Post by Lone Wolf on Aug 5, 2013 21:06:25 GMT -5
What is Valor? Webster’s tells us valor is great courage in the face of danger. Maybe courage isn’t what drove me to my act of valor but instead the instinctual desire to protect the man beside me.
It was mid April… Phoenix Tactical. This would be my squad’s first official mission. I was still nursing the heartache of losing my girl to my commander and best friend. You could feel the tension between us like a heat wave, but I couldn’t focus on that, I had a job to do. These were my men as much as they were his. I was the one down in the mud with them day in and day out; I was the one that helped them when they had problems on the home front. These were my brothers and I was going to personally see to it that today they had their day of glory.
“Ruck up and get ready to move, we’re Oscar Mike in 5,” I inform them. “Roll call, who do I have left”, I think. PCF Courier, my brother and communications expert; Jiri, a Czech Republic exchange student and pakhor master standing in for our missing teammates; PFC Tiger(eep), Engineering expert; Myself Cpl Wolf, Medic and Executive Officer; and Capt. Osprey, Commanding Officer of this team. He seems out of it today, I wonder if it’s because of me. No matter it’s time to move.
Jiri and I lead point. We come around the brush and find the area swathed in combat. A unit is pushing forward trying to take the hill and failing miserably. They are simply far to outgunned to be any match for the defending team Mayhem. They are quickly rerouted and pushed back. This round is now over and the assaulting force retreats to a small pond to regroup. I don’t like these odds but top brass sent our Special Forces unit down with specific orders: “Take that hill and hold it to the last man” “To the Last man.” The words echo in my mind as I observe the battlefield. Funny how things always come back to that.
A young man approaches me, blonde hair, urban/ACU uniform, Navy Seal Trident patch. He asks what we should do and I’m baffled by this; I never expected to lead this assault. Yet here I am, “Alright listen up! I want a unit heading up the left flank along to base of the hill. I need someone else to go right. You, you, and you move up the right flank on my go. Alright I need guys that are fast and have automatics that they can run with. I want a main assault body going up the middle.” I look down at my weapon, 1928 Thompson submachine gun with stock removed, The “trench sweeper.” Here goes it.
We begin the assault and its failure from the start. The flanks broke and fell apart and the middle unit was lost entirely. I linked up with Jiri heading up the right flank. We pushed as hard and as fast as we could but it was no use. Then in a bout of luck Mayhem relinquishes the hill. I still don’t know why they gave it up, but it was ours. The fight wasn’t over, no it was just beginning. We regrouped at the top of the hill only to find a counterattack coming soon.
Without a second thought I survey our defenses and take it all in. A field up our right flank and forest on our left. The hill itself is a terraced U shape, the trail making the U. I placed Tiger and two younger kids with springers on the right flank near me. Osprey took position high up on the Hill with my M14 EBR. Courier, the Blonde kid from Seals, and two others took the far left flank and dug in among the rubble. Jiri had a plan to run up through the middle and flank the assaulting force and I quickly lost contact with him.
So here I stand, the heat beating down on me, I feel the breeze and everything is quite. The calm before the storm and what a storm it shall be. “To the last man”… “Wolf, get down from there!!!” Osprey yells at me. I look back at him then back over the field “Ready!!!” I call and jump down from my perch. “The die has been cast,” I say to myself, “let the game begin.”
It’s quiet, to quiet. “Wolf to Courier,” I call over the radio, “what’s going on over there?”
“Nothing yet,” he replies. But then I hear it; automatic fire from the left flank. “Jiri is gone, he went running,” Courier’s voice comes over the radio. As the left flank is being assaulted I see three men coming up the right flank. I hold fire and wait for them to get within range but the kids I put there ran off into the field. I open fire on the assaulting team and they fire back with long range rifles. I don’t have the range for this so I fall back to Tiger. “eep we got a marksman and two others coming up the right trail. Suppress him.” I move up the hill bounding from cover to cover until I come up alongside Osprey. “Hey Captain we got a sniper coming up the right Want to show what’s up?” I say. He smiles, “Give him a little counter sniper action?” I flash a half smile back, “Show him what that baby can do” And I take off for the left flank.
This half of the battlefield looks something like a wasteland, concrete slabs and twisted metal everywhere: Hell in every sense. I run up to a massive slab of concrete and steel that a guy is hiding behind. At that moment he yells “I’m out” and I happen to notice his Pmag laying next to him. I turn just in time to see Tiger huffing it to our position. “EEP!” I call out, “Ammo! Thats an Order! This guys out you got a Pmag?” I turn away for a second and provide covering fire into the woods; I still don’t know where Courier is.
I turn back to see Tiger holding his leg; there’s a tear in his BDUs and he’s bleeding below the knee. He smacked it off a block of concrete; I offered to call an EVAC but he’s a tough bird, picked up his M4 and started returning fire.
“There’s two guys advancing threw the woods,” I hear over the radio. I see it; one advancing threw the field in front of us and another trying to flank around the perimeter. “Oh hell no,” I say to myself. I turn back up the hill, weaving through debris and jumping from fox hole to fox hole. I make it to the top back of the hill and open fire of on the flanking enemy. Good I stopped his flank and bought us some time. The left flank is secure so I turn to the right and I’m met with utter shock.
I return to Tiger’s foxhole. “Chris we’ve got a problem!” I say franticly, “The right flank has collapsed and there’s a sniper and assault gunner moving in fast!” At this point my mind became a blur and I acted only on instinct. In a flash I see the soldiers advancing on or left, and I remember the Marksman coming up the right. “To the last man” We’re being surrounded “To the last man.”
I turn and run. Basic military strategy: flank and outflank. So I run, instinct kicks in and I run. I run down the hill and through the middle of the field, my legs move on their own but I still run. I see them, the marksmen and assault gunner, their taking aim on my squad. My lungs are burning, I should stop, but I don’t have time, I have to run! I run until I get to the top and I jump over the first barricade, I’m out of range but I don’t have a choice and so I open fire on the sniper. Bad choice, it was a horrible choice. But what choice did I have? He was firing on my unit. My guys. “To the last man” To hell with the last man! I wasn’t going to let my guys be picked off by the enemy.
It was all in vain and I knew it. I knew that I should have snuck up on the soldiers and picked them off but instead I drew their attention to me by opening fire. It was no use, my team was already wiped out and here I am. My brash mistake put me on my back in the middle of a clearing with the sniper on the other side. The only thing preventing him from hitting me was the dense underbrush.
I lay my Thompson on the earth beside me, it’s not use anymore. I pull from my holster a Colt 1911 pistol, sleak black, wood grips, with "U.S. Army 1911 - Feb. 14, 1911" engraved into the side. As the bbs pass over and around me, I admire the weapon for the last time, rack the slide back, and let it slam home.
I rise up from where I lay, take aim, and fire...
“To the last man.” It’s funny, in a way, that despite my best efforts I find myself here… defending this hill…. The Last Man