This is a short story (based on a real event) that occurred years ago. It is about a man and the suffering he felt and everything he went through to help serve our country.
Ringing, ringing in his ears. The explosion was so loud he couldn’t hear a thing. What happened? Was it heat? Pain? Cold? He struggled to figure out what he was feeling. Just a minute ago he and his Green Beret buddies were talking about the mission for the rest of the night, but that quickly changed. He was launched for what felt like one hundred meters from the vehicle and somehow landed on his back. His eyes were closed; unable to explain the amount of pain he was feeling. He screamed, loudly, but could hear nothing. He picked up his right hand; bright orange flames were climbing up his arm. He picked up the left, with same result. He was on fire… He struggled to pick up his head, his lower body, paralyzed. He managed to see one leg. He looked again, one leg. And again, one leg. Unable to find the other leg, a horrifying realization entered his mind. His left leg was gone and he thought he was too. His head was spinning, as he tried to figure out what had just happened but everything, suddenly went black.
A month later, his eyes slowly disengage and countless doctors rushed into the room. He looked around the room at the doctors, who all seemed thrilled, but them looked at himself. He was lying in a hospital bed, tubes in all parts of his body with burns everywhere. He could not feel his left leg or his right hand but believed that he would gain feeling in both body parts after a few minutes.
After thirty days in a medically induced coma, the doctors brought him back to life. Nobody knew what to expect. After this terrifying, tragic, accident, was he going to live or was he going to die?
He had undergone dozens of surgeries and somehow managed to make it out alive. He moved his fingers and toes but the soreness spread quickly through his bones and his whole body ached. He was in excruciating pain.
“What happened?” He asked one of the doctors. His voice was raspy, considering those were the first words he had said over a month. The doctor stepped aside and his commanding officer stepped to his bedside. He explained that his vehicle drove over two hundred pounds of explosives. The improvised explosive device was blown up and he was thrown the length of a football field through the windshield. His commanding officer acknowledged that not wearing a seatbelt had actually saved his life. He was then rescued and pulled out of the fire by another soldier, who was in a vehicle behind the one that exploded. The soldier immediately put out the fires that were burning his body and administered CPR. Once stable, he was rushed to a medic. He had had 27 surgeries and lost his left leg. He had third degree burns all over his body, but was in stable condition.
“Where is the rest of my team? Are they okay?” He spoke anxiously and tears started to fill his eyes because he knew what the answer was going to be according to his Sergeant Major’s expression.
His friend shook his head side to side, “No one survived the explosion except for you.” An entire team of Green Berets killed in Afghanistan with one survivor. One survivor that gets to live the rest of his life with phantom pain, traumatic stress, and the guilt of being the one lone survivor.