“Come on guys! You are almost there!” I screamed at a bunch of guys donned in chemically resistant suits and masks on them as they trudged forward slowly.
7 to 8 guys per stretcher, each stretcher has 4 fully filled jerry cans tied to it, amounting to about 80kg. 6 guys carrying it at a time, with the extra guys resting intermittently.
It was an arduous journey. A rite of passage for all MRF troopers. But, a passage unachievable without the constant encouragement and support from the instructors and sergeants.
We carried the load for them when they were too tired to take over their fellow team mates. We were part of completing their journey because we always have been. We had, after all, guided and nurtured them for the past 7 weeks.
Placing the stretcher on my shoulder, I felt a pain and weight so familiar but yet jolting at the same time. I have forgotten about the pain that I have once endured.
Despite how memorable this journey has been, I have inevitably forgotten the pain. I guess time is indeed, really destructive. It can potentially distort our perception on things, muting experiences.
However, while time may have distorted my perception of the physical pain I have gone through, my memory of seeing my parents at the end of this casevac remains crystal clear.
Tears, never fail to swell up, whenever I recall the scene of my parents, cheering me on. I never forget. That emotional experience has left a lasting impact in me. It was truly a memorable rite of passage for any MRF trooper.