10/14/10: Way to shame me into updating again by commenting, people who comment! (Seriously, though, hi, welcome, and pull up one of the splintery old orange crates that we use for seating 'round these parts seein' as we can't afford no fancy chairs.)

The rules from
here still apply.

Friday, November 03, 2006


"You're insane!" Anne shouted. "You just got home from that mudhole, and now you want to go back?"

"I don't want to go back," Gary replied, jaw set obstinately. "And it's hardly a mudhole."

She threw her hands up angrily. "Fine. I guess you're right; calling it a mudhole would be assuming there was any damn water, when it's actually nothing but desert." She turned away, arms crossed. "That's not the point, anyway."

Gary sighed. "See, this is why I waited to tell you until after I told everyone else. Even my wife didn't put up this much of a stink about it. You're my sister and I love you, but I have made up my mind about this."

He thought that when Anne turned around again, it would be with tears in her eyes, her anger giving way to sadness. But no, they were still dry. Hard. He supposed he should have known better; she had never been given to sentimentality.

"You want to be the big hero, and I get that," she told him. "But you've been to Iraq already. You've done it. Why go back now, if they're not asking you to?"

"Because if I go, that's one less other guy that needs to. And what if he's got his own family? Kids that depend on him to feed and clothe them? Mary's got her own career, and we never had children." Gary shrugged. "I can't risk dooming some stranger to death and knowing that I put his kids one step closer to being orphans."

"And if that means dooming yourself to death?"

He shrugged again. "It's my choice, isn't it?" Anne made no reply, but still he nodded, as if agreeing with himself.

* With all the stoploss measures currently in place in Iraq, I don't know that they're actually letting anyone go home for good anymore. A few years ago, though, I knew someone whose close friend served a term in Afghanistan, then turned around and enlisted to help relieve forces in Iraq not long after. His friends and family were not entirely pleased with his decision, but he figured he was just a single guy livin' the military life, so he might as well help take the pressure off the poor saps who actually had wives and kids to spend Christmas with. That's what this particular vignette is inspired by, along with the usual Plugtasticness.

Edit 12/22/2007: I'm going through tagging old posts, and I just noticed that I named a guy Gary and his wife Mary. Whoops.

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