Squire….a recollection of war

Squire – a recollection of war

I’m twenty seven years old
Not, old by any standard
But, in my world…I’m seven
Seven years removed from an IED
Seven years away from the day that changed me
Seven years into my new life
We were on a routine mission
If you can call anything in Khandahar
routine
Convoy escort, some press folks
A country singer and his band
And us….always us
We were Military Police
Bringing ’em in, taking ’em home
there we were,
Same trip, same road
same barren landscape
same potholes
same, same, same
Until November 4th, 2005
Nothing has been the same since then
I’m a Sargeant, Military Police
William Blankenship
Fort Hood, Texas…just a kid…until
We were on Operation Squire
routine….all routine
The first humvee hit an IED
flipped right in front of us
the bus of civilians, stopped
radio chatter like mad
Rocket fire took out the Stryker LAV
Blew it to bits
No survivors
We were pinned down
We didn’t return fire
Couldn’t….didn’t know where to
And had to get the civilians to safety
We were only 2 miles from base
LAVs were on the road immediately
I don’t remember much about it
Just, that it was routine
Started with the headaches
took about a month
Then, the nightmares
Sent me back home to get over it
To a Veterans Hospital in Texas
Still saw the humvee flip
Heard the screams
Saw the fire, and watched the explosion behind
And I wasn’t sleeping anymore
Couldn’t handle bright lights for a time
Still can’t, but not as bad
Doctors said it was PTSD
I said, “you think?”
What else could it be
Two years they kept me in there
Two years I saw them die
Then…they hooked me up with a service dog
New program they said
He’d keep me relaxed
I couldn’t take care of myself
And now, they want me to have a dog
I said, I’d try it…but no guarantees
Said his name was Squire
funny….I knew that name from somewhere
But, couldn’t remember where
Big, oafish, Newf he was
Like a small fridge with hair
And big, brown eyes
Squire….
First day he just sat and looked at me
Waited until I started to move
And he moved with me
Came over, and pushed his head under my hand
It’s been that way ever since
I move, he moves
I eat, he eats three times as much
We bonded pretty quick
I still get the dreams,
but, Squire knows and he’s there
Under my hand, calming me down
That’s all he does, calms me down
He doesn’t take away the dreams
But, he helps
I don’t know how
But, he helps
They still die, and I still scream
But, not as often
Just routine….

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