Semper Fidelis

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story is about a group of Marines stationed over sea's. Sorry for errors, did not do much revising. Wrote this for my creative writing class the night before it was due but it ended up surprisingly good in my opinion, hope to hear some feedback to see if i should write more.

Submitted: March 12, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 12, 2012




Semper Fidelis


Driving a truck was great; the roar of the engine, the huge wheels, and the feel of authority. It is such a thrill having all of that power at your control. Tearing up every dirt road in town all summer got my blood pumping, and it was such an adrenaline rush. Your mind overflows with exhilaration and bliss. Your hands shake frantically, while your body melts into the rumbling throne of jet black rough leather. Everyone should experience that feeling. But it is child’s play compared to the sheer ecstasy of tearing through the desert in an MRAP. “The Cougar” or “Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle” is the vehicle that replaced the humvee as the marine’s transportation of choice, 100% manly, and 200% pure bad ass. The power is incredible. Having all of that firepower, while being practically invincible. I am the ruler of my Kingdom, what I say goes, and when I roll through, I strike fear into those who stand by. My soldiers are one of a kind; we occupy this vehicle, and create one great well oiled machine. Without them, my system of rule would be nothing. My kingdom lies within the MRAP, and subsides within this desert. My kingdom is a wasteland of dirt. My kingdom…

“Dude you are obsessed with this damn truck, what do you call it? Helga?” My co-pilot Lcpl. Pierce Davis interrupted my thoughts.

“Her name is Olga, and it’s not just a damn truck. You’ll respect Olga; she’s what’s keepin’ you alive out here,” I replied.

“Olga sounds like some ugly Russian bodybuilding piece of…”

I slammed on the brakes.

“Get outta my Cougar,” I said without looking over.

“Both of you need to chill out! Oh my god, you’re both actin’ like retards. Kolt, watch the road. And Pierce, stop antagonizing,” Pfc. James O’Brien shouted from the gunner nest.

“What’s that even…?”

“Stop starting shit! Why did they even let you in the marines? You’d think they would have noticed you were a few fries short of a happy meal.”

“You gonna let him talk to you like that bro?” Pfc. Axel Barreto asked from the back of the people carrier.

“Yo, give my boy up there a Lima Tango,” Pierce called back to Axel. Lima and Tango were part of the military alphabet. L.T. for us stood for love tap.

“Dude, I swear to god if you even think about doin’ that I will come down off this gun and smack the Mexican out of you!” James said out of desperation. But before he could get down, Axel shoved the muzzle of his M16 into James’ crotch.

“I’m Puerto Rican bitch!” We all started laughing profusely.

“Bro I’m like crying right now.” I said while sniffling and whipping away a tear. We all messed around with each other, it’s the only thing that kept us from going insane from the heat and lack of, well, everything really.

We finally rolled up to the base. They inspected the undercarriage of the vehicle as I passed through the entrance. I waved my I.D. to the gate guard, who obviously knew who I was but sometimes you just have to go with standard procedure. My favorite part of the day, other than going to the mess hall, was going on these mindless patrols. Everyone else dreaded them, but I enjoyed the ride. It was a break from being stuck on base doing nothing all day everyday, but my favorite was when we went on foot patrols in town. I thrived on the chance of a firefight. The life and death situation was like fuel for me, I jumped at the opportunity to be put in one of the missions. Our team was notorious for the amount of recon patrols that we went on. We were off of the base almost everyday and the next day we had a trip 30 miles out east in the mountains. We were headed for a small village that had to be scoped out.

The base was as dry as could be, nothing more and nothing less than a few barracks, a couple dozen Hescas, a few lines of vehicles, and a barb wire fence. The barracks were long buildings that looked like some old beat down mobile homes. Hescas are giant boxes that are filled with dirt from digging up the outpost and are meant to protect areas of the base from ordinance. Everything in the base was covered in dirt and dust. The sun dropped behind the mountains before we knew it so we called it a day and climbed into our racks.

“Wake up man”

“Dude just muzzle thump him.”

“Oh god he is gonna kiiiiiill you, I don’t wanna be ‘round when this goes down.”

I felt a blunt metal circle swiftly ram into my eye. I hate that feeling of being poked in the eye, that vulnerable feeling that makes all the muscles in your face clench, makes your head sting and throb, and gives you that overwhelming hate for...
“Whoever muzzle thumped me, will die!” I sprang out of bed but my head started spinning, I felt light headed for a moment. When I came back to reality, no one was there. I ran over to the doorway, it looked like any exit door to a large building, the kind you weren’t supposed to open unless it was an emergency. I opened it and ambled through blindly while covering my eyes, the sun seems like it’s always brighter than blazes in Afghanistan.

“Hitler on your three” I heard a voice mumble but it was too late, Sgt. Major McPhearson rampaged over to me. I turned to face him and stood at attention. Sgt. Maj. McPhearson was the hard-ass of all hard-asses, and he was nicknamed “Hitler” because of his moustache. He was a man who stuck to regulation above all else, and regulation was that your moustache cannot pass over the ends of your mouth. He took it to the next level with the Hitler ‘stache.

“Lcpl. Kolt Forester,” he said calmly as he stuck a finger in my face. I guess no one ever taught him about personal bubbles. “What on god’s green earth are you doing outside without your camies? And you better have a damn good reason.”


“Be back out here in your uniform. You’ve got 10 seconds till you spend the day in the pit!”

So there I was in the pit.

I spent a majority of the day in the pit dying of heat stroke and fatigue. When dusk came, I left the pit to gear up. Everyone thinks that the desert is always scorching hot, but when the sun goes down it freezes over. It constantly is at below 0o temperatures that interrupt your thoughts and latch on to your skin. Scarves, socks, extra vests, and shirts; we weren’t planning on spending the night freezing. Seeing everything through night vision goggles is sort of hard to get used to. Everything is green and lights blind your view. So I have to take them on and off a lot, but tonight was clear. It was oddly dark out; the stars and moon that normally lit up the sky seemed dulled. The drive through the desert was like staring at a wall,

The town was basically square; it had four main roads filled with store fronts around the edges and a whole lot of houses crammed in between. We drove in the humvee since it was more mobile in the tight squeezes of the back alleys, but it is also a whole ton quieter than the MRAP. The entire place would have been rustling around and there would be heads pokin’ out of every hole from East Street to West Street had we driven the cougar.

“Check windows, check rooftops, check alleys,” I whispered to the guys as I swiveled my head every which way to get a better vantage point through the windswept windshield. We were driving towards a broken down auto shop on the North Street where we would park and step out on foot.

“Yo’, we got somethin’ up ahead,” Pierce pointed out, “Looks like a dog.” It was obviously dead but we still didn’t want to roll over it. We all stepped out of the vehicle, surveying the surroundings behind the protection of the door panels.



“All clear here too,”

“I’ll take point,” I volunteered, “Let’s keep this soft and clean; don’t wanna attract anymore attention than we already have.”

The road had the store fronts to the left and open dry fields with a handful of scattered buildings to the right. We were in the open.

“James, get back up on the big gun, Barreto cover his six, Pierce, on my ass, and keep an eye on those alleys,” I commanded. I slid step by step towards the dog which was no further than 10 yards away. I bent my knees and moved faster, kneeling next to the dead dog. It reeked of decaying flesh. I hoped, for my own sake, I would never have to smell that ever again. Something wasn’t right though. I saw a gash running down the middle of the chest and gut; I set my rifle on the ground to my right. It scraped against the gravel littered asphalt.

I slid my left hand under the flap of skin and slowly lifted it up to inspect the corpse, my face flinched and clenched. “Click.”

“Man,” I whispered as I let out a long deep breath. “I.E.D!” I yelled out An I.E.D is an improvised explosive device of any kind. I kept my calm, knowing that waking up the town would only make things worse. Pierce pulled up next to me. He set his rifle under my left side elbow to support my arm. The slightest move could set it off.

“I’m shit outta luck, get that humvee rolled back and go back to base,” I told him.

“We’ve been doin’ this for how long now?”

“Way too long, bro.”

“You of all people should know that we stay together, to hell and back. Semper Fidelis,” he explained.

“Always faithful,” I said it over and over in my head.

Axel came up and kneeled on my right.

“Bomb kit,” he pulled out a tiny box and pried it open. It held wire cutters and a few other amenities. It was only meant to hold down a situation until an EOD squad could respond, but there was no help out here.

James parked the humvee parallel to the three of our backs; the hood faced the store fronts.

“Just in case, ya know, if shit hits the fan, we gotta have somethin to take cover behind,” he said nervously as he climbed back onto the mount. Axel attempted to diffuse the bomb inside the dog, his hands shook uncontrollably.

“Pierce, throw up a light for him,” I told him as he pulled out his pocket flashlight. I felt light-headed, and my eyes began to close. The smell overpowered my other senses. My eyes teared up and blurred. How Axel stayed conscious was a mystery to me.

“Yo James, throw down a beat, maybe some Biggie will chill him out,” Pierce said over his shoulder towards O’Brien. He pulled out his iPod, and threw it to Davis. Davis put on the beat of “Juicy” by Notorious BIG.

“Start it off big boy,” James told me.

“It was all a dream,

I used to read Word Up magazine

Salt’n’Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine

Hangin’ pictures on my wall

Every Saturday Rap Attack, Mr. Magic, Marley Marl

I let my tape rock ‘til my tape popped…

…Way back, when I had the red and black lumberjack

With the hat to match…”

“Dude that was down right horrible,” James laughed.

“How ‘bout you take a shot at it?” I asked Pierce.

“Turn that shit off, I’m done here,” Axel said as he stood up and put away his kit.

“We’re rollin’ out boys!” I half yelled. I carefully let down the dog’s skin from under my hand. I didn’t realize how tired my arm actually was until I began to move it around again.

Everyone else piled into the humvee while I grabbed the dog by its hind legs and dragged it across the roadway and into a ditch. As I set down the stiffened legs, I heard another click; it wasn’t disengaged.

“No. No. No, no, no, NO!” I screamed as I turned and sprinted towards the humvee, but it was too late. I heard it first; it began as a soft “boom,” but rapidly grew and grew in intensity until my ears rang violently more and more, then nothing. Like someone hit the mute button on the TV. Next came the heat, the pure force propelled my body up onto the road and pushed me across the pavement. My goggles smashed against my face, sending tiny pieces of glass into my skin. My head and arms ripped open from the gravel lying on the street being swept across my body. I felt the shrapnel from the I.E.D tear and mangle through my insides, embedding themselves in my skin, muscles, and bones. People think that explosions are filled with fire and pillows of black smoke but they’re not. It’s not the explosion that kills you either. The sand filled cloud sends out shrapnel that strikes the deathly blow in this situation. I finally slid to a halt and my consciousness faded away. The pain was too much for my mind to handle. I was in a state of shock and daze. I let my eyelids fall and blood seeped into my view. The sea of red grew darker and darker, then completely shifted to black.

I am not sure what it feels like to die. I guess you really never know. How could you tell? I guess it’s not knowing if you’re dead, but knowing that you’re alive. “Alive,” I was alive, well, for now at least.

"C'mon man, please get up! Please, dude, please," I heard a faint voice whisper. My eyes slowly dialed back, my vision was blurred but cleared up, allowing me to focus as I blinked repetitively.

"He's up!"

"James cover that window, Axel watch down those stairs." Pierce hoarsely commanded. "Kolt stand up, we gotta move."

I was laying on a torn up red carpet against a stone wall towards one corner of the room. We must have moved into one of the shops yet it looked like a bedroom. It consisted of one window, a stairwell, and a doorway that led down a short hallway. I seated myself upright, my squad mates all took a glance towards me then back to what they were covering.

"You good?" James asked over his shoulder.

"Yeah, I'm good," I lied and they knew it. I looked down at my hands and legs, I was covered in grimy, bloody bandages. I began to pull them off one by one. I couldn't move my left arm from my shoulder to my forearm, I could only move the hand. I used the bandages from my right arm to make a sling around my neck. The backside of my legs were torn up pretty bad. My back wasn't as bad as it should have been, It hurt like hell, but the combat vest obstructed most of the metal but bulletproof isn't worth a damn against an explosion from that range. I was lucky to be alive.

"Barreto, give me a hand here," I told him as I lent out my good arm and he pulled me onto my feet. My weight put more pressure on my wounds; my whole body trembled from the stinging and tearing pains. In the movies they pull out a pack of morphine and a syringe, but the truth is only medics and corpsman carry painkillers. There were none present. So it is best to find a way to cope with the pain. "Alright let's go."

We walked down the hallway and down a stairwell into a pitch-black room.

"Night vision, ladies," I instructed my men.

"Door, on the right," James called out.

We moved up to the door, James and Davis on either side, Axel opened the door and I walked through the doorway out into the alleyway. I scanned from left to right, the alley was as wide as the door, considering all of our gear and the size of our rifles, it was a tight squeeze. I couldn’t hold my rifle with my broken arm; I used my Berretta pistol.

"There should be another recon from India Co. at the North End and West End intersection, that’s where we should be headed," I explained as I turned left and headed north. We stuck to the alleys, every cross street we ran to the other side and into the nearest northward alley. We were three streets from North End and I peered out of an alley into the next cross street when a shot rippled through the air from down the road westward. The street was littered with buildings; the shot could have come from any of them.

"Sniper?" I whispered as I put my back to the wall in between us and the shooter.

"I got runner, count it out," Pierce responded.

"3... 2…1… go!" I counted down. When I called go, he sprinted across the street. The moment after he ran, I glanced around the wall to see where the next shot would come from. No shot was fired. So James ran, and still nothing. Had he moved? He must have still been watching. I ran next, even with my limp, still nothing. By now we knew the sniper had moved. Axel walked out of the alley and glared down the roadway. That’s when the second shot went off. Axel hit the ground. He didn’t move. How could we be so careless?

I wanted to scream his name, I wanted to run to his help, I wanted to save him, but there was nothing I could do. The sniper would be waiting for me to run out into the open. I dropped to my knees. Axel laid on his back, his face towards me. I could see the agony in his eyes. His neck was ripped open and pouring out blood all over the asphalt. He shook violently, he tried to close up the wound with his hands but it was hopeless. He then attempted to open his left chest pocket but he just didn’t have the strength to open the button. I could see the life being drained out of him.

"Axel… why?" I whispered.

It took two minutes for him to bleed out, but it felt like an eternity. I stared into his glossed over eyes. It was my fault, I should've ran last. I should've been the one out there. I threw my face into my hands. I heard another three quick shots ring through the town. My radio beeped so I turned it on and listened.

"Sniper is down," I heard a voice say, I couldn’t tell who it was, I didn’t care. I looked behind me, no one was there. I was too occupied to notice James and Pierce went after the shooter. I stood up and walked over to Axel's body. I bent over on one knee, I opened up the pocket he reached for. It held a note, a letter to his parents. It was none of my business to read, I put it into the same pocket of mine, right next to my letter. I pulled a blanket out of my backpack and draped it over him.

"Goodbye Axel. Wait for me okay? Guard the gates till I get there."

They say that marines don’t die, they just go to hell and regroup but they also say every marine goes to heaven to guard the pearly gates. Axel has to be in heaven, he just has to. I felt a hand grab my shoulder.

"C'mon we gotta keep movin' Kolt," I heard James say.

"Alright let's go, we'll come back for him," I murmured.

We moved down the street swiftly, wasting no time in getting to the other team. We jogged for over a mile. When we were almost to the West End, a firefight erupted. There was gunfire going off everywhere around us. Bullets thwapped and thudded into everything around us. We sprinted inside a flower shop close by. The three of us ran upstairs, it was a two story building, as were most of the buildings in the area. We found a stairwell to the roof, our best advantage would be a higher elevation. I opened the door with my good hand, I went first. The roof had a small brick ledge all around the perimeter. I ducked behind it and surveyed the area. The gunfire had stopped. James and Pierce each covered a side of the roof. The only weapon I had was the Beretta but with one hand it would be very difficult to do anything.

"Movement on the left, we got three on a rooftop about 100 meters out," Pierce explained. We all moved onto his side of the roof. Then an explosion went off behind us, the door the adjacent buildings roof flew off. Smoke gushed out of the stairwell and out rushed four men dressed in all black. I couldn’t see through the dirt cloud that filled the air. I shot blindly into the smoke, gunshots were going off all around me, my helmet fell off in the explosion and it was nowhere to be found. My ears rang uncontrollably, once more I couldn’t hear. Muzzle flashes filled the night vision goggles. I ripped them off and threw them across the ground, I could hear them being shot as I peered over the wall. One of the men tried to jump from building to building. I pointed my gun, aligned the sights, waited for the pause in my breath, and took the shot. I missed. The man managed to make the impressive leap. He barreled on top of me; I held him above me with my forearm. He drew a knife from his side and buried it into the right side of my stomach. I tried to relax my muscles, clenching them would only make the cut worsen. The pain was unbearable, but there was no way I would stop. I grabbed the handle of the knife, gripping till my knuckles turned white as paper, and ripped it out of my side. All of my energy was gone. I couldn’t move, or think, and my ears had gone deaf from all of the gunshots. I looked on as the man who had stabbed me walked towards James. He pointed his rifle at the man, but the man didn’t even flinch. He pulled the trigger but his gun jammed. I rolled over and stood up, I wouldn’t let another one of my men die. Not now, not ever. I sprinted towards the man and tackled him. I kneeled over him with the knife in my hand.

"My turn." I thrust the blade into the man's heart. The adrenaline was surging through my veins, it kept me alive. I stood once more, I saw James and another man in a fist fight. Behind James, a rifle pointed to his head. He shot. There was nothing I could have done but I wasn’t about to sit and watch another one of my men die.

"Noooo!" Pierce yelled. It sent shivers down my spine. My stomach was curling from the gash but I stumble towards Pierce. He gunned down the two men James was engaged with, turning the situation into a massacre. The last man stood at the edge, rifle pointed at Pierce. Not again, not another. I ran at the man and threw myself into him. The two of us tumbled over the wall. I always wondered if it were true that when you were about to die, time slowed. I'm not sure but this fall seemed like forever. I turned onto my back in the air and looked up at the clear sky where Pierce was watching from the roof above screaming for me. I smiled, and gently closed my eyes for one last time.

© Copyright 2019 Ian Munro. All rights reserved.

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