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Inspirational Romance Adventure

The conference event, due to a slight operational fiasco in the manufacturing department, needed to change the date. Now it was to happen on the last day of this month. The plans that I made with my better half were now on the back burner. Not where we chose to be and that was to wait even longer for change in our lives together and forever to happen. The relationship we had built to finally reach a solid foundation was a destination near to achievement. My life, before that, made me not an enjoyable person to be with or to be around in anyone's company. There was no reasoning other than it was all in my head. So, in due time I finally opted to be the better person after she woke me up. It was a moment not to be forgotten. 

As a critical care nurse, she came to my aid on a MediVac. The face I saw, after an ambush in the outskirts of a rural village in the mountains of Taurus, was surreal. It was the look of pure faith. Our unit had scouted the perimeter of the area that we were assigned to defend. The mission was for the greater good of the people who were seeing the crumbling and stealing of their land and livelihoods. It was not our first rodeo and all of us had eyes and ears in the details when it came to the terrain. When the call came to immediately seek cover it was as if we were back in the Wild West. Lawless days were here and we were the gunslingers facing the enemy. Our mission was hacked by unknown intel and it was going down the toilet. We had to abandon the area before the enemy had us in their sights. Up to the higher cliffs the five of us hiked to await for the King Stallion to get us out of dodge. This helicopter has us in their sights when an unforeseen ragtag band of rogue rebels let loose with a screaming barrage of long-range ammo. Two of us took flak but still managed to deflate a few guns as we struggled to hunker down. I was hit bad in the arm and shoulder but quickly pulled a strap over to stop the bleeding. We were in the crosshairs when help came screaming in, hellbent to get us out of the mess. With their own mighty screaming eagle, the best of the best, King Stallion, touched down on the cliff. We threw ourselves onboard and in a split second the chopper was high up and gone from the altercation. 

The King Stallion was on an operative mission elsewhere when the emergency call came in and promptly averted their route since they were the closest to the scene. The pilot made sure all were secure when he received a radioed message stating that a Black Hawk MediVac was now enroute and on alert to attend to the injured soldiers. "Agreed." As the command center was aware of the mission and also the men caught in between an unknown situation in the Taurus Mountain range. The two choppers picked a close compatible landing area to make the switch. With all eyes and ears in place the exchange happened and the two choppers split off in separate directions. My buddy was hit just as badly as I, and the medics crew took turns keeping us attended to, since we were the only two heavily wounded pigeons in the flock of five.  

A pair of bright eyes met mine in the jumble of the roaring aircraft as injuries were addressed in the confines of the bird. Suddenly, shouts were heard to brace for heavy winds. Everyone held on to an interior part of the aircraft and to whomever was nearest. The paramedic/nurse who first off addressed my injuries, quickly held a forceful arm against my other non-damaged shoulder and braced us for any unexpected action in the air. She was amazingly strong and I felt safe. Soon the weather cooperated and we landed at the US air base, Incirlik, in Turkey. Medics came and brought me and my buddy out on stretchers. The others that were with us followed the parade to the trauma center. I attempted to just walk it off and tried to get off the stretcher. Pulling up my big boy pants was not going to work as I staggered and nearly fell over. I was quickly stationed back on top and all hands kept me anchored until we entered the building. The para/nurse who first assisted me, was the kindest soul in our heartfelt chat as I faded in and out of consciousness. Time went by and I was more alert but she had disappeared. Suddenly, I felt anxious when told she was due to leave momentarily on another rescue trip. But then she appeared, caught my attention and told me to get better. "I'll be back by tomorrow so don't think you're out of the woods, Mister." We fist bumped like a couple of teenagers. 

This was the beginning, as crazy as it seemed, in an unplanned situation where the two of us collided into what would become a one on one special relationship. 

I got out, thankfully, with only a few bumps and scratches as my service time was over. It was rickety choice, though, leaving the comradery of many other like-minded patriots. Moving forward was not as easy as what I expected. Day in and day out to finding employment was wearing my soul down to the ground. I turned a corner and became a shadow of the person whom I never wanted to be in life. Today was the yearly checkup at the VA since being injured on the mountain a year ago. As I sat waiting for my name to be called, I felt someone stand next to me. I tensed up, side glanced and saw the strong arm of a woman with her fingers bunched into a fist. My eyes went up and there she was! Our eyes met and we laughed like it was yesterday on the Black Hawk. Then we fist bumped for old times sake. The VA was her permanent spot, for now. And just like that we became a matching duo. We started casual, just kind of seeing where each of us were at in life. She knew I felt off many of the times we met. So being the better person, and knowing the enemy within, with her own stories, it was time to call someone who knew someone. 

The call came and the perfect job appeared out of thin air. Waterbury Button Company. Working the marketing angle with a military background was key. The company since 1812 had incredible high quality and a reliable product. Uniform military buttons became their claim to fame. Every military branch respectfully wears these crafted icons on their uniforms. Today they also support the fashion industry, professional golfers, railroad, state police and fire departments. The list goes on.

Our path was meant to be as my better half saw the real me. We were reaching a milestone in our relationship and I wanted her for better or worse. My determination met hers as well and our passion for a life together was going to happen back to the place where it all began under the heat of war. Until the call came that the scheduled conference had been switched due to a manufacturing problem at the main plant. I had to leave a voice message at the VA. Her positive vibe made the time go by. We dressed for the event like it was prom night. My tie was corrected with a quick adjustment courtesy of my date. It was a relaxing and nice time as we parked and walked towards the town hall. Just before opening the door, my better half asked me to be prepared for the moment. "This is our time, for better or worse." She made me feel confident and hopeful even with the surprised look on my face.  

I opened the door and as we walked into the room and I knew that she had planned it all. There was no extended meeting. The faces were all of my buddies from our time in service. We were making it happen here and now. The JP was my former commanding officer. Who knew? She looked me square in the face and without a pause in the moment she said, "I do."  

May 26, 2023 21:18

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