Monday, December 13, 2004

The Brave

My prayer I say 100 times a day:

Dear Lord, I beg you to bring my friends home safely.
Please don't send them back into peril. Please God, keep them home, send them home, make them whole. Let their wives see a face untroubled by grief, death, despair and anguish. Let their children learn their names in truth and not in abstract. Let their families hug their strong bodies and kiss their gaunt cheeks. Let their friends hold them tight and never let them go.

I bring this up only because I got a phone call from a friend today. Tom-one of my high school pack -and the only one not serving overseas. Everytime he rings I can never bring myself to pick up on the first call. I always hit ignore on my phone. And I sit, terrified beyond all possible belief that someone isn't coming home.

You have to understand, first of all, that the five of us were like the three-plus stooges on crack. Matt-- the beautiful one who insisted on pushing everyone for an extra mile on the run and by my side at every turn. Randall--the sweet one who was always a pushover if a pretty girl showed him affection but the first one to stand up for anyone he cared about. Tom-- the smart one who reined in all of us when we got too rowdy-- preaching strength, determination and always full of faith in everyone around him. Josh-- a year younger than the rest of us but the one that always had a plan. A plan for the weekend, a plan for the summer, a plan for buying a jacuzzi... And me, the one strange girl in the group, loving the friendship of these boys and playing mom, sister and confidante for all manner of raging male eccentricities.

Today there came news of Josh. Josh was in Baghdad. He was sent to an undisclosed location after an "accident" and is now, or so we hear, on his way to the States for more treatment. We know only that it's been 3 months since he was injured and very few people can give us information. Very few people knew he was injured until a few days ago. Me included. We know he was in the way of a large explosion. We know he's lost a lot of hearing, permanent or not, we don't know. We know, however crude this may sound, that his head is not whole. He received a purple heart. He 'was severely injured but recovering.' A lot of his fellow soldiers were killed.

My stomach clenches in knots everytime I think about him. Any of them. But dammit. I chose these boys. I'm selfish and I can't for one second think of being any other way. I've watched these boys grow up. I saw them when they thought jumping into a lake in the middle of January was a good idea. I helped shave heads, chests, backs and legs for various swim meets. I slept crammed in tents with them when we still thought sleeping on the ground was a good idea. They didn't bat an eye when I bawled unattractively over the first boy to screw me over. They got even.

I can't think what's happened to him. I know they're all scared. They'll never admit it. But they are. I hope and pray that Josh isn't alone. That he's got a friend with him. I pray that he's safe. That he doesn't hurt. That he'll be alright.

And finally, my irrational rant at our (in my opinion) unfortunately chosen leader:
I will see you in hell you beady eyed fuck-up. I challenge you to spend 1day doing what your soldiers do-- day in and day out. Come back to your barracks after being out in the field only to find a mortar shell that landed three feet beside your bed. Pick up the arms, legs, and recognizable pieces of your friends so there is something to put in baggies and ship home. Carry around packs that outweigh you. Exist on 6 MRE's a week. Be so covered in dust you're not sure you remember what it feels like to be clean. Be away from your newborn son, whom you've never seen. Send emails to your wife, your mother, your father, your friends. Tell them about the the death you've become so immune to you pray, not for forgiveness, but to be able to feel. Anything. Tell your friends what it was like when you killed your first living soul. And your second. And your third. You tell your friends because you're afraid that your wife would never look at you the same and your mother would die of fear. Do THAT for one day. And I MIGHT listen to your ignorantly conceived speeches and watch your arrogantly smug smiles. Fuck abortion. Fuck taxes. Fuck social security. Fuck the environment. You bring my friends home you fucking bastard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for your loss, and while your views of George Bush are more than justified...its far worse than you think, far worse than many people think. I suggest you have a look at 'Crossing the Rubicon' by Michael Ruppert. Again, i am sorry to hear of your friends accident, but it wont end in Iraq.