Riding the skid of an MH6, faced towards the back, flying through, traveling at the speed of life, we oriented our position as that way so we could take care of number one, my patient. The Talon litter was secured to the bird and to it my patient. The Pilots could tell by the speed in my voice, the short phrases I’m using, how serious things were even before they got the MIST. Most Pilots did not look back. The are lasers focused on the ground below, the instruments, and the annoying little voice saying “Torque High” and other statements that are frozen in my mind. I reach up and switch out of the helmet “fire” that takes two pilots alone to figure out what they are saying. Those guys are the best in the business and I was proud to small part of them. I must focus on my tasks, Are my interventions intact? Are my lines flowing? Is blood staying in the body? They are called little birds because they looked like “little birds flying in the jungle floor” or so says CWO 5 Fladry “Flapper” baddest dude on the sticks, and the one of the Plank Owners of the 160th set me straight while simultaneously giving me nuggets ill never forget…
The Pilots did not like CASEVAC missions just as we did not like “playing operator” to get weight balances down on practices hits. I never understood the amount of practice we did but when game time came, no one could beat them. I wish I had that kind of practice for parenting. The one thing I feared the most. I wish I had practice hits after practice hits simply to be sure when duty called it was ass kicking time. When parenting called you would thing I would have had nine months of running drills to make it all perfect. Just as in battle it is a living breathing thing. I had to learn in the USASOC that I do not always determine the outcome of my patients life no matter how bad I wanted it too, or if I had the senior regimental PA with me opening the chest up. You practice like you play.
Fast Forward A Lot of GOOD A Lot of BAD. Any Veteran knows how a transition can be, who am I to sit here and bore you with the ups and downs of one veterans transition to real world. Im in an unfamiliar area with people that are family. Get to work, so to speak. I am not sure about, many of you guys but as a medic I felt every patient was my responsibility. When I had to put my American Flag on a person it physically made me ill. Not from (use your imagination) but because I failed, then I had to clean it up.
I have the exact same feelings with my Kiddos, FAILURE. I am not far removed from what some would say would the greatest generation. The generation that put there shoulder to the wind and your nose to the grindstone, and worked harder for something. The age that when we give them our old iPad’s we spend two-four hours teaching them how to Face Time with us (if they are still with us).
I completely understand the studies that show that show children that have more interaction with there Father through out there Younger Years they will do better later in life. Why does that feel like I just accepted the second half kick off and hoped that I turned the team over with a winning score. Does that mean I failed? At some point it turns into a Nature vs. Nature. I do know one thing, I will be better than my father.