So, tell us from the beginning, Steven.”

Alright, yeah… we were pinned down. They had us trapped, bullets flying and whizzing every-goddamn-where. It was me, Rico, Thomas, and Juarez all stuck in a sandy-ass trench, dirt from grenade explosions falling all over us. I was down to my last clip, Rico had two, and Thomas and Juarez were empty. We all knew what this meant: Rico was going to have to distract them by himself while we tried to sneak away, and survive.

Yeah… he was gunned down almost immediately but his bleeding corpse and sacrifice let us get some distance. I ended up shooting a child soldier on the way. He was at least 15. We managed to secure a helicopter, and, from there, we figured we were home-free. But, a bullet whizzed through and hit our copter in the gas tank. We were fucked, no way to keep in the air with our current weight. So, Juarez smirked, asked us to tell his wife and daughter that he loved them… before jumping off the copter. I watched him splat on the ground… and we flew off to the fucking horizon.

We landed back at homebase in under an hour, got patched up, and didn’t sleep that night. We sat up all night, wondering what it was for. Was the patriotism worth our humanity? The answer’s no; it motherfucking wasn’t. Yet, they still gave us medals any goddamn way. Heh… Thomas sold his for drugs. Last I heard, son of a bitch put a barrel in his mouth and pulled the trigger, so no more him. And here I am – good ol’ Stevie, still here. Still hearing gunshots go off in my head, never ending. Yeah… my whole damn life’s the battlefield. It’ll be the battlefield ‘til I die. I’m no knight, I ain’t no warrior neither. I’m a motherfucking soldier, a survivor of Hell. I’ll carry that ‘til the day I die. That’s my medal, my goddamn legacy.”


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