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(WHNWC) Soldier Within

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posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 09:07 PM
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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 my hands.

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 mom.

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.




posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 09:09 PM
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As I walk up the street in this unfamiliar place, I see homes, cars and shops. I imagine a city of people bustling about, living their life. I envision kids laughing and playing ball in the street. But I was walking in a much different time. Most homes were empty now, the shops were closed and there were no kids playing. A few blocks over gunfire interupt my thoughts. I duck behind a car to take cover. I hear the sound of footsteps approaching. I aim my rifle and prepare to shoot. Just then a car drives by diverting my attention. I see some of the homes have the curtains pulled back. I guess some people just refuse to leave their home. They peer out into the street, their eyes fixed on mine. I motion a wave to show that I am friendly but the cold hard stare remains. I wonder what is going through these people's mind besides fear. I had almost forgotten about the footsteps approaching when I saw the gunman come into view. I didn't hesitate, just quickly pulled the trigger and fired. He fell to the ground shaking and groaning a few moments before laying silent and still. I walked over to him carefully, examining him before doing so. He looked to be only a boy, maybe 15 or 16. He was willing to die for his beliefs much like I am here willing to die for my country. Though I know he is the enemy, I can't help to feel a bit remorseful. I say a small prayer for his family and continue walking up and down the streets of the city.

I have walked down what feels like every street of the city, listening closely for the footsteps or noises. I hear none. Occasionally I hear gunshots from a distance, but for the most part I think the city is clear. I notice an old man sitting on a chair outside of his home. I approach cautiously to see if I can assist him in any way. As I draw closer I call to him, yet I get no response. Even closer now, I can smell death in air and see the flies buzzing around him. I lower my weapon and step to him. I notice he has been shot, god only knows by who. In his hands he holds a note. I pick it up, but can't read the language it is in. I place it back in the guys hands and walk away. I hear the sounds from soldiers a few streets over, whooping and hollering about something. I hear my name being called from behind as I am told it is time to leave, the city is secured.

A few stay behind to ensure the city is protected and no enemies remain hidden. As I load in the Humvee, I notice a family looking out one of the windows. A tiny boy waves to us, I wave back and smile. His mother pushes his hand down and closes the window. I feel better just from that moment. I actaully feel that maybe I have made a difference, this was our reason for being here. The moment quickly passes as the motor turns over and we are head back to camp. I feel a breeze blow in and the sand stings my eyes and I taste the grit in my mouth. I quickly grab my canteen to splash my eyes and rinse out my mouth. I hear the chatter of some soldiers talking about the city and firing on people. They seem giddy and excited. I sit idly by and quietly imagine I am someplace else.

The drive seems longer than ever as I think back to the town I had just visitied. I think about the family gathered at the window, what would become of them? Who was the old guy sitting dead outside of his home, what happened to his family. What did the note say and who was it to. So lost in my own thoughts I almost didn't feel the accident.

The Humvee is turned upside down as I am thrown around the back like a rag doll. I am thrown a few feet from where the vehicle lands shaken by what just happened not knowing quite what went wrong. More blasts go off as the vehicle is blown up and ignites in flames. I look around quickly for enemies, I see no one. My ears are ringing, my head throbs as I try to stand. I gain my balance, still in shock at what just happened. I try to find others who might have been thrown from the vehicle, but it is hopeless, no one is there. I watch as the vehicle burns with my fellow soldiers inside. I wonder if they are burning alive or died from the impact. I feel helpless as I decide what my next move is. Terrified to the very death of me, I muster up the courage to walk away. The only thing I can think of is to head to camp as quickly as possible. Walking away I try hard not to look back at the wreakage.

I'm not more then a few yards away when I hear the click and feel the ground slip beneath my feet. Suddenly my life flashes through my mind as I feel the pain takeover all my senses. Then blackness.

THE END



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