Solider Part 1 This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

“Look at the man on your right, now look at the man on your left. These are your brothers, sisters, you look out for them and they will look out for you. And those comfortable lives you left behind to protect your country, forget them from here on out everything you know will change, a tie is still a tie, and a gun is still a gun, but everything else is different. We are on the front lines, we will not surrender we will not let them win this war, we will win, we will protect our people, our country. When you are face to face with the enemy, don’t think, don’t hesitate, just shoot. If you think, if you hesitate for minute they will shoot you first. I expect nothing but the best from you. When you are out there do your best, I know you will.” Lieutenant Davis words filled the air where a solider wasn’t standing. There were 300 men and women who would have stories to tell if they got back home, 300 men and women who had the courage to be here fighting for something real.

I am one of those 300, my name is Tyler Hughes and all I’ve ever known is the army. When my father was nineteen he left for the war, while dad was at war with other nineteen year old boys, mom went to college in Wisconsin. They wrote to each other every day, dad tried to comfort mom as much as he could promising that he was fine, that he would be home soon and that he missed us just as much as we missed him. Mom wrote him back saying that I was waiting for him, and how she was dealing with all the stress that came along with begin an army wife, but like dad she tried to bring comfort to him. But how much comfort could a letter bring to a young boy who’s in the desert fighting a war, who can hear the bombs explode in the middle of the night, who is scared out of his mind but won’t let anyone see that he is, who’s wife and child are millions of miles away back home living their safe lives. Yeah a single letter can bring all of that comfort.
And then one day instead of a letter coming through the mail slot in the door, a man by the name of Private Smith sat in my living room. Mom was getting him a nice cold glass of ice tea, so we were left beside ourselves, he stared at me and I stared back, not out of fear but curiosity because this man was not my father but he wore the same army uniform so he must know dad. Mom came out of the kitchen ice tea in one hand and a handful of tissues in the other. Something was wrong. By this time I was twelve years old and I wanted to be like every other boy, I wanted my father to be at my football games cheering me on, I wanted to play catch in the front yard on a hot summer day with him, I wanted to go hunting with him, I wanted to do all the things young boys should do with their fathers but the words that came from Private Smith’s mouth denied me all of those things I wanted.

Private Smith stayed on the chair his eyes no longer on mine but searching the floor. Private Smith went on to say that dad had saved his entire team, by putting them first and himself last. Dad had saved Private Smith’s life. There were a few moments of silence as mom and myself both let the tears and the sobs, come out. The Private got out of his chair went over to mom placed his hand on her back and said “I’m so sorry for your loss, he was one of the best men I have never had .” and with that he walked over to me. Again he placed his hand not on my back but my shoulder I looked up trying to hide the tears that all of the sudden came upon me. I sniffled a bit before he got down to my level. “I know this is hard for you, son. But be proud of your father he is an American hero. He saved lives of people he didn’t even know.” He paused and looked down eyes scanning like crazy again. “Even mine….I know that doesn’t make the pain go away but I just thought you should know that.”

He paused and his grip on my shoulder became harder, more intense, I sniffled, and sniffled some more before looking up into the Private’s honey colored eyes, his nose bigger than any nose I’ve ever seen before, his skin aged by the lines that drew across his face like uncompleted sketches. “You are the man of the house now… and look after your mother.”
He stood up and ruffled my hair. “I’m sorry for both of you; if he was that type of solider he must have been a dam good man.” He tipped his hat and showed himself out of the house. Mom looked at me and I looked at her.





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Babylufin said...
Jul. 27, 2010 at 6:28 pm

I really enjoyed this...it's a great story, great idea, great characters. :D I do think that you should slim down the sentences to less of a run-on. But I thought it was awesome!

Could you take a look at my work? I need some critique! Haha. Please & thanks!!!

 
SarahLove said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm
This was really really good. It was entertaining to read and definitly has potential to be a great piece or literature! Keeep going with it!! You have very well developed characters and so you should stick with them! Good Job! A few spelling errors, but no big deal! I loved it
 
MaKayla1513 replied...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Thanks, and I hope to be done with the 2nd part of it in the next week or so...so keep your eyes open for it!

Thanks again!

 

 
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