I’m looking out into the open land, through a passenger window while driving on the sand. 

The air is warm, the visibility low with just a few miles to go. It’s been a long day and my body aches. 

The salt and sweat from my body make my clothes seem white. My shoulders are worn and red from my heavy vest.

I can’t remember the last full meal I had. Some canned meat and crackers are in my bag. 

This road is not a normal road. American blood is stained throughout. While traveling upon it you can’t help but anticipate something bad. 

My body is tense, fear sets in. Thoughts of family, home and love are replaced with brothers lost, vengeance and mission. 

No training can prepare you for what happens next. Video games, paintball or simulators will not teach you how to bleed. 

First you hear it and then you can feel it. Something so loud that it doesn’t seem real. It felt as if something inside me exploded. 

Sweat turned to blood, vision is blurred. I lay in the sand and stare at the sky. My body can’t move but everything around me is moving. Is this real? 

For a second I see my brothers that were lost. They help me up, staggering and dazed I use all my strength to search for and help the others. 

The body will heal and leave visible scars but the internal wounds will reopen and re-scar forever. That pain is worse than any weapon could ever cause. 

This ride is not a game, yes you can lose but you can never stop playing. It plays over and over in your head. Like a broken record it won’t stop. 

Everyone has something or someone that they can’t get out of their head. We all have been on some type of non-conventional ride. How we cope will determine our sanity. Together we will fight, together we will understand just how to live through the pain.