25 March 2008

Courage Under Fire: The Hillary Clinton Story

Courage Under Fire: The Hillary Clinton Story
03/25/2008, 3:40 PM

It was '93. Or '98. I don't remember. I've blocked it all out.

But it's as if it all happened yesterday.

We were coming in low over Bosnia. Or Serbia. I forget. Corkscrew approach. This is an extremely rare, dangerous and harrowing approach that all pilots do routinely in battle zones on an hourly basis. All of a sudden the skies burst into flames. We were taking everything from flak to cruise missiles to RPGs -- that's "Radio Powered Guns" for those of you who haven't been "in the show" -- to catapulted boulders by a wooden structure with pulleys and levers.

This was a C-130, mind you. Not exactly first class. Lazy-Boys, pepper jack cheese and wine spritzers? It was like being in prison, I'd imagine.

And then, it happened. The left wing blew off (Right wing?). Probably an IED. "Internal Emitting Diode" for those of you who haven't "gone in-country". I don't even remember it because it all happened so fast. But before you could say, "I'm against this war I voted for ," Gunny was on the 50 millimeter and his copilot was curled up in the fetal position babbling about mouthwash. There was only one thing I could do.

I strapped in, grabbed the stick, put on my wireless headphone radio thingie and barrel-rolled the heavy-assed bitch into a tailspin. Problem solved.

"Mayday, mayday. Air Force 4 is going down. I repeat: Air Force 4 is going down. The pilot is AWAL, Number 2 is catatonic, we're listing badly, and I've got no forward thrust. Also, I spilled some chianti on my sans-a-belt slacks. Please advise."
"Uhh... I just got off the radio with Captain Jennifer Harris. She says everything's a-okay. Still, do you have some seltzer?"
"Thanks, Dutch. Via con Deus. We're coming in hot."
"It's Captain Martin, ma'am. Er... Hmm..."

I 720'd that sky beast on the 3rd-world runway, popped the hatch, and before you could say, "That's not what I meant," snipers in the bush lit the place up like dollar slots at The Mirage.

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