We ran as fast as possible between the trees and the moss and the long green plants brushing against our skin. The sound of bombs dropping all around us rang in our ears, as we bled and sweat in our uniforms. Each with an injury, causing us to slow our pace and let the enemy get closer so they could kill us easier. A bassist. An engineer. A drag racer. A barber. An accountant. All sons. We all had an identity somewhere. In a state, in a country where this was supposed to be our choice. Not our parent’s, not the president’s, not the government’s, ours. High pitched screams sounded as bullets pierced hot exposed flesh. Several tripped because of the jungle floor, some because of a lost limb, some because we were klutzy from fear. I looked back from my fear-ridden path and saw my friends being trampled on by marching soldiers and tanks. Johnny, Biff, Rick, Tommy and even Julian. All guys I had once seen smile when I told jokes to them. I slept in the same room countless times with these guys. I watched as they spit blood from their lips and their eyes rolled back in their head. This was the glory I heard my father speak of, when bragging of military service. Protecting the promise of the promised land was our duty. Protecting the lies of the “promised” land was what we did. I ran until my body felt completely depleted. The ground exploded from underneath me and I was almost killed several times. Sweat and blood poured down my arms and legs. I panted, hoping for the breath to come back to me, but it seemed as if it would never happen.