Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service. It was a real choice mission, and when it was over, I never wanted another.
It was the way we had over here of living with ourselves. We’d cut ’em in half with a machine gun and give ’em a Band-Aid. It was a lie. And the more I saw them, the more I hated lies.
They were gonna make me a major for this, and I wasn’t even in their f*****’ army anymore. Everybody wanted me to do it, him most of all. I felt like he was up there, waiting for me to take the pain away. He just wanted to go out like a soldier, standing up, not like some poor, wasted, rag-assed renegade. Even the jungle wanted him dead, and that’s who he really took his orders from anyway.
There is no way to tell his story without telling my own. And if his story is really a confession, then so is mine.
In a war, there are many moments for compassion and tender action. There are many moments for ruthless action, what is often called ruthless, what may in many circumstances be only clarity. Seeing clearly what there is to be done and doing it. Directly, quickly, awake, looking at it.
I hardly said a word to my wife until I said yes to a divorce. When I was here, I wanted to be there. When I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle.