No longer.

737 Reads   |   Published over 8 years ago

I was once a man.
Family, friends. I even had a girlfriend, before the great war was even an idea.
I read about my enemies. Faceless thugs from somewhere else, wanting to take what was ours by birthright. 
Can you not feel the need to protect it? This precious thing we call a nation?
I was enticed by the very first day. My passion when I enlisted, ah, I can still remember. Almost savour it. I didn't see violence as anything more than a tool to be wielded. That good could come out of war

The moment I embarked on my murderous journey I was still a man. I kissed her goodbye. I saluted my father. I made promises for my mother. I had nested in my mind both the hate that I felt by my enemies as the love I had for those close to me.

Then it happened.
I stopped being a man the moment I had my boots on the ground, holding my rifle.

I killed the enemy.
I got hurt.
Bullet wounds.
My right ear got deaf after a grenade went off too close to home.

I quickly realized that despite all my bravado, all of my talk about defending what I felt important, in the end this wasn't about me.

This wasn't about my family.
This wasn't about my country.
At all.

It was about something much bigger. Alliances, politics. 

I had become a number in a game played by those who see themselves above our human condition. Both the butcher and the pig, I slaughtered and was slaughtered by a faceless, nameless enemy.
So here I stand. A human no longer. My body survived but my very being was killed the moment I began 'fighting'.

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