The only thing guaranteed in life is death and taxes

The only thing guaranteed in life is death and taxes…

I have been thinking much about the former in this quote. Taxes are really just one of those facts in life that happen. Yet death just happens too. I don’t have any control over this. I don’t have any say-so in when or who it happens to. I spent a long time in combat and friends of mine still died. I could not stop these. Those enemies I killed, and some I did not kill. I had no say so in those. This is a simple concept yet I cannot soak it in.

I’m no superman…

It’s not that I think I’m so high and mighty that I can control death. As humans sacrificing everything for those we love… to protect… we are quick to self blame when bad things happen to good people. Somehow I could have, should have, would have… but I could not, should not and would not because the mix of everything going on at those times nothing told me to. There is a difference between “hey there is an IED over there don’t step on it” and “boom!!! oh shit there is an IED” Sometimes you can do everything right and it’s just not in your control.

One of my many stories… Never told in public before this

I’m going to tell a long story short. There is much to this story’s before and after moments but I’m going to make this quick as this is one of those stories I do not tell.

No shit there we were driving to our base, bringing a line of gravel trucks with us. Because of the gravel trucks we had to stop every two minutes to get another one “unstuck” it was a pain in the ass. The Captain decided to take an “easier” route today yet we had never before traveled this route. We all informed him that was a bad idea but he didn’t care. He was mostly concerned with making this day go faster so he could work less. (Yeah he was one of those worthless sons a bitches)

I decided to walk up front a bit and see what I could see while we were getting more gravel trucks unstuck… I went all way up as far as I could go and still be covered by my guys. Nothing looked out of place. The area I was concerned with had fresh tire tracks and footprints so obviously the locals had not been avoiding it. I get back to the truck and the Captain decides he wants to drive… whatever! At least there’s no holes for us to fall in or cliffs to fall down. As we drive over the intersection I was concerned about I was keeping my mouth open and breathing out slowly. (I have heard this is a way that if you do get blown up the over pressure is not as bad in  your head) I was staring at the intersection looking for any sign that something was wrong. If I were a bad guy that’s where I’d put it…. I saw nothing.

Our truck made it through the intersection and no explosion! WOW, that’s awesome, maybe it would be a good day…

THEN BOOM!

What was that? That was the truck behind us, who the hell was the truck behind us? “A gravel truck” replied the captain. I saw in the mirror food going everywhere. I said “that’s NOT gravel sir that’s our food, who was driving our food?” The captain replied oh that was one of the terps (interpreters). FUCK! the captain asked me “what do I do?” I said “sir your job is to sit here and repeat everything I tell you on the radio so everyone knows whats up, and call this to higher!” I left the cab and ran back. I saw the small pickup upside down and torn apart, there was no way he made it! As I get closer I hear Raj, he recognizes me and is calling my name. I shout to our gunner that he’s alive and I am going to get him out!

Flash forward… we got Raj out! We got Raj treated and splinted and medically evacuated. The doc even reported back later that night that Raj was going to be fine, he might even be able to walk again. But pats on the back were too early. You see… Raj died later that night of blood poisoning. The local doc there fell asleep on the job and didn’t monitor Raj. He would have seen the toxicity going up and been able to administer some meds to take care of Raj. But he did not because he was asleep. Raj was supposed to be at an American hospital, not a local hospital. “Someone” called in wrong when they told the medical evacuation team that Raj was a local, he should have been identified as an American Interpreter! Many things went wrong… and Raj died.

Forgiveness…

When anyone calls me racist because I hate terrorists it makes my blood boil because they have no idea how much I blame myself for Raj’s death. Over the years I have come to terms with I did well with the things I had in my hands to control. But not everything was in my hands. There’s douche bags out there who are really quick to call me names because of how much hatred I hold in my heart for terrorists, Muslim terrorists, Muslim extremists, whatever you want to know them by. They are hell on earth and they deserve the worst punishment imaginable. Raj was a local, Raj was our friend, Raj did not deserve what he got. Raj was an Afghanistan Patriot who really saw his country and wanted it to be great. He did what he did because he believed in a cause bigger than himself and his family. Raj is a hero who was lost way too early. The world is a shittier place (especially Afghanistan) because Raj died. So before any of you mother fuckers point a finger at anyone and call them a racist, walk a mile in their shoes… and if you can survive that mile (big IF you probably would die trying) then you would probably think twice about your definition of racism.  How well do you sleep at night? I don’t sleep well…

The only thing guaranteed in life is death and taxes

 

Share this Post!