A real Man's heart

March 29, 2012
Just like a crow chasing the butterfly
dandelions lost in the summer sky
When you and I were getting high as outer space,
I never thought you'd slip away
I guess I was just a little too late
~Shinedown


It’s been 6 months, 13 days, 4 hours, and 23 minutes, since I’ve heard.


All I can do is quietly sit on my bunker, listening to the man above me tossing and turning with a night terror. I used to have those, but now even my worst nightmares are true.

I twiddle my thumb, listening around me to the other men, who sleep, and those who pretend, terrified of the darkness that hides behind their lids. The terror, which fills the room, not from shaggy monsters hiding below us, but for the fear of being blown to bits at this very moment will always haunt us.

I clutch my stiff military issued blanket, Biting my lip holding in the sobs of absolute horror. Why did I do this, I could’ve been there, to save her. Ilet the salty tears finally stream down my cheeks, making paths through the stumble on my jaw.

I keep remembering the sad day I made that call, the exact words running through my head,


“Bethany, I think I’m going to stay for the mission,” I say, my clammy hands wrapped tightly around the black phone.
She paused, “Oh…I guess I’m okay with that,” she then started crying, “I know what the Navy means to you. Just make sure, you hurry! I know you protect us, and I understand why, just don’t leave us…please.”
Beth took me off guard, I thought I’d have to explain, but she already knew.
“I promise, babe, and I love you.”
“I love you too,” she whispered.

I wish I would’ve gotten on that plane, to save her. It was just a simple letter, it came to me while I was on the flight deck, and the mail plane arrived. I was so exited, but when I read it, I flung myself of the deck, plunging into the cold ocean water. It took them two hours to find me, and I nearly died. They reminded me of my mission.

I flipped on my thin mattress and screamed into the pillow, letting my sobs fill the room, I woke up everyone, but no one came, all knowing I could snap in a matter of seconds. They didn’t understand the pain, the agony that filled me. I wished my heart stopped beating.

I punch the metal bar holding my bed up, my fist went bloody. No one would ever understand. I felt a think pinch in my back of a need.


They could pack me with morphine; induce the nightmares in the flowering dreams of ponies. Her favorite things. I remember the bear the small girl in Ethiopia gave me, the one I sent to her. Her scribbled writing coming back telling me how much she loved me.

I was finally unconscious, and that’s when it happened. Her stocky figure, so small and delicate, walking forward to me in her Sunday best. I knew how it happened, and the blood appeared down the side of her dress, making it hurt me so horrible, I cried and her small chubby hand grabbed mine, I pulled her and hugged her close to my body, I stroked her long hair, the color of mine. Her sippie cup cold against my neck.


“I love you Daddy,”





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