...And when it runs, it is deep red

I knew he was one of my own. That 1,000 mile stare, the short hair, clean shaven face. Once you live the lifestyle, it is hard to live any other way.

The story he told me brought back memories, nightmares, from a life time that I was doing my best to forget. Had it been 5 years already? Sometimes I remembered it like it was yesterday.

I had 255 days of boots on the ground with another 25 to go, if I wasn’t extended, again.

The day had started like any other. I had taken my watch at o’dark thirty. It was a quite night and I was doing my best to stay awake, watching a little kid on the other side of the fence. He was a little too close, but he was only a kid. That’s when the kid exploded.

The ‘boom’ shook my world, the light filled the dark night sky.

I ran to the screams and saw my brothers on the ground, a tangle of blood and body parts. We lost two that night and I had 14 stitches from the shrapnel that I didn’t even know had hit me. A forever scar of my complacency, my forever nightmare.

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