The Airman


She was just a young, inexperienced air force nurse, twenty-three and lived in Charleston, South Carolina. Late one spring night she found out that she was getting deployed to New York City to help prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease, COVID-19. There was no telling how long she would be gone from her home. With only 24 hours to prepare to leave and pack her things, she was completely dumbfounded. She was petrified once she found out the horrifying news and she was very hesitant to go but she knew she did not have a choice. 

The next morning as she packed her air force duffel bag full, she broke down into tears, crying out that she could not go to New York. With only a few more hours to get to the air force base, she had to pull herself together. She grabbed her last remaining items and stuffed them deep down into her large camouflage duffel bag. As she neared her air force base her hands trembled with fear. Once she approached the massive military plane loaded with supplies, she hurried up into the plane to get to her seat where she awaited further instructions. There was a few familiar faces, but no one she knew very well. She could sense the tension in the plane as it took off from Charleston and she could see the fear in the eyes of her co-workers. For this experience in New York, would alter the course of their lives forever.  

After a few short hours, the plane had at last landed. She felt her palms start to sweat underneath her tight, light blue rubber gloves. She was given a long speech and briefing about the work she was going to be doing while taking care of the infected patients. Not long after she was assigned the tents and the patients she would be covering for the day they were dismissed. As the back of the plane slowly opened she felt as though time had stopped. She blinked and observed her surroundings a rush of cold polluted air rushed into the plane giving her chills throughout her entire body. She was instantly ordered very specific instructions the second she stepped off the massive plane. The nerves she had had before were long gone now. She was handed a wrinkled sheet with scribbles that listed her first few patients. As she started to put the blue mask on and adjusted it she felt a new confidence to do her job and save as many innocent lives as possible. She felt courage.

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