Home Coming

Home Coming

I remember the shock on my mother’s face when I told her I had enlisted in the army. I didn’t give her prior notice because I knew she’d never be in support. My father died on duty and I remember the devastation on her face when she saw men in military uniform at our front door, it never meant anything good. They said he sacrificed himself for his comrades, he was my hero. My mother begged asking if I wanted to kill her. But she’ll never understand the sense of fulfillment I crave to have by doing this.

I went through boot camp and advanced training and in no time, I was being deployed for missions. When faced with the harsh reality of how fickle life could be, we soliders have no option but to switch our brains to survival mode. The friends we laughed with yesterday could die tomorrow, there’s no time to grieve for we’re always on the move. We have little or no sleep for weeks and its hard not to be angry seeing your comrades die coupled with lack of sleep and the stress of the operation. We were ticking time bombs waiting explode. Our easy sense of humor evaporated under the harsh reality of the phrase solider go solider come. Every emotion not directly involved with survival was shut down completely, because any show of emotion could be exploited by the enemy. We always have to adapt to the harsh weather conditions of the land of operation.

When we get back to base, the abuse of alcohol begins. A desperate need to get to sleep and stay asleep. Yes, the alcohol makes us sleep but when we wake up, we wake up much more tightly strung than when we went to sleep. We socially isolate because we suffer from loss of control over anger, it would seem as though we’ve lost our conscience because we are not afraid who we hurt. As result, we isolate ourselves from people. It’s not unusual seeing us camping out in the forest or living in the basement of our own houses. It’s not to protect ourselves but to protect the people around us from us. Whenever we come back from missions we are shuffled from hospitals to therapy and therapy to hospital. We go to the hospital for injuries ranging from a slight headache to the loss of a limb. We go for therapy in cases of depression, grief, anger issues, alcohol abuse, insomnia, suicidal tendencies even PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder]

Unlike my father I did not die, I’m going back home to my mama. I’m just not the same man that left.



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What do you think?

  1. Almost every mother cries at the announcement of her child to join the army.
    Some people will really pay the price for others. I love his determination

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