|Subject: Separation and Hope : part 4 of 15
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Date Posted: 18:28:43 06/16/08 Mon
In reply to:
's message, "Separation and Hope : part 1 and 2 of 15" on 18:53:48 06/10/08 Tue
22 Nov 1999
It took a long time for Harm’s leg to heal, eight weeks. It took another ten days before he felt comfortable enough to make the long trip down the mountain to the goat herder’s home near the valley floor.
As it was it took three days to make the trip. Harm wasn’t exactly moving too swiftly, but then again they also had to herd the hundred and fifty goats down the mountain, no small feat by itself.
They were fortunate to have a couple of shelties to keep the goats from wandering off. Unlike sheep and cattle, goats were very independent and were easily distracted. They like to go their own way whenever possible.
When they finally arrived at the goat herder’s house, Harm looked around the area. He still didn’t see any mode of transportation. How was he going to make it back to the battle fleet? At the present pace maybe not until sometime next year.
He kept on thinking about Sarah. Did she know that he was missing? How was she dealing with the fact he had been shot down? He knew it was her biggest fear when he went back to flying. It was the main reason he had put off asking her to marry him.
What was she doing? Were their friends at JAG taking care of her? Were they helping her keep the faith? Was she missing him as much as he was missing her? He needed to get to her. He loved her so much.
He looked over at the goat herder. He raised his hands to ask what’s next? The man smiled and made a sign to follow him into the house. He had a telephone inside to call for help.
Harm wondered why the man hadn’t sent his son down the mountain earlier to get help. He could have been home weeks ago if he had. He guess he would have to wait until help arrive to find out the answer.
The man called the local authorities. He told them he had found the American pilot who had been shot down weeks ago. He needed help returning to the fleet. They told him that they would be there in a few days.
25 Nov 1999
Harriet and Bud had a small Thanksgiving dinner for those of the JAG Staff who were single and had no other plans. They felt the need to take care of others like they had been taken cared of earlier in their careers.
The day went by quietly as everyone fuss over baby Aj. They all thought he looked more like the Admiral than Bud or Harriet. His hair was still very fine and thin.
Before eating Harriet and Bud took turns offering thanks and each saying a prayer for Harm and Sarah who weren’t with them anymore. Bud asked God for a special favor to watch over Harm while he was flying and to keep him safe.
Harriet prayed that Sarah found whatever it was she was looking for, but asked God to help Sarah find the strength to wait for Harm. They were soul mates that belonged together. She prayed that they would find their way back to each other.
26 Nov 1999
Goat herder’s Home
Several days later two vehicles arrived at the small farmhouse. The first one was the local police. They arrived from twenty miles away made much longer by the winding roads up, down, and around the mountains.
The second vehicle was from a NATO installation a hundred miles away. They stopped in front of the house. Harm and the goat herder greeted the young military man. He was from Greece.
“Good morning Sir. My name is Captain Greghor Pappas. I’m with the NATO forces stationed a hundred miles away. We have been looking for you a very long time.” greeted the young Greek Captain.
“Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb, I was shot down three months ago. I was station on the aircraft carrier Patrick Henry. It’s finally nice to have someone to talk to who understands English.” smiled Harm.
“You had a lot of people worried about you Sir. I have received a phone call at least once a week from US Naval Command asking if we had anything new to report on you.
Today I was able to let them know an American pilot had been found, though we didn’t know your name yet. They were quite please to receive the news. They will be sending a COD to pick you up.
My impression is they are going to take you to the military hospital in Naples.” smiled Captain Pappas.
“Thank you Captain. I have a lot of people to let know I’m safe.” smiled Harm.
After going through a couple of translators, Harm thanked the goat herder and his son. He also found out why they hadn’t gone for help sooner. The boy’s mother had died a few years ago. He didn’t want to send the boy because he didn’t want him to be alone for that many days.
2 Dec 1999
NATO Military Hospital
Harm spent the next five days in the hospital getting checked out. He was given the prognosis that he wouldn’t be heading back to the battle fleet. His leg had healed, but not properly due to lack of medical attention.
Harm’s leg had been broken in too many places. They didn’t think his leg could stand up to a flight physical. The stress to get into proper shape would be too much for his leg.
The doctors thought it was unwise to rebreak the bone so it could heal properly, particularly for a pilot at the end of his flying career. They didn’t think it would affect him from living a normal life, only from flying on a daily basis.
Harm was deeply disappointed. He had thought he still had a few more good years left to fly. It had been why he gave up a promising career in the courtroom. It was why he made the baby promise with Sarah.
He hadn’t wanted her to wait for him. She should go on with her life. If she found someone to love she should go for it.
Harm was also disappointed that the only people to visit him during his stay in hospital were Captain Ingalls and the CAG. He had hope that maybe someone from JAG would have visited, that someone was named Sarah. But no one came.
Meanwhile in another part of the hospital Captain Rogers had taken Sarah to the clinic for her monthly checkup. He had taken on the role of her surrogate husband. Anytime Sarah needed to go for a checkup or needed anything, he was there for her.
He was hoping that after the baby came, he could solidify his relationship with Sarah. On the way out of the hospital they passed by Harm’s room. They didn’t see him nor did Harm see Sarah.
6 Dec 1999
A week later Harm was back at JAG Headquarters. It felt good to be back home. He had spent the last week in the hospital getting checked out for the injuries he suffered after his ejection.
He had gotten a call from the Admiral a couple of days after he arrived home telling him that he was being reassigned to the JAG corp. He had gone into JAG Headquarters the next day to see the Admiral.
His injuries had healed sufficiently, but unfortunately because of the lack of immediate medical attention, he could no longer be assigned to a fighter wing. His injuries had left him unable to perform to the standards required.
He still could do almost everything he did before the accident. He even could fly on a limited basis, but he could no longer be a full time pilot. His body wouldn’t be able to stand up to the rigors of flying.
He was looking forward to seeing Sarah again. He had tried calling her at home and on her cell, but wasn’t able to get a hold of her. In fact her home phone was out of order. What did it mean?
If there was anything he wanted most in the world right now it was Sarah. It had been so long since he had seen her. She was all he could think of since he woke up after he nearly killed himself.
He knocked on the Admiral door, prepared to report for duty at JAG. He was excited to be here. He had looked over towards Sarah’s office when he first arrived but hadn’t seen her.
“Enter!” bellowed the Admiral. Harm walked in and stood at attention.
“Commander Rabb reporting in Sir!” greeted Harm. It felt good to be back.
“At Ease! Take a seat Commander. I see that you’ve decided to become a lawyer again. What’s going on Commander?” bellowed the Admiral.
“Sir? I was shot down last September. I suffered major injuries. I’m not allowed to be assign to a fighter wing anymore. They reassigned me to JAG.” replied Harm.
“I wasn’t aware of your crash Commander. We weren’t notified that it was your plane that went down. All we heard was that a plane had been shot down. The RIO had been rescued, but the pilot was missing. It was handled by a JAG team stationed in Europe. How long were you missing for Commander?” asked the Admiral.
“I was missing for almost four months Sir. Sir, if I may, where’s Major MacKenzie? I tried calling her last night when I got in. I couldn’t get a hold of her.” replied Harm.
He figured Sarah might be piss off with him for not staying in contact with her like he promised. It really wasn’t his fault. He had been missing for four months. If she would let him explain then things would be better.
He hoped that she wasn’t too mad at him. He missed her and needed her in his life. It was what kept him going all those months in the mountains.
“She left headquarters last fall Commander. She said she needed a change. And she’s a Lieutenant Colonel now.” answered the Admiral with a sour look on his face. It caused Harm to wince. He knew he was probably somehow responsible for that.
“A Lieutenant Colonel.” pondered Harm.
“Where did she go Sir? I was hoping to talk to her. I wanted to explain to her why I wasn’t able to stay in contact with her. She must have been worried.” moaned Harm.
“I wouldn’t know anything about that Commander. I don’t believe she was even aware that you were shot down. As to where she is now, I can’t tell you. Before she left here she asked me not to tell anyone where she was going.” replied the Admiral with a smug look.
“I really need to talk to her Sir.” pleaded Harm.
“I’m sorry Commander, but of all the people she knows you’re probably the last one she wanted me to tell. I think she was very hurt that you didn’t stay in touch. I don’t think she wants to see you. I honestly believe you’re the reason she left here.” replied the Admiral.
“Sir?” asked a stunned Harm.
“Commander, you make an impact on people. I believe the Colonel is by no means an exception. Why else would she have gone to Russia with you last year. Do you think she would have gone there for anyone else?
You handled your personal relationship with her very poorly Commander. I think your leaving here to return to flying was the last straw for her. We’ve had to muddle through the last few months without both of you.” explained the Admiral.
“You’re right Sir. I have screwed up with her, but in all fairness I wasn’t ready to give her what she wanted. I still had hopes of flying for a few more years.
I didn’t want to put her through what my mother went through after my father was shot down. Until I was sure I wasn’t going to be flying anymore, I couldn’t commit to her.
I know she would never want to tell me I couldn’t fly anymore. She has been very understanding of how important flying has been to me, but I also know it scares her. I couldn’t put her through that Sir.” replied Harm.
“For once in my life I think I finally understand what makes you tick Commander. I had always thought you were a fool when it came to dealing with the Colonel, but I believe I understand you now.
I think you were probably right about why you didn’t want to put her through that, but when someone as special as the Colonel comes into your life Commander, you should seize the moment and not let it go. You should have allowed her a choice in the matter.” replied the Admiral.
“Well anyways, I think we should talk about why you’re here.” began the Admiral.
“Yes Sir.” replied Harm despondently.
“You’re officially a lawyer again. Unfortunately, I don’t have a place for you here currently. The only non shipboard position currently available is in Australia.
The JAG officer stationed there is pregnant and is requesting reassignment closer to home. You will be taking her place as the exchange officer for Brumby.” informed the Admiral.
“Yes Sir.” moaned Harm.
“It’s only for another thirteen months Commander. You have to pay a price for giving up a choice assignment. You need to make up for some of the dings on your record. If you keep your nose clean it will do wonders for your career.
You need to become a team player Commander. What you do affects other people besides yourself. Maybe by the time we have a new SecNav in place, things will be better for you.” smiled the Admiral.
He really was enjoying this. Rabb had left him in a lurch when he left. He had been grooming him to be the JAG someday. But when he left it showed him that Rabb wasn’t the team player he thought he was.
He had spent a few years building one of the finest staffs around. MacKenzie and Rabb were strong leaders who brought with them strong moral values for the group. Rabb was the main reason he lost the Colonel.
She didn’t say anything to him about it, but he knew she missed him. She would still be here if Rabb hadn’t left. The staff that he had work so hard to make the best was gone now, destroyed.
Rabb was going to have to pay a price for that. He would make Rabb suffer in the cesspools of all JAG positions until he either quit or until he, the Admiral, retired. But one thing was for sure he wouldn’t be coming back here to Headquarters any time soon.
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