What do I remember the most about combat? The silence when the fighting was over. To me, it was unsettling. This supernatural, mystical, quiet that shrouded the area. In many ways it seemed like a test to see if we realized what we had done. I can’t speak for everyone, but to me it was this queer feeling that some unearthly homage was being paid for our victory. When the killing was done, the stains of bloodshed seeped into my soul.
Psalms 51:7 reads, “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean, wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.”
I am in the library this morning, and the silence here reminds me of Iraq. Who am I kidding? The past two months have reminded me of my time in the sandbox. There are days when I wonder if I will ever be clean of what we did in that godforsaken country. Will I ever be able to close my eyes and not see the broken bodies? I don’t know, but I am thankful that only one of them can speak in my dreams. All he ever asks is “Why?” I don’t know why, nor do I have any interest in finding out why. I just want peace. If I must become a hermit to get peace, then I will slip away into the shadows and become a memory.
My friends that died there deserved better. I am sure that those on the other side that died for their beliefs deserved better to. There are no winners.
In the end, life is a game. There are no benchwarmers. We came, we saw, we damaged ourselves.
God help us.