Your eyes open.
The sun is beating down on you. Its fiery gaze sending sweat racing down your face. All around you, full of the inevitable death that awaits, is the lifeless land that taunts your soul with the consistent fear of never knowing what may happen.
With your brothers and sisters by your side, you look them in their eyes with that deep thought that lurks in the back of your mind—this could be the last time you ever see them again. Heavy gunfire coming from the hill.
Visions of your family flash before you. You’re at war, on the ground and in your head. You wrestle with your demons, holding on for dear life. Your mind wanders, feeling like it’s lost at sea. That cold metal sitting between your fingers vibrates through your entire being with every slight tug of the trigger. Taking life takes away a little bit of yours. But it must not show.
You are strong. You are courageous. The depths of war can never breakdown the foundation of a soldier.
The air is loud and time ticks in slow motion. You want to go home. Your mother misses you. Your daughter needs you.
But this is your job. This is where you must be. Looking down the sight, the enemy creeps closer.
The closer he gets, the brighter those pearly gates become and questions begin race.
Why am I doing this? It’s for country. When will it end? It won’t. Why does it have to be this way?
It’s the only way. That is what you are told.
The hot, sandy breeze of that desolate place brings with it the illusion of the dark abyss. Each powerful rumble from the barrel radiates through your ears, unraveling the never-ending ringing that goes steady during the peace. Looking to your left, you see him. The one you’ve befriended from the beginning has just fallen. You carry him to safety.
No man left behind.
Your eyes close.
Never forget what our soldiers go through.
They have fought to keep our campus, our community and our country safe. They fought so you could open up your computer and read this article, safe and sound.
It’s important that we celebrate Veterans Day, not just today, but every day. To those who have served and those currently serving in our military, thank you for your service.