by Sam Creed
One American soldier is faced with a decision.
|I stood in the hot Afghan sun, roasting under my uniform, but not daring even to lift my helmet to wipe my brow as I watched the General Sergeant grilling my partner. We had been goofing off on our break and had been late returning to our posts. Truly, it was my fault, but Mike insisted on taking the heat. He thought he owed me. I thought he was taking a punishment that should be shared.
As the Sergeant prepared to dismiss us, a loud explosion was heard from nearby. Turning, we saw a line of dusty, American jeeps that had been making their way across the open road. The first jeep had erupted in an explosion of flame, and the second collided with it with a scream of metal. The other cars screeched to a stop behind them, soldiers pouring out, guns at the ready.
Sergeant swore under his breath. Turning to us, he snapped, “Go fetch some medics!” Mike instantly turned and obeyed, but I hesitated. I thought I would help more if I helped the people in the jeeps. “What are you still doing here?” Sergeant suddenly screamed. Seeing my face, he calmed a bit. “Stop worrying and let me handle it. Now, go!” Without waiting for a reply, he marched off towards the burning jeeps.
I was torn. Should I follow orders, or do what I thought was right?
Mike would get the medics, I thought decidedly. I sprinted to one of the jeeps, ignoring the angry shouts of the sergeant. A soldier I didn’t recognize had a leg stuck in the burning wreck, and he screamed. I pried him out, and started dragging him away from the wreck.
Something hot and sharp hit my head. The last thing I saw was the sergeant’s worried face.