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February 17, 2017

The pain was beautiful. It was a gunshot from a fellow American soldier; it was a mistake. Right in the abdomen was where the bullet hit me. It was a sharp blow, causing every hope and every dream, every mistake and every regret, every joy and every peace, every cry and every scream, every love and every hate, everything, to pour into me as the pained calls of help poured out of me. The pain captured all that I was and all that I ever would be and fed into its own presence, providing just the right amount of nutrients to combine and develop right before my eyes, distorting my vision and clouding my thoughts. Every single bit of happiness and pain that I had ever experienced developed like a photo in front of me.
The pain was beautiful. It reminded me of my past. The past was full of pain, so much pain. I was constantly surrounded by fighting. The constant bickering between my mother and father played over and over in the background. I was only around my parents for a total of five years before I was taken to a supposedly “better” place, but I never actually found a place that was “better.” I can say, though, that the most wonderful thing I got out of those five years with my family was a wide range of profane vocabulary.
What I got after that was constant movement from place to place. I was a foster kid. I would never find a permanent home - at least not one with a picket fence and a red front door. It was not until later that I realized the closest thing I would get to a home would be the never-wavering soils of Vietnam and that the best family I would ever have would be the soldiers I fought with.
The pain was beautiful. It clearly traced the steps that brought me here. There was the bickering, the movement, the instability, the uncertainties, and then finally, the draft. My birthday? I had never celebrated it before, but what was not to celebrate when it was that month and that day that gave me the number four, a sure one-way ticket to the war. Yes, it may have been a war that nobody could understand or explain, but it was my way of getting rid of the war I was fighting at home, of moving on to another stage in my life. Being sent to war was a blessing.
The pain was beautiful. My first day. I really had no idea what I was walking into. Dying was no worry of mine; I had nobody to live for anyway. It was my God and I; the few words that I spoke were prayers; all of the words that I read came straight from the Holy Bible. It seemed ironic to me, I never understood it. I was born into a family with zero faith. It was a family of self-centered ideals, a family holding not one moral. If I had to choose one thing that I was gifted during the scooting from one foster home to another, it would be the introduction of a religion that would do wonders for me. It was the Smith family that constantly tried to convince me to attend church with them. I said I would only go to one church service - I mean, what good would church ever do for me? It was one sermon, one free bible, one almost non-existing decision that changed my life. Did I have a father? Yes, I did. A Father up above who worked in mysterious ways and loved me more than I could ever imagine. It all happened coincidentally. I still wonder if it really was a coincidence, though.
I was a strongly built young man. That’s why I was assigned to carry the guns and ammo. It was heavy, requiring utmost endurance. It may have seemed like a weight too difficult to carry to the other men but it was the lightest, and no doubt the easiest, weight I had ever had to bear.
The pain was beautiful. I was an outsider. The youngest in the platoon. I wasn’t well respected, never well informed either. I walked with the men day after day, exchanged rations and bug spray and first aid, laughed at dirty jokes the other men made, listened to gibberish about what the future would be like once they left war, silently judged their hopes and dreams, hid in the brush when there was possible danger near, sometimes sat in silence for hours on end waiting for the danger to cease, and whenever the situation allowed, I theoretically slept, but it seemed like I rarely ever did; the situation never did allow. In reality, though, I just carried the weight of the other men.
The pain was beautiful. I had repeated the same motions day by day with the occasional shots fired in the approximate direction of the enemy. I have never actually shot my gun; I prefer loading the weapons up with ammo and letting the other men do the rest. It was during these periods where the weight was the least. The weight of the guns and the ammo was diminishing as supplies were being used. This literal weight was taken off, yes, but it was all of the other useless emotional garbage that diminished as well. It was during these times that it became more probable that I would meet my final destination: Heaven.
The pain was beautiful. It was a gunshot from a fellow American soldier; it was a mistake. Right in the abdomen was where the bullet hit me. It was a sharp blow, a painful blow, but my soul was smiling. I had fulfilled my duty. I was going home. I appeared to be in pain, and yes, maybe I was, but it was beautiful. It would be the last time I suffered from pain. It was truly beautiful.

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