Chapter 4

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*An entry of poetry*

Freedom is what we are told it is.

Shaped by the minds, ideas, and words of others.

The concept of freedom is fluid and shapeless.

Like water, it fills and touches all it comes into contact with, saturating it.

Throughout all the changes, it is upheld as being strong and unwavering protection.

Yet, it is as prone to flight as the dove is.

If the ocean and the sky switched, would the eagle and the fish switch positions? Switch rolls? Flying through water and swimming through the air?

We do not have to worry about physical science changing on us like that. We see true stability in that realm.

It is the realm of the human that shifts.

The same realm that tells you what your freedoms are.

The powerful men who rape the land and steal away value from the servants below.

Will you be saturated with freedom tomorrow?

Or will the winds of fortune leave your ship without a sail in the waters of freedom?

*BT*


September 28, 2007

Deployment date: 332


The tunnel began to slope downwards after a half-mile or so of walking. The pace we took was slow as we took in the markings on the wall, which seemed to go on for the entire length of the cave walls, which were a rough gray. Sometimes they were the scratch markings; other areas featured full-length murals in various states of disrepair.

The pace was also slowed by the need to change out the batteries on the NOD's, they were not kidding when they said this place drained the batteries. Mine was the first to die, and I was subjected to an accusation by Sergeant Millhouse that I had failed to place fresh batteries in mine. The Gods of irony were on my side, during his tirade, his own NOD's died as well.

The chemical soldier who came with us had not said a word the entire time we had been down there. He had brought down several devices in his bag, and he was sweeping them back and forth through the musky air, which was surprisingly cool. The sweat on my shirt from wearing the body armor was giving me a chill.

I nudged him with my elbow, "Hey, you uh, come here often?"

He glared up at me under the green tint of the goggles. Deadpan silence. So much for breaking up the monotony.

How long had we been down there? I glanced at my watch, but it was dead. It was probably for the best anyway. Time to get a new one. Every time I saw the watch, I thought about the time that I pissed Milhouse off over time. There had been an argument as to whether or not we observe daylight savings time in Iraq. I might've gotten a tad overzealous when I was proven right. We were almost late for a patrol, and I paid for my insolence with a good hour of exercise afterward.

I longed for the day that the deployment would end, and I went to a new unit where I could start as a new person. I had assumed that I wanted to be near an explosion, but that wasn't enough, I still was treated the same by everyone. I guess I needed to take an IED to the face. Maybe then I would be accepted?

"So, where did the Iraqi soldiers die?" Golden asked.

"They were found to the southern tunnel," Christan answered.

"And how far does that tunnel go?"

"We have not gone that far though, something always happens, usually running out of batteries instantly when we head that way past a certain point. We have fully explored this northern tunnel, so that is the way we are going."

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