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Triage

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Call it triage.

The man they just rescued isn't bleeding out in front of them, not physically; he's hanging in all the way, like he's been trained to.

Respect that. Give him that.

They do. Time enough for medical attention when the helo gets them back to friendly territory — for now, give him something else to hang on to. Give him something ordinary: Just another day at the office for a SEAL, with the easy bullshit that means Job done. Job done, and everyone still alive to lift a few beers later, to go out and kick more ass another day.

Job well done.

You can see it helps. So do the friendly hands resting on the man's shoulders. Not alone.

So does the weapon the man's holding now. Not a prisoner. Safe.

It all helps. Enough to get by on —

— just not enough.

He's trying, though. You can see it on his face.

Call it triage:

    "No, don't. You can thank me when we get back to Oahu."

   "You can thank me by being the best man in my wedding. I'm getting married."

   "Seriously, don't get married, just find a woman you really hate —"

   "— and buy her a house."

Or call it a tourniquet. You can see it working. He still doesn't say a word — maybe he can't, yet — but he's smiling.

If there's a little desperation in that smile, or the kind of gratitude that can make a person's heart ache at the reason for it, it's still a smile. Trust his ohana. They won't let him bleed out.