Lights in the Fog

The fog outside is so thick. I stare out at it as though staring at it long enough will make it go away. I long to see the stars that are surely shining down already, way up above the clouds. Last night I saw them. I walked out of town, walked and walked until I came to a farmer’s field, when I stepped off the path and started out through the frost-laden dead ends of corn stalks and soft dirt. Someone passing on a bike laughed as I crunched my first few steps, then they were gone and I was alone. I was invisible in the darkness with only stars and moon above. The moon hides tonight, blanketed in the fog. Is she tired of showing her beauty? I should excuse her, but her rest makes me restless. It can be lonely living an ocean away from my family and most close friends, especially in the darkest hours of the winter, but lights in the sky connect us anywhere in the world.

Lethargically I dress for a run. Although the sun set two hours ago, I haven’t been outside yet today. It’ll be cold I’m sure, but I don’t know how much yet. I strap on a headlamp over my hat, just in case, and take a deep breath before opening the door.

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War

Monique Hassan is a Signal Corp veteran of the United States Army out of North Carolina. She is also a writer who specializes in Islamic/spiritual psychology and a patient advocate in behavioral health. Cult of Americana invited Monique to give her unique perspective on service, in honor of Veteran’s Day.

Some soldiers want to go to war, it is what they live for and they train hard. I remember an overly eager soldier telling me “don’t kill one before I do” as if he wanted to take a life. I could never understand that mentality. Others are terrified, but they must do their duty.

Soldiers are deployed for a year, an entire year away from their children and their families. The soldiers often live in stressful and chaotic situations, while the family wakes up everyday hoping they don’t get a bad phone call or knock on the door. They just never know if their soldier will make it back home or not. They have to show strength and support when they get the chance to do a phone call, but inside their hearts are breaking and they are lonely. Divorce rates are high in the military and they all know it. Not every family can handle the constant loneliness from field time, deployments, and late hours.

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