Raj's Journal

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story I wrote for a school project. It stretches the actual history of the subject, the dates and timespan of the Iraqi Kuwait occupation and US liberation are off, but it made for a better story this way.

Submitted: December 05, 2009

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Submitted: December 05, 2009



“Funny,” thought the marine aloud. “If I had been here an hour or so ago, that bullet would be in my head.” There was a small, sharp hole in the dumpster the soldier sat against. The soldier, injured from the fierce combat he has just endured, stops beside a badly battered dumpster, blackened and charred with a large portion of its side blown open. It was 112 degrees in Kuwait that day in February, 2001. The marine took a minute to examine his bloodied left arm. There are two bullet holes; one is in his shoulder, the other in his inner elbow. To his right, he spotted a few pieces of paper with writing on them. The soldier reached for the paper, and noticed a foul scent in the air coming from inside the dumpster. It was an all too familiar smell these days in Kuwait; it was the smell of death. Slowly, nervously, he reached for the papers and decided to chance a look inside the dumpster. The scene was so revoltingly horrifying that the marine turned and wretched on the spot. Inside was a man, no older than the marine himself, covered in blood from two wounds on his left leg, three in his chest and one straight through his head. The opposite wall of the dumpster was covered in blood. The blood was still glistening; this meant it was still fresh. The man clutched two things. In his right hand, tight to his chest, was an AK47 assault rifle. In the other, lying limp on the ground, a scorched, war-torn diary, with the nervous scrawl of a man possessed with fear on its pages and blood splattered about. The marine took the book from the man’s hand and opened to the front. The writing was much more neat, more legible. He sat with his back to the pokmarked wall of the storefront facing the street which was now his resting spot, and began to read.
“My name is Raj, and I am fourteen years old. Yesterday was my 14th birthday, and as a gift, my mother and father bought me this diary. With the tight situation in our country, having somewhere to pour out my feelings will be a good way to cope with the stress. Iraq is a much bigger country than mine. I live in Kuwait City, Kuwait. I have lived here my whole life, and recently our country has been on the verge of war with Iraq. They are much bigger and more powerful, but we are a proud people and Father says our country will not go down easily. Last week, he decided to enlist in the army, ready to fight for our freedom if Iraq does invade. Mother says things will blow over soon enough, but she seems alone in this statement. That’s all for today, I hope things turn out okay for our family.”
The marine was intrigued, for he knew little of the view of this war through the prospective of a child. He wonders if the young innocent portrayed in the diary could possibly be the hardened, fierce looking man, now so covered in blood, in the dumpster to his left. He continues reading as a way to pass time.
“July 20th, 1990. Hello again Friend. Things haven’t changed since last week when I wrote you. Mother is getting worried, and decided it is time to train me to shoot. Tension with Iraq is still building. They blame us now for almost everything, and with their numbers, nearly 10 to 1 in comparison to ours, we cannot possibly hope to hold out long in an invasion unless the citizens rise up and help. I can now shoot with the family rifle, an AK47. I hope I never have to use it though; killing another person seems so wrong, so far away from the life I have lived to this point. I shall write again when news of this situation furthers in interest. For now, we are preparing for the coming storm in any way we can.”
“July 30th, 1990. Things are looking grim indeed, my friend. The neighbors have all enlisted in the army. I count my blessings, one of which is that I am too young to join the formal army. Today, we began barricading the houses and preparing to go through a hellish invasion. Mother said we will be lucky to come out alive, and if we do, to expect none of our loved ones to have been as fortunate as we were. I am truthfully scared; I do not want Iraq to invade. Why must they come for us? Are they so greedy they actually justify robbing us of our freedom and forcing a stressed government to manage a war and their debts on top of everything else? I have decided today that I hate Iraq. I will write you soon, dear friend, for you are my only source of comfort and solace in a time when a young boy is so desperately in need of help.”
“August 3rd, 1990. It happened yesterday. Dear Friend, the game is lost. I am now hunkered down in the basement with mother. We are scared. We are in mortal terror. The Iraqi commandos came by helicopter, guns ablaze, shooting all in sight, for to them, we were all resistance. They came by boat as well, landing on the shores and laying siege to the town as a whole. There is no escape. The streets, so crowded that day, now play host to a deathly heap of Kuwait people. I was in the marketplace when it happened. I was looking for a good price on wheat, deciding if it would be better to buy from a new vendor who set up shop a few days ago. There were Kuwait soldiers guarding us everywhere. They had guns, and were ready for combat. The tension in the air was great, and I wanted nothing more than to get out. I saw a soldier talking to a young girl. Apparently he was from this city as well, and was speaking of his family’s whereabouts with the girl. We heard them before we saw them. A high-pitched screech filled the air, followed by a hiss and a streak of an Iraqi rocket fired from one of the many gun ships closing fast on Kuwait City. Word had not yet arrived, but the invaders had taken all territory north of our city, and were expecting high guerilla resistance. The explosion was a dazzling thing, one that would be somewhat beautiful in any other context. The inferno erupted, consuming both man and child, who seconds ago were casually talking without a care in the world, and badly marring all in the area. Those in the immediate area were incinerated, hardly any signs of life left. It was chaos. The commando invaders seemed to come from every side, firing wildly into the crowds. Our soldiers were quick to fight back, firing at the enemies with the zeal of men defending everything they stood for. The citizens were mostly women and children, all scrambling for their houses. The invaders had no sympathy, the rougher of them actually beating and attacking civilians, dragging them to captivity. The gunships fired into the crowd, careful not to hit their own, but sparing no watchful eye for the innocent intermingled with Kuwait forces. Bullets passed overhead, and the first thing I could think of was the assault rifle strapped to my back. I could easily be mistaken as a soldier. Without thinking, with a burning passion, and with the image of man and girl so swift fully taken from this earth blazing in my mind’s eyes, I took out the rifle and fired into the brutal face of an invader. Mistake or not, this felt good. I had seen this man and his comrades slaughtering my community for only a fleeting moment, but that was all it took. The hot, dry, sandy marketplace turned to war zone, every table, dumpster, car and wall made bunkers and cover spots. An RPG sounded from the third story of a house to my left. It went straight into a crowd of advancing commandos. ‘Burn, you bastards,’ I thought to myself. I ran to a wall directly to my right, weaving through screaming mothers and children, some no older than myself, jumping tables and dodging gunfire, to accompany a wounded Kuwait soldier. I arrived at his right, and turned to the position he was firing at. Down the road, traveling at high speeds, guns affixed on the market, were two Iraqi tanks. I fired, and with a stroke of luck, hit the turret gunner, who was maliciously firing into the Kuwait mass. I was screaming at this point, shooting all Iraqis I saw, not an ounce of regret. The man sharing the wall with me suddenly went limp, and slid down the wall, leaving a thick, wet streak of crimson in his wake. His head, severely damaged from the gunshot, was now unrecognizable. He was stone dead. The stock of a commando’s gun met the back of my head, and I toppled over my fallen comrade. I rolled over, but he kicked the gun from my hand and fired a round into my right leg. The pain shot through me fast, mounting an assault on my nerves until every part of me was screaming. I looked into the cruel face of my attacker. Ages seemed to pass, the barrel of his gun pointed in my face, when he pulled the trigger. With a god-sent ray of salvation, his gun jammed, nothing came out of the barrel, no bullet fired into my young skull, and my life was spared for the time being. He threw the gun to the ground and was upon me at once. His fists seemed made of lead as they pounded, one after the other into my face. I tried protecting myself, but it was of no use. I needed to act fast, or this man would surely crush my skull where I lay. I saw a combat knife clipped to his chest and swiftly took it from him. I went for the throat, but he was keen to my retaliation, and stopped my hand inches from his jugular vein. The blazing Arabian sun was bearing down on all present. I thought this was the end; this was surely all over, as the commando overpowered me and slowly pushed the knife to my chest. The blade was bearing down slowly against my resistance, but death was too imminent. The point inches from my chest. I saw a man behind a blue car shot clean in the heart. The blade made contact with me, but only slightly. I saw an Iraqi gunship swoop in and pick up screaming Kuwait civilians, bringing them undoubtedly to a prison facility where they would be held for ransom. The tip of the knife punctured my skin. At a snail’s pace, it entered my body, and I was positive it would reach my heart at any moment. Through the chaotic yells and ear splitting explosions, I could swear I heard the voice of the angels singing a song of welcome. At that moment, the knife stopped, apparently only a fraction of the blade in me, and the commando was suddenly hit with a barrage from behind. Bullets traced through him, his thick crimson soaking me, and the knife fell to the ground. Through the blood, sweat, and blinding sun, I saw my father’s hands pick me up before I blacked out.”
The marine closed the diary. “Is this really what the Iraqis did to the people of Kuwait?” he pondered aloud. This boy, now a man at the age of 25, lying dead in a dumpster to his right, had a story of life incomparably different from the marine’s. The marine grew up in the USA, sheltered and protected, until he enlisted in the marines, overall unsure of his decision, but taking solace in the fact that he would be helping people. He thought of quitting, going home at the end of this operation. Tired, bloodied, but in every other sense zealous and ready to fight, he stood up and tucked the diary away in his inside vest pocket. He would save that for later reading, as a source of inspiration. He picked up Raj’s body, and carried it with him back to his quarters for the night. He decided that he would give this man the honor of a formal burial as a token of gratitude. Without knowing, Raj inspired the marine, and the marine decided, after reading but a few pages of this brave boy’s journal, that he was going to stay enlisted until Iraq was beaten back to their own country, and Kuwait was free once more.

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