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Word Count: 1,910
Imagine yourself in a newly strange unfamiliar tropical jungle environment The catch is your purpose is not to take eye-catching photographs for National Geographic magazine Instead you are assigned to kill people of a foreign land you have never seen before because your government tells you it is the patriotic honorable duty you owe your country Everything is all right in the beginning You arrive in Vietnam familiarize yourself with your platoon acquaintances and close friends alike The worst things so far are the irritating annoying insects that buzz around you in the midst of the tropical heat while wearing a hot uncomfortable marine uniform while carrying a heavy backpack and a semi-automatic weapon and fatigue from hiking and digging numerous trenches Until one night in the jungle someone you are perhaps close with is blown to pieces before your eyes Its possible the only thing left of them is sadly their lower half It is the first time you have witnessed another human being violently grotesquely mutilated to unexpected death in only a matter of a second Emotions are raging through you fear anger shock frustration paranoia sadness and maybe after seeing this numerous times you might actually but sickly enough begin to laugh Not at all the death that is around you but realizing that the fighting never seems to end and that this is the life to which you must be accustomed You can not tell apart the Viet-Kong from regular civilians since they can be anyone-even women and children You are unable to communicate with anyone in this land because they do not speak your language and you do not speak theirs You do not know exactly what intentions any random person of this foreign land may have you only know you are there to carry out one specific task-kill the Viet-Kong This is difficult when they are indistinguishable from regular civilians Now imagine experiencing this every day for a year
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