Protect & Defend

By
All is calm without anxiousness and doubt. The sky is becoming dark as the grim storm approaches over the surreal atmosphere of the mossy hill and blossoming trees. The birds have quieted their song and the wind has stopped blowing as if in anticipation of that which we will soon know. We smell the air; it is untainted and we see nothing that is out of place in the beauty. Still, we are tense knowing that the awaited time will come when we will have to be courageous and each one will have to prove himself.


We hear it, the wind. It sounds like a tornado coming at us, daring us to come at it. The ground begins to shake, and the earth is rumbling with a precise rhythm that brakes through the perfect moment. Then it happens. We see the soldiers, tanks, and helicopters approaching. All fire. War has begun. The ground turns from smooth and green to red with craters made by missiles. Anticipation has been replaced by boldness only created through patriotism. We has become I, as each man falls leaving another alone to protect himself and hold his ground.


Charge is signaled as our jets bomb them as they have begun to do to us relentlessly and without compassion. Forward, the only way for us to go, the only way I know yet I realize that the danger increases with each step. I know it is safer here, but my beliefs will not let me leave my brothers unprotected. I take my ability to adjust as I travel forward. My weapons are no longer items I control but parts of my body that I know and am familiar with.


I am marching toward the enemy acutely aware of the surreal ness once again but it has changed to one of disbelief of the death and mutilation I see. A trench. It is a safer place I dive into it and find a soldier, a friend. He is wounded and drenched with sweat. He is shaking from his pain and I can see his eyes twitch with fear for he has lost part of him, his gun. I realize that courage alone doesn’t make a soldier but is strengthened by that oneness with a weapon. Shots fired alert me that I must go on to protect others and leave him behind with part of me.


I’m hit only realizing it after I hit the ground because I feel no pain. As I right myself, I see my enemy cowering. He looks like a lost dog not knowing where to go. I know what I must do. I fire, yet he remains standing. My gun has jammed from the fall. Only when I go closer do I realize he is not a coward but out of ammo. He comes at me and I stab him. I see his determination as he continues to attack but it is hopeless for him. Now that he is gone, I honor his memory of courage and patriotism towards his own beliefs up to a point in which he sacrificed himself. I know that we are the same. We fight relentlessly for the beliefs we have been taught and know. No longer do I consider them idiots unable to realize they are wrong, I acknowledge them as honorable warriors.





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