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The Brave Soilder

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A fearless soldier died in Iraq on March 25, 2007. I know this because he not only was my fellow soldier, but my best friend. Before he passed away I told him to hang on just a little bit longer. It was just a month before we could go home. I never knew that my bud wouldn’t ride next to me on the plane, but in a coffin. He saved my life countless times. Before I get too ahead of myself, let’s go back so you know the whole story.






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Jimmy was a great guy with a promising future. He had good grades and never failed to make someone laugh. Jimmy and I go way back to middle school. We were both tryin’ to ask out the same pretty girl. When she turned both o’ us down, we realized what fools we were and have been best buds ever since. We’ve been through everything together, well almost everything. In our senior year of high school, we both decided that we were gonna be soldiers. There was no train of thought; it just popped into our heads. We didn’t even think about dyin’ until we got on the battlefield. We goofed off so much that folks called us the two stooges.


When we got to boot camp, everything changed. Instead of people laughin’ at our jokes, they yelled at us. I wanted to quit, but Jimmy said that things would be better once we got out of boot camp and on the battlefield. Boy, he couldn’t have been more wrong!


I hated war the second I got on the field. The air smelled strongly of smoke. The sound of gun shots and men screaming tortured our ears. Those television shows that make war look fun and adventurous on the screen don’t show the horror and the fear that we had faced on that field. We saw brave young men die for something greater than they were, something that we thought would be fun. It was then that we realized that this was not a game or a movie set, this was real life. After the first week, Jimmy told me that we should have stuck to our dream of being NFL football players instead of soldiers. This made me laugh for the first time since I got to Iraq.


Like I was sayin’ before, Jimmy saved my life countless times. The day he died was the last time Jimmy would save my life. When he saw a gun pointed my way, he immediately tackled me. Instead of that bullet hittin’ me, it hit him.


The war in Iraq has changed my life forever. The fear of the war still haunts me today. In my sleep I hear the cries of guns, see the blood, and smell the smoke. Some mornings I wake up thinkin’ that old Jim is alive… and then the memories of me trying to wake him up, telling him that he had to come home and that he was gonna be on that one way plane back to the United States. There ain’t one day that goes by that I don’t sit and wonder what it would be like if that bullet had hit me. I tell Jimmy’s story to this day to honor the memory of Jimmy and all of those young Americans who died for their country.





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