My Bosnia

MJTrep By MJTrep, 20th Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Fictional Narrative

The opening scene is flying into Sarajevo with a glimpse as to how Mark Thompson got to be where he found himself. A veteran of both the Army and the Navy he finds himself being flown into Bosnia.

Sarajevo to Banja Luka (Part 1)

It was cold, dark, and noisy inside that old cargo plane. Cargo and combat troops don't really need lights in flight. The wooden benches were only big enough to hold your ass. No one was comfortable.
Looking around at the faces of the others on the plane anyone could see that everyone was just there. They were all quiet, not really sitting next to anyone. None of us were in uniform, either. Once we get off the plane no one could tell that we were all military. Except for the huge, green duffel bags. Certainly they all had their guns hidden under their jackets, too.Yeah, my bags were scanned, but I wasn't. So, I carried my 9 under the coat.


So, how did I come to be sitting here on this Soviet made, Lithuanian flown, arms trader (Viktor Bout) owned plane flying into the Balkans? Me? I'm Mark Thompson, well, that was the name I was using then, and for the next year, too. Before this assignment, my name was Mark Decker. I had a varied and wildly, wicked military career. It started off in West Africa. Had me roaming deserts in the Middle East. Some time in North and East Africa, Chad, Sudan, Nigeria,Uganda, Rwanda, and Somalia were some of the lovely garden spots I got to work in. Macedonia came along and I jumped on that. I spent more than enough time running through jungles with temperatures in excess of 120 degrees. This was a region with a histdory of violence that rivalled that of anywhere i had already seen. At least the Balkan states were cool in temperature. The Balkans also weren't crawling with deadly snakes every three feet, either. So it had to be better, right?
Recovering a captured patrol was not exactly simple, but shit intelligence made it worse than it needed to be. My unit lost more people that night due to poor and shoddy intelligence than I had lost on any other job. Mission, job, orders, whatever you want to call it. I nearly bought it in that mountain compound, too.

The chaos disappeared for me. The action was still there, in slow motion. All the shouting, screaming, and gun shots were silent. My fire team had moved around the back of a building.Combs was the point man on this one so he got to kick the door in. We alternated, took turns kicking. The door slammed hard against the inside wall. I was kneeling beside Combs, shooting through the hallway. Combs writhed as he fell backwards. He was dead before he hit the floor.

I liked the M249 I had, but what I really wanted right then was an M60. The other gunner went down in a hail of lead. With the morning light pouring through the open door on the other end of the hallway the spraying blood was highlighted and bright.

Someone upstairs reached around the top of the stairs and threw a grenade towards me. It bounced in my direction and I jumped to the left for my life. All I knew then was to get some cover between me and that grenade. The concussion from the grenade exploding hit me.My head was pounding and ears ringing were ringing. There was no other sound.

People were running about, checking the fallen soldiers, evaluating each man's state then moving on.
A corpsman was talking to me, but all I could hear was ringing in my ears. I passed out after that.

I sat up straight. I had fallen asleep, but was still on the plane. Even now, going into Bosnia, several years later, I still had the dreams. The dreams go all the way back and they will always be there. The dreams were the worst thing about that mission. They are what's there when I close my eyes.

I decided that I wasn't going to deal whit shitty intelligence again, so I tried to get into the Army Intelligence field. At that time they were only taking jump qualified linguists, I was neither. It was the Navy that said they would train me and put me to work. A cross-branch jump, a year of training, and here I was, back on a plane going back to the Balkans.

This time was supposed to be different. The Dayton Peace Accords were being implemented even though Bosnia was a hostile fire zone, that was Rotation 11, ROTO 11. The actual peace keeping would not happen until ROTO 12, the end of my tour.

Sarajevo International Airport was mess! There were still holes in buildings from rockets and bombs. There were a few patches of fresh patching compound on the tarmac. The burn marks along the bottom walls of buildings were from grenades. All I had with me was a 9mm Beretta and not a single freaking bullet.

Standing around with my thumb up my back side was not going to help anything. So, I hitched a ride to the NATO base, Camp Butmir. It was a nice compound, way more than any camp I had ever seen.

My orders had me going through some basic classes on collecting human intelligence, writing reports, the history of the areas that the students and I were going to be assigned to. First things first, getting settled in, oriented to the camp, and getting checked in.

Tags

Fiction, Fiction Story, Fiction Writing, Fictional, Fictional Stories, Fictional Story, Fictitious Story

Meet the author

author avatar MJTrep
I am a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience in researching and writing on geopolitical topics.

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