At first I couldn’t figure out what was hitting me. Then I saw debris whizz by my buddy’s head as he contemplated jumping off the side.
We had just fast roped onto a ship underway at sea. I broke the corner and will never forget what I saw. It’s etched vividly into my memory.
The second helicopter crashed into the ship. Our friends were up there.
We made our way to the crash site. Our platoon chief had been pinned and nearly had his head taken off.
Yet his clear decision making and direction in the midst of the unknowns is etched just as vividly into memory.
Another buddy was one of our medics. He had shattered his pelvis and was lying on his back.
He started telling us how to treat the other wounded men. Only once he had finished, did he then us that he probably had internal bleeding and would die within 30 min if we were unable to get him to surgery.
With his life on the clock, he took time for his team. This wasn’t a decision made in the moment. It was without thought, instinctual.
Selflessness was a trait he had made innate in his character prior to experiencing the moment. He didn’t know how to be anything different.
What we do today makes us who we are when it matters most. When you look at a man and you know he’d die for you without hesitation, you trust that man.
Trust gives us the confidence to get in the fight. Trust creates confidence and it’s a direct relationship. The more of one, the more of the other. It’s how winning is done and it pays to be a winner.
A lot of things I personally wish I’d done better that night. I learned a lot. I hope sharing what I remember from it helps others understand the value of trust and where it comes from, and betters their lives as well. Can’t believe I got to run with these dudes.