A Nigerian Soldier Short Story In Honor Of Armed Forces Remembrance Day '21


6 May 17, I was privileged to fly on the last chopper that brought back the released Chibok girls. Seeing the girls - young, naive BUT broken, was a reminder of how cruel man is. When we touched down, I stayed with them briefly in the C-130 before the Abuja lap. Military medics began basic checks, deworming them and tending their wounds. There was one particular girl who had lost a leg. She said the Air Force had hit BHT positions & during the strike she lost a leg. I stared at her, wishing it was a dream. Sitting beside her was another girl - the bravest girl I ever met. For the purpose of this thread, let us call her 'N'. N kept a daily journal of what happened everyday at the BH camp. I snapped as many pages as I could. The girls attested that she was the leader of the pack. Right under Boko Haram's nose, every night, after the terrorists had ordered them for 'lights out', she would organize the girls for prayers & morning devotion the next day. I found myself smiling sheepishly at this. This is faith. This is bravery. When the medics were done & we were notified that the C-130 would depart for Abuja, N made a signal & all the girls sat up, crossed their legs & bend their heads. N led them in prayers. I would later learn that this was their routine when there was danger or the bombs dropped. As the C-130 ascended to Abuja to hand them to Mr President, I looked. A pilot who had flown the chopper was sitting on the tarmac, red-eyed. It took a soldier to talk us to leaving the tarmac that day. We were just heaving like bereaved men.

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