I am not sure when I lost my friend but tonight I think I did?
He asked me to send him to war which sent me back on my heels. He stated it was his time and that I had done enough and he has done little. We sat drinking beers and pondering the universe, but all that could come of it was that I had done my time and he had not.
I have known this man for years; he was truly a good friend, like the friend that I could count on one hand type. He watched over Nicole while I was gone myself in Afghanistan and never did I think twice about it. My heart dropped when he told me this, I thought about six different ways to tell him that he didnâ€™t need to go, but yet all he could come back with was why me and not all the others?
I stared in amazement and said it wasnâ€™t his duty and yet he came back again and raged that he was like all the others and it was his time. My mind raced to think about the excuses that I could use, but nothing worked.
I hung over his truck and screamed at him, begging him that it â€œwasnâ€™t his warâ€. It was mine; ours, the ones who went out there and came back under-appreciated and misunderstood. That is our bond, maybe being selfish, maybe scared that I wouldnâ€™t get him back. He has watched over me for so long that I forget the time we met. This war is hard, its unpredictable, itâ€™s for those who are willing to climb the mountains, walk the deserts, able to look to the skies and know that no one is looking back at them. I donâ€™t want Joe to endure that, he is better than that.
I rode home tonight with Nicole and felt the rush of the Jersey shore on our faces and I am not sure that I can convince him to do other than what he wants. I stared into her eyes and wished for an answer and she could simply say itâ€™s not your war anymore; it is his if he wants it. What scares me more than anything else is being there, God forbid, if the word comes and the chaplain is at the door like in the movies. Have you ever seen At War, the ramp ceremony, the scene in We Were Soldiers? Christ I couldnâ€™t do it! Not this time, not with him or his family, they mean too much. I would rather go back myself; at least I know I am good at it.
As we sat there tonight I told him to accept the wind, the smell of the ocean, the quietness of his neighborhood, because god damn it would be the last time until he got his ass home that he would ever feel it again, but every day over there that is all he would think about. I feel like I cannot prepare him or ask anyone who has been there to do the same thing and feel good about him being successful.
Fuck I hate this, those who have not gone want the chance now. Of all the times to do this, they choose now! It is a horrible time in the Stan and my god damn best friend wants to be in the shit. So I said ok, I will do it. I will put you in touch with those that are going over, but I am not going to god damn like it. To those who have been left out of war, here is your chance to join those who suffer nothing less than the pain they have inflicted.