“That situation with the arm in the grill of the Humvee last year, I feel like the child’s arm lives in of my head. I still see the little piece of cloth attached to it, caked with blood and those tiny little nails.”
United States Marine Corps
To My Wife With Love and Regret;
Babe, Its so fucking hot here. My nostrils are blistered and I can’t escape the stench of the air and my own thoughts. That situation with the arm in the grill of the Humvee last year, I feel like the child’s arm lives inside of my head. I still see the little piece of cloth attached to it, caked with blood and those tiny little nails. I feel like I am really starting to lose it. I’m trying to basically keep it together but it’s really fucking hard.
All the foul-mouthed murderous talk of AliBaba, Johnny Jihad, and every other fucked up name. Every Haji civilian we aim our sights at, it feels like they are stealing my old memories and replacing them with their faces a little at a time. I used to think that we knew what we were doing, trying to bring civilization to these fucks, I now realize that all of this means nothing and this is just a blip on their fucked up history. Every dried out mummy-corpse, every dead child, every snarl of these fucking dogs – it’s like they invade my dreams- I can’t get relief either awake or asleep. The dried out bodies….have you seen the pics I sent? When I walked into that school basement and saw the open-mouths of the teacher and children, still rooted to their desks, I thought it couldn’t be real. It was like some fucked up version of the Pirates of the Carribean ride at Disneyland. A whole room full of little mummies as if they were turned into jerky in an instant…and for what??? FREEDOM. Western civilization! A FUCKing joke.
“All the foul-mouthed murderous talk of AliBaba, Johnny Jihad, and every other fucked up name. Every Haji civilian we aim our sights, it feels like they are removing my prior memories and replacing them with their faces a little at a time.”
Anyways, its late and I have tread-head duty in the AM- the guys are going into Haifa street for a sweep and clear before we expand opsec grounds into the city. Wish us luck, the road is full of IED caches but the Humvee continues to take a good beating. I just keep hoping that I am fast enough, smart enough and lucky enough to avoid these suicidal sociopaths that will drive their IED packed vehicle into our convoys. At the end of all of this, I am not sure that I will know what or who I am. I just continue my service with a smile and hide the beast inside. I’ll be home soon baby, we can build the pool and the porch and hopefully I can forget this whole fucking rathole mess. This sure as fuck ain’t Kansas.
(All rights reserved. Images and text @ Brad Feuerhelm. From the Collection Brad Feuerhelm.)