Monday, December 17, 2012
Donny drove his vintage seventy-two ford pickup slowly down the single lane road. Dressed in his camouflage and orange vest, with his rifle lock and loaded, ready at a moment’s notice; when he spots his first deer to complete his hunt. A quarter of a mile ahead, he sees what he’s been looking for and it’s a big one. He speeds up till he reaches the area where the deer had crossed the road and he came to a quick stop. Throwing the truck in park, he grabbed his rifle and headed into the woods. Looking around to orientate himself with his surroundings and get a better lay of the land, he knelt on one knee to steady his breathing. Moving his head in a slow motion to capture everything within eyesight, he spotted his pry. He begun moving in a stealth but quiet pace trying not to disturb the earth beneath his boots. Keeping his eyes strictly on his deer, Donny was unaware of the man approaching from the opposite side of the same deer. Donny was a great hunter and excellent marksmen. His uncle James had taught him to hunt from the tender age of nine. At twenty- three and after four years in the military, he could hit a tin can at three hundred yards. He was less than a hundred yards and knew he could make this shot in his sleep. Donny raised his rifle; put his sight aimed at the deer, held his breath and when he was sure of his target, he fired.
Donny had been trained in the military as a sniper. He was taught to keep both eyes open when looking the down the sight of his weapon and he had adopted the method when he hunted. Donny saw through his free eye that the deer was obviously spooked at the same instant he had felt the recoil of his weapon. He heard the sound of something when it hits the ground, the breaking of twigs and the ruffling of leafs. He moved but keeping his weapon at the ready, swinging it left to right and peering through the sight, swat style. He approached the area behind where the deer had been standing. At first glance all seem normal and as it should be, and then Donny’s heart sunk to his knees. Donny swallowed hard as he stared at the man on the ground with the bullet hole in his chest. The man was about twenty-five yards from where the deer had stood eating something off the ground, when Donny had fired his weapon. Donny could see the bow and arrow laying five feet from the man, who clearly had been trying to get close enough to the deer; when he had spooked it. Donny ran and kneeled next to him and quickly ripped open his coat and shirt to access his wound. Donny had done two tours in Iraq and had seen his share of bullet riddled bodies. Looking at the man his first words were, “I’m sorry man, I’m really sorry; I didn’t see you behind that deer.” The man just nodded his head like he understood and was in agreement with Donny. The nearest hospital was three hours from their current location and Donny knew that this man would not make it. Donny pulled out his cell phone knowing that the chance of a signal was slim to none, and none it was.
Carrying a first aid kit for Donny was a must have and he never went hunting without one. He ran back to his truck after telling the man what he was going to do, and rushed back with a tent and the first aid kit. Donny knew first hand that he had to stop the bleeding. Silently he thanked God that the bullet had gone straight through and from the slow flow of blood, had not hit any mayor arteries or organs. Snow had been forecast for later in the day and by the look of the clouds, it was inevitable. Cauterizing the wound was going to be painful, so Donny decided to wait until he could make the man more comfortable. As he set up the tent he notices that man was in and out of consciences and would make eye contact now and then. Donny would just look at him to assure him that he had no plans of abandoning him. After he had the tent up, he gently move the man inside and gathered wood for a fire. He would need the fire to cook, for its warmth and to heat a blade and proceed to close the wound. After the fire was started, Donny stepped into the tent and knelt beside the man and speaking softly he said, “what I’m about to do is going to be painful and I have nothing for the pain or to numb the area.” The man spoke in a weak voice for the first time and replied, “It’s okay, been here and done this; I think I can trust you.”
Donny removed the man’s coat and cut his shirt and long johns. He took two of his bullets, removed the lead and poured out the gun powder. Out of the first aid kit he got the bottle of peroxide, needle and thread, gauze pads and tape. He rolled up a rag as tight as possible and placed it in the man’s mouth and told him to bite down hard. “Are you ready?” He asked looking at the man. With the blink of his eyes the man gave Donny the go ahead. Donny cleaned the wounds with the peroxide, poured the gun powder in the exit wound and touched it with the cherry hot tip of his six inch hunting knife. After he had cauterized the wound he cleaned it again and stitched up the exit wound, rolled the man on his back and repeated the procedure on the man’s chest. By the time Donny was done with the bandages, the man had passed out and had broken into a cold sweat. After cleaning up Donny just sat there staring at the man and praying that he would live through the night. Donny knew that the first twenty four hours would make the difference between living and dying. Donny thought of leaving and going for help, but was afraid that two hours to the closes town, meant leaving this man for more than four hours and as a soldier, to him that was unacceptable. The night had been long and cold, but Donny was thankful that they had been spared the snow. Other than a few flakes, they had been blessed with a dry night. The man woke up around noon and asked for a drink; Donny took that as a good sign. He could see that the color on the man's cheeks were returning to a normal shade. The following day the man was sitting up when Donny awoke next to him in the early morning hours. The sun was barely making its way over the trees and darkness had not yet giving way to the light. Donny looked at the man and smiling he asked, “How you feeling this morning?” The man looked at him with a smile and replied, “Happy to be alive, thanks to you.” Donny shook his head and said, “I think you’re forgetting, I’m the one who try to kill you.” The man return the gesture by shaking his own head and looking right into Donny’s eyes he said, “It was an accident son, I spooked that deer and took her bullet; she owes me and I’m hungry, so why don’t you finish what we started” Two hour later Donny returned with two rabbits. He looked at the man who quickly put a smile on his face and said to him, “didn’t see any deer, and diffidently not ours, but these two were out playing so I made them game.” After the two men had shared a meal of rabbit stew and a hot cup of black coffee, they sat and talk for a while. After a few long minutes of silence the man looked at Donny and said, “I never got your name son.” Donny extended his hand and replied, “Mom and Uncle James call me Donny ever since I was young, but these days I go by Lance Carpal Donald Grams Jr. and I’m known around the barracks as Bulls-eye.” The man instantly became teary eyed and still holding Donny’s hand he replied with half a grin, "it’s an honor and my greatest pleasure to meet you, I’m retired Sergeant First Class Donald Grams Sr. and you may call me, Target."
New King James Version (NKJV)
34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
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