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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Explosion - Sequin Boy And Cindy

I still don't remember everything, but I can piece together most of the tragic events that ensue according to Cindy's fellow soldier who accompanied her on the fateful trip. One day near the holy city of Qom-the site of a nuclear bomb facility American bombs have destroyed-Cindy is driving her armored fighting vehicle (AFV) to the site of a place where her control has just radioed her that an IED has been diffused. She spots the yellow teepee with the sequins sitting on a little rise in the sand that I have left. She knows immediately upon seeing the sequins that this is from me. She jumps out of her AFV, grabs the canvas, and looks at the note from me. The note say, "I disarmed this at seventeen hundred hours and am heading west. I love you." Cindy looks at her watch. It is only 1720 hours.

Cindy jumps back in her AFV and takes off at break neck speed, much to the surprise of the private with her who says, " Slow down. You'll kill us. What's the rush?"

Cindy had just gotten a field promotion to corporal. She doesn't bother to answer the private on the seat next to her. In the distance she sees another AFV stopped at the side of the road. Instinct tells her this is me. She races towards my AFV. As she approaches I look up and see her driving towards me with her head out the window of her AFV waving frantically. I start gesturing wildly with my hands and shouting at her to stop, but I guess in her excitement she doesn't recognize I'm warning her to stop, to stay away from my location where I'm in the middle of diffusing an IED. I jump up and start running up the road towards her waving her off, shouting, "Stop, stop." Just as we reach each other another IED buried at the side of the road goes off. I must've missed that one.

I'm thrown in the air. All I can feel is extreme pain shooting through my right leg. I have lost my leg up to the kneecap and blood squirts from ruptured veins and arteries all over the place. Cindy's AFV is tossed in the air and crumples like an accordion. Somehow, bleeding profusely, I drag myself the few feet over to her vehicle and with all the strength I have left pull her vehicle door open and grab Cindy out of her AFV. She has lost her right hand up to the wrist. This is the hand I always hold.

"Don't worry," I cry as I tried to stop her bleeding. "They will be here soon. We will be all right. I love you." Then I pass out from shock and loss of blood. The soldier with her later told me that Cindy sat there half on top of me shaking and screaming, and clenching her remaining hand over the stump of my shattered leg trying to stop the bleeding. The stink of burning motor oil and smoke is everywhere. She was shouting at him, "Get help, get help, he's dying. I can't stop the bleeding." She disregarded her own wound. She was so hysterical I don't think she fully realized she'd lost her hand.

The private with her was miraculously unharmed. He called in our location and tried to tie off our gushing wounds. He says to headquarters, "Need help now. Two down both missing limbs. I can't stop the bleeding. Need immediate Medivac. Our position is . . . In minutes a rescue medical helicopter lands, does immediate triage on both of us to stop the bleeding and flies us to the main emergency medical facility in the area transfusing both of us in the copter. We both have lost a lot of blood. I'm fading in and out of consciousness I guess from the shot of morphine they give Cindy and me for the pain. Cindy keeps crying and holding my hand with her remaining good one. We are both covered with blood and sweat from the stinking heat. Must have been one hundred and six, but I feel ice cold from the loss of blood. If not for the quick action of the medics and the private with Cindy we would never have survived.
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