Sunday, January 31, 2010

Memories

Memories flash through consciousness: A smoking slab of meat on a Baghdad street - the torso of a car bomber; 124 Iraqis, most of them schoolchildren, dead from three car bombs; three Americans being put into body bags on Senators after a roadside bomb ripped them to bloody shreds; an overlooked boot with foot inside and dog tags in the laces; gashes left in Humvee armor from two RPGs that hit and glanced off; a bullet hole in the back wall of a Humvee from a round that came in the open window as everyone inside returned fire during an ambush; White alive in the mess hall and dead on patrol; Christoph teaching Iraqis to read a map, and dead on patrol; Conboy alive on patrol and then dead from a stupid accident back on base; Ramseyer cleaning his M4 in Afghanistan and dead in Iraq; Allen alive through a year’s deployment, then dead of invisible wounds sustained in combat; too many hot zone landings, endless dusty roads, night raids, car stops, sullen faces, explosions, mortars, small arms fire, anxiety, no exit.

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