Four words I will forever hate.
At about 1am Thursday morning I received news that a helicopter crashed in Iraq taking with 31 marines from Camp Pendleton (home of the 1st Marine Division), and that my friend was most likely on the helicopter. I spent the next 10 hours scouring the internet and contacting everyone I could think of, trying desperately to confirm, or in this case deny!
Late Thursday afternoon I came across a news report that said most of the troops in the helicopter were from a Marine Corps base in Hawaii and not from Camp Pendleton as initially assumed so a bit but not much of a relief. There were 6 or so marines that weren’t from this Hawaii base so my heart was still in my stomach.
Here’s a web site that is the most complete, thorough, accurate site I could find during my 10 hour frantic cyber search. http://icasualties.org/oif/default.aspx It’s not government affiliated so none of the spin (read: bullshit) of the DoD, USMC, etc… sites and it just gives the facts, very sad gut-wrenching facts, but indeed the facts.
As of Friday afternoon, still no news, no confirmation, no denial, and “NAME NOT RELEASED YET” still listed for 6 marines from the helicopter. I don’t know how these families deal with this, I’d fall apart. I’m just a friend and I’m falling apart.
Saturday morning. still no news, no calls, no confirmation, no denial, only "NAME NOT RELEASED YET". AARRGGHH!
Saturday afternoon. I hadn’t heard from anyone but decided to check the above web site just in case. As the page loaded, I wasn’t seeing any “NAME NOT RELEASED YET” and I got goose bumps. I quickly scanned, and re-scanned, and re-re-scanned the list of 31 soldiers from the crash and my friend was not among them! I read it about 20 times just to make sure. THANK GOD! Now get him out of there!