Chance Meeting the Man Who Saved My Life
By David Cook, Army
Writing Type: Prose
By David Cook
The chances of this happening to anyone are slim to none. Call it fate or a miracle, but it happened to me. And it brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it.
It was the summer of 2019. My wife and our three kids were vacationing in Florida. We had been playing on the beach at Daytona Beach when the sun began to set. It was time to go back to the hotel. We gathered our belongings and began our walk from the soft sand and up the stairway to the hotel pool. That’s when we approached a couple enjoying their evening.
The man seemed to fix his eyes on me. I was shirtless, and my tattoo of military police cross pistols was in plain sight. As I passed him, he asked when I served. I told him I was in Iraq from November 2007 to January 2009. He asked where in Iraq. I told him that my platoon was satellite in Diwaniyah for 10 months, and then we went back to the company in Al Kut.
As the conversation continued, he asked what company I was with. I told him that I was a gunner with the 511th MP company. His reply was "Yeah, I know that company."
He asked if I remembered the call sign "Ghost." I replied, "Hell yeah, I remember it." Then he said that was him. He was a well-known sniper outlook for us when we were on missions.
He said he recognized my face. I started to get a funny feeling in my stomach. He said that he had seen me through his scope and that he had saved my life by shooting an Iraqi who was about to shoot me. My heart dropped and I started to tear up. I grabbed him and gave him the biggest hug and thanked him profusely.
When I look back to my time in Iraq, I can remember one time when I first got there that I saw a guy on a bridge. When I returned to the bridge after scanning the rest of my sector, he was gone.
To meet someone on vacation who saved your life in the service is a once in a lifetime experience that not too many veterans can say they lived. If it were not for Ghost, I would not have been able to tell this story.