The base was hit up with flames and coloured flares being directed towards the dark jungle surrounding the compound. Cobra choppers took off without lights, machine guns sending countless rounds towards a hidden enemy.
The quonset hospital building was abuzz with action with corpsmen men rushing out the doors carrying stretchers, and nurses and doctors rushing in. Bursting through the doors, Jessie and Dee caught sight of Major Pat. She was stationed by the small dispensary giving orders. A nurse unlocked medical cabinets.
“Ah, Jessie. You and Dee fill up the syringes with morphine. We’ll do the paper work later.”
The Major spun around and addressed Tony.
“You and the other medics arrange the saw-horses. we’ll place the litters on them. Then, phone the Colonel and see if he can spare any soldiers or Vietnamese workers who might be around.”
Dee took a deep breath and said a short prayer. She felt a calmness flood through her and this gave her confidence. She had only had a few hours sleep, but the urgency of the situation gave her the needed adrenalin. She filled the syringes carefully aware that morphine was the drug for severe pain and every drop was needed.
She caught a clear look at Jessie, who was softly singing, “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.”
“What?” Jessie laughed. “I need all the luck of the Irish.” Then in an Irish brogue, “Sure didn’t me muther tell me to sing it when times were tuff.”
Major Pat laughed, “You’d better have the fighting Irish in your blood, Jessie! It’s in my blood, too!”
“Patricia Mary Bridget, I was baptised in green water, so they tell me. And isn’t the entire congregation of St. Patrick’s in Massachusetts, praying for us all now.”
The Major looked at Dee. “Be prepared for outrageous behaviour at the most serious of times, it’s the only way to keep us all sane!”
“O.K, ” said Jessie, “Let’s match blood, and what kind of blood runs through you, Dee, making your hair look like fields of wheat?”
“Pennsylvania Dutch, raised on an Amish pig farm, but our neighbors sowed wheat!”