‘Sir I want to be with the boys’ said a 24 year old officer, refusing to go home on sick leave when I met him at Base Hospital at Srinagar with a jaw broken by a stone pelting crowd, as he was returning with his team after a successful encounter with terrorists. Bemused, I looked at this young 24 yr old boy, who wanted to return to his ‘boys’ each of whom were trained Special Forces Soldiers, all older than him and more experienced. He was younger than my younger son, and impulsively I broke protocol and ruffled his hair and said ‘Happy Hunting Son.’
Within a week, I saluted his mortal remains in a casket. I was overwhelmed.
It was huge operation. The biggest hostage situation during my tenure as GOC Chinar Corps in Kashmir, where terrorists had occupied a six storeyed building in Pampore on the outskirts of Kashmir. These BRAVEHEARTS rescued over 60 hostages safely, all Kashmiri men and women. But they paid a heavy price… of their own lives.
Captain Pawan Kumar, Capt Tushar Mahajan & L/Nk Om Prakash, all commandos were martyred.
While I narrated Pawan’s story as I’d met him, others were no less brave. In fact, there are always several unsung heroes in operations, those who acquit themselves with bravery, but everyone cannot be awarded gallantry medals.
Let me surprise you with a bigger hero. Read ANI tweet below about what Capt Pawan’s father, Mr Rajbir said at his cremation!
‘I had one child. I gave him to the army. No father can be prouder.’
Our young leaders do us proud.
But fathers are no less!!
(Please share widely…)We