|Body full of blisters
As the Jeep is leaving, I see him for the last time
By Pessare Gol
January 27, 2003
The drums of war are once again echoing in my ears. I am disgusted at seeing
Donald Rumsfeld defending why the US needs to invade another country. Interestingly
CNN keeps showing an old footage of him shaking Saddam Hussein's hand.
That must have been in the late eighties when the US was providing the know how for
building chemical weapons as well as strategic intelligence on where to use them
against our young men defending our country against Saddam Hussein.
I turned the TV off, put on an Ebi's "Kee
Ashkato Paak Meekone" (Who wipes your tears?), turn on my computer and write
the story of my own battle from the Iran-Iraq war.
It was early monday morning, it was a warm sunny day. That day I was a member of
a small platoon of Special Forces near the Majnoon Islands, in southern Iraq bordering
Iran. We had just finished our mission and were leaving that day.
A new team was replacing us. Re-enforcements were constantly coming. The Iranian
army had successfully captured the Majnoon Islands and were thinking of advancing
even further. The boys were in high spirits and joyful.
I see my good friend Reza who was coming in to replace us. Reza was a 22-year-old
who was in the front lines for only a few months. He planned to go back home in a
few days. This was probably his last mission. He was a man with big dreams, wanting
to finish his studies and marry his sweatheart and move to the US. Probably what
every 22-year-old wanted in those years.
I greet reza, we both hungrily share a can of beans. I hug him. We put away our weapons
and just chat. I tell him I am happy for him, he will return home soon and see his
family. He is delighted. I am jealous as I still have a month left. I hug reza and
As the Jeep is leaving, I see him for the last time. His happy simile as always warmed
the day. I tell him to write me and that we should hook up in Tehran. He nods. Eventually
Reza's figure becomes smaller and smaller as we drive away.
The next day I am awakened. The Iraqi army has attacked us with chemical weapons
at the Majnoon Islands. I suddenly think of my friend and am breathless for a few
seconds. The number of casualties are unknown but they are bringing the victims to
a near by field hospital.
I wear my boots and run. As I enter the hospital I am overwhelmed by the smell of
burnt flesh. I see chaos; doctors trying to attend to the victims in vein. I quickly
learn that two Iraqi helicopters dropped several shells full of mustard gas. I am
horrified, I want to die.
I try to find my friend. As I am walking by the victims, what I see horrifies me.
I see several soldiers die as I pass by them; most from respiratory failure. For
some, their skin is no longer intact.
Mustard gas is the deadly chemical that rapidly penetrates through the skin. Most
die instantly in seconds from asphyxiation. Others die of infections and those that
survive are left with life-long respiratory problems.
I finally find my friend. His body is full of blisters. He is gasping for air as
if he is drowning and cannot breath. He looks at me for the last time and closes
his eyes. I come out of the hospital tent, find a desolate place and sob.
I dedicate this story to those who fought for our country and saved us from the invasion
of a blood thirsty, savage army.
Does this article have spelling or other mistakes? Tell
me to fix it.