7 year soldier
I am attempting to blog, Kevyn and Peter are roaming around. They have "fixed" this rest stop, adding modern buildings, expanding and leveling/straightening out the driveway and parking area thru the stop, and adding chain link fences around the perimeter, disallowing strolls into the desert boulders that perch along the mountain sides.
I approach a young man in army fatigues. He is on his way to visit his family in Texas. I urge him to stay with his family - they want him here, not in Afghanistan.
He tells me he has been in the army 7 years - two "tours" in Iraq, one in Afghanistan. He has two more years to go.
His skin is glows like slightly burned butter, except around his eyes, which appear more hollow with every word he utters to me, politely, softly, stuccoed with "ma'am's". As he reaches into me, the grim dusty lines of his face magnifying as the boulders recede, he has two more years to go, where to go, he doesn't know.
I tell him to resist. I tell him most people in this country want him home, as his family wants him home. I tell him only Lockheed Martin and Chevron want him occupying other people's lands.
I tell him about GI rights hotline. Iraq Vets Against War. Vets for Peace. He thanks me, several times. I want to put him in the front seat and carrying him to D.C.