Welcome to War Playing on Repeat

“Put that in your bag, get that out of here!” I went to grab the pistol. I took one step and I was looking down the barrell. Everyone in the crowded house party stood still. My hands were at my shoulders and I stepped sideways against the wall. Groups of guys were on the ground, fighting in the corner. My friend jumped and tried to wrestle away the gun. He was losing control and dove away. Bang, a bullet went into the ceiling. Everyone hit the floor. Bang, Bang, two more shots were fired at the guys fighting in the corner. The gunman fled the house. One of the guys fighting got up and ran out, blood streaming down his back.

Girls were screaming at the top of their lungs. Guys were beating away the wide louve shades and breaking the windows to escape. The back door was kicked down, as people panicked to leave. I looked around at my friend on the floor. “Get up we gotta go!” I yelled, feeling my heart pumping. My friend got to his feet and we ran to the garage, “We forgot my little brother!” We ran back to see his little brother talking to someone on the floor.

The kid on the floor was Jack, he was bleeding from his neck.

I remember telling my buddy in the army this story. He laughed at it. He told me that wouldn’t be one of his top five memories. He told me to imagine the bullets don’t stop. If the echoes masked the noise and you can’t find the shooter, and your unit are the guys being shot. He told me a story and all I could say was, “What did you do?” He said that was the right question. He would just shake his head and just say you take cover and look to your officer to move as a unit.

Later he would tell me this memory stuck out in his mind because it happened early on. He also said this story wasn’t that crazy either, it was just another day.

I can’t imagine the horrors of war that so many see every day. These horrors also don’t have to come back with soldiers and play on repeat. There are options to help, and many of them come from the VA. It’s okay to get help.

I will be writing about this topic for the next few weeks. I am a humble citizen concerned for my friends as they return from tours or are just shipping out. I am also writing to do a small part to promote education of what options are available. Twenty veterans kill themselves each day. That is twenty too many.

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