A Tribute to the Soilders of Iraq

A Tribute to the Soilders of Iraq

A Story by Tayler

For the men who fight eveyday for our freedom, for the men who are brave when we are weak. Soliders, this is for every single one of you.













The sun beat down mercilessly upon a barren, sandy waste land.

For miles around, nothing could be seen, except the rise of a sand dune,

The occasional tree, so dried up and thirsty, the bark has turned white.

Heat waves rise from the ground, distorting the base of everything.

Occasionally a small breeze will whisk across the landscape,

Gathering dust particles and spreading them around.

A figure dots the landscape, close to the tree.


A solider, clad in a thick uniform, crouches in the meager shade of the spindly tree.

Several pounds of equipment, weight him down.

His high powered gun is poised at the ready.

Sweat wets the coarse fabric; traveling over his shoulders and down his back.


He draws a long breathe from the dry air around him.

It rattles his lungs and chaps his lips.

He reaches into the folds of the uniform

And pulls out a canteen.

Water drips over his chin and falls to the ashen ground below.

It splashes in a small drop, and is almost instantly soaked up by the sun.


Returning the canteen he gazes out at the land before him.

His mind, frayed thin by long sleepless nights, thinks back to his home.

The large ranch in Northern Kentucky,

his horse grazing lazily in the pasture out in the back.

His little son playing on the swing in the back,

Thinking himself a true daredevil as he leans back and spreads his legs.

His wife, waddling around from being in the final weeks of pregnancy, cooks lunch in the kitchen.


Lost in his imaginings, he inhales trying to think of what she'd be cooking.

But instead he inhales the harsh desert air.

Not wanting to return to the harsh truth of reality, he thinks of the unborn child.

He tries to imagine what the doctor would say.

'It's a girl!' he thinks, allowing a small smile upon his lips. 'Daddy’s little girl'.

He tried to think of holding her,

a small bundle, no larger than a loaf of bread, wrapped in a soft pink blanket.


A sound jerks him back to the desert.

He raises his gun and points it in front of him.

He scans the horizon, looking for signs of movement.

But there’s no one there.

Something moves close to where is foot is.

He jumps and swivels around so the gun is pointed at the ground.

A lizard, the length of his forearm is staring at him, his feet placed clumsily on pebbles.


The solider laughs softly and shoo's it away by waving his arm.

The lizard scatters a few feet away and then stops gazing back at the solider,

it's eyes reproachful.


He relaxes a bit, resting the gun on his knee.

Slowly, after one last scan of the horizon, he slips back into his thoughts.

'Why me', he asks himself, 'Why am I the one who's in this hell?'

It was a question he's asked often.

Why not someone else, someone he didn't have a lot going for them?

Why'd they choose him, who already had a son, and another along the way.

He had a good career, a beautiful wife, whom he loved dearly.

Hers was the face he saw in his restless dreams.

And sometimes, on nights he couldn't sleep in his narrow cot, he'd think of his son

Sitting on the porch at dusk, cradling the toddler in his lap as he tells him a story.


But the life he once knew, and lived every day,

Is like a distance memory.

As the solider looks back, he wished he'd not taken everything for granted.

He wishes he could kiss his wife one more time,

He wished he could toss his son in the air once more,

He wished he could be there when his child is born.

How he wishes.


He wishes he weren't here.

He wishes that he knew the reason why he was on the front line,

Why he's on the front line,

While other people sit behind and watch him sweat.

He wonders why he's fighting out here,

Why he's suffering for ungrateful people back home.


But as he wonders all these things,

A thought crosses his mid.

Suddenly, he's done questioning why he's here

Why he's sweating,

Why he's missing his family,

Why he's here in this god forsaken land,

Because he knows the answer.

And it's the sweetest thing he knows.

The thing that keeps him going,

The thing that keeps him fighting.

He fights for freedom,

He fights for what he believes in,

He fights for America.


© 2009 Tayler

Author's Note

It's not much, but this is for all the men who've died and who are now fighting for us. Thank you

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Added on August 31, 2009
Last Updated on September 21, 2009



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