`There are no winners in war.`
but in reality, Is that the truth?
It's a saying everyone knows, says, and seemingly agrees on but is that the truth?
I mean, how can it be true? If it was a simple truth, wouldn't we never have war? I mean, think about it.
People who sell weapons to the government win when there's a war. Don't they? At least, I think so since they're receiving all these fancy contracts for more weapons that kill more people. Aren't the people who send us to war also winning?
Even if they say that it was a hard decision and there were no other alternatives and that they're sorry about the war, do they mean it? Don't they still win?
They're getting paid by the companies to pick them for contracts that allow them to sell weapons to the military. They don't have to fight in these wars. Their Family is safe at home while sending young adults to die. They live at home comfortably with their families with all their spoils of war and keep receiving spoils regardless of what they do.
Regardless of their position or political beliefs, those in power are there only to push their agenda, albeit some are worse than others.
Do we as a society only select "rotten apples" to lead us? I mean, don't we? Why can't we elect people who will do what they promise? It has to be pretty simple if it's always like this.
The answer's simple. I mean, think for a second.
Power corrupts those in it.
`Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely`
The saying we should all agree on and be saying is that. But for some reason, I've never heard it brought up in a topic of conversation in my life.
"When do you think the war will end, Adrian?" Snapping me back into reality from my novel were my captain's words.
"Hmm, I wonder, but to be honest, I'm more curious about how it's going to end."
"With us all alive, of course." Captain said with his usual smile.
"Amen to that, Captain," another one of my squadmates exclaimed
What a cruel question to ask, yet I couldn't say the answer since I didn’t even wish to think about the actual outcome since I already knew it. Of course, it was with most of us dead.
Our squad isn't anything special. We're just remnants of former squads bunched up into one. Everyone else is from a different squad except for Captain Eric and me.
What a cruel world. To send kids like us to go out and fight. Shameless bastards would lie to all of us to just have us go out and die.
Here we are, spending Christmas on a battlefield listening to bombs dropping instead of some Christmas toons.
All since some asshole leaders are too full of themselves and couldn't agree to a peace treaty already. I mean seriously there’s no reason that this war should be happening anymore.
It's no surprise since the same bunch started a war out of their greed for control. They used fear tactics and lies to start a war that the public didn’t want.
"WAAAAAAHHHHH WAAAAAAAAHHH WAAAAAAAAHHHHHH"
"Attention! All soldiers prepare for battle enemies are attempting to surround us. All units defend the point nearest to your sleeping chambers. May God bless you all!" Hearing the sirens and the intercom, we jumped out of our beds and prepared for battle.
"You all heard the Colonel. Everyone get ready."
"Yes, Captain!" We all exclaimed
How many more deaths will I have to see in my life? When will he finally come knocking for me?
BOOM! BANG! BOOM!
The artillery fell 50 meters in front of our unit. Some of the guys at the front fell to the ground while the rest stumbled, attempting to maintain their balance.
It was a Direct hit. Enemy artillery had hit and breached the gate. Looking at everyone's eyes, I could see despair running rampant in their eyes.
We're stationed at a strategic point in the north of this jungle country, and our last orders from home were to hold out until reinforcements came.
We weren’t told how long we had to hold out or how many reinforcements would be sent to aid us. Those assholes left us to die, and these bastards are sending everything they can to breach our base.
It's been three days, and no one has come. No supplies have been sent, and our orders have been the same, with no communications with our central command, regardless of how much we plead for assistance.
The North has been sending more and more soldiers to overrun us, and it seems like today will be the day. Today is our last stand. Let's take down as many of them as we can.
"What the hell happened here!?"
Hearing Mark, the Captain of squad eight, yell, I felt the burden lessen a little, knowing we wouldn't be holding the entrance alone. Still, I knew our situation was dire.
"Artillery hit the gate directly and blew up most of our defenses. It seems like they're preparing for their final assault. All those on patrol at the gate are probably dead or out of combat, and it's up to us to make sure no one can get in."
Seeing the frown on his face after my answer, I felt more uneasy. If a guy who is always smiling starts to frown, you know you're in deep shit.
"Eric, Adrian, and Ronald, we're going to try to retake the guard post. Everyone else covers us."
"Adrian, throw your smoke grenades out so we can move up."
Seeing my smoke grenades cover the area, we ran forward into the hail of bullets.
Thankfully, we could all make it to the guard post uninjured.
"It's not looking good."
"There's probably two companies of soldiers on their way here."
Hearing what Ronald said, I became restless. We had around 30 soldiers between our two squads. And if we're lucky, they'd have 200 soldiers. If we're unlucky, it's going to be closer to 500. Judging from all the soldiers climbing up the hill, it's probably closer to the ladder
"You can say that again."
"We have to hold it until nightfall. Then reinforcements should be here." I heard Eric saying a Lie but I knew I had to stay quiet to keep up everyone's morale. Even the slightest sliver of hope could motivate us all tremendously.
This time instead of Eric saying it, I said it.
"That was my line, ya know."
"Ronald, run back and tell them to get more mags and grenades. And see if they can send another squad to help us."
Seeing Ronald run, I said.
"Mark you know we won't be getting any reinforcements. Hell, we'd be lucky if we got grenades."
"It doesn't hurt to try, though. Who knows, maybe we're dealing with the brunt of the siege." Mark said with a vicious grin on his face as if he was excited.
Not wanting to argue with an optimist, I kept my mouth shut. Even if we were dealing with the brunt of the attack, they still wouldn't have any units to send.
"We're just gonna have to hold out and wait for the news."
It's been what felt like an eternity, and we finally see Ronald, Jimmy, and Kevin come back with ammo.
"Sorry guys, they don't have grenades to spare or reinforcements. Everyone's already outnumbered, and rearranging troops would leave other parts open for an attack, is what they told me."
Our already gloomy mood became even dimmer.
"Alright, everybody, we'll have to hold out until help comes at night. My only orders are to stay alive and buy as much time as possible. I trust you all to make the best decisions under your circumstances at the moment." Mark addressed both units with a somber tone.
It dawned on everyone else that we would be dead if we allowed them to siege us. Our recent intelligence reports found evidence showing that they had been torturing to death all captured soldiers regardless of rank. And any attempts at a prisoner exchange have just been met with an ambush.
Hearing explosions go off and bullets grazing by me throughout the day became nothing. What was scaring me were the screams of pain that I used to hear that I no longer hear. I heard eight screams. Eight comrades are most likely dead or dying right now, and those who did die most likely died in pain, and the rest will likely have the same fate.
There are probably others who died instantly. Although death is still death, I'm glad that it was painless.
War is cruel. I used to believe it was noble to become a soldier, but that was before I became one. Hell, I can't even believe I wanted to go to war, living like this I’ve come to regret joining a military school. Seeing friends and comrades leaving without limbs, With their minds broken, realizing that I have become broken as well, realizing that there's nothing noble about being a soldier.
Those who say that being a soldier is noble are the ones who have never fought for their lives like any of us before. They're not people who are on the front lines or have ever been yet they're the same ones who ordered us all out to our deaths.
Families broken, homes in ruin, dreams lost, people broken or dead. That's all the war has done. I know my time is near, but I'm grateful there can't be anything worse than this living hell.
There isn't anything noble about my death or the death of others around me. It's all just a pity. We were forced tricked and convinced that we were doing a grand service to our people. Those bastards who convinced us that we're doing something so grand have never experienced war like this.
I despise them. But I also envy them. They're given everything when they’re born and can just play around with others' lives for more and more. They don't know what it's like to lose everyone.
Suppose we all knew the true horrors of war. Would we have fought harder not to go? Or would we stop a war from ever happening?
The sun has finally set, but I'm not happy. My ears are ringing, it's becoming difficult to breathe, blood is covering my abdomen, and some blood spilled into my left eye from a wound I got earlier.
I hear less gunfire and screams. I can already tell our two squads of 28 members are currently single digits. And that I would soon follow.
Realizing I didn't have much time left, I think I just wanted to speak so I wouldn't be alone.
"What's up, Adrian?"
Turning his head to look at me, Eric saw the blood coming from my abdomen, the blood flowing into my left eye, and the cut over my right eye.
"I don't want to die yet." Despite having no one and nothing left I didn't want to die. I don't deserve to die like this. I haven't done anything to deserve any of this.
"You're not going to die yet, buddy. Help will be here soon, and they'll fix you up, buddy, I promise."
I figured I should go along with his words seeing the tears flowing down his eyes.
"Ya, you're right."
I could feel myself losing consciousness, and the pain was becoming less bearable. My breathing became more haggard, and my right eye was losing focus while I could no longer see with my left.
Realizing my state Eric began talking to me. Hoping to keep me conscious since as soon as I lost consciousness, he knew I would die, and he would be alone.
"Adrian stays awake, buddy. Helps here; They're going to fix you up good as new. Stay awake, buddy. You’re going to be okay."
I could only listen to his desperate pleas since blood kept flowing out of my mouth each time I tried to speak.
"It's okay, buddy. You don't need to speak; I'm here with you. Please don't die. I can't keep losing everyone. You’re the only have I have left. Please don’t leave me as well."
Seeing a grown man cry is hard. I truly pity him. No matter how much it pains me to admit it, it's probably the end of the line for me. But he will have to remember this day and all the other days he's lost his men for the rest of his life.
He was a good man. He tried to bring together a bunch of strangers and cared for us all. It's a shame we couldn't have a drink together after the wars were over, but what can I do?
I can see them. All my memories played out in front of me. It's all going by so fast, but at the same time, it's as if time isn't moving at all.
It is a shame that I'm going to die today. I couldn't even live a proper life. As soon as I finished high school, I was drafted into the army.
If only I had another chance to do it all over again. I wouldn’t have listened to orders from people who didn’t care about me and sent me and so many others out to war for no reason except for their greed.
I wouldn’t let people treat me the way they did. I wouldn’t want to see people die in front of me like how my original squad died.
Damn it all; I don't want to die. I didn't want to be in this war. I wanted to live. Mustering my last bit of strength, I said my goodbyes to my last remaining friend and the only family I had left in this world.
“Goodbye, Eric. It's been good knowing you.”
I’m so sorry Mom, Dad, Sister, Lucky. I’m sorry I didn’t avenge you. I’m sorry I died pointlessly. I’m sorry I wasn’t there when they attacked. I’m sorry It’s all my fault.
Before my right eye closed for the last time, I saw the tears falling from Eric's eyes. I could only feel pity since I understood his feeling about having nobody else in the world and watching the only people in your world be taken away from you. I know he’s just like me but I don’t know which one of us has it worse.
Those were my last thoughts, and then I died. At least, that's what I would call it.