11 February 2011

Iraq Rolled

Peter looked real hard at the sand in the palm of his hand. It was funny looking – not like the sand back home on the shores of Lake Michigan – this Saudi sand looked like like tiny balls of light-colored mud. Pete imagined being real small and kicking the little mud-balls around. “Hrrmph,” he thought to himself, aloud. A lot of his thoughts these days were coming out as single-syllable grunts.

Dumping the sand from his palm, Pete held his rifle with both hands again and lifted up his head to peer out over the berm. Nothing. That song kept going through his head...

Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you”

Uggh. Rick Astley,” he thought to himself. He rolled back down the berm a little , popped his canteen and took a drink. He thought about the first time he had heard that song – it was his last year in the dorms at college, most likely, and there was that guy down the hall who wouldn't stop playing it...over and over and over. It seemed like that tape was the only one he owned. If he made it back to the States alive, Pete thought, he would buy a copy of that album.

He crawled back to the top of the berm and strained his eyes to see what, if anything, was going on around that little shack near the intersection of two roads – maybe it had been a gas station or something at one time. Now there were just some Iraqis holed up there and laying down suppressing fire for their pals scurrying across the road to a drainage culvert. “Hrrmmph,” Pete thought out loud again. He shouldered his rifle.

A bang and a “shush” of an old-school M72 LAW from somewhere down the line made Pete turn his head. When he looked back, the Iraqis were not firing, only smoking. The squad to his left was getting up from behind the berm and advancing. Pete the Marine smiled and sang quietly to himself,

Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you...”

It looked like it might be a long day. Thank God for that.

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