In the morning, helicopters were taking out the wounded, the whack whack whack of their blades and dust filling the air. A corpsman was adjusting an IV bag which he had hung on a volleyball net the officers had erected the previous evening.

“Hey, doc,” the marine attached to the IV shouted, “when are they going to take me?”

“You’re up next,” the corpsman answered.

“Good, I think this thing is hemorrhaging.”

The corpsman knelt down to take a look. “Hey gunny,” he shouted.

A gunnery sergeant who was organizing the med-evac came over. He took a look. “Okay,” he said. He gestured to some men, who came to get the stretcher.

“I’m sorry,” the wounded man said. “I thought I’d better tell you.”

“Nothing to be sorry about,” the corpsman said. “You’ll be home in a few days. Your war is over.”

The marine closed his eyes.

Copyright 2013 George Lowell Tollefson

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