Watching my girls play is the best part of my day. I spend time thinking about them. Wondering why I keep working. Why I keep taking ops. Why I keep doing this thing I do?
And then I remember. I remember the faces. The smiles. The jokes. The sorrow filled faces looking back at me, knowing that there isn’t anything left to do but die. My people.
I can lie to myself and pass them off as employees. As people who made choices. But at the end of the day, I’m the one responsible. I took the contract. I sent them into harms way. And I’m the reason they died.
People will say it’s the person who planted the bomb, pulled the trigger, or plunged the blade. And they’re right. They’re right. But it’s not a zero sum equation. And my choices, my intel, my signature on some piece of paper sent them careening into the path of the bullet and nothing I do makes up for that.
But what I can do is take care of their families. Take care of their legacies. And make better decisions in the future. But I can’t do that without money. And I can’t do that without resources. And really, this is the only life I know. So I take my joys where I can.
Take my girls and give them the chance at safety and joy and love. All while I know, my men and women are executing orders and placing themselves one step closer to that final sleep.
Sometimes the responsibility hits you out of nowhere. The crushing weight, briefly unbearable
Until something lifts you up.
Tara’s impish smile and Sara’s brazen grin. And the nods of the guards. Who know what happens when I go too quiet and my gaze slips distant. And remind me, life doesn’t stop. Best get to it.