I remember before it all began. Back when thoughts such as these were chased away with laughter unparalleled. When thoughts of sand and sun brought memories of sunburns on distant beaches, chasing seagulls back into the lapis horizon. When tanks and Apache helicopters reincarnated GI Joe plastic uniforms and Hot Wheels troopers. Guns and grenades. Helmets and hate. All left behind when we exited the movie theater. Our Super Soakers played machine guns and our water balloons exploded with shrapnel.
I remember when Army men weren't huge bloodsoaked heroes. They were smaller than your hand, all green, and melted when the sun was high in the sky. Instead of fighting hardend men, they were overwhelmed by another sand survivor: the ant. If the battle seemed lost, they were merely picked up, brushed off, and returned to their bag for another day. There were no heavy casualties. No POW, MIA, or additions to the national debt. They had no wives, waiting in terror for the Chaplain to call. Just