Thunder announces a release from the earth. Fire ignites the darkness. Illuminating the night sky, Hell’s flame explodes bright orange. A yellow, oily rain falls upon the battlefield. It touches the soldiers. Skin boils and blisters. A few will die here. Many, will recover. The touched and untouched will carry scars; some on the outside — all on the inside.
Lured into battle by Uncle Sam’s pointing finger, directly from my graduation, with high school diploma in hand, I marched to the recruiting office. In my head the tune and lyrics played over and over —
“Over there, over there
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming – The Yanks are coming
The drums rum-tumming
So prepare, say a prayer – Send the word, send the word to beware
We’ll be over, we’re coming over – And we won’t come back till it’s over – Over there”
The fleeting memory is interrupted by something briefly breaking the sound barrier. My ear channels the clamoring to my brain. I spin. A fellow solider slumps to the ground.
Back around I turn. Emboldened by the destructive mist that has maimed us, the Huns cross into no-man’s land. Those not felled by bullets or gas return fire. Over our fallen comrades the war wages. It is only when the overhead disturbance forces our eyes skyward is the battle shifted.
Sheets of lead pour from the sky.
Day becomes night.
The enemy retreats to their trenches.
We pull our mutilated dead and wounded from the mutilated land. Many who do not die here today, will be eaten alive by infection tomorrow.
War Springs Eternal is dedicated to my brothers and sisters in arms
-To those who were asked to do the unthinkable.
-To those who HAD to do the unimaginable.
-To those who are broken and still fighting.
-To those for whom the fighting became too much.
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