Daysong Graphics
An Email For Christmas

Corporal Mike Cotton sat on his cot, holding the combat boot he had just removed, seeming to lack the will to drop it. His shoulders slumped and he stared at the floor, anguish on his face.

“This is the worst day since we’ve been over here.”

Sergeant Steve Smith, the squad leader, nodded. He knew the look. “It doesn’t seem much like Christmas when we look out and see sand and Humvees instead of snow and sleighs.”

Both men wore desert camouflage, the uniform of the day in the field in Iraq. Beyond that they had little in common. Mike was a big man with a baby face framed and accented by dark brown hair and eyebrows. Steve looked older than his twenty-six years with unruly blond hair and an ever-present grin that made his orders easy to take. His men would charge hell with only a bucket of water for him.

Mike tossed the boot and began to unlace the other one. “No, it’s not that. We got a good meal, and they worked really hard to make it feel festive. If it were just me, I’d be okay with that. It’s my family, my kids, knowing what it’s doing to their Christmas, me not being there with them.”

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