A Past Revisited

October 23, 2008
By Kaitlin Kelleher, Peabody, MA

My eyes burn with anger as the war rages on. I am poised to move at any given moment. Crouched low to the ground, I can breathe easier then when my head is enshrouded in smoke. Droplets of sweat run down my face leaving a trail of pale skin where there had previously been dirt. My thoughts are frantic as I seek my next course of action. It is vital that I do not give away my position, but I also must move quickly and precisely. I will move at nightfall.

Adrenaline pulses through my veins as shrapnel of the fertile soil I once took advantage of fly past my meagerly protected skull. The profound ringing in my ear is a constant reminder that I am no longer sitting behind the closed doors of an ignorant mind. I am watching. Waiting. Waiting for the opportune moment to catch the enemy off guard.

With fear playing at the edge of every thought, I never took the time to realize how much I actually desire to be embraced by those I hold so dear. The ones I love are why I stand beside men I do not know, in a land I am not familiar with. To defend the weak and protect the innocent, that is why my life is dancing with danger and laughing at the cost.

As dusk turns to nightfall, my crouch rises to a stand. Tall and proud is how I present myself to the enemy. With arms open and mouth clenched shut, my feet begin a slow shuffle forward. With only the stars to guide me, my actions are slowed. This night will change my life, along with others like me. I know there are others like me. Lonely, cold, hungry and afraid. We are all here for the same reason. To protect our country and set things the way they should be. With sudden resolve, it is clear my actions are to be followed through with. Under the guard of nightfall, we advance.

Behind me are men. Hoards of men, following my lead. I do not need to look back at them to know that there eye’s wander wearily. The do not stand as tall, nor do they walk as proud. They are afraid. And for good reason, too.

These are not men armed with knowledge and experience. These are not husbands with wives to go home to. They are not professors whom one may learn from. No. These are boys, ripe in age and armed, but not with knowledge. These are sons still eager to learn, but never given a chance to complete their quest for knowledge. They have great courage, but nothing to show from it. Many of them will not survive. Many of them know this maybe their fate.

I can hear their teeth chatter and their bones quake beneath the pounds of equipment each man carries. I beckon them forward to coax them to our fate.

I am their leader. I am the past of a great country to come. I am the voice behind the future speakers who will move mountains. I am the backbone behind every leader to take charge in our country. I am the reason of mankind. I am the sacrifice that needs to be made for civilization. I am the lesson to be learned by tomorrow’s children. I am progress. I am a soldier.

The author's comments:
I was given a writing assignment in my English class to write an essay about how veterans help to benefit us in today's world. It did not have to be formal so I chose to do a story. I hope you enjoyed it and really take the time to think. Think about what veterans have actually done for us. It's a lot.

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This article has 4 comments.

on Dec. 5 2008 at 1:37 pm

Cbernier22 said...
on Nov. 18 2008 at 2:47 pm
Kaitlin, What an amazing piece of writing! You have a tremendous talent and I really hope that you continue to pursue your writing talents further into your education. Keep it up and I can see you go far in Life!! Love ya'

on Nov. 16 2008 at 4:01 pm
WOW!! That was deep! I REALLY loved it! Keep writing!! I also liked how some words were used multiple times; it didn't seem repetitive, but more poetic. I liked that. Bravo!

JTinkham said...
on Nov. 16 2008 at 1:36 pm
Kaitlin, You insight and dept of feeling leaves me awed. I don't know what you goal in life would be, I would seriously consider writing, play writing, journalism or something along those lines as the talent exhibited here is above and beyond many people in those fields now.


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