Sunday, September 28, 2008


Today my former life intrudes and memories of a different kind surface. There was a crash last night, a crash of a medevac helicopter with fatalities. This particular helicopter belonged to a program for which several of my friends fly for and I, myself had flown with part time. I spent several anxious moments making phone calls, sending out text messages and emails all hoping to learn the identity of the dead. In the end I found out my friends were safe and I'm ashamed to admit I'm glad it was no one I knew.

Somehow though even that knowledge didn't stop old sorrow from resurfacing as the deja vu overwhelmed me. Years past when I was a full time medevac helicopter flight nurse the program for which I worked had a fatal crash. It took the life of a Marine pilot who was my friend. He chose to fly EMS missions when he left the Marine Corps and he was good at it. He cared about those of us who made up his flight crew and he could always make us laugh during the most trying of flights.

When you are touched by a fatality of this kind you are brought to the stark realization that the job you do can kill you. In the weeks that past I felt as if I had joined an unwanted club. The club of the flight programs that had a fatal crash. The club that brings with it questions and speculations that will most likely never be answered. The club of those greiving for coworkers who were as close as family. For days after our crash each time I climbed into the aircarft I wondered if I would climb back out; whole, intact and safe.

We used to joke that a "good landing" was any landing you walked away from, no matter how bad. My Marine buddy didn't walk away and now neither did the crew who devoted their lives to helping others.

May God bless their families and friends and give them peace. May He strenghten and comfort them today and in the days ahead.

Godspeed crew of Trooper 2.

1 comment:

Don said...

I really HATE it when things like that happen. Just when I think I've gotten my act together and I'm ready to get back into a comfortable rut/routine type of life, something comes along and reminds me that it just ain't that easy and you don't get a second chance so you need to do what you can to make something better for someone else.