Painting Details Behind the Commission.
Hero Ascending celebrates the life and sacrifice of a passing hero.
The word hero is used in abundance in today’s world and thrown about with little regard to the true meaning of the word. Those who have been in the fog of war, however know the meaning of the word. They know that a hero is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and has placed others before himself.
I was attached to a surgical unit in Fallujah, Iraq. There were many days when someone came through those doors we knew there was hope to save. We could stop the bleeding, numb the pain, save the limb, and somehow the life. This was not one of those days. Several USMC combat vehicles from a convoy pulled in “hot” (meaning weapons still loaded, brows still sweaty, radio’s blaring and combat still flowing through their veins) which meant only one thing; Someone was badly wounded. The Marines leapt from their convoy vehicles and ran to get their injured brother inside. Each face was a mixture of shock, anger, and some tried their best to mask their grief.
The Hospital Corpsman, Navy Nurses and surgeons rapidly began to assess this Marine, their brother, and for each person in the surgical unit, this Marine is now the center of our world. Trauma care can seem like a chaotic dance, but every move is carefully synchronized .
I felt acutely aware of the life force within this Marine, and I knew the instant he passed away.
For a brief moment, I felt anger and sadness, but it was quickly replaced. I felt a warmth flood the trauma room, that came from the left upper corner of the room. I expected to see a blinding light, but there was none. No one else in the room felt the warmth, though it grew. It was as if a wave of compassion spread through the once chaos filled space, and in doing so, removed the fury, sadness and grief. All I felt was peace. It took me a moment to realize and believe in what was happening; an angelic being had come for that Marine and he left this world with no regrets. I felt as if that Marine was content and smiling, and as odd as it may sound, joking with this angel about whether they should let us know we could stop. In True Marine spirit, he was a smart-ass until the end.
A hero does not want this life to end, but rest assured; there is a glorious & compassionate ascendance into Heaven for the soul of a hero.
Melissa Rivera Wells