Fort Bragg, 1957

–Mike Leary

Flashback. Fort Bragg, 1957, I’m 13. I’d been on my bike going back home with a friend and came to the railroad track. Before I could hop off, my front tire hit a rock which flipped me over and my head hit the rail, busting my forehead bloody. My friend walked me up to the housing area where the woman happened to be a nurse and took me to Womack hospital where they stitched me up with 5 stitches. 

A week later I was to get them out and got into an argument with my mother who wouldn’t drive me. It was blowing up a North Carolina storm with sheets of lightning and I had to peddle about 3 miles to the hospital. I got there waited a bit and they took me back where I laid on a gurney. The doctor had got two of them out, when there was a lot of commotion going on. A nurse came in and took him to another room.

I waited at least 15 minutes before she came back in and asked me to go back out to the waiting room. It was now full of soldiers. They had made a jump just before the bad weather and were on the drop zone when the storm started. They’ed been hit by lightning. One guy was helping others when he went into spasms and collapsed in the waiting room. It was pouring down rain now and I called my mom. She came and got me and put my bike in the trunk. My dad took out the rest of the stitches.

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