PART I: Infantry-It aint for the birds

In Book by John TerroneLeave a Comment

It’s 2003 and I’ve just finished digging the 3rd hole for the night. My lips are chapped, my body aches, and I’ve got dried sand crusted over my scalp. As I look around, I notice that some of my squad has disappeared into the small vacant adobe housing located behind us. Marines are quiet for two reasons; either something is up or is about to go down. Walking into the mini mud-housing complex I can see chicken, hens, and donkey’s lingering. The doorways to each room are open and I glance into one to find a faded poster of a white bearded man, my Arabic Santa. The unknown man now sits quietly folded in a box deep in my own closet. I walk into the next room and see one of my squad members and he explains to me what they’re up to. I am about to get my first confirmed kill –almost.

Rodriguez points me over to the next room where I find a large hen with little chicks running about. My task is to kill the hen. At this point in my life I had only killed ants or witnessed the freezing of our bunnies and their litter during a cold winter, but I had never killed anything that clucks. I remember playing it off as if I’d done it before. I grabbed my wooden axe handle from my pack and with a knot in my stomach, my body acted in a manner that disagreed with my soul, and I swung…

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