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I was nineteen and she was my first date.

I said, “I have orders to Iraq,” and she said she’d wait.

It wasn’t real long before I saw the sand,

and I stood with a rifle In a foreign land.

The heat was unbearable and the duty was rough.

When you see your comrades fall you’re not very tough.

The atrocities of death a man sees in a war

leave things in your mind you never thought of before.

The dead often come to me late in the night.

Sometimes my mind’s trapped in a firefight.

I awake screaming covered in sweat.

Each day I pray that I can forget.

My girl sends me letters and pictures of her.

The love that I felt for her seems like a blur.

I haven’t a clue why I’m here in this land.

Does anyone have a serious plan?

Yet, while I’m here I’ll be a good soldier man,

and when I get home I’ll try to forget what I can.

I know this war’s changed me, I’m hardened within.

I can’t wait to get home and my new life to begin.

(I wrote this as a perspective poem)

Stanley Victor Paskavich

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