The wounded began settling in for the five hour flight, some had that far-away look, some eyes showed a look of terror. For most of these combattants, the war was far from ended; there would be new battles to fight as civilians.
Dee hadn’t got far into her task, when a soldier grabbed her arm.
He yelled, “They’re planning a fucking 21st for me. My Ma wants to know what gift to get me? Try a right leg, Ma. I ain’t going home, no sir. Watch them all cry, or give me pity. No sir!”
Dee walked towards where the voice was coming from.
The soldier continued to yell, “And you, blond and gorgeous, you’d love to date me, right? You’d love being fucked by a one-legged man, right?”
“Go easy Cojo,” said a voice, “McKay here is worse off, he’s blind, and can’t see the blond!”
Dee turned away, her eyes filling with tears. Cojo was sobbing hysterically. An onboard nurse arrive.
“Hey, Cojo, something to help you sleep. Everyone here has pain.”
Cojo’s outbursts had visibly unnerved Dee. Soldier after soldier asked for her to come and see him. Some apologized for Cojo, others engaged her in conversation. Dee realized how much her voice and appearance mattered; anyone could give a needle or a pill, but a female voice and a smile, and these guys were so grateful.
The loading completed, Dee headed back in a jeep towards the hospital. Her nursing companions were nowhere in sight. After heading aimlessly down several hallways,
Dee stopped a Red Cross volunteer. Moments later, the volunteer returned with a basket of complimentary toiletries and a towel.
Dee hummed as she entered the changing and shower facility.