"Back Waves" on the Levee

  On July 19, officers and soldiers of a certain brigade of airborne troops arrived at the disaster site and quickly transported sandbags to the collapsed dyke. Photo by Xie Chengyu

On July 20th, during the task of building dams and strengthening levees, the boots of young officers and soldiers were covered with mud. Photo by Xie Chengyu

  "I will definitely not let you stay in the water alone, I will dance with you"

  Many years later, high-ranking soldier Jiang Chen will definitely remember the storm of 2020.

  The strong wind, mixed with dense raindrops, hit the military truck, and the sound of wind and rain overwhelmed the roar of the engine.

  Rain water ran down the roof of the carriage and dripped on Jiang Chen's feet.

  "Jiang Chen, here's a song!" When approaching the embankment, the squad leader organized a song to warm up the upcoming "battle".

  It's Jiang Chen's turn. "Youth is like a rushing river..." He raised his head slightly, half-closed his eyes, and sang "Old Boy" intoxicatedly.

  Hearing applause, the 18-year-old boy showed a clean and somewhat shy smile.

  On the embankment, this childish "post-00" looked like a new person. He hid his smile, with a serious expression on his face. As if he had a grudge against the sandbag, he smashed it to the ground every time, and then quickly walked away.

  In interviews on the front line of the flood fighting, reporters found that even no matter how difficult and dangerous, these young officers and soldiers from the airborne troops are used to face everything with a smile.

  Sergeant Guo Yuanyun didn't expect that his smile was on fire! On that day, he stood in the water with no feet and passed more than 3,000 sandbags with his comrades. The moment the dam was built, he grinned, his bright smile blooming on his tanned face.

  This smile happened to be captured and sent to Douyin. Guo Yuanyun’s girlfriend also posted this small video that was liked by countless people. She sent a WeChat message and said: "You can't see your jagged teeth when you are far away, you can only see white and dimples!"

  For "post-00s" and "post-90s" officers and soldiers, participating in flood fighting is not only a task, but more like a battle.

  Prior to the finalization of the flood fighting list, high-ranking soldier Zhao Liangxing had already caught a cold. The company is going to let him stay behind.

  Seeing other comrades in the platoon begin to pack their bags, Zhao Liangxing rushed out of the dormitory and blocked the platoon leader Wang Hao in the toilet. Unable to hold him back, the platoon leader agreed to go.

  Using the same "means", the instructor also gave Zhao Liangxing a "green light". But the company commander is really hard to pass. For the first time, the company commander firmly refused. The second time, the company commander still disagreed.

  Zhao Liangxing was anxious: "Company commander, I am here to serve as a soldier!"

  "Why, are you still serving as a soldier to fight the flood?" The company commander squinted at him, and was silent for a moment, which was a promise.

  Zhao Liangxing secretly "added up" the medicine, taking a small sip every time he took the medicine.

  Finally, I can fight the flood with my comrades!

  On that day, Zhao Liangxing reposted a piece of news about troops fighting floods in the circle of friends. After a good friend saw it, he sent a message: "Xing, I have more than a month to be discharged from the army, don't jump into the water!" Zhao Liangxing gave a smile and said nothing.

  Before going to the levee, the comrades in arms were full of blood. The platoon leader said: "As long as there is a request, I will be the first to jump into the water!" Zhao Liangxing then said: "I will definitely not let you stay in the water alone, I will dance with you!"

  "You can become a real man by withstanding trials and hardships"

  In a place out of the floodlights, platoon leader Wang Hao lay on the wet sandbag like a fish out of the water.

  At the Yejiawan Bridge in Macheng, Hubei, under the breach of the dam, the turbid Jushui River roared, and the agitated water mist fell on his sweaty face.

  The cool water vapor made Wang Hao sober instantly, and his waist seemed to be less painful. He stood up holding the sandbag and slowed down for a few seconds before his stiff waist reacted.

  Wang Hao supported his waist with one hand and asked his comrades to put the sandbags on his shoulders, then tilted his body and carried the sandbags onto the embankment.

  Later, if he couldn't carry it, he would hold it, and if he couldn't hold it, he would drag it; if he couldn't hold it, he would put sandbags on the embankment.

  This "post-90s" platoon leader once participated in the Air Force "Hunter" training. Armed cross-country for 5 kilometers, carrying a 13 kg full suit, he galloped all the way, and the second place "can't see his taillights" at all; lifting logs, carrying ammunition boxes, and turning tires, he never screamed tired. He is a man of iron.

  Last year, Wang Hao injured his waist accidentally during parachuting. The doctor suggested: Either eat and drink Lazar and lie in bed for 3 months, or have an operation.

  "We can't afford it!" He chose the latter and returned to the training ground. The root cause of the waist being unable to bear weight has fallen.

  In this flood fight, 29 hours of continuous high-intensity work made Wang Hao's waist no longer able to bear. On the day the troops retreated, he could not step into the cab, so he had to lie in the truck compartment with his life jacket under him.

  After bumping all the way back to the training ground, he only rested for a long time before reappearing on the training ground.

  The heavy, rough sandbags sharpen the tender shoulders.

  Because I was afraid that my mother who had just finished the operation was worried, the superior soldier Ren Jianyang had not posted a circle of friends since he participated in the flood fight.

  However, the attentive mother still saw her son from the video posted on the official WeChat account of "Air Force Online"-isn't that kid carrying a sandbag and soaking in the water is Jianyang? She immediately called the instructor Dong Huaiyin to ask.

  In order to eliminate the mother's worry, the instructor arranged for Ren Jianyang to have a family bond between the flood fighting.

  Seeing her haggard mother leaning on the bed, Ren Jianyang tore up the weeds on the embankment with both hands, tears rolling in his eye sockets. He turned his head away, and the instructor wiped him a tear.

  "Mom, I'm fine here. In the past, when our family was in difficulties, the army helped us. Now, I will protect the people for our family!" He hung up the phone and wiped away tears. He straightened up again and was busy on the levee. on.

  The young soldier who was enlisted under the influence of the "man in the barracks" said, "You can only become a real man by withstanding trials and hardships."

  In fact, many tests are invisible. On the evening of July 18, there was a sudden heavy rain in the Honghu area of ​​Hubei, accompanied by strong convective weather. A brigade of paratroopers was notified to fix the slope and protect the embankment overnight and prepare for launching to fight floods.

  Pvt.com is no stranger to flooding. His home is less than 400 meters away from the Jiuxiang River, a tributary of the Yangtze River. Every year during the flood season, the turbid floods fill the river. But Gaoke never thought that he would stand on the flood-fighting embankment.

  Hi-Tech, who has good water quality, was lined up as a reserve team for launch. He organized the equipment in his satchel over and over again-it contained a safety rope, a flashlight, an anti-schistosome smear, and a shiny whistle.

  This whistle can only sound when danger occurs. Several times, Gaoke suppressed his urge to take out his whistle and blow.

  "Congratulations! Because of the personnel adjustment, you have become an official launcher!" Before the troops set off, the instructor An Shuangbin told Gaoke.

  "Yes! Be prepared at all times, and you must be able to do it at the critical moment!" He pressed his shoulder bag with his hand and replied solemnly.

  "Lived for 19 years and felt like a hero for the first time"

  It was windy and rainy all night, and the water filled Honghu Lake.

  In the morning, fine waves hit the shore. At the junction of the lake and the embankment, the grass handles were washed away. They have witnessed the violence of the wind and waves.

  The replacement of the old and the new often occurs during the sinking and lifting. Similarly, the experience of fighting floods has quietly changed the "back waves" of the barracks.

  Carrying a sandbag and walking on the embankment, Gaoke felt that "something is different."

  Before joining the army, the boy was taciturn, but his temper was very reckless. He often contradicted his parents and "had a bit of a decadent life."

  After coming to fight the floods, the sun's exposure, the sharpening of the sandbags, and the aches and pains of his muscles made him feel at ease and full of energy like never before. Every time, he and his comrades walked down the embankment and saw the people thumbs up, and a sense of sacredness came to his heart. He said: "I have lived for 19 years and feel like a hero for the first time!"

  He had watched the movie "Stormy Seas" before, and asked himself more than once whether he could jump into the water like the protagonist in the flood to block the breach.

  "Fighting against floods has hardened people, which I couldn't experience and understand before!" Gaoke said.

  The sublime and the ordinary, the reality and the ideal, are mixed together in the surge of waves. For young officers and soldiers, the same is true for growth.

  A few days before coming to fight the flood, Sergeant He Zhibo of the "Huang Jiguang Hero Company" gloriously joined the party. However, he went to the party branch secretary to report his thoughts three times, expressing his inner anxiety: "Compared with the old party members, there is a big gap between his own ideological awareness, ability and quality."

  Every tiny wave is towards the sea. During the flood fighting mission, He Zhibo found his direction. When he went to the levee, he took the initiative to carry the company’s "battle flag"; during a break, he opened a packet of rehydration salt, put it in the kettle, shake it, and handed it to his comrades; at 5 in the morning, he came to the cooking class to help. Soy milk.

  "Although these are trivial things, someone has to do it." He Zhibo smiled, forgetting what anxiety is.

  On the embankment, sandbags are spread out, like white waves, and a tunnel leading to the future.

  Stepping on the sandbag, the superior soldier Yu Chaoyang felt very at ease; lying on the bed, he felt the sky spinning. He graduated from Wuhan Yangtze University and claims to be a "pancake man"-when he was in college, he learned everything about basketball, billiards, and badminton, but he gave up everything halfway through.

  "No matter how long the road is, if you go down, you will be able to arrive." After fighting the flood, Yu Chaoyang took this sentence as an inspirational motto.

  There are dreams to accompany young officers and soldiers on the road. Before joining the army, Zhao Liangxing, a superior soldier, had been admitted to graduate school. He plans to leave the army to complete his studies and do something he really likes after graduation.

  Leaving the army in one month. In the past few days, Zhao Liangxing is always thinking, if he did not come to the army and did not participate in this flood fight, what would his life trajectory be like?

  He thought about becoming a technical supervisor in a food factory after graduation. He also thought about becoming a worker on an assembly line. He also thought about taking a civil service exam and living a peaceful life from nine to five.

  But now it's different. There is a word that keeps tumbling in Zhao Liangxing's heart.

  "When you have experienced'Devil's Week', experienced carrying sandbags in a hot day of 35 degrees Celsius, and experienced 29 consecutive hours of building a dam, you will know that you have the ability to pursue what you want." He said, it is time Release the word, that is: dream!

  "This is nothing, it's all done"

  On the embankment, the scorching sun exploded the arm of Senior Soldier Johnson, and the skin rolled over. In less than a week, the old skin has shed and new skin has grown.

  "Post-90s" soldier SC Johnson was a manager of a state-owned enterprise before joining the army. In 2018, he signed up for the army without telling his parents, and his original unit retained his public office.

  Soon, the two-year service period expired. Last month, the company found out and SC Johnson reported to "stay in the team." In fact, he was still a little undecided at that time.

  After the flood fighting mission was over, he calmly thought about it and made another decision: stay.

  Changes from the inside out are both rebirth and growth. Like SC Johnson, many officers and soldiers fighting floods have experienced this transformation.

  Before going to the levee, Jiang Fa, the monitor of the second class of the "Huang Jiguang Hero Company", wrote a name on the shovel handle. The comrades in arms followed suit one after another. Overnight, three characters were written on each shovel-Huang Jiguang. Jiang Fa said: "Learning from heroes is not a slogan, but an action."

  Carrying sandbags, Zhao Liangxing is both "starts". Small wounds were made on his arm by gravel, and his neck was red and swollen by sandbags. "I want to use actual actions to prove that college students and soldiers have suffered just as much!"

  Instructor Wu Jian found more changes——

  There is a soldier who is usually blank and can't take any interest when doing work. Unexpectedly, when fighting the flood, he carried sandbags and greeted his comrades loudly, with a powerful light flashing in his eyes.

  There is also a college student soldier who usually thinks more about himself and less for his comrades. On the evening of July 19, the officers and soldiers picked up sandbags thrown down from a height on the embankment. A comrade in arms accidentally got too close to the collapsed embankment. He shouted: "Be careful! Go back."

  The shiny eyes and the roaring voice made instructor Wu Jian unforgettable.

  On the front line of the flood fighting, a local TV station is interviewing a young soldier.

  "If the levee bursts, what will you do?" the TV reporter asked.

  "This is nothing, it's over!" The soldier answered loudly without hesitation.

  Hearing this answer, the instructor An Shuangbin was full of emotion: Every officer and soldier is a diamond, and only by adjusting their perspective can they see their brilliance.

  After adjusting the angle so that each "diamond" emits its original light, the company thought of many tricks——

  On the embankment, connect with parents, wives and children, so that the encouragement of family members will drum up the sails of young officers and soldiers; forward the articles pushed by the "Air Force Online" public account to soldiers parents and soldiers, so that parents can be proud of their children. Let young officers and soldiers introspect: this is what youth and struggle look like.

  The flood receded, the troops retreated, and the officers and soldiers switched back to their original rhythm.

  An Shuangbin, who is busy preparing for the next swimming training task, occasionally thinks of the endless lake with blue waves, and also think of such a scene——

  The situation was critical, and the company assembled officers and men to form an emergency team.

  "If you are familiar with water and dare to block a breach in the water, get out!"

  Without hesitation, some officers and soldiers stood up. There was a firm and powerful light in their eyes.

  (He Sanyuan, Xiong Hao, Zhang Zhe, and Xie Chengyu were assisted in the interview. Thanks here.)

Dong Bin