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  • JB Miller

Semper Fi


A short story about the men that survive.

I had reached the pinnacle of my endeavor. It had taken me seven years to reach this point. I never would have thought in a million years I would make it this far.

Seven years ago, I was in a field hospital in Baghdad. A fresh-faced boy, who thought he was a man. It hadn’t taken me long to realize that a uniform did not make you an adult.

I remember laying in that hospital bed, looking down at the burned stump; all that remained of my left leg.

A part of me was glad to be alive, the other part, wished to join my brothers who had died quickly and cleanly in the blast.

Even now, I could see Evanston’s face. Well, what was left of it. The incendiary device we had run over, hit him first.

Half us his face was gone. Damn, it was just gone. I shuddered and almost faltered in my starting position. The memories still strike me at the worst moments. A loud noise could have me back in that thirty seconds of hell all over again.

I shook my head, to clear my mind of memories.

“Focus, Jacobs, focus.” I muttered to myself.

“You alright man?”

I glanced to my right, Davies was stretching, ready to go.

“Yeah, brother. I’m good. Just a flash back. “ I said with a shared look of camaraderie.

“No problem, Jacobs. Happens to us all.” He nodded and turned back to his prep work.

Daniels hadn’t served with me, but we were the same. Brothers in arms, who had fought past the loss of other Brothers and fought so damn hard to make it to this point.

We had climbed from the depths of Hell to reach this starting line.

This race was only the beginning. Davies and I were living, breathing, fighting and running for the ones who could not.

We remembered and we will not forget.

That thought was punctuated by the sound of the starters gun, and we were off. We ran for our fallen. We lived for them, and with each race we remembered and honored them.


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