Between Iraq and a Hard Place

by Robin Munson

Between Iraq and a Hard Place

Most people who were around at the time remember exactly where they were when they heard about the terrorist attacks of 9-11-2001.  I do. Art and I were at home in California, and Art’s parents were visiting. We were all in the living room and had finished our breakfast. We turned on the Today show, and immediately saw an image of a plane flying directly into the first of the Twin Towers in downtown Manhattan.  We were literally speechless! It was like watching a horror movie, only – it was real!

Soon after, we started hearing that Americans from all walks of life were signing up for the military, wanting to go to Afghanistan to fight the extremist militants responsible for this atrocity.  Even the press, usually reserved in their language, began to have stark, angry headlines. I remember one that read, “BASTARDS!”.  It stuck with me.

So, a story formulated in my mind – one of a young man of humble circumstances, earnest and brave, who volunteers to join the service because he is so passionate to defend his country. But he is sent to Iraq, not Afghanistan. And he has experiences that leave him traumatized. When he returns home to his mother, he is changed forever. The wounds may not be immediately visible, but his mother knows.  Billy comes home to a place “Between Iraq and a Hard Place.” Billy’s story is like so many.  This is part of the devastating cost of war.

© Robin Munson

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