Carl is a 50
year old professional man who was an Army combat medic in Vietnam in his
20’s. He is haunted by images of his first combat casualty, who died; Carl
blames himself for his death. He just recently found out who the man was
and visits the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (THE WALL) to find and touch his
name. Carl’s work is suffering as a result of freshened memories of his
Carl is also an experienced volunteer firefighter/EMT in his semi-rural
suburban community. In almost 15 years of service Carl has been on over a
thousand aid, accident and fire calls.
Triggered by Fourth of July fireworks and stress, Carl relives his first
combat casualty experience in a vivid dream. The dream is interrupted near
its end by a real-time emergency call; a gunshot victim.
Carl and his partner respond to the shooting scene where they find two
victims. Carl treats the more critically injured man and keeps him alive
until more help arrives. As Carl watches the victim receiving advanced
treatment he hears the sound of the approaching rescue helicopter.
This triggers a flashback to the end of the war dream he had been having;
a picture of the dead soldier being loaded into a body bag. But Carl is
now ready to deal with it.
A few months later, Carl and his wife visit THE WALL again. Finally Carl
is able to say goodbye to his first patient, acknowledge the role he
played in Carl’s life, and begin to heal.