I’ve slacked off some in keeping the blog updated. There’s only so much we can talk about from here and to be quite honest, every day is the same as yesterday at this point. We have a countdown for us to go home but I’m trying to not pay attention to it yet. To me it’s still a little early for that. I have a few more missions to go on, I have tasks to complete, and I have a lot to keep me busy getting ready for our replacements. I see the light at the end of the tunnel but I’m not keeping up with how many days are left until that light gets to me.
For those of you that keep up with my Facebook page, the poem I’m going to share in this blog might be familiar. It’s called “More Than Our Life”. I wrote it a couple of months ago after being inspired by real life events, some close to home. But I didn’t tell the story of it on Facebook, just posted the poem. As I tell this short story I will not be telling you anything that hasn’t already been release by the military or the Pentagon.
Sometimes events or people or combinations of multiple events and people inspire me to write. Sometimes it comes out in the form of poetry. This was one of those times with “More Than Our Life.” On December 17, 2013, a helicopter went down in southern Afghanistan. It was reported that all six Service Members died. It was also reported that a mechanical failure may have caused the crash and it was unknown if our enemy had any involvement with that or the deaths. The report I saw later that evening mentioned the enemy. A person I met a few days later on one of our trips to another part of the country that was part of that unit told us that the enemy had brought down the helicopter. It was about three weeks after the crash that it was confirmed that the helicopter was brought down by enemy fire.
That same day I was on a helicopter going from point A to point B. But I made it safely to my destination. I remember one time one of our trips got delayed by a week. During the time we would have been at that base, they lost six Service Members in three separate incidents. One time we flew into a base just a few hours after a plane crashed short of the airfield, there were no survivors. I remember sitting in bunker hearing the explosions getting closer with each boom (“Couldn’t help but wonder, was today the day?”). But they stopped. These might sound like near misses or close calls, but they are really bonding agents for those of us that work and travel together over here. This is war, this stuff happens all the time. And the poem that follows is my answer to people when they ask, “What’s it like to be there?”
More Than Our Life
As the war goes on, we’re front and center
This Life and Death world, we chose to enter
Siblings of our Uncle, we call him Sam
Tho sometimes it feels he doesn’t give a damn.
We shared the same bunkers, Booms came down
Sirens blaring to us, all around
Showing no fear, but still afraid
Couldn’t help but wonder, was today the day?
The bonds we forge are not understood
By mortals back home, who only know Good.
For even if we die, we’ll still live on
In our fellow Soldier, we’ll carry on.
We trust each other with more than our life
With our thoughts, our secrets, and our strife
Forever we will be, for each other
Here in this life, and if there’s another.
And as the war draws down, we’ll try to go home
But never the same as when we started to roam
The memories of here, forever embedded
But for all the friendships, forever indebted.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I’ll try to do better updating the blog as we close out our time here. Take care, God bless.