Raw From a Fox Hole: The Repetition in Military Lifestyle
Guest Writer: Grayson Miller
Wake up, debate with myself, cringe at the fact no one truly knows, try to start my day, drive for an hour, try to be happy enough so I don't bring anyone else down, then put on a mask. This is the only time I feel comfortable enough because no one can see my actual expression. People ask why I wear this mask and I tell them that everyone wears a mask, I just choose this one for myself. Chug coffee, take a nap before I’m on duty, clean my rifle, clean my rifle, clean my rifle; I didn’t repeat those words because I couldn’t think of anything to write. I purposely wrote it 3 times to indicate the amount of time I spend cleaning it. Get yelled at for something small and get away with something big. Read my book, workout, chug more coffee. Watch grown men fight over hot magazines and then those same men share the magazines. Lay in my bed contemplating my life choices, hearing mortars in the distance, chugging more coffee. Fire duty starts. More like ways to keep us tired duty. IF THERE’S A FIRE I’M SURE WE'LL WAKE UP. Get yelled at for something big, get away with something small. Receive orders to clear an AO(area of operations). Nothingness. Mind, body, and soul. Nothingness. All I know is what I was trained to do. Turn off all emotions, except anger. Channel that anger into accuracy, into precision, into motivation to stay alive. Clear objectives. Return to base. Repeat all sentences for 9 months. Get on a plane. Get off the plane to a hot summer day. Watching family cheer, knowing they know nothing and that’s ok with me because if I do this for them, they will never know the truth. Receive my DD214(discharge from active duty document). Initial feeling of happiness followed closely by regret. Now something is missing, I’m feeling hollow. Try to fill it with alcohol. Makes things worse. Quit drinking, try finishing college, I finish and still hollow. Use this as motivation to find an answer a solution. An idea. Become an actor! Realizes potential. Others see potential in me. Decide to bury emotions in writing, find success. Try to fill the hole with books and more writing. I can’t forget, I won’t forget; passed. I’m lucky. Yes, I’m lucky. The idea of being lucky helps. with luck on my side I can do anything. My head circles memories every so often, but they aren’t so potent anymore. There’s at least 30 days of peace internally. Sometimes the emotions surface, but I’m getting better at directing those emotions in my writing. Writing helps. Free writing helps. Having a writing purpose helps and getting paid a lot to write definitely helps. But no one really knows and that’s ok with me. Just don’t thank me.
About Grayson Miller:
PFC. Grayson Miller served in the United States Army. He now strives to become an actor and has found some success.