"Hey soldier, you think I could have one of them cigarettes?"
"Sure, you need a lighter?" I asked.
"Yeah, pathetic ain't it?"
He took a seat next to me on the step.
"Man, I just got here last night. I gotta go home and bury my father," he said looking off into the distance. His voice held the sorrow of a man who has accepted his fate, but has not had enough time to feel it.
"How long have you been in country?" I asked
"I've been in Tikrit, since November working on trucks. I did the 11 bang bang thing last year in Afghanistan. When did you get here?
"This is my first night in country"
He gave a knowing smile and exhaled deeply.
"You got any words of wisdom?" I asked
He took his time answering. I didn't mind. A fresh pack of butts allowed for plenty of time.
"Be selective with who you associate with. Communicate with your family. Pray a lot. Don't get caught up with women or people that complain all the time.........Pray a lot."
I registered that he said that twice.
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