A young man who is posted to the battlefields of Iraq where he comes face to face with his mortal enemies and is armed only with his life.
Daniel Mann sat wrapped in his thoughts, contemplating his life thus far. What had happened to his nice life back in St Pauls, North Carolina, how did he end up here? He was reasonably popular in High School, and his grades were fairly keen as well. He joined the 82nd at Fort Bragg, in Fayetteville, as soon as he was able to after school. The Army taught him many things that he would be using throughout life, and as a bonus he would qualify for college tuition assistance after he returned from Iraq. He remembered his last week at home before he deployed to the war zone. His mom fed him his favorite food every evening, and all the town of St Pauls wished him well and gave him going away gifts.
The Life Center in McLean St, the Church he’d grown up in gave him so much strength and hope. He remembered the Children’s Church each Sunday, and how he and his best friends would leave the service when Pastor Ray ushered them out to their respective classes. Those were great times he remembered, and then the Youth Group, and Mr. and Mrs. Ivey, yes they sure had some fun and holy times together, singing, and praying and performing skits. And then there was Tegan. She was wonderful, and a year younger than Daniel. He used to tease and poke fun at her in Children’s Church, and they were always arguing about something or other. But then overnight everything seemed to change and he could feel an attraction between them as they sat in the Youth meetings, pretending not to look at each other.
“American!” his Arab captor sneered, “get up!” Daniel stood and eyed the men who had just walked into his makeshift prison cell. Mohammed, his guard showed in another man also dressed in military fatigues.
“Stand to attention for the Sheik, you Infidel pig!” yelled Mohammed as he punctuated his order with a punch to Daniel’s kidney region. Daniel straightened up slightly but he couldn’t do much as he had already been severely beaten during torture sessions since his capture. The Sheik motioned for the guard to stand back out of the way and with a handful of papers he walked right in front of Daniel. He spoke with an educated American accent as he held up the papers.
“Sergeant Daniel Mann,” the sheik said calmly, “82nd Airborne, isn’t it?”
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