As the evening turned to night I wondered why the rescuers had not shown up yet.
They surely would have gotten to our location by now. I went to see the captain and inquired why the rescuers had not found us yet.
He told me that he had been unable to reach anyone in the last couple of hours.
The captain said, “The ELT (emergency locator transmitter) antenna must have broken off when we crashed if so the rescuers can only get to before the antenna broke off.”
“So what do we need to do then? Can’t you call someone?”, I asked. “I have tried”, said the captain, “but the sat phone must have been damaged because it isn’t working now.” “How do I get to the luggage?”, I asked.
The captain took me to a hidden door in the back of the plane. I climbed down into the belly of the plane and started searching for my bags. I needed some things I packed if I was going to have to hike out of here to get help.
I got my boots out and put them on. I found my handgun lock box and got it and the holster out and two clips and fastened it to my side.
The captain climbed down there with me and he said, “Are you planning on hiking out of here?” I said, “What other choices do we have? I am going to wait until morning and I should be able to walk by tomorrow night.”
I said, “Maybe on the way, I will run into the rescuers or get a signal on my phone so I can call for help.” So the next morning I was up and told the captain I was headed out. He said, “Good luck and thank you for doing this.”
I told everyone else that I was hiking out to get help keep the fire going and you all will be fine. I knew the captain also had a gun so he could protect them from any danger that might come there way.
I had hiked about five hours and I heard voices, it was multiple voices it must be the rescuers. Then I saw them walking and I hollered at them, “Over Here!!” and was waving my arms. They saw me and started headed towards me. I waited for them to hike up to me.
When they got to me they said, “Are you from the plane that crashed?” I said, “Yes, sir I am.” I am Sgt Matthew Meyers with the 82nd Airborne Division. I was hiking out to get help. I have the exact coordinates if you can radio a helicopter they can land there it is clear of trees.
Matt’s sister was anxiously waiting for him to land in Denver. The news broke in with a special report that there was a commercial airplane that has crash landed 25 miles north of Denver in the mountains. We are getting unconfirmed reports of some casualties. Now she was crying uncontrollably.
The newscaster put up a number that loved ones could call to check on someone that was on that flight. She called and the person on the other end said, “Hello?” And my sister asked if she knew if Matthew Meyers was on that flight. The woman said, “Yes he was on that flight. But miss we have a confirmed report that a Sgt Matthew Meyers with the 82nd Airborne Division hiked out.
He found the rescuers and is in the process of hiking back with the rescuers to help get everyone out.” My sister started crying again and the lady asked what was wrong and my sister said, “Nothing, I am just happy he is alright and that he would get the others rescued if anyone could do it it’s him he already was a hero.”
The lady said, “Yes he is!” My sister got off the phone and now the news said they have confirmed that a Sgt Matthew Meyers with the 82nd Airborne Division was aboard the flight.
That he had hiked out to find the rescuers and then went back with them and was going to help get the rest of the people rescued. This man is a hero two times now, One for the service he is doing in the Army and two for saving those people in the airplane crash.
Thank you, sir, for your service. Mattew stayed until the last person was loaded which was the captain and his crew. He thanked Matthew and said, “He would be in touch with him soon.”
The last helicopter landed and picked him and the remaining rescuers up and flew them into Denver Airport. He shook all the hands of the rescuers and then called his sister. She was very glad to hear from him. She was on her way to pick him up.
As I waited for her to get here several reporters saw me and asked for interviews. They were all saying the same thing that I was a hero. I told them that I didn’t think of it like that.
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