A Hero's Flight, Part 1

A Hero's Flight, Part 1

A Story by BBuggy

A story about a brave Marine who served in Iraq and survived some horrible things. I am dedicating this piece to my husband, Cpl. Nathaniel Gerhart. Semper Fi baby. I am planning to think of at least a second half to this story, so keep looking!


            “Well, if you ask me, his whole administration is one big tragedy. The military has really gone down hill since they elected Bush,” an old woman said. This caught Alex’s attention as he sat in the airport waiting for his flight. He was a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps on his way home from his third combat tour in Iraq. He sat up a little straighter and listened closer.

            “I hear you. Those soldiers are just rowdy and destructive. I haven’t really met one that wasn’t drunk or trying to pick up some young thing in a mini-skirt,” her companion answered back. Alex smiled and laughed to himself as he straightened his uniform and looked at the pictures he was holding in his hand. As he double-checked his ticket, he noticed one of the women had dropped some money out of her wallet as she opened it. Just then his flight was announced over the intercom. He picked up his bag and stood up.

            “Excuse me, ma’am, but you seem to have dropped this,” Alex said, holding out the money to the woman. She looked up in awe at him in his dress blues. He was quite a striking figure in his blood-striped blue pants, red-lined dark blue blouse adorned with gold buttons and several ribbons he had earned, his white belt with gold buckle bearing the marine symbol, his shiny black shoes, and his clean white gloves. She sat there speechless as she took the money from his hand. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I see a girl in mini-skirt holding a drink,” he added with a smile, winking at the one who had said it. They watched in silence as he walked toward the security checkpoint.

            As Alex boarded the plane and walked to his seat, he noticed the two old women sitting in the seats next to his. He gave them a smile as he stowed his bag in the space under the seat in front of his and sat down.

            “Young man, we would like to apologize for the way we were speaking about your profession…” one of the women started to say.

            “No problem ma’am, and the name is Sgt. Alex Garret,” he said, extending his hand. They each shook it and introduced themselves as Alice and Edna.

            “Where are you headed to Sgt.?”  Edna asked

            “Well, I am on my way to Iowa to meet my wife, Emily, and my newborn baby, Aaliyah. She was born while I was in Iraq for the third time. I’m also going to see my buddy’s wife and baby. He was badly wounded before we left Iraq and is now is Washington D.C. at Bethesda Naval Hospital,” he told them, showing them the pictures he had in his hand. They spoke for a little while longer and then Alex began to get sleepy. As he dosed off, his mind drifted back to Iraq and the fight that ended with one friend dead and the other badly wounded.

            They were on a routine patrol in the city and Alex was walking with his squad that consisted of his buddy Mark, who was now in D.C., Anthony, the one who was killed, and four Junior Marines. The city had been relatively quiet for about a week, but Alex still had an uneasy feeling in his stomach. They were tasked with securing the area in preparation for a visit from a local VIP. As they were walking, Alex kept his eyes open for anything suspicious.

            “Hey, Sarge, what u gonna do tonight?” Anthony, a Corporal asked, as they were walking.

            “Well, I dunno, probably call the wife and watch a movie before I work out and go to bed,” he replied, shifting his M-16 around and wiping the sweat from his forehead.

            “Well…I think I’m just gonna…Sgt!" he started to say, but suddenly was running in front of Alex with his rifle up. Alex looked around, but was distracted by a large explosion.

            “TONY!” Alex yelled, seeing that he had been hit. He saw an Iraqi man running away from the scene holding a remote in his hand. Alex raised his rifle and fired a burst of rounds, quickly knocking the Iraqi down. As he looked around to survey the situation, he saw that the Junior Marines had frozen in their tracks and Mark was on the ground next to Anthony.

            “Lance Corporal! Get on that radio and get a MEDEVAC here now!” he yelled at one of the junior Marines as he rushed to help Anthony and Mark. “And you two, keep your eyes open!” he screamed at the two PFCs.

            “Alex…” Anthony said, out of breath. There was blood coming from under his helmet and from his abdomen.

            “Don’t worry, Tony, I’ve got ya,” he said, grabbing the medical kit from Tony’s pack and ripping it open. As he tore his helmet and vest off, he could see the extent of the damage. The blood was now pooling on the ground next to Alex’s legs. “Come on, Tony, stay with me man,” he told him, applying pressure dressings to his wounds. He could hear Mark moaning. “Corporal! How bad are you hit?!” he called to him.

            “I dunno man! I think it’s just my legs, but I can’t tell…” he replied.

            “Nelson! Get over there and help him!” Alex screamed at the other Lance Corporal who was just standing there, confused. He just stood there, his face full of fear and confusion. “Lance Corporal! Get it together and snap out of it. Cpl. Bower needs your help. It’s time to suck it up. There will time to break down later,” he yelled at him. Nelson looked at him, wanting to believe him and went over to help Mark. Alex new that Anthony was bad off and if he didn’t get help soon, it would be too late.

            “Alex…I want you to tell my parents….” Anthony said, getting weaker. This request hit Alex like a ton of bricks.

            “Come on, don’t…” he started to say, but couldn’t finish as he looked at Anthony’s face, white from the severe loss of blood.

            “Just hold me…don’t leave me…” Anthony said…starting to cry.

            “Hey man, don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere,” he said, choking back his own tears and holding onto him. “Horton! Where’s my MEDEVAC?!!”

            “They said they can’t make it through the fighting. They’re being held up about a mile from here,” he reported, coming over to Alex.

            “Mark, how ya doing?” he called to him.

            “My leg was hit pretty bad…but I think that’s it,” he said.

            “Okay, Nelson, you and Horton make a splint for his leg. We’re gonna get these two out of here,” he said, preparing to move Anthony. When they had his leg ready, Alex picked Anthony up and looked around for the best way to head back to their base. As they made their way back, they ran into some enemy fire. The two PFCs quickly responded by firing their weapons and killing the insurgents. Finally, they made it back to the base and to safety. By the time the corpsmen got there, Anthony was already dead.

            “Sgt. Garret, you can let go now…Sgt.…” one of the corpsmen said gently, touching his arm. Alex looked at him and then at Anthony. With reluctance he let them take Anthony from his arms. He looked down at his blood soaked uniform and at the dog tags Anthony had given him. He just sat there in silence as they checked him over for injuries, too shocked to move.

            As the plane began to land, Alex opened his eyes and felt something wet roll down his cheeks. He was unaware that he had been crying while he was sleeping. He looked out the window and saw the green trees and fields he knew and loved. As he walked through the gate and up the ramp, he began to look for Emily. When he saw her, he smiled and ran to her, wrapping his arms around her and holding her tight and then kissing her. After a minute, he let her go and looked over at Emily’s mom, who was holding a small bundle in her arms. The smile on his face grew as he took his daughter into his arms and held her close. Then he looked up and saw that everyone had stopped and was gathered around, clapping and cheering. As he looked around from his baby, to his wife, to the crowd gathered around them, his eyes began to water with tears of happiness.

© 2008 BBuggy

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I loved this story. Is it true at all? It made me cry. Such beautiful words, from a strong woman! Hoorah. xo- D.E.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Awwwwww that was so sweet. ^_^ The flash back was really intense. And made me think of that 30 seconds that I saw of Blackhawlk Down. God bless the men that fight for us!

Thanks for sharing beautiful!
Semper fi!

Posted 10 Years Ago

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Added on April 8, 2008
Last Updated on April 12, 2008




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