Who is the Hero?

They call me a hero for being one of the few who raised their hands.
Young and eager to jump on the thin red line.
Unsure of what that means but marching proudly across the parade field.
Mother in the stands, tears running down her face.
Dad stood firm, but deep down scared of my decision.

Boarding the plane with my newfound brothers.
Joking and talking like we are not scared.
Brave and strong, yet deep inside just a little boy playing soldier.

Walking into the firefight.
Looking for the enemy’s hiding spot.
We marched as we were trained.
Hearing bullets fly all around.
Seeing the dust and rocks flying everywhere.

To the right I see my brothers fighting fast and hard.
Bullets struck the wall behind him as I yelled to him to watch out.
The day suddenly turns to night in an explosion of sound as a bomb blows up between us.

Thrown into a wall next to me from the pressure of the air from the bomb’s force.
In a panic, I try to get back up.
Pieces of debris pin me down.
Hearing my brother screaming out loudly.
I get back to my feet and rush to his side.

Blood is flowing out of his body.
I try with all my might to stop this crimson flow.
No time to waste, I placed my hand on his wounds.
As tears started to flow from my eyes,
The color in his face slowly slipped away.

Grabbing my hand he whispers to me,
“Please let me see my little girl back home.”
Panicking he reaches into his pocket and hands me a letter.
“Give this to my wife and tell my parents I love them.”

The medics arrive to help.
They bandaged his wounds and placed him on the chopper.
With no time to cry, I force myself to continue to fight.
Fight on for my brother.

When the battle was over and done, I found out that my brother passed on.
Lost in my thoughts I scream out my anger.
Placing my hands over my eyes with tears pouring down my face.
My brother is gone.

Returning home is hard.
Why was I the lucky one?
Why was I chosen to live?
He had a family, a little girl to hold.
Now she has no father.

I relive that horrible day in my head.
It’s like a broken record that skips and repeats every minute of the day.
I see my brother’s face, bloodied and broken.
His eyes look into mine as his life drains away.
It should have been me.

I vow from this day to honor his life.
To honor his life by living mine to the fullest.
To tell others of his bravery.
To tell others of his sacrifice.

So, when you see me, down and brokenhearted.
Don’t be afraid of my appearance.
Don’t just walk on by.
For I have a heavy burden that weighs me down each day.
A burden that alone must carry.
A burden to honor the hero who couldn’t make it home.

Author: littleslices

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