Mark I. Kirkmeyer

THE EMBASSY MAN

The “embassy man” had nothing
We chose the mission
Operating on our own
A plantation to take down

Three Blackhawk transports
Packed with ground forces
Escorted by two Apache
Skim across a jungle ridge

A Red Eye rocket’s airborne
An Apache is hit
Tumbles to the ground
Second Apache hit
Missile inbound
Thirty feet from the ground
Blackhawks pulling up

Jump, jump, jump
Hard ground, roll
Blackhawk hit
Scramble for cover
Five of us made it

Bullets whistle around
Return fire
Everything becomes a blur
Seconds or minutes unknown

Silence
The shooting has stopped
Secure the area
Contact headquarters
Bodies lay where they fought

How are we? Any injuries?
A twisted ankle
A few bullets in helmets and vests
Something we need to see
One of the bodies
A recognized face
The “embassy man” from briefing

Chop and burn the product
No smiles, all sorrow
There will be hell to pay
When word gets out

Two Chinooks settle into the clearing
Soldiers jump out carrying black bags
Recovery, picking up dead bodies
Not my job, I make them

Blackhawk lands at the base
They are there to meet us
Arm brassards shined
Escorted to the brig

A civilian enters our cell
We know what happened
It has been classified
Never speak about it.