I am Going Home

I stare at the picture that I know so well. It shows the family I left behind to serve my country. My wife is holding my son with the smile that stops my heart. I am in uniform but still managing to smile as I pose for the picture. The smile that used to accompany my wife’s face has faded with the passing of each day. I can only imagine how they must worry about me. I have survived so far, but haven’t lived.

What awaits me at home? I don’t know. Things must be different now. My son has been growing without a father and my wife without a husband. A smile finally shows on my face as I imagine her now. The embrace I have been long waiting for and the feeling that all her worries are gone. My eyes begin to water but I hold it in as I stuff the picture in my pocket and zip up my duffel bag.

My name is Sergeant Mike Baits of the 43th division serving in Iraq. My time has been well served in this war and I am going home.

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