Ugh!” The soldier groaned as he leaned against the brick wall of the public middle school. He was outfitted in full camouflage; along with a bulletproof vest, combat boots, and a helmet. “This is so boring. Why am I even here today?” he complained, allowing his heavy rifle to rest on the ground.

Another soldier down the line whirled around, glaring hard at his younger comrade. “Do you have any idea what happened five years ago?” he asked harshly. The younger soldier looked up, raising a brow.

“I was like, fourteen,” he said with a shrug. “So… no.”

“A man walked into a Connecticut elementary school and shot the place up. Twenty children dead, I think. All five to ten years old,” he shook his head.

The younger soldier stiffened, frowning. “What…?” he breathed.

The other soldier sighed. “It signaled a bunch of other school shootings, too. So just shut your mouth and show some respect, alright?”

The younger soldier nodded and straightened up, lifting his rifle and clutching it a little tighter.

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