Nate's War Stories...


  • Freedom Writers - Writing

    It has been a while since I have posted a story but I have had several people want to read some of my war stories. It also has come to my attention that I really should just make topics about the shit I know. I have a warning about this one, though. If you are sensitive to stories about death or killing, then don't read this. This is an excerpt from my memoir. This is my world. @Freedom-Writers-Writing
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    Al-Taji, Iraq, Summer 2004

    It is kind of amazing how much shit goes on in your head in the space of time it takes to fire a round at a 13-year-old boy running towards you. I don’t know if he was 13 but he certainly looked too young to die.

    I thought about what I was doing at that age. I used to ride my bike to the gas station and get a Cherry Coke slushie. Then I would ride to my friend’s house while sucking down the icy refreshment and play Final Fantasy 3 all day long. My biggest worry was whether dinner would have onions in it or not (I hated onions). The last thing I thought, at the age of 13, was that I would one day have to strap a bomb to my chest and commit suicide for the sake of my parents’ cause.

    I pulled the trigger at the same time my guard mate, Specialist Johns began to shout to the kid again. We had already covered the first two steps in the “five S” while engaging this hostile threat. The “five S” were Shout at the enemy, then Show hostile intent, then Shove the enemy, Shoot to warn, then Shoot to kill. In training, they told us to never shoot to warn; we don’t give warning shots in the military. I notice at about 100 meters the kid was trying to conceal something under his hoodie, which already seemed a little strange considering it was summertime in Iraq.

    The first thing that went through my head was this kid had a bomb on him. Just one month prior, an Iraqi Army checkpoint was blown up with a car bomb, everyone died. I wasn’t going to allow this to happen to us. So, I made the command decision to bypass the Shove part of the protocol and just skip to the Shooting part.

    Normally, I aim center mass, like they taught us in Basic but for some reason, my round went high and caught the kid in the throat. His head snapped back and from the angle, it tilted, I was certain the bullet severed his spine. It was a lucky shot, completely unintended, a total fluke. I later found out the front sight post, on my rifle, was fucked up. It must have been from when I was thrown by that mortar the month prior. Good thing too, because I thought about it later and I would have been stupid as fuck to have hit whatever explosive he had on him. He was still a good distance away; it probably wouldn’t have affected us but who knows?

    Johns took a shot also and if it hit the kid, it didn’t matter. He was dead before he even touched the ground. We both lowered our rifles and heard the infamous FOB (Forward Ops Base) alarm. I reached for our radio to call in the shots but I noticed Johns moving out of the guard shack like he was going to go to the kid.

    “Johns,” I shouted, “What the fuck are you doing?”

    He paused for a moment, “I- uh - I don’t know… I was just going to check…” Johns’ eyes glazed over.

    “You were going to check what?” I said a little harsher than I meant. I lowered my voice. “Look, if the kid has a bomb on him, it could still be remotely detonated and this could be a trap.”

    Johns slowly nodded his head. “Shit, he was just a kid,” he said in a weak voice.
    I sort of felt bad too but this was what war was all about. I would have felt worse if someone I cared about was hurt or killed because I couldn’t make a tough decision like shooting a hostile threat, even if it was a kid.

    “We did the right thing,” was all I said; there were more important things to worry about. I needed to make the radio call and get EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) to investigate the device I saw. Not to mention, I had a bad feeling there were more coming.

    I grabbed the radio receiver and keyed the mic.

    “Pegasus main, this is Warrior Gate One. Over,” I said.

    “Gate 1, Pegasus, report? Over,” they replied.

    “Two outgoing shots fired from our gate, hostile threat neutralized, approximately 100 meters from our position. Suspect bomber. Request EOD support. Over,” I responded.

    “Roger, Gate one, standby. Wilco (will comply) with instructions.”

    I had a bad feeling some shit was about to go down, my hands began to shake uncontrollably. I held the receiver with my shoulder and put my rifle back down range; my sight picture was jittery.

    “Pegasus wait,” I said suddenly. “I’m worried this is a trap. Over.”

    “Roger, Gate One. Swampfox Main we need QRF (Quick Reaction Force)-”

    “Break-break-break…” a channel interrupted “This is Swampfox, QRF is already en route. Swampfox Main Out.”

    “Roger Swampfox-” Pegasus started but was cut off again.

    “Break-break-break…” interrupted another channel. “Pegasus, this is Air Cav one-niner, do you need Kiowas up? Over.”

    In my head, I shouted, YES!

    “Roger, Air Cav, we could use some eyes in the sky. Over.”

    Thank god!

    “Roger,” said Air Cav. “helicopters coming in five mikes. One-niner out.”

    “Warrior Gate One, Pegasus. Over.”

    I keyed the mic, “Pegasus, this is Gate One. Over.”

    “Roger, standby for instructions. Wilco.”

    I finally exhaled, support was on its way; there was some comfort in that. I put the receiver down and waited. I looked over at Johns who sat with his weapon, still in the “semi” position, sitting across his lap; the business end was pointed towards me. He was holding his head in his hands. I felt compelled to help him understand we (I) did the right thing.

    “Johns,” I said, “stay alert, this might be a trap.”

    Johns startled slightly and looked up. “Yeah, sorry, you’re right.” he swung his weapon around to face towards the road. “Christ…” he said in a ghost of a whisper. I could sense what he was feeling.

    “Did you hear about the haji girl who got run over by an LMTV (medium-sized truck) the other day?” I asked.

    Johns scoffed. “Yeah, I can’t believe they did that,” he lamented. “I heard no one in the convoy stopped, every vehicle rolled over her like she was just a bump in the road.”
    “There’s a reason they ran over her,” I said.

    “You mean it was intentional?” he asked incredulously.

    I nodded and Johns gave me an imploring glare.

    “Remember the engineers’ convoy that got ambushed last week?” I asked
    “Yeah,” said Johns. “I heard something about it.”

    “The reason they got ambushed was because a young haji ran out into the middle of the convoy. Everyone stopped and insurgents poured out into the streets; killed the fuck out of them." Johns eyes widen. It was hard to believe how out of touch he was. Then again, I think a lot of guys didn't want to know the horrible things we were doing. I, on the other hand, chose not to bury my head in the sand.

    “I see,” said Johns. He sat for a moment then spoke again, “So, they ran over the little girl to prevent another ambush?”

    “Bingo,” I said. “Last convoy I went on, they briefed we don’t stop for anything. If people get in our way, we run em’ over.”

    Johns looked at me in disgust, like I was the one who came up with the directive. “People back home are right, we ARE ‘baby killers.’”

    I opened my mouth to say something but I was gobsmacked. Was this idiot really defending these stupid locals? What about his fellow soldiers? Did their deaths not matter? I looked away and glanced over at the boy again, he laid lifeless in the middle of the road. His arms and legs were twisted in awkward angles.

    In a way, Johns was right. This boy was probably an innocent pawn in the insurgents’ game. These monsters knew Americans have a soft spot for women and children. They knew we would do anything to protect the innocent, so they exploited our weakness.
    Pegasus was taking to long, I didn't want to talk about this shit anymore.
    Suddenly, I heard a crackle on the radio.

    “Warrior gate one, Pegasus Main. EOD is enroute. Do not leave your post until given an all clear. Copy? Over.”

    “Roger. Understood. Gate One out.” I put the receiver down and continued to wait. I closed my eyes but the gears in my head kept spinning. It was hard to shake this bad feeling I had. Now I understood why my grandpa never talked about the war. I wonder how many times his sense of ethics were compromised by his actions in duty? My mind reeled; did I do the right thing? In times like this, I felt like I needed to speak to one of my guiding forces.

    It had been a while but I called out to him anyways.

    Hey Death, it’s me again. You know, I have been thinking, maybe I was wrong about you. You aren’t as callous or mean as I thought you were, you are just straightforward. I admire your unbiased approach when dealing with people. You aren’t picky about what souls you take. They could be black or white souls; they could be young or old. Hell, they could even be 13-year-old boys or young girls just following their parents’ orders. Thank you for helping me understand that you harbor no hard feelings.

    I opened my eyes and heard the buzz of helicopters.
    I had a feeling everything was going to be all right.
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  • @evan-elderson damn.. this is so heartbreaking but interesting at the same time

    I really like the way you write, feel free to write some more and post that too I’d love to read it



  • @evan-elderson Man, you finally post the story. Thank you. I am just shocked about what you felt at those moments. I could tell something more on it, but the words here will be useless.


  • Global Moderator

    You look handsome.


  • Freedom Writers - Writing

    @sup said in Nate's War Stories...:

    You look handsome.

    Thanks bro. I knew I could count on you for the compliment on my looks 😉 #nohomo (or maybe #yeshomo).


  • Freedom Writers - Writing

    @wtfjudith thanks, Judy, that means a lot. I am going to post more. This is a memoir, so I might not alway post something about war.



  • @evan-elderson said in Nate's War Stories...:

    @wtfjudith thanks, Judy, that means a lot. I am going to post more. This is a memoir, so I might not alway post something about war.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what else you’ll write about. War is still really interesting to hear about especially from someone who’s experienced it first hand



  • @evan-elderson

    I was one of the 1st ones to read this story, probably the 1st upvote u got. I was at work and didn't had the chance to properly reply cuz I believed this needed some sort of attention and detail, that's why I re-read it all again and oh boy, it was very worthy.
    In both ocasions, I was on the edge of the sit, I was always expecting that something more would happen. I could almost feel the tension and I just wanted the goddamn help to arrive and get you all out of there.

    It's inspiring hearing or reading about your stories, so please do keep up the good writting!


  • Music Lovers

    @evan-elderson thanks a lot you motherfucker

    Now Im crying


  • Freedom Writers - Writing

    @wtfjudith said in Nate's War Stories...:

    @evan-elderson said in Nate's War Stories...:

    @wtfjudith thanks, Judy, that means a lot. I am going to post more. This is a memoir, so I might not alway post something about war.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what else you’ll write about. War is still really interesting to hear about especially from someone who’s experienced it first hand

    Not many people want to write about their experiences in war or life in general. Most people are ashamed or too scared of the things have done or what's been done to them. I have learned to embrace all the things I have done in life. It is what has made me who I am today. Perhaps if I can share stories about my life, it help others try and figure out their own.


  • Freedom Writers - Writing

    I will respond to all your posts but I am driving home... sorry. Love you guys 🤗



  • @evan-elderson I've tried to pass the story through myself, trying to see it from your eyes. And that feelings it can't be expressed.. This weight that you have to keep, the fact the everyday someone should pull the trigger.. And how are you perceiving all of this..

    Thank you that you shared with that for all of us. I look forward to your's next story.


  • Freedom Writers - Writing

    @spaceboy said in Nate's War Stories...:

    @evan-elderson I've tried to pass the story through myself, trying to see it from your eyes. And that feelings it can't be expressed.. This weight that you have to keep, the fact the everyday someone should pull the trigger.. And how are you perceiving all of this..

    Thank you that you shared with that for all of us. I look forward to your's next story.

    In the military, we learn about loyalty. We learn to protect the men and women stand next to us. Our fellow soldiers, brothers and sisters in arms. I would kill anyone to protect those I love and i am sworn to stand by. That's what went through my head... i care more about my friends than the enemy.



  • @evan-elderson yeah vinnate im the first to upvote coz before u post u have given me the signal lol..Ive told u to keep posting coz there are some who loves to read thou others may not..

    Worth reading..kuddos


  • Freedom Writers - Writing

    @bela said in Nate's War Stories...:

    @evan-elderson yeah vinnate im the first to upvote coz before u post u have given me the signal lol..Ive told u to keep posting coz there are some who loves to read thou others may not..

    Worth reading..kuddos

    Thank you, my Bela. I have decided to post these stories as an incentive to get back into writing. I will be telling different stories.


  • Freedom Writers - Writing

    @spaceboy said in Nate's War Stories...:

    @evan-elderson Man, you finally post the story. Thank you. I am just shocked about what you felt at those moments. I could tell something more on it, but the words here will be useless.

    I don't mind hearing what people have to say. Especially, since I don't know what the right feelings are. Everyone sees things differently and everyone deals with these moments in various ways. I will be telling more stories not all of them war stories... my life has been interesting.


  • Freedom Writers - Writing

    @willow said in Nate's War Stories...:

    @evan-elderson thanks a lot you motherfucker

    Now Im crying

    I am sorry, Willow 🤗. This is exactly how I felt when reading your stories and some of the conversations we had on the sidelines.


  • Music Lovers

    @evan-elderson said in Nate's War Stories...:

    @willow said in Nate's War Stories...:

    @evan-elderson thanks a lot you motherfucker

    Now Im crying

    I am sorry, Willow 🤗. This is exactly how I felt when reading your stories and some of the conversations we had on the sidelines.

    Gimme a hug then


  • Freedom Writers - Writing

    @mr-h said in Nate's War Stories...:

    @evan-elderson

    I was one of the 1st ones to read this story, probably the 1st upvote u got. I was at work and didn't had the chance to properly reply cuz I believed this needed some sort of attention and detail, that's why I re-read it all again and oh boy, it was very worthy.
    In both ocasions, I was on the edge of the sit, I was always expecting that something more would happen. I could almost feel the tension and I just wanted the goddamn help to arrive and get you all out of there.

    It's inspiring hearing or reading about your stories, so please do keep up the good writting!

    Thank you so much for your kind words dude. And your help would have been warmly welcome. Thank goodness the air cav scouts are excellent at raining death. I am already working on another excerpt. I have lots but they need fine tuning. Thanks again, dude.


  • Freedom Writers - Writing

    @willow said in Nate's War Stories...:

    @evan-elderson said in Nate's War Stories...:

    @willow said in Nate's War Stories...:

    @evan-elderson thanks a lot you motherfucker

    Now Im crying

    I am sorry, Willow 🤗. This is exactly how I felt when reading your stories and some of the conversations we had on the sidelines.

    Gimme a hug then

    hug maybe a real one day.



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