Warrior’s Soul

Guest post by Broken Warrior

The cold air hits me and sends a shiver down my spine; I coil as a cobra before the strike.  I am the hammer of which courage never fails.  The silence itself is deafening.  It is so dark, so quiet.  I am now at peace but a quiet rage now begins to fill the life that once flourished.  The anger begins to swell like the oceans and the hate for my yet seen enemy begins to take control of my being.  The smell of fear becomes palpable.  The air is so heavy; the darkness does not allow me to see that which fears me.  That which I called human is now an unforgiving warrior that will die today in one form or another.  Shall I take yet another life on the battlefields of men who do not know each other but fight nonetheless!  My soul cries in angst for the pressure is crushing me.  My hand reaches to the heavens as to say please God take my soul for I know not how long I can continue the battle. I am tired.  I then look at the very young I am entrusted to protect.

How can I let them down?  For it is my duty to get them home.  The burden of leadership knows no bounds.  My fears must never become theirs.  My strength must be the only thing for them to draw upon.  Should this be my final day then it was written long ago and the outcome was pre-ordained.  I look over the horizon and I see the enemy approach.  The silence is broken as commands are echoed through the lines.  I move to the front, certain death advances to my front but I can never retreat.  I will not allow fear to enter my soul.  The anticipation that gripped me now only wishes to be unleashed.  I will destroy anything, everything, whatever dares to cross my path.  The chaos now rushes forward like a hurricane breaking land.  The clash begins, fear now turns into courage, courage into the tip of the spear.  I know the angels, though unseen surround me.  My fight is righteous and if my story is to end today, I no longer worry for I will not fall unless he commands it.

The noise, the screams, the cries they surround me yet I hear nothing.  I focus; I drag my fellow warriors out of harm’s way.  Bodies fall yet I continue fighting.  My body screams for air yet there seems to be none to breathe.  The dawn skies are now covered with the haze and smoke of modern weaponry.  The planes fly out of the sky like war hawks hunting their prey.  The carnage is immense as the bombs spray their deadly seeds.  Bodies tear to pieces my fellow warriors fall like trees in a forest.  A cry in the distance gets my attention.  It is a soldier, barely out of high school.  His legs are gone and there is nothing that can be done.  I pray he is one with his maker.  I drag the wounded and ask for more strength.  I am getting weak yet I must remain strong.  Their eyes are on me and I know they need me now.  The battle wears on and all of a sudden, silence.  In less than 30 minutes it is over.

Death has been unleashed and I still stand, wounded but alive.  How did I not feel the shrapnel in my body?  All at once I fall, unable to continue.  The pain now becomes a reality.  I am overwhelmed with grief as I have lost men; boys.  I ask God why not me?   Why take the life of such young men?  I have lived a full life and they deserve more.  I ask if there is a God how did he allow this to happen.  I want to cry but my screams are reserved for my innermost being.  As I close my eyes I feel as though I am but a single tear falling into a bottomless well searching for the pool of water full of life that I know somehow awaits me at the bottom. The calm seas of my soul are merely a visible proclamation for those who know so little of me.  For in the darkest recesses of my body lives much pain and suffering.  How can one life have feared so little yet now be so vulnerable to what memories have brought to bear.    As in the past the scars of battle, unseen as they are remind me of days gone by and dreams yet to come.

Now the years have gone by yet the torment remains.  I close my eyes and once again am thrust into the abyss.  The battle now rages in my heart, my mind and my soul. The enemy is more relentless than any I have previously encountered.  The darkness seems to have a life of its own.  I continue falling as a single drop into the bottomless well.  I only wish to walk where angels walk and thank them for the life they protected so dearly.  The price I will now pay is that of a warrior’s soul.  The enemy I now face is myself.  The battle I have become so accustomed to is life itself.  I now fear that which I cannot see.  The tears I shed are visible.  Once again I fight a righteous battle but the wounded warrior is now the one I see in the mirror.  I wish only to close my eyes and sleep in peace.  I wish to find the calmness I so dearly need.  However a warrior is not afforded this luxury. It is a battle that cannot be won, a scar that cannot be covered or a stress that cannot be relieved.  For I now know the pain will never be gone but will just be suppressed like those fears so long ago.  I realize now that drop of water falling deep into the well is but a tear I have shed for those cursed to have a warrior’s soul.

Broken Warrior is a decorated retired Army Veteran with tours during Desert Storm, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq twice.  Husband, Father, Grandfather.  All that by the age of 50!

The ideas contained in this post solely represent the perspective of the author. To contribute to ‘Survivors Speak’ contact Michele.


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