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09 March 2008

Short Novel: 4 American Hostages in Baghdad, Chapter 2

Please read Introduction and Chapter 1 first.


“When I was in high school, a few months after my dad was laid off, I received a call from the military recruiter. At first I ignored but he called me a hundred times. Every time he phoned me, he said that he had a good thing to tell me, the army needs a quality man like me and I can get a great benefit from the army. Finally I gave in. He picked me up and took me to the military recruitment center. He was tall, muscular nice guy and described how wonderful my future would be if I join the army. I said to him that I wanted to go to the college. Then he told me I can go to the college if I join the army. The military can help me pay the tuition. I knew my parents cannot afford the tuition for college. So I decided to join the army.”

“But you were deceived?” said Kevin.

“Yeah, I was. Actually the military had scholarship for young soldiers. After 4 months of training I applied for the scholarship and found out that I was deceived. In order to get the scholarship, you have to pay 1,300 bucks as deposit. That was impossible. My monthly salary was only 700 bucks, how come I can save such amount of money. Then I was dispatched to Iraq .” John said sadly.

“You never wanted to come to Iraq , did you” said Kevin.

“Never, I did not even know where Iraq was. I’ve seen some news reports about soldiers in Iraq , who receive high praise for fighting to liberate Iraqi from tyranny like Saddam Hussein. But I realized Americans were not welcomed here. Recently I learned a recruiter found me in the list my high school gave to the military. The list of kids from impoverished family like mine. They knew students like me cannot afford college tuition and took mean advantage of our necessity.”

“Well, John, your case is better” said Fernando. John, Kevin and Loretta looked at him.

Fernando started to talk in Spanish accent.

“I absolutely had no choice but to join the army. I came from Mexico with my family. As you imagine, we were illegal immigrants who crossed the border. At first we were dependent on my father’s salary from the farms. 3 bucks an hour. But he was killed by an accident. Then my mom, little sister and I were left behind. We became homeless. We moved to homeless facility where rats were running around. I cannot go to school and worked for restaurant as dish washer at low wages. We were hungry for days without anything to eat. One day a military recruiter called my cell. I was terrified if immigration officer asked military to pick me and my family up and deport us to Mexico . In Mexico , the situation was much worse. My family had no job and lived in rubble without clean water and electricity. That is why we crossed the border illegally. But the call was a very good news for me. He told me if I could join the army, I can get a U.S. citizenship. I was really glad.”

“Weren’t you afraid to go to the battlefield?” said Loretta.

“As I told you, I had no choice. This is like conscription for the poor. Poverty draft. You, two had nothing to worry about for your future. We have no future unless we join the army.” Fernando replied.

The silence deafened for a while.   


An Iraqi man came up to the 4 Americans and said “have you made up? Who speaks to your government?” The silence still remained.  


“Well, then I have to kill you one by one and show the scene on TV” said an Iraqi man.

“Wait, I will. I can do that” Loretta shouted. Three guys looked at her being surprised.

“Hey, are you sure? Your dad would be angry if you do that” said Kevin.

“But if I would, they can never leave us. I am a daughter of the most important person in America. My father can let our government do whatever they can to save us.”

Loretta made up her mind. She thought she could prove herself that she was not just spoiled child by speaking to the U.S. government on TV.



Go on to Chapter 3.


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