The bomb blasts could be heard from miles away. Stuck out here in the desert what could possibly be done. Sand for miles all around you, nowhere to
hide, nowhere to run. I should've listened to my father, he said this war isn't the answer. This isn't the government you want to fight to defend.
But being a kid, wanting out of the house, I didn't listen. The military
provided all the answers for me.
Education, life, travel, career, they had it all. They even paid for my housing. Now this, wasting my life away in this sand trap. Waiting for
death to come is the reason I wake up everyday. Another blast, I wonder how many died in this one. I stop for a moment to envision the bodies of the
dead. I had seen the image far too many times being out here. No remorse from the other soldiers, just pure killing machines. Assigned to do their
job and I must admit, they do it well.
From the distance a tank is coming over the horizon. I pull up my binoculors to get a better view. Enemy combatants, now is my chance. I pull up my
missile launcher. I manage to get the tank lined up in my crosshairs. Firing is all that is left to do. While I hesitate to pull the trigger, I
thinkof my family back home and yearn for the feel of home again. Fire, it's a hit. Flame and smoke rise up from the desert. More lives taken by
I gather my gear and head a little more south, for I know more combatants will be coming soon. The sweat stings my eyes as I adjust my hat to shield
them from the glaring sunset. I stop to take a drink from my canteen before continuing. A rumble in the distance diverts my attention. Flashes of
bodies once again invade my thoughts. The thoughts were no longer my own. My thoughts now belonged to the dead of this fallen country. I quickly
take cover behind some rocks and look out into the distance. Nothing, only desert. The lonliest feeling in the world sweeps over me. I feel like
the last person alive on earth. The bomb blasts quickly steal my thoughts and remind me this is not true.
Night is coming soon, the temperature is cooling off a little. I take some food from my pack and sit down to eat for minute. I must regain my
strength to make it back to camp. As I eat, I imagine my family eating at the dinner table. My mom talking about her day, my dad complaining about
how much money it will cost to repair something on the house. I see me and my brother sitting there arguing over some minor detail about how to fix
my dad's old car. The smells of home, the smells of my mom's cooking. I wonder if I will ever get to have that again. I shake off the tears that
have formed in my eyes and finish up my meal. Oh the reality has set back in.
I have been walking now for awhile when I spot the camp in the distance. That is my home now, doesn't feel the same, but still glad to see it. The
others seem like machines, programmed especially for this. I'm sure this is not the life I was meant to live. As I approach camp, I see the others
hustling about, making preperations for another day. I arrive at my cot and find mail has been delivered. I can't hide my happiness, it's from my
She is writing to tell me that my brother is getting married in a few months, he has finally found the girl of his dreams. She mentions dad's health
and that he needs to take better care of himself. My sister, who has been traveling with a volunteer organization around the world, is coming home
for a few weeks. The neighbors are moving out, she wonders what the new ones will be like. She says they all miss me and wish the best for me, I
feel the pain she feels behind her words. I wipe away the tears from my eyes as I put the letter down. It's so hard to continue. All my might goes
into not crying.
I lay down to try and sleep, though these days sleep is hard to come by. Probably for the fear of my dreams, Often they consist of death and terror.
Sometimes I dream of being back home, but those are far and few between. Tonight, is not one of those nights. Flashes from the bombs going off,
screams of missiles, sprays of gunfire, pure hell. I awake to the sound of talking from other soldiers, I look at my watch, 0400 hours. Almost
morning. I try to get back to sleep, but after awhile I give in to defeat. I get up and walk around camp. I stop to splash my face with some cool
water. I stop to listen, silence surrounds me. I wonder did the war know it was night, then I hear the distant rumble and realize, it had only set
up to take more victims.
Soon the cook would be cooking up breakfast before the soldiers head out. Heading out, just the thought brought dread upon me. I wanted to be
patriotic and defend my country, I didn't want to feel like this. Only I had forgotten why we were here in the first place. I just didn't feel
right doing what I did, but I followed orders anyway. It was either die at the hands of the enemy or get punished by the hands of your own. A siren
broke my chain of thoughts as it blasted through the camp. Guess it was time for another day.
I sat down at the table with a plate of greasy eggs, sausage, and toast. As I eat, I don't even taste the food going down. I'm on automatic pilot
at this moment. Funny how that happens. I don't even realize what I do sometimes, I just do it. I finish off the last piece of toast and get up.
It's time to get my gear together and head off, back into the desert.
The pack is heavier then I remember from the day before. My muscles ache from the weight of it all. A loud sound above me shakes my train of
thoughts as I look up to see a fighter jet fly overhead. I wonder about the soldiers on board, who they are and where they are headed. I start out
on my mission for that day. I will be arriving in the next town and clearing the city of all the people, looking for enemy combatants.
I load up with the others in the Humvee. No one says a word, I'm sure at this moment we all know each others thoughts, for we all are thinking the
same thing. The drive seems long and I grow tired. I pop a few caffeine tablets to get me alert and ready for combat. I see the rising sun in the
distance and already feel the heat of the day growing warmer. A few minutes later we roll into town and stop. Everyone unloads and we break away,
each to our own mission.