Home > Letters from the Heart, series > Letters from the Heart 9

Letters from the Heart 9


Sorry it has been a couple of weeks since my last letter. I could try and brush it off as things have been crazy here and there, but you know me too well and would see through it. I did not want to write to you until I was safe again, besides, I really wasn’t in a place I could write anyway. Though worried as you are now, I am safe. Everything is alright now.

Shortly after my promotion to Captain, we were ordered to a hot spot where another team had encountered heavy resistance and were pinned down. We dropped in, silent like feathers, and were almost shot by our own guys. Guess we should have told them we were coming. With the additional people, we planned a flanking maneuver around the cell that had been keeping them busy. We didn’t think to do any additional recon because they had been on the ground for a few days and seemed to know exactly what was going on – mistake.

We moved out under night and cloud, the Snails (their mascot, don’t ask) moved to the right, and the Cyclones (us) to the left. We did succeed in flanking the cell as planned, but we didn’t figure that the cell was only the leading tip of their chevron. Flanking as we were, we ended up stealing right into their camps on either side. They were on us in an instant. Seems they had tired of the cell not making any better headway and were preping to flank us, too.

I learned later that only the Snails’ Captain escaped the surprise attack. He got away and retreated to report to command. It was a good thing, too. We were surprised, but the Cyclones are a well ordered and crack squad, so we adapted instantly. Almost in unison, we backed up together and the striping sound of green patches being applied was almost simultaneous. Two more seconds, then we had the upper hand.

Moving with the practiced ease of ballroom dancers, we ducked, spun, dodged, wove, and eliminated the entire company that a few seconds before had us pinned. In the frey, I took a round in my left arm. I don’t remember applying the red patch, but I was glad I did. The round went through my radius, shattering it, so I had to drop the rifle. My sidearm served me well, though I need to do more range time on it, as it didn’t feel as natural in my hand as the rifle.

Though we had taken out the left flank, the right still was engaged with the Snails. We reformed and moved to the right, up the line. The nest was just a couple of guys with fifty cal guns. They were so trained on the last position of the enemy and taking the pot shots into the jungle, they had not heard the combat or our approach. We made short work of them before moving on toward the other flank.

Creeping as we were, though the sounds of concluding combat would have masked anything short of a tree falling or a grenade, the victor was unknown. As we peered into the the clearing, we instantly saw that the Snails had lost. There was no sign of the Captain, but the squad lay wounded and dead around the space. I silently communicated this to the team and instructed them to flank left and right, as I went in as point.

Their leader was real good. I spotted him immediately, surveying the scene, giving the occasional hand or verbal command. The guys started to fan out for the assault, but it was not until I drew my sidearm, that their leader lifted his head, like he had heard something. Scanning around him, searching for the unfamiliar sound, I knew the time was now. I took careful aim, hoping to end this quickly, and fired two shots at their leader. Just bad luck had one of his men cross the path of the first bullet, causing his head to balloon into a crimson mist at the impact. I saw the leader’s eyes go wide at the crimson cloud, just before he was wrenched around in a tight circle, as the second shot caught him in the right shoulder. By the time the second shot fired, the Cyclones poured out of the brush like a crashing wave. The resulting confusion cost the enemy the battle. All were dispatched almost instantly, save their Captain.

Disarmed and helpless on the ground, I stood a few paces away and looked at him. He looked at my left arm, still dripping blood. I glanced at my arm, then at his shoulder, which had been field dressed and he still clutched with his left hand. Our eyes locked and we stared, until he nodded his head slightly and I returned the gesture – professionals giving due credit after a well played game.

The contact was broken as my comm chirped. The evac chopper was requesting our status. We managed to save half of the Snails. The evac chopper arrived within 2 minutes of the comm chirp. We loaded the wounded Snails, Cyclones, and the fainting enemy captain aboard and left.

It has been a week since the combat, and my arm is fully repaired. See, I told you I was fine. Here I am in a hospital bed again. I always have the craziest dreams in hospitals. Remind me to tell you about this one.

I’m getting out later today, so one last set of checks before lunch. Gotta run.

All my love is only a heartbeat away.


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