During my Afghanistan deployment in the winter of 2006,
I was tasked as a guard in a prison that house “Personal Under Control”
-PUC’s as we called them,
Who were freshly caught off missions by our soldiers.
Sometimes they’d come in all blooded up and the doctor would provide care and document their wounds.
One night, a 13 year old boy came in.
He had brown eyes, black hair, and brown skin.
He could’ve been my little Mexican brother.
He had been with his father and uncle who had been killed by our men.
The command and integrators were trying to figure who he was,
Name, background, family connections, what he was doing there.
And what to do with him.
He was in a cell in a building completely separated from the other PUC’s.
Us guards would bring him Oreo’s, soda, and other treats from the dining facility.
We set up a little TV with a Playstation and we’d play video games him.
He would be happy to see and very pleasant.
One day, I came in for my shift and he was just gone.
I never learned what happened to him.
But he comes into my mind from time to time.
I wonder if he is still alive or has been killed in that war torn country.
I wonder if our simple acts of kindness made him softer toward us and he joined the Afghan Army to protect his homeland.
Or was he embittered and joined the Taliban to take revenge on the American occupier.
This war was made up many mysterious moments like this.