To the Last Fight

In 1954, the French had lost their control over Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. By 1965 the US had begun to prepare to send troops to Vietnam; in an attempt to prevent the communist leader of North Vietnam from taking over the country.
Bruce J. Stevenson, aka “The One Shot”, was a champion prize fighter stacking over 15 KO’s and only 2 losses. His career began when he was 16 in 1967. After being recognized at an organized fight on his high school boxing team, he was offered a semi-pro title. On his 18th birthday, he won his championship fight against Florida’s Ryan Otet and was welcomed into professional boxing. Stevenson had attracted the likes of many for his talent in boxing. The military offered him to join in a form of a draft, effective in 1970.
1970, Bruce J. Stevenson married the love of his life, Rebecca O. Fields. The couple purchases a home in East Pennsylvania, Bruce still boxing, and Rebecca in a Law firm. Life was good. Later that year, Bruce was called to duty to server 4 years in Vietnam. He was positioned in the 6th Battalion Infantry Division fighting on the front lines. Halfway through his tour in 1972, Bruce was allowed to visit his wife back home for 2 weeks before being sent back to Vietnam to finish the rest of his 4 year tour.
The day of his return in late November of 1974, he discovered that his wife is due to have a baby. Ryan F. Stevenson was born January 11th, 1975, the day after Bruce and Rebecca divorced. Their divorce was caused because Bruce had become a different man. The war had changed him from the young and busy prize fighter to a cold and isolated man. Only the medals and trophies were left of his past, stained in the back of his thoughts. For 20 years, he lived in solitude. Never met his son or spoke to his ex wife, Rebecca. During that time, he never dated and continued to live in his garbage torn apartment.
Summer of 2000, Ryan enlisted in the US Marines, after completing his degree for Architecture. Just like the father he never met, he wanted to serve his country. Bruce was watching television during the event of 9/11. His son was now being prepared for war.
Before Ryan was shipped off, he made one stop to visit his father for the first time in his life. There was silence and uncertainty in the air as the father and son viewed each other from opposite ends of the dining table. Just as Ryan was leaving, Bruce said one thing, “I love you”, and the door was shut. His son was the only person he had been in contact with for over 20 years.
Ryan was sent to Iraq that day to fight “the war on terror”. Only 2 years in, he was doing a standard patrol in a small town in Iraq when a car bomb went off and killed him and 4 other men. Word of Ryan’s death reached both Bruce and Elizabeth. Bruce had lost the only connection he had with someone. He only has himself, more lonely than before.

The End.





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