I climbed onboard a helicopter with my newborn son after a weekend long camping trip in the mountains of Tennessee. Several of my co-workers were also on the helicopter. We were on our way back to rally point in the city where many others had been waiting for us.
As be began to lift off, I was buckling my son in; trying my best to rig the seat belt to actually fit his tiny body. I buckled myself in and we took off.
As we flew through the sky, equipment in the helicopter shifted around on the floor. A box slid out from beneath my seat and stopped at the door. One of the guys opened the lid and identified the contents to be a bomb. Without hesitation, I wiggled open the door and gave the bomb a good kick out of the aircraft. We watched it float down, landing just a few feet from the shoreline of a lake and explode. The explosion and damage seemed insignificant from our altitude. After closing the door, I turned back to my seat to notice a second bomb slide out from hiding. There was no time to react.
The bomb detonated and blew out the rear end of the bird. I managed to pull myself back to a seat and get my arms within the belt straps as we began to spin violently out of control. I held on, watching the landscape spin in and out of my view. I could see a cleared field, a tree line, and a large brick building just beyond.
We came extremely close to touching the ground as we were whirling through the sky. I saw a moment of opportunity to escape. I released the seat belt straps from my arms, but without a split second to grab my son, I was immediately sucked out of the aircraft and thrown into the field. I tumbled a few times just before rising to my feet to see the helicopter bouncing off the ground in the direction of the woods. I screamed in horror for my son as I noticed the sky had changed to a deep dark blue and gray landscape. A tornado was forming by the trees.
Like a miracle, I saw a small box slide out of the door a skid across the grass just before the helicopter went rolling over the tree line and disappear in the distance. I darted after the box with some sort of inclination that my son was inside. As I approached, I could see him in the corner, still, calm as could be.
I grabbed him and sprinted to the building. At this point, debris was flying all around. There was no time to get to a safer area. I squeezed us both underneath a set of stairs that led to the second story of the building and pinned my back against the wall of the building. I could see the tornado nearly on top of us at this point.
And then I woke up…