14 May 2010 0700 hours
The CO Radiological Regiment called me to his Tac HQ to discuss and plan for phase 2 to Fireplan HUKM. The collateral damage caused by the radiation fallout is unacceptable. I am BBQed, ready to eat.
Whilst I am barely OK, I had witnessed that others were worst off than me. This week’s gory lost films from WWII, currently shown in ASTRO’s History Channel pales by comparison to my daily visits to the frontline.
I am sorry for a Form 3 girl with enemies in her brain area, causing her to loose her sights. I am just as sorry to see a Standard 5 boy suffering with enemy in his blood stream. He is just down and out, thin as a scarecrow, in a wheelchair looking real bad. Another man in his fifties is fighting his last fight. He sits in his wheelchair, lifeless, confused and hopeless. Everyday I see more and more new casualties. Unfortunately most others would have taken the Chemo path in addition to radiation. The former has the most trauma and fallout effects.
I stayed strong and I talk to them, trying not to look into their eyes. I melt when I look into their eyes. It is always in the eyes that we see their true feelings and fears. The blind girl would only stare blankly, back at me. A CO does not cry in front of his men. Sometimes I “minta diri” for a couple of minutes. I am proud that I have tried and had brought comfort to each and every one of my new friends. I am glad to have acquired EQ and other soft skills whilst as a Gunner officer in the army. It has been seeing to my men first and last always… Always. I share my knowledge of the enemy with them, I share my personal combat strategy and most of all I bring them hope. I am glad they have accepted my leadership, a role I know I can and must play. It makes me stronger too. I am a Gunner.
The CO Radiological Regiment is pleased to see me taking my beatings well. With 20 fire missions successfully conducted, I start to feel a bit lethargic. Notwithstanding being scorched and badly burnt, my strong leg muzzles weaken, I feel dizzy, tired and purge at night. This drains my energy. I park my rover in the wagon line area , 27 steps below the Tac HQ. I climbed the steps everyday and I wished it had been 26 steps. Seriously.
The officers, staff in the gun position, BDP staff and survey team worked efficiently as a team. I salute them as they remain strong and dedicated to their duties and roles despite seeing miseries and sufferings on a daily basis. They go about doing their job without complaining. However I hope they would enhance their service level a bit more with better soft skills. They should be given a High Morale allowance for this line of occupation.
I reported to the simulation room. A quick request brought in more aerial photos and scans. Overlays and tracings are made. The CO then analyzed the overall picture and selected another 4 targets to be fired 3 times at 10 seconds each. Phase 2 would have a total of 12 more fire missions. The survey team quickly surveyed and registered the targets ZU1008 through ZU1012.The target lists and records were circulated to all gun positions.
I thanked the CO and made my way directly back to the frontline.
Lessons learnt No 6.
Do a full medical checkup. It will save your life.