Two hundred feet from the ground I was dangling by a strand of five-fifty cord. My chute had caught up on a branch that over hung the side of a canyon. My M-4 swung from its strap down between my legs. I had to get out of my harness and up to the top of this canyon. My pick up was to be at the L Z at 19:00 and it was the last trip out of the blast zone. I started to swing back and forth trying to reach the cliff side. The rope wore with each swing as i got closer to the side of the canyon. I reached for a root that was protruding out of the cliff side. I got close enough to the side that my feet could just barely touch. I started kicking of the wall. At the farthest point from the cliff side the rope snapped. Launching me into the center of the canyon. I pulled the back up cord hoping that it would slow me down enough to prevent injury when I hit the ground. It deployed but the wind quickly took control and crashed me into the stone cold rocks that lined the walls of the canyon causing the chute to folded in on itself. Plummeting to my death I wondered if I made my family proud. I wondered if they really knew what kind of tasks I was assigned and how I carried them out. Would they look at me the same? If they knew that I've killed whole families in defence of the men's life beside me. My brothers who two years ago were complete strangers and now I would lay down my life, even kill for them, and they the same for me. Would they understand why I did it? How day after day I would go out on patrols and bunker raids. Just eliminating every thing that posed a threat and didn't show any restraint in a confrontation. It didn't matter what it was. After my first few months of being here I had seen more violence and gore than one would want to see in a life time. The monsters of this region showed no mercy and we had to do the same if we wanted to survive. After a year it was second nature to shoot first and ask later. When we went to clear buildings we cleared it of all life forms. Young, old, human, or not we shot every thing now. Back it May of 2004 we lost Thomson to a little boy with a AK. The kid was only eight and when Thomson opened the door the kid showed no restraint. It was then that we decided a cleared house meant that every human in it was taken out. In October of 2005 we lost Anders. He went up to a dog that we found in a building that we just got done clearing. It was and emaciated dog covered in cuts and scars. With a limp in its left back leg. He started petting it and when he rubbed it's belly the dog and Anders were gone in a thundering boom and a flask of yellow light and a black cloud smoke. Since then we decided nothing was going to be alive after we entered the buildings. Now my dreams are haunted by the screams of children all younger then me, all whom I had killed and didn't flinch when I did it. Two in the chest one in the head just like they trained us. If my family knew this could they live with it? Would they except it? Would they except me? Or more importantly if this was the end. Could i still live with it? Could I keep going on and not snap under the pressure? I guess no one will ever know.
Would They Still Look at Me the Same If They Knew?
October 24, 2012