for the little ones:
Try something for a minute… Close your eyes and try to picture war through the eyes of an 8 year old little boy. You're in the school yard playing soccer with your friends and family without a care in the world. All of the sudden there is an explosion and before you know it there's chaos. You look at the ground and see your little sister laying there lifeless. You feel helpless, the oldest of 3 children with your big brother responsibilities. They can't find your other sister and you can only assume the worst. The fear going through your mind sends you into shock. Gone from 8 years old without a care in the world to having your family cut down significantly by the horrors of war.
It didn't really hit me until tonight. They have been in the ICW(Intensive Care Ward) for the past week. Tonight we sent them out on a helicopter to go back home. I held the little 8 year old boys hand in mine as we walked the path up to the helipad. The past few days all of the nurses and attendees in the ICW had been spoiling them with gifts, candy and a good time. Almost to the point to where he had forgotten the horrible things he had seen. He smiled and played with the 3 other children they brought in that night. The other little ones still too young to completely understand exactly what had happened to them. I questioned whether or not the one little girl completely understood or not. She spent most of the time in the ICW with a blank expression on her face. As I was walked hand in hand with the little boy up until the moment when he saw the bird he seemed strong. In one fleeting moment everything flooded back to him at once. I'm sure the memories of what happened that fowl night played through his head and it all came rushing back to him. For every moment of life back in the states that I took for granted I am sorry. The strength of that little boy is unimaginable.He stayed strong up until that moment when he saw the helicopter. He cried and turned towards me as if he wanted me to save him from having to go back. Besides the language barrier that keeps me from directly talking to him and consoling him, I decided to stick with the universal language. I knelt down beside him and gave him a hug and told him, "Everything will be ok." I hope to God that I wasn't lying to him. It was a hard night tonight considering we didn't see anything major coming in. Up to now that serves as one of the hardest moments I've had in Iraq. I wish there was more I could do and it's this feeling of helplessness for them that kills me. I don't pray that often, but tomorrow morning before I go to bed I will say a prayer for them.