Monday, April 30, 2007

I can tell the crack of an M-16 from the boom of an AK; I know the most dangerous part of the night is from 2000 to 2400; I know helos don’t fly alone unless something’s wrong; and I can load and fire a 240 with a reasonable chance of hitting something.

I have seen the gun trucks return with cracked windows and bullet holes in their hoods. I have seen the blood being washed out of humvees; seen the flag draped caskets; the bodies in the field, bloating under the August sun.

I have heard the explosions, the quick bang of the RPG followed by rifle fire; the whoosh of the mortars, three at a time. Or the slow thunderous roar of an SVIED in the market place, enveloping the stalls, the fruit, the people, sucking the life from everything within reach.

I have ached from the weight on my shoulders; been bruised from the recoil of my rifle; I have felt the solid ground slam hard against my body, taking my breath… and the steel whipping into my thigh…

I have celebrated successful returns; toasted with .02% near beer, and shouted with joy when we finally brought that old building down. In spite of the loneliness, at times I have felt good here, alive. And occasionally, I have cried.

I have tasted the dirt of this war… inhaled its dust into my lungs. The familiar rhythm of the fifties is comforting. The bagpipes are outside now, outside the walls, so far away. I really think I’m gonna make it.

I am still me.

4 Comments:

Blogger kbinkowski35 said...

Yeah. You're still you. Thats mighty good news. A few more days and you'll be you and you'll be home too.

April 30, 2007 8:27 PM  
Blogger lalavoie said...

Amen!

April 30, 2007 11:42 PM  
Blogger KAB said...

Your writing takes my breathe away! I sit here and stare at your words and can almost feel everything you have felt. I can't think of a single person that could have said all that stuff better than you. I am so proud of you..

Love

Yo Yo Ma

May 01, 2007 5:38 PM  
Blogger I'm just Anais said...

don't change. this war isn't worth it to let it change you.

May 02, 2007 6:26 PM  

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