The Retreat

February 15, 2011
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As we were driving down the desert road with a widespread stretch of sand, I could see just above the hill the sun rising as its rays cast down on the little sand grains creating a bright sparkle. It seems so beautiful, yet the people that are hunting us and we are hunting them, leaves this beautiful place unknown of its natural beauty. These men are known as the Al Qaeda. Why they dislike the United States is unknown to me. All that I know about these men is still undiscovered, but I was sent here to defend my country and I will not dishonor this chance to be a hero and make peace seem realistic once again. My name is Cody, I am the captain of my squad. I have just received two new soldiers from Iowa. I looked in the mirror above my head and I gazed at the two new soldiers and by the looks on their faces they were rather nervous. I told myself in my head that I would meet the new soldiers when we went back to camp, but now we are on our way to patrol the streets of the city known as Baghdad. My troop will just patrol the outskirts of the city. We are traveling down a narrow road and just a tiny speck of the city is coming in view. The waves of heat made the buildings hard to see, but over the years of training I have developed a sharp sense of eye sight.

“You ready?” I asked Sean.

“Always have been,” He replied with a slight chuckle.

I could make out the tiny houses now. We crept closer into the city. I look in the mirror once again to see how Aaron, the brains of our group, was holding himself. He was a dull and thin man while Sean was a built, muscular man. Not to brag, but I was slightly more built than Sean. We are just coming in to town and I looked at the small houses that were deserted with shattered windows and caved in roofs. Suddenly, a blast sends my ears ringing and my head spinning. The loud sound of rounds from a gun sent bullets spearing our Humvee. I couldn’t think because of the pain in my head. I had to get out and save my men. I unbuckled my seat belt with ease, and as fast as I could, I grabbed my M-16 and gazed at my men. Only to see that they were already squeezing themselves through the doors of our Humvee. I crawled out as skillfully as I could and dashed to the house opposite from where the whizzing sound of bullets that were coming by my head. Sean was already kicking down the side door on the east side of the house. I could not wait for them to open the dooProxy-Connection: keep-alive
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“Get inside!” I screamed at Sean.

“What do you think I’m doing?” He replied with a snarl.

I heard the door slam and fall to the ground and Sean, Aaron, and the two new soldiers piled inside. I knew that if I ran to get into the door I would get shot and die cold in my tracks. So as I was running, I saw the window that I would have to jump through to save my life. With as much force as I could, I jumped and as my shoulder collided with the glass it sent shards through the house. I landed on my shoulder and after about five seconds I felt the pain surge throughout my right shoulder. I slowly got up trying to not push up any weight with my shoulder. Sean was on one knee hovering over me.

“You’re insane!” Sean said.

I laughed at him.

“You and the two new soldiers send some fire on the freaks that are shooting us,” I told him.

“Alright,” he replied.

“Aaron you call a helicopter to come and get us.” I said.

Aaron nodded. Running over a roadside bomb with our right wheel and sending our Humvee in a death roll was the last thing I was worried about. I had some strong words to yell at those men shooting at us. As I was taught I should not say anything unless I had something positive to say. The only positive thing is that I am still alive. I must have jinxed myself because as soon as I thought about that a round of bullets came bolting through the wall that was protecting me. Three bullets came whizzing past my right ear making a hissing sound and the fourth caught me square in the right shoulder. To add to the pain in my right shoulder I got hit by a dang bullet. I never thought how I would die. I knew here I could not die. I had a wife and a daughter at home that were waiting for me. I suddenly realized that I had a chest protector on. I almost began to cry. Aaron saved me from crying by pulling me into another room where we were safely protected from the gun fire.

“Are you ok?” Aaron asked me.

“Beside getting hit in the shoulder with a bullet,” I told him, “I’m fine.”

I heard another round of bullets hurl through the wall from where I had been shot. I jumped to my feet and sprinted back into the room. I hurled myself from the doorway into the wall next to the window. I was hoping that they did not see me. I was wrong. The sound of bullets blasting through the wall made my ears ringing once again. I swear when I get out of here I will be deaf. I put my head and my M-16 just above the window that I had jumped through and began to fire rounds. I did not care if I shot them. I just wished they would just stop shooting at me. That they did. I heard footsteps coming down the stairs. Sean and one of the new soliders appeared. Bullets speared through the door and hit Sean and the new soldier. Sean fell and so did the new solider. I sprinted and slid on my knees to Sean.

“Aaron,” I screamed, “come help!

He hustled into the room. I Could see the terror flood his face. He turned white. I could tell he had never seen blood before.

“Help!” I screamed at him once again.

“Put pressure on his wound,” I said as I pointed at Sean.

He went over and knelt down at Sean’s side. He began to weep. I stared at him and realized that he was truly petrified. I looked at Sean and then back at Aaron one more time. I turned around and bolted to the soldier I had not yet met. He was laying on his abdomen with his face in the ground. I patted his back. No response. I flipped him over and his face was bleached and his eyes were shut. I checked for a pulse. I think he has a pulse. I checked again, but I realized that the beating of a heart was my own. The unknown soldier is dead. I suddenly could make out the piercing sound of the helicopter. It crept closer and closer and finally I heard a boom and realized the the helicopter was here. I picked up the fragile soldier. I looked around for the other unknown soldier. I looked up, and he had been staring straight at me.

“Where have you been?” I asked him.

“I’ve been next to you the whole time,” he told me.

I had not realized that he had been right next to me. I looked at him again.

“Ok,” I said, ”let’s get out of here.”

We sprinted out the back of the house. I heard more gun fire in the background. It no longer mattered to me if they were shooting us. They had beat us. I became unstable at the thought of them beating us. I jumped into the helicopter with the dead soldier slung over my shoulder.

About an hour later we arrived at camp and I was laying in my cot. Aaron came into my tent and handed me a letter and put his back towards me and began to walk away.

“How’s Sean?” I asked him.

“He’s fine.” he replied.

He walked out of my tent. I opened the letter and I read it. It had, in neat hand writing on the bottom of the page, the president’s signature. The letter was a statement saying that I could go home and see my family. Today, I had truly been gifted with the grace of God I thought to myself. I am going home.

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