1, 2, 3… give me a second. Counting.

They are back, the night sweats and tremors.  I have hit friends up for their voices [ala ; (not winky)] and well…  It appears that this request along with the message about needing help for boxing.  The message for sorting, yard sale, painting, moving, arranging furniture.  All unanswered.  I’m not paying for anyone to talk to me as I needed to do to move.  I’m strong this will pass.  I hope.

I can’t cry.

 

Loving the new job.  Then god love it the fireworks.  Pride weekend, I have been able to avoid two that I actually wanted to go to…  And going to them single, did not want to.  Floods in parts of the state where…  I probably could have been of some help.

I was sent photos of my bae.  They were new photos that I hadn’t seen before.  (Jonathon A Jarrell 1964 – 2013)(I think bae might would have made him roll his eyes.)

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There were others sent.  But this is so typical Jon, I can see that he is really in his element.  Those are Christmas presents off to his right.  He lived for the holiday.  He’d start buying for next Christmas within 12 hours of doling out presents from the most recent.  Given haircut, and facial features.  I am guessing this is just within a year or two of our dating.  Truth be known, I think that with some digging, I could find those glasses.  (I’ve never met a more generous and loving soul.  I miss him.)

Yes, I know, I skipped right over it.

I am so sorry.  People I could and have called brothers are being shot and killed.  People who for whatever circumstances have been killed and harmed by these brothers in blue.  My brothers in red this year, haven’t fared any better.  False alarms are being called in and when they get off their trucks to investigate…

trial and error

I hadn’t been in uniform all that long.  We got a call from the local switchboard of the phone company.  (Don’t laugh, 9-1-1 wasn’t even a thought at this time.)  The phone company received a call via “0” and when operator picked up the line was silent.  Background noise was all that she could hear and this woman was crying in the distance.  There was a man screaming about the woman trying to call for help and he wasn’t having any part of her taking their family business outside the house.  There were threats against family members if they showed up but she didn’t know what to do.  She called us for advice and I was the unit that was dispatched.

There was no advisory that there had been threats made or what the nature of the threats were.  There was a woman in distress and Charley to the rescue.

I have a great “cop knock.”  Very little effort.  BIG effect.

Solid wood door, no side lights.  Peep hole, wasn’t used.  Movement past the light, casting shadow on the window treatments but not at them.  No warning.  The door suddenly splintered. Big hole.  And me short of breath.

Challenger.

Another incident; large crowd with the minority being angry, mixed group, Air National Guardsmen, in the red-light district of Panama City.  I’m trying to herd cats in an effort to get everyone out of the area, safely.  When one of the damned Purrsians, pun reference to cats if you haven’t read me before, was overheard to say  “I’m American. Speak English.”  Yep, this idiot was from the Eastern Panhandle of all places.  The phrase was nowhere near sober.  The man to whom he was speaking was a known ‘business man’, he was as they would say, a manager.  (Trivial information for the uninformed:  If you live in this hemisphere – 99.9% chance you, yes you, are an American.  Congratulations.  These are the Americas.  Also, if you live in this Hemisphere, English is not the language of the Majority of us “Americans”.  So now you know.)  The idiot got us stabbed.  Okay, more accurately, he got stabbed, I deflected and was grazed by the second one, when the manager’s hand suddenly and unexpectedly was crushed by the force of it being assisted into a utility pole.  Whereas when the hand arrived at its intended location. The knife was forced from his hand, where it no longer could pose a threat or a harm to himself or anyone around him.

 

That night didn’t end up too well.  It was easier for me to carry him up Rincon Hill to Gorgan Medical than to wait for medics and an ambulance to be dispatched around, down then up through town into streets filled with revelers.  It was this moment that I realized my favorite pair of jeans were trashed and still it was nothing compared to the wound I was holding pressure on.  The nearest guardia, or local policeman, assisted after I slipped him a twenty to get my other wards into a taxi and sent back to base.  “The driver is to stop for nothing and no one until he is at the front gates of Howard.”  The guardia wanted to help by getting me and my idiot friend into the back of his pick-up, but, I didn’t want to make it an ‘official’ mutual assist.  (Highly recommend the bar owned by Roberto Duran, the girls love to make change for you.  Banana splits not suggested.)

I was tired.  I could not cry.  I had to reprimand and point out the errors along his way.

Oh, gotta love the monkeys that were shooting at us.  Poor Tom Brokaw telling everyone that the Marines at Albrook Naval Station were shooting at monkeys.  Monkeys with automatic rifles.  I’ve got a patch from a Cuban Army Uniform, still, somewhere in a box.

Columbia (Country, not shuttle), Brazil, and their mud slides

Honduras.

Nicaragua.

Earthquake and flooding in Mexico.

Fires across the Gold Coast.  Hazardous materials…

C-5, Travis.

B-2 at Edwards. (A non event, brilliant landing without all of it’s wheels.)

Mogadishu, Black Hawk launch.

Oklahoma City.

I stayed strong when he didn’t get off the plane. only to be told by an FBI agent that had been called by the airline – your son is on a cruise ship, in the Gulf of California.

Atlanta.

I stayed strong when I pulled off the side of the exit ramp listening to NPR tell me that an airplane crashed into one of the towers at the World Trade Center.  And was listening as they described a second, then a third…  they lost a fourth…

Hurricane Fran – Six inches of water.  (I was off assisting recovery at a couple of other bases that had been hit, and hit hard.  My apartment was left to, wait, till I could get home to attend to it.

Hurricane Floyd – This time, same apartment, but six feet at the shallow end.  (Wasn’t deployed for this one but was displaced for a week.)

I’ve lost it all twice.  I fall down.  I get back up.  I trip, I continue.

Columbia. (Shuttle, not country.)

Some fool goes into a club, where my son might be, and kills 49 people.  The rains come and people are forced from their homes.  The fireworks begin and the shots ring out.

I know I’m forgetting a litany of others, but I simply can’t cry any more.

The klaxons sound.  The alarms hit.

No lights.

No trucks.  No clamor of three, four other guys lumbering with haste to their trucks with their Sergeant at the lead, without a cup of coffee…  I’m not a Sergeant any more.  I’m nobody’s Station Captain.  I’m not filling in tonight as Battalion, or anything else.  And I cannot cry any more.

I was as strong as I could be until 7 and a half hours later.  I called.  I got voice mail after four rings.  I left a message.  Part concerned, part scolding, part pleading.  I called a second time immediately after the voicemail ended.  It was answered, groggily but it was answered.  He was okay.  Not at the club.  Wasn’t out with friends.  Home safe in bed.

I couldn’t cry any more.

I can’t cry anymore, and yet my face is wet with tears.  I want to be held, but right now a part of me can’t be touched.

I can’t be strong any more.  Not this weak.  Just a voice.

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