Soldier Run

at 5:00 PM

Fingers slick with perspiration, I continue to rush through the harsh rocky terrain as the whistle of bullets echo past me. Struggling to get into cover, I dive into a prone position and crawl toward my battalion. I can hear my heart beating through my ears as mortars bombard the hard soil. I make a run from the bullets. I make a run from the blood, the pain and the suffering. Suddenly, a message appears indistinctly in my eyesight. I focus closely and find out that it says, "Controller one needs to be recharged." As I turn off my PS3 and end my day's worth of "Battlefield 3," I think to myself, "Am I really going to go around putting bullets into people? Am I really going to fight in a war when I'm grown?"
   
Ever since watching movies like "Full Metal Jacket" and "Black Hawk Down" as a little kid, I've always wanted to be a soldier in the Marines. It was not only because I'd have a gun to shoot the bad guys, but because I'd be a hero. I'd be the soldier rushing through enemy lines, leading the battle with courage. With the movies and video games we have, what five-year-old boy wouldn't want to be a soldier? To me, it was everything. War sounded easy like "Call of Duty" and "Ghost Recon." At least that's how it used to feel.
   
As a kid, I would always ask my mom how her life was back in Cambodia during the war. "War is the devil's playground," she would say, reminiscing about her past. "I've seen so many people die. Every day people died. Babies stabbed and shot. People suffocating and dying a slow, painful death. It was my own people killing each other. Killing is not a game son."

I know now that war is not a game. People are not fighting to be heroes. They're fighting because they have to. People fight to protect their families and their way of life.

So do I still dream about putting bullets into people and fighting in a war to take the lives of people I'm ordered to? No I don't. Now when I play "Battlefield 3," I have a slightly different outlook. I know that when I'm firing my gun, I'm not really firing a gun. And when I'm providing cover for my squad, I'm not really providing cover. Most importantly, I know now that war is not a game.

With a perspective, I'm Rattana Sot.

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