bullets whizzing past my chin, i’m hit in my knee bravo is hunkered down behind me and this trash barrel, we’ve been taking SAF for a while now, I haven’t seen anyone, but they can see us, and that pisses me right the fuck off.. every time i get set to move a stream of lead strafes the whole area.. there’s a sniper up there somewhere and he’s got all of us pinned.. i can’t even from what level, all the gunfire echos too much off the buildings for me to pinpoint it.. the kids are across the alley from me behind an old dumpster and look like they just shit their pants.. katie is the strong one, she’s looking back at me for guidance I just motion with my hands to stay low.. darkness is still 4 hours away and we’ve go to get better cover.. got a tourny around my leg that i ripped from my already bare thin pants, the pain is unbelievable.. it’s taken off part of my knee cap.. but by God I can crawl and if I’m breathing i’m goin to fight.. i have a plan,, but it’s gonna take all of us at once to do it.. shots have to be coming northwest, we’re all gonna give it a spray here in a sec in that general direction, need a decoy to draw their fire.. who’s in for risking it?.. not me… not katie.. damn sure not bravo.. one of these kids is gonna have to move fuckin fast or die… more fire.. there in upper right of bank building.. second window,, 50 yards max maybe..
Red took one for the team tonight, i will not forget his face as he stepped up and said he would draw their fire and not to worry, he played football when he was a kid and was faster than the rest of of us, his steely blue eyes cut straight to mine and he nodded to me as he shed his backpack, weapons and shoes,, said shoes slowed him down,, he looked at all of us, smiled a little and then took off at a dead sprint before any of us could speak,, the snipers lead him for a bit and then took him out, he never knew what hit him I’m sure of it, this gave away their position and with 2 RPG’s and a swarm of AK waved across them, the Hads were eliminated from this earth. Bravo took point into the building and confirmed all were dead as he trotted back wagging his tail, ears back.. just the same we all took our time climbing the stairwell and surveying it ourselves.. not much to look for, spattered across the floors and walls with barely recognizable parts scattered about was all we needed to confirm the kills. we put red in the ground in someones back yard, next to an old swingset with its chains rattling in the wind, we found a shell hole to use as his grave, marked it with a steel cross made from a couple pieces of fence, katie knelt down and said the words we couldn’t, sent him to God with our blessings and thanks.. I don’t know his age, only his first name and i guess that’s all the matters as I etched RED 2.22.22 DIED FOR HIS COUNTRY into the metal with my pocket knife.. we all stood for moment,, then moved into the shadows to find a place to rest and try to keep warm.. kelly, the kid with the eyes of a hawk and chip the punk with as many tats as I stifled a whimpering sob as we slid into the night….