The warm gritty air holds a sent that takes months to get out of the clothes. Sand from recent storms still falls from pockets, from weapons, and the trucks. The mission is simple. Find weak areas, note them, and return to base. Two teams moving parallel down the railroad tracks. Routine if we’d ever heard of it. All the snatch and grabs major patrols, IED’s, nothing ever prepared us for the fate of the tracks by the pond. Cloudy day. A bit odd for Iraq, but changes little. My knee stops me from driving for another few days so I’m dismount. Going over the tracks a wave of concern passes through me. The wires, I hear in my head. “Look out for wires” I tell my driver. He replies but it’s not important. It won’t matter. We take the low road, the other group stays high. 20 minuets go by and that’s when it happens. The crack, then the bomb, then the smoke and fire. I can see the door of the Humvee in the smoke. We race to get back but we’re too late. The truck is destroyed. Why I ask to myself. The anger boils up inside but I keep everything in check and at bay. I grab my kit and run to the man I see. Several wounds on his legs, a small would on his neck, but it was when compressions started I realized where the injury would be. Internal. Bones where broken and turned to powder. I was not a doctor so I continued to try. I pushed and pushed. Eventually I would be pulled away by force. One gone, but three remain. One more found, but KIA. Two found and being treated. One left to find. Blasted into the water, so that’s where I went. I took my body armor off and sunk down into the water. Me and a partner grabbed him and pulled him back. He’s gone, suffered no pain. His mangled body would bring nightmares to my sleep for years to come. 4 men died for what? A war against who? When we look at the politics it doesn’t matter. What matters is the man and women beside you. Make the choices to be a brotherhood. John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” We never forget the day when it comes around. We never forget the pain, the smell, the sights, the sounds, the feel of the blood on your hands. The feeling as if it never comes off. War is inevitable. War happens and what’s important is how we conduct ourselves in war. What are our reasons We loose loved ones in war but we know that they didn’t die in vein. They who knew the Lord now fight the fight in heaven. Anger and sorrow, nightmares and fears are what’s left behind for the rest of us. To bare the cross of guilt, of sadness, of anger, of loyalty, of vengeance, we must remember that only through Christ can we be free of our burdens. Ecclesiastes 3:7 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;”
Never give up, never surrender.
Good by Sabers. You are lost, but never forgotten.