I want you to, just for a moment, picture yourself walking with friends. Just out for a walk with about 5 of your best friends that you've known for a very long time. Strongest bond, thick as thieves. You're walking and all of the sudden, gunfire from the distance cracks the conversation you were having. One friend goes down, the others get behind a wall of dirt. He's screaming and yelling for about a minute while the shooting continues... until finally.... nothing. He's gone. You and your friends start to return fire as you remember where you are. You're shooting back at the men who killed your friend. You hear their screams as well and a sudden flush of emotion hits you. You drop behind the wall. Tears stream down your face but you can't stop firing or else they'll get you too. After an hour or so, more of your best friends have been shot and killed and now it's just the two of you fighting for your lives among these dead bodies of your best friends. No help to call for. Nobody to yell to for aid. Just you, and the men who want you dead. One of them runs from behind his cover when you don't see him. By the time you do, it's too late. He's exploded and killed your friend. They're both all over you. Little bits and pieces. You're covered in and surrounded by human remains. You can't finish the attackers so you give up and sit behind the cover, looking at a photo of your family, you slouch back down and begin to think. You're hit now. A bullet pierced the dirt and now you have been shot too. You black out just as you hear the sound of helicopter blades whirring and boots hitting the ground.
You're home now. Back in bed with your wife. Safe. Maybe. Your dreams are filled with the images of combat. Bodies and blood and bullets whirring by you. It's all a blur.*Snap* You try to fight back an insurgent trying to stab you dead. You scream and wake up. You see your wife on the floor crying. She explains what you just did. She was trying to wake you up because you were having a nightmare and you threw her off of you onto the floor. She sobs and you can only think about the tour. The next day, you've made up with your wife and you're driving to work. As you head down the road, you see a bush on the side of the road. *Snap* You see a man wearing a balaclava emerge from it with an RPG-7. You swerve and hit the gas to avoid him. He disappears... You get to work and go up to the 30th floor where you work. You glance out the window and see an air force jet going down in flames and a group of men cheering on the ground. You shake your head and it goes away.
You're home again. It's the fourth of July now. A fun day for everyone to enjoy their freedom as Americans. The fireworks are lit. The bottle rockets and mortars and big explosion fireworks shoot into the sky in a flash of red, white, and blue.*Snap* Suddenly you're there again. Back in the vast empty desert. A missile is launched from a large truck and you see it hit a stone building in the side of a mountain. It's obliterated. There must have been 50 men in there. You begin to notice the terrorists are all around you. They're just standing there looking at you. You know their tricks. You go to run and they yell at you in some strange language. You can't escape them. They're shooting more explosives at you. The thundering sound follows you to everywhere you run. You trip and fall. *Snap* You're back on the street at home.
For some warriors, the battle doesn't end overseas. Not all wounds are visible. Sometimes the war keeps going on inside a man's head even though it's not around him anymore.