FireWatch Magazine is a proud sponsor of Wreaths Across America. Listen to Team FireWatch live every Thursday morning at 8:15 AM. New expanded lineup!

The Clearing

“Humankind wuz here”

War is brutal for everyone, including mother earth.

The two USAF Kaman HH-43 Huskie helicopters sweep down into a large clearing. As we jump out, I can see the landing zone has been man-made—the effects of a tremendous explosion. The jungle is a completely cleared circle one hundred meters in diameter. The ground is baked hard enough for choppers to land and deliver troops and military equipment.

All around the blasted circle, tree trunks, and stumps are pushed over at odd thirty-degree angles. Beyond them, as far as I can see, are broken and burned trees. As we push through the area, I cannot believe the devastation I observe. The ground is scorched black. Patches of smoldering trees send whispers of white smoke into the clear blue sky.

My boots kick up gray ash with each step. It smells like the inside of a giant fireplace and reminds me of photos I’ve seen of a nuclear detonation. The blast sent a shock wave that would have killed anything unfortunate enough to be within the sphere.

I think back to class when they told us how the Air Force would fly a C-130 cargo plane over the thick jungle and roll a fifteen-thousand-pound bomb out the back cargo hatch using rollers.

The enormous bombs are attached to a giant parachute thrown out the rear door. When the silk chutes catch the wind stream, the parachute will pull the cast-steel bundle along the rollers and out the rear hatch. The explosive device then drops into the dense jungle below and crashes to the jungle floor, creating a new landing zone in seconds. I’m sure that’s what happened here.

Every few minutes, I turn to look at the other team members. I can see the fear in their eyes; it’s an alarm I haven’t seen before in them.

The death of Willie two days ago is making everyone overly cautious. With each step we take, the dread of it being our last is always present. The terror of stepping onto a booby trap or walking into the sight of a sniper is terrifying.


Social Media

Current Edition

No spam, notifications only about new editions, events & monthly top articles.  Our digital edition is FIRE!