The Bridge Essay, Research Paper
July 1st 2001Sweat poured down my rugged unshaved face, bathed in my camouflage, and dripped on my MP5 sub-machine gun. As I ran for my God-forsaken life I spit out my fresh chew and screamed at my division sniping in the nearby trench, ?GET THE HELL OUT! IT?S GONNA BLOW!!? Once I gained their attention it was too late. BAWOOSH! I tried to glance at my four other companions but I only caught a glimpse their distraught visages a split second before debris covered my sight and I was luckily blown forward from the impact of a Chinese high explosive grenade. My sniper division, was unluckily obliterated by it. I was knocked unconscious; barely gasping for air. Various thoughts filled my head? A chunk of our team snipers wiped out within a second, including my long time friend PFC Ransom, two year Green Beret sniper specialist, I use to drink Michelob with back in college before we got drafted. I almost forgot it was a couple days before it would be my birthday. I can?t believe the war was almost over because it seems like it has lasted for an eternity. How did I get knocked unconscious? I couldn?t even recall the face of my wife and the baby girl she gave birth to from what I read in her letter. I have to defend the bridge at all costs, but am I even alive??But the only thing that ran through my head at the moment was how devastating the end of this skirmish between China and us it was and how it should?ve been.
The conflicts between the U.S. and China that would last for a decade all started on April 1st, 2001 when U.S. a UP-403 spy plane collided with a Chinese F-8 fighter jet, killing the Chinese pilot and tearing one of the wings of the spy plane as it safely landed into a Chinese air field. As Chinese officials demanded an apology for the mishap, they kept the crew of 24 as hostage for eighteen days forming one of the most critical standoffs in U.S. history. After the ten days elapsed, a cataclysmic event shocked the world. On April 19th, 2001, the Chinese army unloaded clip after clip from their AK-47 rifles into the 24 crew members, starting a war that would last for 10 years. Naval destroyers invaded China?s east coast 10 days later. D-Day II a week after that unloaded 2 million soldiers into Beijing after primary cities were bombed by B-52 bombers carrying hydrogen missiles. Millions of Chinese citizens were slaughtered as villages were pillaged and women raped. Almost immediately as the Chinese president and cabinet were executed by Navy SEALs, Army Commander Xian Fa Zhan-Jiang took over as dictator of the newly re-established Communist China. With the largest army in the world in his grasp, Xian?s men held off many U.S. forces until more B-52 Bombers took out key military posts. Now 10 years later the war is already over it is up to me, PFC Ryan McFly and my division to hold off the Hwang-Se Bridge, west of Beijing at all costs even as the war was now over. We were one of the last divisions stationed in China that was to leave and now my four companion snipers including PFC Ransom are gone?
Ughh! I rolled my sore body over, my vision clearing. Looking around I see bloody remains of the Berets from the aftermath of the grenade. I threw aside my trusty MP5, named ?Sparky? and opened my first aid kit to bandage some small cuts on my back and arms. His name is Sparky because he?s been with me for 8 years, never failing on me and is my best friend. Whoa! No shrapnel in my arm this time! I walked over to the fragged bodies of what use to be PFC Ransom and got his dogtag, and the other dogtags of his companions. I was damn lucky not to be captured. I guess the Reds must?ve presumed I got obliterated with the rest. Big mistake. Now I only have to walk a few miles through this destructed city to get to the rendezvous point where good ol? PFC Okawita, Swerski, and the others are waiting for me?
July 2nd, 2001
After treading a couple miles or so, the Hwang Se Bridge came into my periphery. I also saw people in the distant view. Even if they were da boys you could never be certain so I took off the safety on Sparky and ventured onward. I finally recognized they were the platoon when I heard PFC Okawita?s girly high-pitched voice ?McFly is that you? Say something!? I was overcome with calmness and security as I brought down Sparky and replied ?Oh yeah its me, guys?McFly?s still alive!?
As Okawita and Swerski ran over to me, PFC Swerski questioned me, ?So who else did you come with??
I took off my fifty pound helmet. ?No one, I?m sorry guys. The remaining Berets including Ransom all died back in the trenches.? As I mumbled these words, small tears came down my eyes, as I also saw Okawita?s eyes water. ?Anyways?who are those Chinese with you??
?Oh those guys?? Swerski answered. ?They are escaped Chinese rebels that fled the cities since Xian?s coup de? tat. They?ve been kind enough to supply us with some mounted .50 machine guns and food. Good egg roll and noodles!?
?Oh that?s nice.? I responded. As the three of us walked over to the other platoon members, I meet some of the Chinese rebels and they do seem like a reliable group. My only question were these tattoos on their arms in red. ?Why do they have those red tattoos?? I questioned.
PFC Brown responded to me, ?They claimed that before they fled Beijing, they were all tattooed by Xian right when he took over as dictator.?
?Yeah whatever?? I grinned and put in a new can of Skoal Mint. With my remaining platoon and these rebels, I now had to recalculate how much supplies we had. Our only objective now was to hold off the Hwang Se Bridge until the final dropships arrived to bring us back. Only problem was that we had no clue when they would arrive because we lacked any radio or telecommunications. PFC Taggart approached me. ?McFly, all we got are these AW/M Sniper Rifles, bottle rockets, some barbed wire, and around 20 kilos of C4?we used the other 40 against some invading Mongols and to blow up this temple to create a choke point before the bridge.?
?Ok? I said. ?I want you Taggart and Swerski to take the AW/M?s and sit atop the temple over there with about 30 rounds. Okawita can keep ya company with that chaingun with uh?600 rounds sounds sufficient. And take a couple bottle rockets just in case.?
?Sounds good? Okawita said. In the meantime, while they took to the temple, I took some sandbags for cover for the rest of us, including the rebels. PFC Brown, demolitions expert, aka ?Demo Joe? laid down the barbed wire with C4 between the tower in the choke point and placed the rest on the first half of the bridge for backup, in case the Red Army were to make us fall back?
That night, we had a luau. A little campfire, with a pig roasting on the middle as the Chinese rebels were more than hospitable, cooking rice and egg rolls for us. It sure beat the hell out of the dehydrated cardboard shit we?ve been rationed to the whole time. We may have been on duty but we still got ahold of some beer. Some beer wouldn?t hurt. stashed in PFC Okawita?s jeep he brought before it got demolished. He really loved that jeep.
While arguing over the better chewing tobacco, PFC Taggart?s Copenhagen and my Skoal, PFC Brown and Swerski were dancing around inebriated and wanted to visit the nearby village to find some escort service. ?Absolutely out of the question! Why?? I insisted.
?Don?t worry about us, we?ll be fine?we?ll be going * hic * together?? Taggart replied. I didn?t care and I let them leave. The beer made me calm and feel careless. I watched Ransom die in those trenches and put myself in his place. My hope in staying alive and holding my post seemed hopeless somehow.
After two hours had passed, long after we had ran out of our rationed beer, PFC Brown was limping back, crying in a rage, his face all bloody, while carrying what looked like the carcass of PFC Swerski.
?They killed Taggart in the village! I tried to stop Taggart from groping the body of a prostitute as her pimp jumped out and stabbed him with a knife! I could do nothing else but take out my own combat knife and continuously rip the flesh of that pimp and whore!?
?See what happens when you leave!!?? I stared at Brown for a long time then walked away. ?Go Bury the body??
?Okay, everyone knows their position right??
?Affirmative? echoed everyone.
?Well, go get some sleep. We?ll take shifts starting with PFC Brown to look out.?
July 3rd, 2001It was around 5:30 a.m. as the sun began to rise when Okawita spotted the Red Army marching from the northeast and northwest. ?Wake the fuck up everyone!? I stumbled to my feet, picked up my helmet, and grabbed Sparky. I saw everyone wake up but PFC Brown?who was covered in drool. I slapped the piss out of him to wake him up. ?What do you see Vic??
?Infantry 36 northeast, infantry 24 northwest, 3 Panzer tanks 12 o?clock?Holy shit??
That didn?t sound good at all. I took out my last can of Skoal I had and took a dip. Hopefully this wouldn?t be my last dip. Grabbing Sparky, I yelled to the men ?Get in position!? The rebels gathered in the trenches with their AK?s as Okawita and Taggart took to the temple with their AW/M rifle and machine gun. PFC Brown finished wiring the remaining C4 around the temple. As the army approached us closer, I gave the signal to Okawita and immediately I heard one of his magnum shells let a rip and with my binoculars, saw a direct shot to the throat of one of the Chinese soldiers. That got their attention! They immediately repositioned but still slowly walked toward the temple, the tanks treading onward. When they were close enough, trusty PFC Brown detonated the C4, destroying one tank immediately and then the shooting began. I fired countless shells from Sparky dropping two, four, six Red marchers trying to sneak around the back. I could hear the thunder in the air of Taggart?s machine gun and pipe bombs being thrown so they still seemed alive and trigger happy. PFC Brown stayed close behind me offering cover. I took a bullet in the arm for him because he was the key to owning the bridge. Those AK shells sting! We held off many of the AK-47 wielders on our own but had nothing against the tanks. Tank shrapnel annihilated many of the rebels and some PFC?s so I told everyone, including Okawita and Taggart to fall back, ?Fall back to the bridge! Brown is going to blow it up!?
Everyone in our group included some survivor rebels hauled ass. The other two tanks and some infantry were dumb enough to walk across as I gave Brown the signal.
?3..2..1..? Kaboom! That same smoke and debris I recalled before was here again but I was still conscious this time. I can?t believe the Red Army was dumb enough to attempt taking the panzer tanks after us across the bridge as they all sunk 50 feet into the water! Then all of a sudden, the unthinkable.. The Chinese rebels turned against us and I saw one of them tear through the back of Taggart, the PFC reeled and screamed and fell down. They turned out to be spies working undercover for Xian. I knew that red tattoo was not right.. Brown shot two with his Colt as Okawita immediately knocked one in the Hwang-Se River from a bullet to the head and my Sparky and the other PFC?s Sparkys knocked down the rest. The coast seemed clear. It was too good to be true. Placing a new dip in my mouth, PFC Williams raised his head to look across the bridge. Boom! Shot to the head! ?Oh shit guys, someone?s got a scout rifle sniping on the other side!? I screamed. As PFC Edwards mobilized and tried to find a safer spot to snipe, I heard one other gunshot and he grasped his throat bleeding, crying for his mommy. Okawita, Brown, and I were sitting fucking ducks. Okawita caught glimpse of one sniper through his AW/M sight. ?I got a lock on..Oh my God guys. Our sniper looks like a seven year old girrrr____? Bang! As PFC Okawita released the trigger I heard the unmistakable magnum burst from his rifle but I also heard a ?ping? sound when Okawita dropped to the ground hitting his head. A bullet pierced through his chest, knocking him back. Okawita was in a seizure, blood gurgling up by the cup in his mouth. ?t?tttthhh?eee snn—iii-per isss-ss aaa.. uooocccck.. girrrrr-l? he dropped dead.
As Brown and I looked each other in the face, I told him ?I have a plan..It?s gonna take a helluva lot of cahones but if we can run across to that abandoned building. 600ft or so, that?ll be some good cover for me to take her out with Okawita?s AW/M.
?But what about me?? Brown insisted.
?Take Sparky.? As I gave him Sparky with a new clip, I told him, ?OK on my signal, haul ass to the building and give me some cover.?
?Okay?Now!? As Brown and I raised up, PFC Brown only let loose 3 shots from Sparky and suddenly caught sight of the sniper and stopped firing. Pointing to a trench to the left of the bridge, Brown pointed out, ?McFly Get down!!? As PFC Brown dove over me, he took a bullet to the shoulder but I knew exactly where she was now. While Brown writhed in pain across the ground, I quickly positioned the sight of my AW/M on her forehead and unloaded to finally end our battle?I threw my helmet and stared at the sky?a questionable gift from God on my birthday. Then I whipped out a first aid to stop PFC Brown?s bleeding.
July 4, 2011Independence day once again. I?m now on an Apache headed for Hawaii where I will be able to catch a military plane headed back to the U.S. After writing condolence letters for the families of PFC?s Ransom, Okawita, Swerski, and even for Taggart, I was finally glad to take a snooze on the chopper without worrying about any marching Reds or babysitting Demo Joe since he was brought on a different plane. Picking up Sparky, I smiled at him and said, ?Well buddy, we?re still alive and we secured that bridge.