Pancake ran off when I fell into the creek. I was getting tunnel vision from the mix of adrenaline and the pain. I was nearing shock and needed to focus. I had to figure out where the shot came from and more importantly, how was I to defend myself? I reached for the revolver with my left hand very slowly. I cocked the hammer and poised my finger on the trigger guard. I had now become the predator with the prey stalking me. If I had been ambushed, whoever it was would want either trophies or confirmation I was dead. Being down in the creek I was partially concealed from anyone on the ground. I rotated slowly to my left so only my right side was in the water. My shoulder and arm were throbbing with intense pain and I knew I was losing blood. I was hoping the cold water would slow the bleeding down a bit and give me time to retreat. Why hadn't I heard the shot? Was it like the old tales of not hearing the shot before hand? Was it a sniper? Was it a stray bullet?
At the very moment I was beginning a panic attack, I heard a movement to the left. Snapping myself back to alert mode, I scanned the creek bank and part of the woods I could see. I heard the movement...very light footsteps...cautiously approaching the area I lay. I decided the footsteps were zig-zagging looking for signs. Apparently whoever it was didn't know my exact location. I lay motionless...slowed my breathing down to minimum and waited what seemed like hours. Then silence...had the person or animal stopped? A squirrel perhaps maybe an opossum. How long had it been since the shot? Were the woodland creatures coming out again? I listened for birds and heard none. That meant something was in the area. But what?
About that time I heard more movement and finally caught a glimpse. A head of hair...lots of it! And it was moving in my direction slowly. I closed my eyes halfway and started breathing as little as I could. My heart was racing and I wanted to jump up and fire. I was still losing blood and I knew without my right arm to use, dragging my 200 lbs frame upright quickly enough to shoot was about as likely as Hell freezing over today. I had to lay and wait for the right moment. As the hair came closer I saw a forehead and then the eyes. Eyes..the window to a persons soul. These eyes were very comforting and those not of a killer. These eyes belonged to a child...the body of a 10-12 year old. My goodness...a wild child had shot me? I'll never live this down back at home. The child stayed motionless for an eternity. I guess we were both playing chicken to see who moved first. Finally the boy moved towards me very cautiously and at the last possible second, he splashed water in my face. Naturally I flinched and the boy jumped back. "Help me please", I whispered at the boy. The boy inched forward and reached out to push the hair back from my face. He looked like he shed a tear but I couldn't be sure as he was wet as I was. He grabbed me by the collar and pulled me out of the creek beyond my knees onto the small sandbar. Our eyes met again and they were filled with tears. Obviously this was not the shooter. Now we were both in danger...the shooter was still out there.
Another shot rang through the woods and the boy disappeared in a flash. Then a series of shots from my left and from my right. I could hear the bullets whizzing above me whooshing through the leaves. Two distinct sets of arms fire...one was M4 and the other sounded like AK's. About the time I got my wits about me, all hell broke loose. I heard some splashing in the creek like someone running. In an instant, the boy had returned and was laying across me as if protecting me. The gunfire intensified and I heard what I believed were mortars incoming. Explosions ripped through the treetops and the concussion of the blast rippled through my body. I could hear the cries of people being hit by shrapnel. The gunfire from my left was coming closer and the boy and I were both trembling in fear. I raised my gun to defend ourselves just as the first soldier cleared the creek bank. I held my shot as the man looked familiar. He grabbed the boy and threw him against the bank and pointed the M4 at his head. I screamed, "Don't shoot don't shoot for God's sake don't shoot!!" The man didn't appear to hear me so I rolled to my left and hoisted my gun to his family jewels. I screamed again, "Don't shoot Don't shoot or I'll shoot your balls off!"
At that moment, 10-12 men cleared the creek banks, started laughing and took off to what had been my right. More gunfire erupted and Hell had come back to breakfast for a second helping. The man took his M4 off the boy and looked at me again. it was the "boy" from the supply truck. As I dropped my revolver he was yelling, "Medic Medic...MEDIC goddamnit!" I then heard the company medic saying, "Yep thats him...clear the way. I need to administer his BP meds and confine him to bed rest in the brig!" I chuckled a bit and everything went black.