Wednesday, October 3

Blogposts from the Edge 3

My Dearest One,

I have only a few moments to scrawl this message before my squad moves out into the field. Today we are leading an assault on yet another unimportant hill. Sometimes I think the boys up in HQ forget we are real people under all this armor. Day after day- and every single night- we huddle in our bunkers, ducking sniper fire, and wishing we were home. The worst part is listening to incoming artillery and waiting for the one with our name on it. Then it's up and out of the bunker and into the jaws of enemy fire from where most of us will not return. That's how I got this new stripe on my sleeve. Sarge took one for the team last night and I got a field promotion. I hope the extra cash will buy you something pretty. I hope the extra stripe doesn't buy me the farm.

It's not all bad, of course. Basic training was cake after all those years on Papa's farm. Learning to run with the armor was the toughest bit: you have to develop a kind of gliding gait and let the suit's internal actuators handle the load. Firearms and grenade training were fun- after the endless hours of safety instruction. The weapons are pretty neat and all pack a hell of a punch, which is good and bad since the enemy has the same tech.

Let me tell you about the enemy, the Reds. Those dirty bastards are master snipers at distance, but will happily stick you with a brute grenade to save a rifle round if they can get close enough. They are a scourge on the face of the earth and- though the conditions are horrible, the food little better than excrement and the weather as likely to kill you as one of their bullets- they must be stopped.

But enough of that. Let me tell you about the boys in my squad. (That's them in the picture with me on the far left.) They all swap stories about the "sweethearts" back home: bawdy tales of fast cars and faster women, with each trooper trying to outdo the last in terms of debauchery and sin. The Chief, stoic that he is, never participates in these bull sessions, so when it come my turn to share I follow his example and I keep my lips sealed.

The one time they pressed me on it I broke all their hearts. I told them about your apple pie and baked ziti. I told them about your angelic voice and how your solos in the church choir leave nary a dry eye among the pews. I mentioned the time we drove up into the mountains to return that red-tailed hawk to the wild. I mentioned the aluminum can drives and food drives and winter coat drives. I told them of every kind thing I ever saw you do and how our devotion is pure and beautiful and unspoiled by the distance between us, the war I'm fighting.

I told them why I fight: for the love of a good woman, for her safety, for our child that she still carries and his future. Like I said, I broke their hearts. Like mine is breaking here without you. That war is hell, everyone knows. What most people fail to realize is the hell within, the worry and unabated anticipation of return home. Whether in a body bag or as a decorated hero we'll never know- not until the constant pop and snap of high caliber rifle rounds stops echoing and the bombs stop falling, waking us from dreams of the farm and apple pie.

I must go now, my lover. May you have peace in my absence and remember our song...

There's a far and distant river
Where the roses are in bloom
A sweetheart who is waiting there for me
And it's there I pray you take me
I've been faithful, don't forsake me
I'll be with her when the roses bloom again

Your Loving Husband and Faithful Soldier,
David

3 comments:

Dave said...

P.S. In the picture, from left to right, it's me, then Corporal Winsome, Little Mike (Big Mike bought it two weeks ago), the Sarge (just hours before he bought it) and, on the end, Cookie. In the background is Lake Remorse.

Rachel said...

Put the Halo 3 down and leave the house... It'll be okay baby, I'll get you professional help (albeit in Korean) when I get home.

I love you my big heroic stud!

Anonymous said...

Dave

Just saw your lovely bride ...
and she looks FABULOUS!!!!
Glad to hear everythings going so well!!

Andrea's not wearing panties...
and she says "hi"

Nope. Nothings changed

geo