My personal experience dates back over 25 years to when I’d just left the army. Now like most military people, and emergency responders, will tell you death is part of the job. You live constantly with the idea that today could be the day I’m in a body bag, and not to sound melodramatic but you don’t feel comfortable with it but eventually it becomes simply a fact of life, people die on duty.
Well I had just left the service literally days before and I was shifting from my old base back to my family home while I got used to being a civillian again. I was six hours into a twelve hour drive, that’s twelve hours of actual driving not including breaks, when I started to drift off behind the wheel. Next thing I hear was the voice of my old platoon sergeant yelling in my ear “WAKE UP SOLDIER OR I’LL SLAP YOU ON A CHARGE!!!” and I snapped awake only to see myself not 10 feet behind an 18 wheeler and about to hit it at around 50 mph. I slammed on the brakes and twisted the wheel and narrowly missed it. I came to rest on the hard shoulder and stopped.
I then felt a hand squeeze my shoulder and a soft voice said “it’s okay son, not time for you to come home yet..” I looked over and I saw a shadowy figure who’s profile I knew only too well, it was my old platoon sergeant. It disappeared and I sat there calming down. I pulled into the nearest road house and slept for a good couple of hours before I drove on. Now I should explain, the man in question had been dead for three years, I know this because I was at his bedside when he died on St Patricks Day, he was the typical sergeant, he could swear so bad it made a marine gunny sound like a southern ladies sewing circle but loved his men like they were his children. So I think he came back one last time to save one of “his boys” when he needed to.
Oh and the date, St Patricks Day.