How should I feel A recounting of the events of February 27th-28th, 1991 That forever changed me. Southwest of Baghdad, Iraq Desert Storm (1st Gulf War) 1-101st AVN / 1-229TH AVN 1-1 AVN REGT, 1ID
How should I feel

A recounting of the events of February 27th-28th, 1991
That forever changed me.

Southwest of Baghdad, Iraq

Desert Storm (1st Gulf War)
1-101st AVN / 1-229TH AVN
1-1 AVN REGT, 1ID gemcontest#1 stories
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nimh
nimh Community member
Autoplay OFF   •   14 days ago
Event that changed me forever. I was one of the fortunate. Tribute to my brothers in arms, Iraq 1991

How should I feel A recounting of the events of February 27th-28th, 1991 That forever changed me. Southwest of Baghdad, Iraq Desert Storm (1st Gulf War) 1-101st AVN / 1-229TH AVN 1-1 AVN REGT, 1ID

Choices I made, contract paid like a pact In haste, let that devil take My soul to bake, no fair exchange Now I'm Broke in debt telling myself no hope is left I tied my knots, the rope is set I'm chokin on these memries Pacing the floor, Dripping wet with sweat

Is it tomorrow yet? Can't sleep more than three hours a night for the last twenty years I Gave all I had, you can't pay me back My Names just a number, go figure that This pain you gave me, how you try pay me back wit dat?

Then you give me pills like they tic-tacs Skip em next time, just give me that crack got us hooked to stop us complaining Wow, imagine that. Now they say we're addicts and that's why we're where we at.

Your pills never took my pain away They just made me look the other way I'm not ashamed of who I am today I'm not to blame you made my mind this state I see death every day in their faces Eyes open or closed, whether sleeping or waking.

Not like a TV show, those have an ending. Yes it's exhausting, like the poison that you sip as if medicine prescribed by a Doctor every day, it's a constant reminder, consciously binding No new thoughts seen behind closed lids

yet its finding my mind and rewinding As if I did it all wrong by not dying... They expected heavy casualties, but we were steady defying.. steadfast in our drive and fighting hard, keeping each other alive, Side by side... just like you taught us, drilled it deep in our minds....

the training was perfect our gear was the best... the machines that you gave us dealt out hellish death...you underestimated all of our worth, some estimates said 60% would eat earth. Reality was, none of that mattered. We fucking kicked ass and relied on each other.

My brothers, each side of me put rounds down to cover me, As I dive headlong time after time gaining ground on our enemy, bullets humming and zipping sound waves eardrums tripping, Dizzy head spinning, A2 on single then flip the selector to triple, I'm clipping em.

They just kept falling and even if they were crawling they got two in the cranium as we passed by em not slowing to render aid to them... no , no time to die for us, my brothers and I.

You gave us this mission, it was not optional. There was no way we were leaving that crew in the sand. Eight lives, all brothers of mine. Had to recover them bring em back home...for their Mom and em'

your only concern was that the blackhawk was burned... all melted down, so nothing was left but black glass in the sand... Eighteen hours, we defended, for each other as we recovered our fallen is what it all came to. as we used all our load out of ammo the night through, our brothers who lost the fight had one last gift to contribute...

they had our backs. They stood by our side.. from heaven they watched with tears in their eyes, new wings on their backs with which they would fly... must have been them that saved us that night... not a single bullet flew straight from our enemy as if swatted down by the holy swords as angels our brethren now carried..

and when I ran dry on ammo, no water in my canteen, eight heroes lent me their arms, their rifles were plenty and shot true, the water they had in their canteens was the sweetest of bitter water we ever knew.

Days later they told us that the six of us should not have survived...we faced untenable odds...the low ground was ours and facing us those eighteen hours of hell… Iraqi Republican guard three companies Strong.. dug in and waiting, on the high ground surrounding us, in ambush they lay...

knowing we never leave our fallen to lay in anonymous graves...on foreign soil, if I had a way, all the blood soaked sand would have come back with us as well... that desert wasn't worthy of the nourishment of my brothers' blood.

The debriefing was arduous, the doubt in their eyes... apparently we would have been less trouble had we all died... Interrogating each of us as if we'd lied, two full days in isolation like we were each spies..or prisoners of war but kept by our own side.

Finally they came in and summarily said we'd done fine, excellent work, the command was all primed..stoked that we succeeded in blazing that bird.... Not a piece of it salvageable for use by our foes… Not a mention was made of the plain green bags we had dutifully lain in four rows of two, securely belted in place with love and concern.

Not a word of comfort from any of the mouths from whence the orders came.. we didn't need any though, solemn and simple with dignity, respect and proud tears of love shed as we six soldiers met our duty to recover our dead… We would have willingly given all that we had...our very own lives, the last breaths we exhaled to ensure our brothers weren't lost to the sand

the hawk was the final thing we torched as we left... looking back down blazing white hot from magnesium magma... up high enough with the white hot light from the burning blackhawk.. we could see the vengeance we wrought on the Republican guard.. bodies strewn three deep in 360 degrees..

we were surrounded by real fighters... the best that they had nearly one hundred of them now lay dead... the six of us not a single drop of blood shed. No way to explain... they were right, we should have been dead....

while we faught through the night to recover the dead, our guardian angels were flying right over our heads. They must have felt the same duty as us... they refused to leave us to die... imagine the sight!

Eight shimmering winged warriors from God, blinding light from their swords swinging precisely, keeping every bullet that neared us from hitting their mark. We owe them our lives, even if none of it's reality... we had a solemn reason, a duty to do, that made us all feel like we could not fail...

not because of our orders.. or because we were heroes.. but because of the love each of us feels... for the fallen brother in the field...

my Mom would be devastated If she received just a letter... she'd go crazy knowing her baby was lost, lying anonymously in a desert... on foreign soil in the home of our enemy... that's why we fought like we had guardian angels helping us…

whatever the answer, it's really irrelevant..they pinned medals on my chest and I got promoted , they split us all up, assigned them all to different units. I remained where i started, but now I was a Sargent... thirty years on and I still remember... with my eyes firmly shut or open doesn't matter...

the death that I've seen, the bodies I've recovered...i looked into their eyes and thanked them each one. Those eyes still live there in my mind.. they don't bring me comfort. Please be still now my brothers…

But this is merely one story of mine, the amount of time taken, not even two full days...of the 1,032 approximately spent by me in Combat over nearly a decade and three different theatres of war...

many other stories, equally exciting to a reader, I find myself writing.. the ink I use today are the tears shed daily by my broken mind. The paper I write on is vellum made from the flesh of the fallen that will never be free from my mind...

the stories never change, the ending is still the same... I'll never finish telling these stories to myself, in my mind... playing like slide shows until my time... until I die and meet those fallen heroes again eye to eye. I'm blessed to keep them alive in my broken mind.. still cursed though to have them all living inside my broken mind...

yet, nobody seems to care that I'm broken today, mind and body... how could they ever repay… so, let me ask you, just How should I feel? You tell me. but, let's focus on the importance to this story, the only thing that matters.... all of my brothers went home to their mothers. Benjamin Miller 02/28/21 (30th Anniversary)

to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, whom I carry vicariously with me to this day, The following pages each will list a single name of a soldier lost during the events that preceded and made happen as I recounted in my poem. Please read them with reverence in your heart, give them thanks for their sacrifice, should you be so inclined. Thank you.

February 27th, 1991 - Iraq Capt. William F. Andrews, USAF Was shot down in his F-16 near Baghdad. He survived and was quickly captured by the elite Iraqi Republican Guard A single UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter from the 1-229th aviation regiment was dispatched to rescue him...

Pilot in Command, callsign Bengal 15 Chief Warrant Officer Four Philip Garvey 06/28/1951 - 02/27/1991 Eternally at rest among heroes

Chief Warrant Officer Three Robert Godfrey 05/14/1958 - 02/27/1991

SGT Roger P. Brilinski Jr 04/30/1966 - 02/27/1991

SFC William T. Butts 12/13/1960 - 02/27/1991

SSG Patbouvier E. Ortiz 08/07/1963 - 02/27/2991

SPC Kelly D. Phillips

SGT Michael S. Smith

SSG Jonathan H. Kamm

God rest ye, just warriors of peace. I shall honor your sacrifice with every breath taken until my heavenly Father takes the last from my lips , this I promise. -SSG Benjamin Miller, USA

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