I struggle to breathe, I could feel my lungs moving but it was as if no air was getting in. The air around me was heavy, weighing on me like a thick blanket. I leaned over and rested my hands on my
knees, fighting the urge to collapse into the muddy ground beneath my feet. Sweat streamed down my face running off my nose and lips. The muscles in my legs tightened as I struggled to balance. All
I could hear was the pounding of my heart ringing in my ears, I closed my eyes and cringed in pain.
Gun shots rang out and I dove into the mud pit. My arms now finding some hidden energy, I pulled myself though the mud. I could feel it seeping into my boots and hair, soaking into my clothes quickly. I reached the end of the pit and somehow summoned the strength to get myself out. Without hesitation I take off running. My boots now caked in mud slide around beneath me. As if the 60lb pack on my back wasn’t enough, the extra 10lbs of mud really made it exhausting. Finally the mud peeled off the bottoms of my boots and I speed up along the edge of the grass. I scaled the side of a 15ft fence doing my best to avoid the barbed wire. On my way over the top I lost my footing. As I struggled to catch myself I grab the barb wire. Time seemed to slow down, I could feel the cold sharp wire pierce through my skin and slice my palm open. I winced and yelped in pain but I didn’t dare stop as I quickly jumped down the other side. As I took off running again, I could feel the tingle of warm blood running down my fingers. The mud on my face was almost dry and started to crack off into my eyes.
Shots rang out once again as I ran to take cover with the rest of my platoon. I slammed into the ground ignoring the searing pain coming from my hand I fired 8 rounds into the target, before I was able to bandage up my hand enough to slow down the bleeding. We returned fire on the enemy and slowly advanced into their territory.
We captured their land with 1 casualty. The horn sounded and we retreated to our starting positions ready for the next round, knowing it will never be the same as the time before. The second horn blew and we were off in a full sprint along the side of a rundown building, praying that on the other side there would be nothing even though we all know there is always something. We duck down and crawl through the long grass until we have a clean view of the front entrance way to the secluded building. My sergeant gives me the signal and I continue on crawling until I have a clear shot of the back entrance. One of my guys, Brick, crawls over as well and watches around the building so we won’t be flanked. I watch as the sergeant signals the men into the building. Even outside I know what they are doing second by second. They start by clearing the first room, each man has a job and they are trusted to do it. They travel into the next room as a team. They do this, clearing every room one by one, not making a sound to ensure the target can’t get the jump on us.
Suddenly there was yelling and the muffled sound of gun shots rang out, more yelling followed and then quiet. A figure appeared in the doorway, I held fire and waited until I could see them clearer. One of my own men emerged out of the shadow and signaled to us. We guarded the doors and other exit points while the prisoners were escorted to the trucks parked on the other side of a hill.
Just as they dropped out of site over the crest of the hill, we were ambushed. 50 Pakistani soldiers appeared as if out of nowhere. Our guns would not help us in this situation so we were forced to use our hand to hand combat training. It was about 50 to 10 they had us way out numbered, but we fought back with all our strength. It is was all a blur; people yelling, screaming running at us from all directions and then just like that it was over. I turned to look just as the tanks flew over the hill at top speed. The other soldiers fled and we were left standing there still full of adrenaline.
The horn sounded again, but this time we headed over to the main building, for supper and the schedule for the next day. This was my favoIAMADUMBASSurite time the day was winding down and being able to relax and eat was a relief.
It was dark as we headed outside the heat of the day had drifted off and there was a slight chill in the air. Suddenly I was pushed hard from behind, but my feet stayed firmly planted on the ground. I ignored him and kept walking preparing myself for the next shove, and sure enough he pushed me again harder this time. I stopped dead and he ran into the back of me with a muffled humf I smirked even though I knew it would take a lot more than that to get rid of him. I have gotten used to this kind of thing ever since I got here, we all have. There are 15 women here and over 200 men. The men think the training is hard but for us it’s harder. There is nothing they could do or say that would make me give up on my dream.
Our work for the day was not over yet although we would be up for at least 3 more hours cleaning or housing rooms. We had to wash the floors, do laundry, maintain the equipment and the best job of all bathroom duty. Before lights out we shower, it’s the only thing better than meals. The feeling of warm water running through my short hair after it had been stiff with mud since I had woken up 19 hours before. My skin stings when the soap gets into the cuts that had covered my body. My hand had now been stitched and wrapped up with many layers of bandage.
Today is the start of going 3 days without sleep. The end of the three days we get 3 or 4 hours of forced sleep. This is when your sergeant forces you to sleep, and not in comfortable conditions either. You are then forced to go another 3 days with no sleep.
At 500 hours we met at the front of the main building, in formation waiting for our packs to be check and our uniforms analyzed for any imperfections.
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