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3 more months

The truth of the war in Afghanistan.. Submitted by louise (Award 565), age 16

Sergeant Jones lay on the battlefield, choking on the sand and dust, rifle slung over his shoulder, this wasn’t what I signed up for, he thought wryly. Afghanistan: a desert plain dotted with IED’s, Special Forces patrols and the regular army wondering why they’d signed up, and here was Jones lying on the ground wishing he was home with his wife and son. Only 3 more months then I’m home and, and... Then what? Would he quit the army? Focus, Jones, focus! One mistake and this whole mission would be completely pointless, and that would be a waste of 3 months.

“Ali, get on the radio, see if there’s anything suspicious in the area, if there is, we have to leave, this is meant to be an observation mission.” Jones hesitated; he didn’t want to put one of the most valuable members of the team under pressure. They were meant to be clearing the area of any trouble so that the usual patrols could do their missions and not be blown apart.
Ali nudged Jones, this was not good news; if there was nothing suspicious Ali would remain still, so an agitated nudge was not a good sign...

“Sorry, Boss. But we’ve got a situation, there’s some unfamiliar looking vehicles 2 klicks up the road, and they look up for a fight.” This was the worst news a Sergeant could receive on an observation mission, because down the road (the one guarded by a presumably enemy vehicle) was the way to their home for the past 3 months, and proper beds. No one had any idea what to do, they weren’t expecting this.

***

Corporal Thomas was sitting on the edge of his bed, his head in his hands; he had just been offered the promotion of his life: the one that was supposed to be given to his brother. If only that IED hadn’t been there, he mused. Interrupting his thoughts, there was a knock at the door. In strode Private Edwards, a solemn look on his face. “Sir, we have a problem. Squadron 2 can’t get back... There’s a “problem” in their way – a suicide bomber.” This seemed impossible. They’d surveyed the area 4 days ago, yet here was a suicide bomber blocking the way back; the way back to food, a shower and a proper bed. Unless the suicide bomber moved (which was highly unlikely) the team would be in trouble. They had a two day survival kit, and it had already been 3 days.

***
Since Sergeant Jones had been deployed into Sector 4, he had quickly decided it was a living hell; they were running out of supplies, there was an enemy vehicle bomb down the road and most of all: they all needed a cold shower. It was hot, dusty and over 40 degrees. Sergeant Jones changed his mind: it was hell.

Click. The whole team’s attention was suddenly turned to the enemy vehicle; out stepped a figure, a machine gun slung over their shoulder. An Afghani woman.

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