it got lighter. The enemy was starting to withdraw. Thank God! Now we can get a MedEvac in.

Once the firing stopped and we felt secure enough to consolidate our wounded and dead, those of us who were still intact swapped ammo, repositioned the Joes and the Team leaders huddled around the Platoon Sergeant awaiting instructions, while he called in the Helos to get us out of there. The relief I felt upon hearing that we were to be extracted was immense.

After he signed off, he stood, looked out over the scene and said,”OK….” And that’s when it happened. A single shot rang out. In my mind, it was like a slow motion movie. I saw the pink mist exit his left shoulder and he slowly spun to the earth. The round had found a weak spot in his body armor.

We worked furiously, stripping him of his gear and shirt, trying to stem the flow of blood. But the round had found an artery which had retracted. There was little we could do. I begged the medic to OD him on morphine so he didn’t suffer, but he was out. There was nothing left he could do.

The Platoon Sergeant grabbed my arm, then my hand and said, “Its ok man. I never had family nor a wife. This Platoon is my family and I am blessed to pass among those I love. You’re in charge now. Take care of them, be tough, but fair. They may be Soldiers, but they’re people too. Earn their respect and they’ll follow you anywhere.”

Then a small smile crossed his face and he left this realm.

I looked at those around me, faces seeking guidance. I stood, hoping the next round wasn’t for me.

“Allright guys! Let’s set up a perimeter for the LZ and get the hell out of here!”

As the choppers came in I pondered, “I always wanted to be a leader, but not like this…not like this.”

edit on 18-6-2011 by TDawgRex because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 10:46 AM
Your story is VERY well done! I'm so sorry if this really happened to you! War is horrible! This is a great forum for sharing and healing. God bless!

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 10:51 AM
reply to post by TDawgRex

true , or not.. Great story! S & F

the Platoon Sergeant. is the glue that holds a band of frightened men/young men,, together.. and alive..

i wish we had More Platoon Sergeants running around.. having Children!!!

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 11:52 AM
reply to post by kissitgoodbye

No, it is not about me, though in a way, it is. I was a platoon sergeant and obviously survived. I was MedEvac’ed my last tour and told my replacement much the same. Your platoon is your family, they are your kids. It’s a difficult job. You have to make tough choices at times and you have to be a leader. Later after I linked up with my platoon when they redeployed, I was told by the guy who replaced me, “They’re a bunch of bastards, how did you deal with it?” I laughed and said, “They’re family. What’d you expect?”

This short story is a combination of many stories I have heard and experienced throughout 30+ years in the service.

I am now retired, but I want people to know that Soldiers are not mindless drones. Regardless of why they enlisted, once in the thick of things, they are probably the closest thing to family as you can get. Just like any family, you have mostly good ones and a few bad apples.

Everyone has their story.

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 03:24 PM
reply to post by darrman

No, it is fiction that unfortuately has been fact, in the past as well as the future. Now that I am retired, I can only hope to coach and mentor people on-line and in person. I am no longer the trainer. Though I hope to rectify that with my volunteer service at the local animal shelter. A different battlefield, so to speak.

Soldiers may not always agree, but in the heat of battle, we must always have each others back if we are to survive.

edit on 18-6-2011 by TDawgRex because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 06:37 PM
Not the kind of field promotion I would be looking for.
Soldier stories, are family stories.

posted on Mar, 5 2014 @ 06:31 AM
Sometimes the best leaders are the people who 'jump in' when everyone else is in panic and shock.
It's difficult to try to restore order during times of chaos.
It's stressful to be the person that everyone else is looking to, for direction.

Your story was great, very intense. I could use a few more chapters.
I sense a strong dependable person behind the 'Dawg'.

Star, flag, *hug*...

posted on Mar, 5 2014 @ 11:46 AM
reply to post by jacygirl

Thank you. Hell, maybe I am suffering from PTS. (I don't put the "D" in there because I don't believe in the disorder part of it). But my PTS was caused by the bureaucratic part of the army, not the combat. It took me two and a half years and a Congressman to get them to let me retire because they didn't want to let me go. Even I realized I was past my expiration date. LOL

Almost all of my short stories I have written here at ATS have "DoomPorn" written all over them. I did venture away a couple of times though. I love your thread "The Shed" as it makes me think outside of my comfort zone. You have my utmost thanks.

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