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Old 11-20-2012, 12:04 AM
SPEMack618 SPEMack618 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Georgia
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Default Dillards' War

Prologue

Afghanistan
The chilly mountain night air cut right through Dillard’s wool sweater, making him wish he would have donned his privately purchased Columbia Wind Breaker over it, but alas, the swishy nylon of the jacket was a noise discipline issue, so it was out. The thought of that jacket brought a smile to his face, remembering the drunken road trip to Savannah to get it, riding in the back seat of George’s Silverado, a Miller Lite in his hand as a road beer. What a weekend that had been, no football game, Anna was on a sister’s retreat for her sorority, and it had just been a gathering of trusted pledge brothers, alas, it had ended badly, when George woke up in the hotel with a tattoo and Jim woke up next to a KD from Savannah State. Then it had been a bad day all around.
The chatter of a DShKM heavy machine gun shook Dillard from his reverie, running his gloved hand though his scraggly beard growth, he pulled up his keffiyeh, a gift from a British SAS man after a particularly grueling running gun fight and flipped down his NVGs. He inserted a magazine into his H&K 416, racked the slide back and dropped a hand to ensure that his Sig Sauer pistol was still in its thigh holster. The Black Hawk flared and the crew chief kicked out the heavy rope for the Delta Operators to fast rope down, the Taliban manning the heavy DShKM swung his fire and arced tracers into the vulnerable helicopter, and was in turn met with fire from one of the door mounted mini-guns, resulting in quite the light show as the stream of nearly constant red tracers from the chopper crisscrossed the sky back lit by the bigger, but less frequent tracers from the heavy Russian machine gun. Dillard was the first one out, leading his men from the front, as he learned at the Benning School for Boys all those summers ago during college. While the rest of his Fraternity Brothers were golfing, interning, deep sea fishing, and carousing, he was running around with an M-16A2 learning the platoon in the attack and how to fold his shirts.
Feeling the ground under his privately purchased North Face boots, he unclipped his harness from the rope and went to ground, sweeping fire from his carbine across the ridge where the Taliban were emplaced. Several members of his team followed him, as the door gunner and the Taliban gunmen continued to duel. The door gunner lost.
Dillard happened to look back as the Blackhawk fell from the sky. Stifling a curse, he rose a little from his position to lay more accurate fire from his rifle as he fumbled for a rifle grenade from his assault webbing, inserting it into the tube affixed under his rifle; he fired a grenade at the Taliban position, hitting a little low. Fire from a RPD began to rake his position, harsh tracers searching for him, however, the Taliban didn’t have night vision goggles and the men of his team did, and soon his machine gunner, who had come down right behind Dillard, found his range and began to trade fire with the support gun position with his M-60E3. Adjusting the forward sight on his rifle, Dillard dropped another grenade, and the fire from the DShKM ceased. Dillard then snaked back down into his position of cover and turned to the Blackhawk, wondering if there were any survivors, but the blazing helicopter served only as a notice for the funeral pyre for his remaining team members, the Captain, and the helicopter crew. The body of Warrant Officer Charlie Watkins was slumped over the door gun, his body from his torso down ablaze with the rest of the burning chopper
Charlie was still screaming as Dillard got to the crashed chopper. Grabbing his friend by the shoulder straps on his harness, Dillard pulled with all his might. Charlie came out of the chopper, landing on top of Dillard, his woolen balaclava seared to his face. Dillard wrapped his arms around his friend and struggled with his first aid kit, mounted on the back of his pistol belt.
“It’ll be okay Charlie, I got you. I got you.”
“Jim…tell Hannah and the girls…tell Hannah and the girls…that it’ll…be okay….”
“Sure thing, Charlie. Sure thing.” Dillard gently rocked his friend back and forth, easing the morphine vial into his arm, hoping to ease his pain before he died. And just like that, Charlie was gone.
Dillard dropped to his knees and vomited up the remains of his MRE dinner, sickened at the sight of the mutilated corpse of one of his closest friends in the Army. An MH-47 appeared overhead, the QRF from FOB Rhino arriving on scene to continue the hunt for the local Al-Qaeda commander that Dillard and his Commando team were too mauled press. An Air Force PJ was running towards him, slinging a large duffel bag behind him. The world seemed to stop for the 27 year old captain.
Dillard allowed himself to be led back to the waiting MH-47, seemingly unaware of the severe burns on neither his hands nor the piece of Blackhawk lodged in his arm which was bleeding freely. When he set down on the bench seat, he took note of the blood running down his arm and passed out.
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I like to think, that before that Navy SEAL double tapped bin Laden in the head, he kicked him, so that we could truly say we put a boot in his ass.
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