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Behind the Lines
May 16th, 2008
Today, I got some bad news. I’ve been relocated. Not to a warm beach in Florida but to a war zone. I’ve been relocated to Iraq. This is not totally bad but it comes at the worst possible time by baby boy was born at 3:37 am today and I don’t think I can leave him and my wife. Although I don’t mind flying F-14 Tomcats it’s just hard.
July 27th, 2008
It’s been awhile since I’ve written in this journal due to the fact that one of my buddies who is already in Iraq said that paper there is scarce. Even though I willed it not to, the time has come and I’m being shipped off to Iraq today at 0900 hours in a Kawasaki C-1 jet with about seventy other guys in their twenties. This is one of the hardest moments of my life. I think I’ll go and say goodbye now.
July 28th, 2008
I’ve just here in Iraq and have found some time to write. Iraq scares me although not in the way I first though it would. From what I’d heard I imagined it like a constant war zone. Car bombs exploding every fifteen seconds and the clatter of machine gun fire like a constant scream in my ear. What really was scary was the eerie silence that seemed to envelop the place like a huge pillow not letting anything enter or leave.
July 30th, 2008
I just got back from my first mission here even though it was only a test flight let’s call it a mission. It went great accept that I messed up the third maneuver a little bit. I barrel rolled right instead of left. It’s really hard to understand some of the new lingo I have to learn here.
August 2nd, 2008
I’ve been trying to ration my paper for something really important. Well this is. I’m going on my first mission in twelve hours time! It is only a routine sweep of the skies above some small cities and mountains in Afghanistan. But it still is my first mission! I’m so excited!
August 3rd, 2008
It’s 0700 hours here at the base and we’re about to get in the air. It’s a great day for flying. It’s cool right now with a high of 50?F and just a little bit of cloud cover, perfect for a mission. I’m being called so I’d better go. I think I’ll take my journal in the plane with me for some writing time in the air.
August 8th, 2008 (I think)
I have no idea where I am and I’m panicking. I have been banging on the door of my cell all day or at least I think it’s my cell. It was a white cube of solid cement and white washed walls. It had a little sink and a toilet in the corner with no plumbing. The sink doesn’t even work! I’m a mess and I don’t even know how I got here. All I remember is that I suddenly saw mountains and we hadn’t even been near the mountains yet. Then I heard colossal boom and the whole plane shuddered as the plane’s tail took the brunt of the force. All I could think was eject eject and then… that’s where everything goes blank. And now poof, I have no idea where I am. Shoot someone’s coming got to go.
August 9th, 2008
All these dates are now very approximant because my watch was taken from me when I went down. Just a few minutes ago a man come to get me and took me into a central cave, like a crossroads, where all the various passages met. He and I had a very interesting conversation and I’m going to write it down word for word so that if I ever get out I can incriminate him. He wasn’t talking at first so I started the conversation.
“My name is Jackson, what’s yours?”
“Iquban,” he replied
His skin was so white that it could have been painted and he had an expressionless face that had eyes the coldest grey sunken into it. I got the feeling had known much pain and suffering.
“Where am I?”
“In a cave in a mountain that is all you need to know.”
Not a lot that I couldn’t have figured out myself but it was good to get it confirmed.
“What happened to me?”
“ I think you already know.”
Wow that was scary. He didn’t even say anything threatening and I’m still scared. Had he been watching me in my cell? I had to keep talking.
“Am I the first one who has been here?”
“No there have many before you.”
“What’s going to happen to me?”
“You will die.”
It wasn’t a threat it was a statement.
August 12th, 2008
These guys who ever they are, though I expect their terrorists, don’t know about this journal. I’ll have to ration my paper so I’ll try to keep it short. But, when everyone else is asleep I hear crying. I think it is Iquban. He isn’t like the others, I cant put my finger on it but he’s just different.
August 22nd, 2008
I don’t know what happened yesterday but I found a new pen on my bed right where I hide my journal.
September 25th, 2008
A few weeks ago, (I haven’t written because I am running out of paper), Iquban and I were talking something that we had been doing a lot of lately. He brought up a most interesting topic. He asked me if I had any family. So remembering my beautiful wife and baby I said yes but was immediately frustrated with myself. Maybe these guys were trying to get a leg up on me by trying to find my family. But he didn’t look triumphant if anything he looked sadder than usual. But instead of expressing his feelings of sadness he said the weirdest thing. He said that he wanted to leave. I hope that documenting this conversation will help the military.
“I want to leave here,” he said.
“What?” I said, “You mean you’ve never left this cave?”
“Yes that is what I said.”
“ Come on you’ve got to be kidding!”
“No I’ve never been out.”
“Wow and I think I have it bad.”
“Yes well I was born in this cave, raised in this cave, and tortured in this cave.”
“Why were you tortured?”
“I didn’t want to become a part of an origination that took other people away from their families. And I said it. They didn’t like it at all. So being the people that they are they killed my brother and mother. Now they say that I have no family so I shouldn’t worry about it anymore and just do as I am told, and that is what I do.”
“Why did they want you?”
“I have the uncanny ability to read people you know? I can tell what they are like by just looking at them.”
September 27th, 2008
I was thinking about the discussion that Iquban and I were having the other day. I believe that this guy actually has a heart and if I can get him on my side I have a chance to escape!
September 30, 2008
I think I will conserve my paper from now on but I mad a major breakthrough with Iquban today this is that conversation.
“So Iquban,” I asked casually.
“What?” he said
“What do you think of me?”
“I think you are a good man and loyal to your country. I also think that you have an undying love for your family which is what I admire about you most.”
I left it at that. I think I might make my move in a few weeks.
October 27, 2008
It was late tonight that I made my move.
“Dude we should break out of here. I know it sounds far out but you know this cave better than anyone. We could do it with just a little planning you could find your dad or did they kill him as well?”
“Nope as far as I heard he got away.”
“Okay it’s settled, were breaking out!”
And from that day onward we have been planning our escape. So here’s the plan. Were going to ambush the guards and take their weapons. Then were going to sprint down the passage from my cell to the main crossroads. Next, were going to go down the passage second to the left (Iquban tells me that there is a freight elevator that brings our food up), were going to get in and shoot anyone who gets in our way. It’s ingenious!!!
October 23rd, 2008
We tried to break out yesterday and lets put it lightly, it was a DISASTER! Well, all went well until we tried to get to the corridor where the freight elevator is. Then we encountered a locked door! And is wasn’t just a locked door it was a three foot thick, bullet proof, titanium door. We decided to not risk it and go back and try again tomorrow.
December 15th, 2008
I was looking through my things that I brought home from my tour when I found this journal. I think that I should document my escape and then never look at this thing again. It just brings back so many bad memories. Well as I said in my last entry over 2 months ago I was planning to break out on October 1, 2008. As I outlined in earlier entries we had a plan but as I look back on it, it sounds desperate and not well thought out. So as I was saying we made it through the first stage of operations fine, we ended up over powering three guards with AK-47 sub-auto machine guns and handguns. We took those and a grenade that one of them had. So as we were making our way down the corridor havoc broke loose. I heard three cracks and felt the rock wall beside me shatter spraying splinters dangerously close to my eyes. I yelled and returned fire. As I did I heard a yell and a splatter of red filled my vision. Then I heard a body fall to the ground and realized with a jolt that it was Iquban. A surge of anger surged through me and as if slow motion is saw my bullet hit Iquban’s killer fall to the ground dead. Then time sped up and I yelled manically as I slaughtered the remaining 3 guards with murder in my heart. Soon there was a pile of bodies were I stood. I ran to Iquban but by the time I got there I could see that his life was fading fast all he said to me was.
“Find my father”
And he died. I was able to walk out of there with a graze on my shoulder and a scratch on my leg but a big scar in my heart. Now, I am with my family safe and happy. But Iquban’s last words still haunt me. I have never been able to locate his father.