The medic slowly turns with tears in his eyes and takes the little boys’ hands in his. He can’t speak Arabic either, but I think the tears do it. He stops fighting and starts quietly sobbing. The medic takes his hand and starts walking back towards the convoys. I pick up the boy’s wounded brother, cradling him against me (which is hard with the body armor) and follow them.
We load the unconscious boy in the back of our hummer with the medic. The brother sits between me and the gunner in the back, and we head back to base.
I thought this would get easier. It’s hard to lose friends, see kids injured and civilians die. It doesn’t make any sense. There’s got to be some reason for us to be here. The faces of my friends, killed in front of me, come back and visit at night. The carnage of civil war is never far away (we’re not supposed to call it that). Are we here to be targets and ambulance drivers? We certainly aren’t keeping the peace, because there isn’t any around. It’s loss, chaos and rolling disaster.