“A man among men”

Am I alive? Is this a dream? Pain.
Pain is a good sign as long as you don’t have a bullet in you or a limb missing. Pain lets you know you’re still alive and awake. You’re not able to physically feel pain when
you’re not awake Your mind would instantly be alarmed and wake you up. You’ll learn to take comfort in the things
you thought were alarming before. Like the distant sound of gunfire. Or pain. In the army you’re awarded for the pain you suffer. You’re given medals for it. You get all kinds of stripes on your shoulder. But at the end of the day what truly matters
is the flag you wear on your sleeve. I’ve lost a lot of friends in this war.
We all have. You can’t let it get to you. As soon as you even think of avenging your friend’s death, you lose your common sense. This is how men die. You have to accept the fact that, out here, you’re alone.
It’s just you. Noone else. There are no brothers on the battlefield. You have to keep your head clear and carry on. None of us really knew what we signed
up for at first. We saw ourselves as heroes going to the battle against the enemy and
coming out on the other side, victorious. All of us alive. Greeted back home by our
girlfriends, mothers and friends. We lived in a movie. We were going to be the heroes. And we were going to be remembered forever. I can never really pull myself away from the
war even on the rare occasion I manage to get an hour of sleep. I see the enemy running
towards me. I see my friends getting shot. And I see the ones back home get blown up. My family. My friends. That kid from across the street. They are the ones I’m here to protect. So that they wouldn’t have to see what I’ve seen. This is what it means to fight for your people. You suffer so that they wouldn’t have to. You lay down your life for them. I may not be the best or the strongest, but I’m giving my best every day — for you.
For your safety and your family’s safety. And you can rest assured I’ll die for your freedom if need be. The bravest among us leave their lives here for the rest of you. And we do it proudly. Out here you feel it with every breath life is not a right but a privilege.

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