Fighting In Iraq

In the monologue Fighting In Iraq, Tom talks to a few friends at a bar about his experiences being in battle and coping with the aftermath.

TOM:  So, you want to know what it was like?  I’ll tell you because I can just about face it now. When I was over there, it was the scariest time of my entire life.  Everyday bombs would go off, bullets would come at you at any given moment from all directions, the screaming, yelling from a language you have no understanding of.  It’s haunting.

We’d walk through towns that we just blew to shreds and we’d see children.  There was this one little girl about four years old.  Cutest child you’d ever lay your eyes on.  Her eyes were large.  Black.  Magnetic.

She stood there in the ruins, in shock from what had happened.  She didn’t know whether to cry, run, scream…she was all alone and helpless.  So I walked over to this little angel and I knelt down and I looked into those dark eyes of hers and I said, “Hi, I’m Tom, everything’s okay sweetie.”  Then, I’ll never forget this as long as I live…one single tear rolled down her cheek and in a rush she threw her tiny arms around my chest and I felt her squeeze me with all her might.  Everything this child must have been feeling at that single moment, was completely wrapped around me.  As she held me, I couldn’t help but feel her pain.  Here is this little four year old girl, destroyed…and I had everything to do with it.  I looked over, down at the ground while she was hugging me and I noticed an arm from under the debris.  I soon realized this was the little girl’s Mother and that she wouldn’t leave her Mother’s side.


This made me sick…if I could have chosen to die for man’s sins, it would have been at that exact moment.  If I could have prevented…

…We go in to war thinking we are fighting for the common good of mankind.  For the belief that we will be heroes in preserving humanity.  But let me tell you something, when you hold a small, scared child in your arms and look at things from her point of view…man, let me tell you now, this is all bullshit.  It’s all wrong.  You question things.  In fact, you question everything about everything and it plays on you.  It plays on you so much that you think you’re going crazy.  What’s right, what’s wrong?  Is this what God wants?  It eats at you.

That’s what it was like.


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Joseph Arnone