It was late November of 1993 and I was finally going to get to be home for Christmas.
It had been several years since I had been back home. My family just accepted the fact that I was unable to leave my duties that I was committed to already.
Only one person knew that I was coming home and that was my sister.
It would be great to be able to see my mother and father and the rest of the family.
I have been stationed in Afghanistan for a few years now with my company. Not that I wanted to be over there but I made very good money and was almost ready to retire at the age of 30.
I had finally arranged to be home for two months in December and January. My flight was leaving Afghanistan early on the December 22 and I was due to arrive in Denver Colorado on the 23rd in the afternoon. My sister didn’t even know what plane or when I was coming home due to security concerns.
We took off and made the fight and the layovers and were on our final leg of the 11,000 plus kilometer flight. I was not far from Denver when the plane suddenly started shaking violently.
People were screaming and falling all over the place, I strapped in and held on. I could tell the plane was in a rapid descent. It would not be good if the pilot couldn’t bring the plane back under control; we would all most likely die.
It seemed like we were in that rapid descent for hours but in reality, it was only a few seconds. The pilot had gotten the plane back under control but we were still descending.
We were not out of the woods yet. I looked out the window to see where we were. It was in a mountainous region, but all I saw was trees, mountains, and snow.
My training kept me calm so I tried to calm the woman next to me. I held her hand and asked to her breathe in and out to calm her down.
I could tell we were still going down and I imagine it was going to be a crash landing. Hopefully, the plane didn’t explode on impact.
When the pilot finally realized he was not going to be able to save the plane he got on the plane’s intercom. He told everyone to hold on that we were going to crash and that he was doing everything he could possibly do.
Also, he said that the rescue people knew where we were and they were already coming to look for us. I looked out the window and saw we were close to the ground.
I thought at least it was snow-covered so it might be a softer crash which would allow some to survive. I hoped I was one of them.
As I braced myself for the crash that was about to happen. All I could think about was that I was glad that I inherited the gift of survival from my father and the military training I had. Because I was going to need it.
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