Why am I so lonely today? Most days I feel so strong, yet once in a while I find myself unable to control my emotions. I have nothing notable to be sad about and yet, here I am, feeling my mood sink by the minute. I find myself tired of this day, tired of this mission, tired of this patrol base, and most of all, tired of this third world hellhole.
On the last mission, we watched a dozen or so children playing soccer, oblivious to the squalor they live in and clueless to the horrible life that awaits them. Then I saw it!!! As the ball came rolling within ten to twenty yards of our vehicle, three boys came to retrieve it and I could see the look on one of the boys' faces as he turned to look at us in our MATV. It was clear to me as I looked at him that unlike his friends, he understood his plight. He had a distinctive expression on his face that cried out, “please take me with you...I don't want to live this life.” What would cause him to have that knowledge or insight? It has convinced me that the fighting desire to be free is hard-wired in all regardless of what they have or haven't been introduced to in life. It can easily be brainwashed or beaten out of many, but some are just strong willed enough to resist this re-education and for them, living in a country such as this one will be a lifelong mission to get out. I pray that young boy is able to get wherever he wants to go one day. I wish I had the power to take him home with me. I have not been here for two complete months and yet I have already been changed in some ways forever.