it's hard to move on

February 8, 2011
By Martine Strandberg BRONZE, Mosca, Colorado
Martine Strandberg BRONZE, Mosca, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

As soon as I got off the airplane, I could feel the smell I’d once known so well. The smell of trees, pavement, someone’s perfume, and the fresh air, all mixed together. As I walked down the arrival hall to get my baggage, I looked and absorbed everything around me. Family’s holding hands, worried were their luggage is, as they just came home from a holiday in Spain. A boy and a girl holding hands, none of them can take their eyes of the other one. They don’t notice anything or anyone around them. Blond, skinny girls with a lot of makeup and hairspray, standing in front of a glass door trying to due their hair and make sure it looks alright after the flight. A man in a nice suit, probably a business man, is trying to stretch out the wrinkles his shirt got while he was sitting at the air plane for so long. All of their worries now seems so unimportant an little to me. They were once my worries too, but not anymore. Everything had changed, and it would never be the same again.
“Go home, forget what you’ve seen and move on. Settle down, get a wife and kids. Don’t make this experience change or affect your life.” These were the word’s we got from our officer right before we got on the plane on our way home. I tried, I really did. I tried to go home to my parents and tell them that I was glad to see them again. I tried to go out with my friends, and check out girls. I tried to act normal. Go to the store and buy groceries, watch football on TV and dress nice in the weekends. But it did not work. It was never the same as it was before I went to Afghanistan as a soldier. It might look like everything was alright from the outside, for people who did not know me very well. But in reality, I was not really paying attention to anything around me. It was like my body was set on autopilot, and did all the chores during the week by itself, while my head was still in Afghanistan. It was still stuck in all the blood, pain and misery. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw kids crying. Dead bodies. blood. I saw the frightened faces to all Afghan women. I saw the fear in the eyes to all Afghan men. My brain was playing flashbacks from all the bad things I’d seen and my heart were still hurting because there was nothing I could do to help. In my ears, the echo of frightened voices, screaming, and children’s crying would never stop. I had physically left the Afghanistan, but my brain and my heart, my soul, was still there. It was still with them, and I would never get it back.
How could they expect that I could just move on? How could they expect that after all misery and unhappiness I had seen, I could just go back to my normal life home in Norway, and forget every thing about it? They had showed me the truth. The reality. How could they now expect that I would forget it all, just ignore it? The war was over for me physically, I was home, and I was safe. But that did not mean that the war was over in Afghanistan. Even though I now was safe and had everything I needed, they were still fighting and suffering. They were still in danger, and they were still miserable. And, now that I had uncovered the truth, and seen how they live with my own eyes, my heart would also suffer. First when their war was over, I could get peace.

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