A Day at Work

February 1, 2008
By Jordon Gasca, Lake Stevens, WA

I am a writer disguised as a soldier fighting in the Iraq war. The section I sleep in is very cramped and hot and it certainly is no five star hotel. First thing I wake up to early in the morning is my commanding officer yelling at me and the rest of the soldiers to wake up and start moving. Every time I enter a town or city, the people I come across are either friend or foe but I can’t tell who’s who. My team carries their guns in pride thinking killing Iraqi’s is like scoring a touch down in a football game. I find that barbaric.

Whenever a car comes by, my heart pounds thinking it’s going to explode. I had a near death experience with a car that nearly exploded near me but to my relief this one didn’t. As soon as I hear the gunshots from either the enemy or my team I hide behind a broken down car and return fire hoping I don’t get shot. The bullets would fly through the air like angry bees shot out of a cannon. Most of the time we never hit anyone, once in awhile we get a few casualties. But I rather have Iraqi casualties than any of my fellow men.

After the attack, the squad and I would investigate the area where the enemy fired and take any of our wounded comrades back to base camp. I walked by a couple of Iraqi children hiding in their house watching from their windows with tears in their eyes. Guilt grew inside me as we left; I prayed that I didn’t kill anyone that was related to the crying children. Back at base camp many of the men would relax by playing poker, reading playboy, or talk about what they were going to do first when they get back home. As for me, I have a wife and two daughters back at home.

My oldest daughter Cynthia, is four years old and my youngest is Clair who just turned two. It breaks my heart that I can’t be there to play my role as husband and father. But my leave is a month away so that’s something to look foreward to. Before I go to bed, I pray to god that my family is safe back at home and I thank him for protecting me today and ask him to keep me alive and safe until I get home. I can’t wait to see the smiling faces of my wife and two children.

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