I’m walking across the sand, not a cloud in the sky. The sweat pours down my brow as the sun glistens off my rifle. Its 120 degrees but it feels almost double. The weight on my shoulders is equal to a young child.

This beach I’m on is nothing like the beach you know. There is no water, no smiles, no fun. Just a cowardly enemy that wants to sneak up and take my soul as I am passing by. This enemy can’t be seen with the naked eye, he hides like a coward and comes out at night. He does not want to fight, but he wants to kill.

My head is on a swivel, I see kids in the distance. Half of my brain is thinking that kids are good and innocent, but the other half is on guard and shocked that a child could do such horrific things. This reality that I am in, its seems like a nightmare that you can’t wake up from.

I block out memories of child hood and youth, I cannot focus on love, family or life. I must focus on the mission, find and destroy this hidden enemy. I am not alone, the ones that fight alongside me all feel the same. We are like robots, programmed from day 1. We stop at nothing to finish the job, the sacrifices we make will haunt us to the grave.

The hidden enemy follows you like a ghost, it stays with you wherever you go. The images, sounds, thoughts, any little thing can trigger the emotion or the feeling of being there again. How do you destroy an enemy you can’t see? How do you fight a battle that nobody else sees?

The war is never over, it has just begun. The only one that can fight this battle, are the ones that live in it. We can join together, brothers in arms and protect each other just as if we were back over there. Let the enemy show his face and we will welcome him to the hell that we have lived.

© Tim Foster – 2015