Army Reflections

January 23, 2008
By natalie anderson, Stanton, MI

Ahhhh! I hear my friend scream out in agony, I begin to run to the sound. Suddenly I am in a shower of debris as a bomb goes off, feet from me. Just as I am about to jump towards my friend he is hit with a grenade and his body shatters into a hundred pieces. I throw myself to the ground and silently weep over my friend’s sudden death. A siren goes off and startles me. I spin in circles trying to find it, but I can’t. The ground beneath my feet gives way and I fall…

I sit back up too quickly, gasping for air. I am light-headed and drenched in sweat. This is the third night in a row that I have had this nightmare and I wonder if it’s a clue or something. It has been three months since I left Iraq and I wish I had never gone. I am only twenty-six years old, but I have lived through a lifetime of pain and misery.

I only went into the Army because my whole family was and I wanted to make my dad proud, it seemed like I was always disappointing him. My real passion was flying and I was fascinated by planes. My dream was to be a commander in the United States Air Force. But that was only a dream; in reality I was a shell-shocked veteran of war.

Before Iraq I thought I was afraid of nothing. But when I got there and watched the massacre I realized my true fear…Death. It doesn’t matter what the death is, a sibling, a parent, grandparent, friend or dog. It all affects me. Through all this death and destruction I keep a good attitude and never let people see the inner me. My fear, my weakness, my pain.

My life is nightmares, flashbacks and present news of the war in Iraq. I try everyday to cope with my problem and to move on with my life but my6 memories won’t let me. After I concure this problem it will change me. It will make me more understanding, more protective, and it will teach me to have patience with things I can not influence.

My name is Jacob Carroll of the United States Army. I am twenty-six years old and live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I am a veteran of war and will never want to go back. Tonight I will once again see the agony in my friends face as he looks through his eyes for the last tie. My story is painful so it ends here. I hope you understand and will reconsider your future.

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