-Written by a former 1/75 Army Ranger-
You’re sitting on a Yeti Cooler anchored down towards the front of the CH-47 Chinook next to the cockpit. You yourself are anchored down to the floor of the helicopter by your safety lanyard. You’re gripping it tightly. You’re squeezing the life out of it.
You hear the radio cackle softly – “Two-minutes.”
Your normally friendly and comforting tone becomes guttural as you yell “Two-minutes!” in unison with everyone else aboard. The testosterone is kicking in like its supposed to. The adrenaline starts to course through your veins.
You bring your night vision down over your eyes and test it to make sure it’s working. You see everyone in front of you begin to get on one knee. You feel for your magazine to make sure it’s still loaded inside the rifle. You make sure your gun is still on safe.
This is it. This is what you’ve been waiting for.
You’re aboard an airship with guns sticking out of both sides. It’s the flying “Queen Anne’s Revenge.”
You and your tatted-up bloodthirsty pirate friends that your seeing through your lenses just want to kill. If you don’t, then what the fuck are you doing here?
Incoming tracer fire and RPGs stream passed helicopters behind you. The M-134 Minigun to your immediate left begins to open up on the enemy below. It fires 3,000 rounds a minute and has no discernible tempo. It just sounds like a hellishly loud buzzing as it strafes targets.
When it hits a human being, it doesn’t put dozens of holes through their body. It pops them like a balloon.
Your helicopter turns into a dragon spitting fire into the mountainsides. You’re not scared of death anymore. You’re excited and happy to be there amidst the chaos that is enveloping your violent world.
If your helicopter gets shot down, it may be sad for everyone back home. But for you, there’s no better way to die and not a group of men more hardcore that you’d rather die with.
The helicopter begins to flare picking up its nose and dipping its tail in preparation for landing. The 25,000-pound metal mustang is rearing on its hind legs as you hold on like a cowboy in a rodeo.
You see the men aboard begin to run off the back ramp under the greenish-hue of your night vision. You look to your right as you unhook your safety lanyard from the floor – your language interpreter is wearing a Dallas Cowboys football jersey under his body armor.
He begins to clap and pound on the roof of the helicopter as if he’s in the NFL and running out of the tunnel at the Super Bowl. He doesn’t even carry a gun.
You crack a smile. He’s a wild man.
As you make your way towards the ramp to jump off the back yourself, you see the rear gunner on the helicopter firing his 240 machine gun into the wood line.
Your Dog Handler is looking over his shoulder pointing with one hand shouting “Shoot him! Shoot him!”
His other hand has control of his Belgian Malinois. The dog is barking. He isn’t scared. He’s wants to get off the helicopter and hunt the enemy so badly that you can hear him whining. Just like you, he wants to kill.
Some of the dogs have torn so much flesh from bone that they’ve lost their canines. They’ll get replaced with titanium implants, so they can keep doing their job.
You finally come off the ramp and step outside into the humidity. It’s a laser light show filled with fireworks and explosions.
You look up and see a beam of light descending from the sky from a drone thousands of feet above. Its strobing over the enemy locations like a UFO shooting down a tractor beam. Everyone’s rifle lasers are pointed towards the heavenly radiance. That’s where the fire is concentrated.
The enemy can’t see the infrared beam illuminating their position. They don’t have night vision. They don’t stand a chance.
Your training kicks in as you look for a position of cover or concealment to begin firing from.
Your friend on the left yells “Back blast area clear!” as he prepares to fire his Carl Gustav recoilless rifle towards the enemy. It explodes on target. It’s a good shot.
The intensity of everything is beautiful. You’re high.
You don’t want it to end, but only seconds later, just like that, the firing stops.
The men that were underneath the beacon of light being shot at are now taking their last gasps of breath if they haven’t already been disintegrated.
Their combat is over.
Your combat is over.