As we embarked on a long truck ride through the foreign countryside, a storm raged in the sky. Thunder cracked, and streaks of lighting brightened the looming dark clouds above. It was a parade of uniformed vehicles stuffed with uniformed men, shoulder to shoulder. My troop and I sat in silence- thinking of all things we left and all we could lose- occasionally swaying as we traveled over the dirt road. In an instance, the storm became violent as shots rang out onto the now battlefield we found ourselves on. The rain pounded down on my face as I left the shelter of my small army green truck. I listened to order and found cover right away, throwing myself behind what was an old beaten down barn. Sticky mud was smeared over my face and hands, my boots lay buried under its thickness. My body went numb with fear as the loud shots creeped closer. My troop and I were separated. I could see not the familiar faces that only moments ago were next to me. I was alone.
Only four months earlier, I was saying my last goodbyes. Sitting at the train station surrounded by hundreds of young men and their families. My dark green bag lay next to me, on which my little sister sat. She clung onto my finger and stared down the track hoping the horn would never sound. At last the white smoke came trudging around the corner and the loud whistle broke me from my trance. I embraced my mother and father like it was the last time. My mother sobbed as she watched me board my train hoping this wasn’t reality. Staring from the foggy train window, I watched my family in despair until they were out of sight.
The train ride was a long and quiet journey to New York. Passing through open ranges of green and yellow, seeing endless amounts of farms. In what seemed like years, the cattle and barns turned into city homes and skyscrapers. The city was a dull grey and still had its early morning mist hugging the view. From there we boarded a ship and made our way across the Atlantic.
My memories rushed back to me as I lay behind this old barn. I remember seeing their beautiful red color glistening in the sun as we passed them on the train. It seemed as if it were forever ago since I last saw my home land- since I last saw my family.
The sound of cannons and rifles shook me from my memory. Men were yelling from their pain as this horrid battle continued. Rain was still poring down over the scene, covering all that was there. I watched as glimpses of soldiers ran through the smoke and debris- ready to kill or ready to die.
The steady drum of rain filled my ears and the battle cries were lost within. I lay covered in mud accepting all that has come. My passions and dreams to be swallowed by this unfortunate situation I found myself in. My rifle still lay across my chest with my hand embracing it. All the possibilities lay under the control of one gun, of one man.
At last, I saw my brothers. The flashes of American flags broke through the smoke and rain. I was eager to get to them, to be able to fight beside them. I broke free from the strong grasp of the mud I lay in and crouched behind the wood. With my rifle in hand and helmet on, I ran towards them. I was ready to fight for my country, for my home, and for my family. Nothing could stand in the way of me getting the victory and going home. Home to the victory parade that awaited. Home to the beautiful city. And home to my parents and sister.