It was a difficultl moment;but here i want to pretend she's a grown-up. I want to tell her exactly what happened,or what I remember happening, and then I want to say to her that as a litlle girl she was absolutely right. This is why I keep writing war stories; Hes was a short, slender young man of about twenty. I was afraid of him afraid of something and as he passed me on the trail I threw a granate that exploded at his feet and killed him.
I reached out and found there grenate and lined them up in front of me; the pins had already been straightened for quick throwing. And them for maybe half an hour I kneeled there and waited. Very graduatelly, in tiny slivers, awn began to break through the fog and from my position in the brush I could see ten or fifteen meters up the trail the mosquitoes were fierce. I remember slapping at them, wondering if I should wake up kiowa and ask for ome repellent, then thinking it was a bad idea, then looking up and seeing the young man come out of the fog.
I had already pulled the ping on the granate. I had come up to a crouch. was entirely automatic. I did no hate the young man; I did not see him as the enemy. I had already throuwn the granade before telling myself to throw it. The granade bounced once and rolled across the trail. I did not hear it but there must've been a sound. He fell on his back. His rubber sandals had been blown off.
Later, I remember, kiowa tried to tell me that the man woul've died anyway. He told me that it was a good kill, that I was a soldier and this was a war, that I should shape up and stop staringand ask myself what the dead man would've done if things were reversed.
The whole platoon was there, spread out in the dense brush along the trail, and for five hours nothing at all happened. We were working in two-man teams one man on guard while the other slept, switching off every two hours and I remember it was still dark when kiowa shook me awake for the final watch. the nigt was foggy and hot.