So, as some of you may know, I’m in the Air Force, and in the Air Force (well, military in general), we do a type of formation from time to time called “Open Ranks”. Basically, we fall in, space ourselves out so that our sergeants can walk between the ranks, and they inspect us and our uniforms, one at a time, making sure our uniforms are clean and presentable, everything is within regs, that we have everything on us we’re required to have, etc.
Downside to this kind of thing is that we have to be standing at attention for a good portion of it while the sergeants inspect us one at a time (our flight has 80 airmen in it, this takes a while even with several sergeants working on us in tandem). One of the risks of standing at attention for prolonged periods of time is passing out and falling, usually due to locking your knees (cuts of circulation to the brain for some reason) or being dehydrated (standing at attention for an extended period of time is EXHAUSTING, and if you’re not hydrated, you feel it).
We can all see where this is going.
So out of the corner of my eye, I see an airman about 10 spots down fall forward like a tree, hitting the pavement with a sound that makes my teeth hurt even now, hours later. Immediately two of the airmen next to her are at her side checking on her (they were supposed to catch her before she hit the ground, but they didn’t see the pre-fall sway and she fell away from everyone else). The sergeants gather around and shoo the airmen off, and dismiss the formation, sending us all off to tend to what we need to do for the day.
And this is when my day gets shitty. Turns out this girl is a friend of mine I’ve been hanging out with a lot lately, who I’ve been pretty interested in as of late and spending time with. The first airman who went to help her said she was just laying still on the pavement with her eyes wide open and wimpering. That airman had to start her day freaked out AND feeling guilty because she couldn’t catch her friend in time.
Silver lining for what it’s worth, another friend who works in the squadron CQ said he saw her sitting up in a holding room pressing bandages to her face while they were waiting for the ambulance to come fetch her and take her to the hospital in town. Haven’t heard anything new about her since then.
So, as the topic said: man, what a shitty way to start a Monday.