Guard Duty – A Soldier’s Story

Crisp and clean the air cools the earth. A chill bite shivers the skin as the peaceful setting guides his thoughts.

The moon shines full…reflecting it’s light, allowing the trees to cast their shadows upon the snowy bottoms. Stars glisten; like glitter in a fairy tale, they sparkle bright, happy and content.

A deep breath……AHHHH!

Cool air fills his lungs as his post is secured by his very presence. He dreams of home and the girl he loves. She brings him warmth as he reads the passionate words from a letter she has written.

HALT!…..who’s there!!!

A sound grabs his attention. He investigates for his instincts are sharp and precise. Frosty clouds of air forms as he exhales and conceals himself within the shadows of the trees.

HALT!….He repeats.

The unknown soul takes the form of another soldier as the moonlight slowly reveals its intruder. A last halt is given…..WHO’S THERE!

Prepared for any situation, our soldier is locked and loaded with a 30 round clip, M16A2 weapon. An expert he is…capable of placing one round, center mass at anything within 300 yards and moving.

“Private Jones”, an answer returns.

The challenge is given: “The sweetness of a rose”…

And the password phrase follows, “Is turned sour by its thorn”.

“ADVANCE TO BE RECOGNIZED”, our soldier commands. Recognition allows the private to pass beyond the barrier in which our soldier protects. His mission succeeds.

Once again he reads the words of the one his heart desires. His thoughts bring her near to share his lonely solitude. He reads:

“I’m sitting on the bed writing you, and listening to the raindrops fall. The rain always make me remember the past and all the good times we’ve shared. I can smell the air and remember the times when we would sit on the porch and watch the rain fall. Gosh, I wish you were here. Sometimes when I open the closet I can smell your scent on some of the clothes you left behind. It’s been a whole year since you left and I can’t take it anymore. I miss you so much and it hurts so bad. My mother said the felt the same way when my father went overseas to Germany. Shee said I’ll get use to it but I don’t think I ever will. When are you coming back home? I can’t wait to see you again. I can’t wait to hold you and make love under the stars like we used to do. Do they have stars in Germany? How silly of me, huh! Of course they have stars over there. I wonder if we can see the same stars at the same time. I wrote you a poem. It’s called – Once Upon a Star. I hope you like it.

When you look upon the sky, do you see what I see.

For if we see the same star, I shall wish it to thee.

If your moon doesn’t shine, like the one that I view,

Then I’d gladly take mine, and wish it to you.

I’d give you my eyes, so you can see how I feel

And my heart comes with it, so you’ll know I’m for real.

And when you look upon the sky, you’ll see what I see,

That very same star, that I wished upon thee.

The soldier reads on until the 8 pages of his letter were complete. And once he was finished he read them again, and again, and again. Soon, the sun peaked above the horizon and his relief arrived. Tired and cold, he dragged himself to the semi-warm tent where he flopped down on his cot. And there he lay, still covered in his battle dress uniform; asleep, waiting to take his place in the shadows of the cold and crisp night that comes.

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