In Afghanistan I transformed from a naive young kid into a more mature person, indeed I did.
In Afghanistan, I learned that life is not only short but extremely precious. Too often taken for granted until death no longer lets us.
Folded flags. Fallen Heroes. Dog tags. Shattered dreams. Memorial stands. All part of the military life we chose. Yet when it is someone you know there is no stronger blow.
Tear stains, relentless pain. My mind started racing and I went insane. Life changed, it will never be the same.
In Afghanistan my soul was crushed, my heart was broken. An experience unlike any other, but just mask the pain, that’s the token.
In Afghanistan, I learned a different love. A love that only increased from grief, a love that has lasted beyond the grave even though my life turned a new leaf.
In Afghanistan, I traded my sorrow, my agony, and my pain for a mask of strength. Couldn’t truly show how I felt so I masked myself for as long as I could length.
In Afghanistan, I lost my faith and yet clung to it because it was the only hope I had left. It makes no sense yet to me it makes perfect sense. I turned from God because I was feeling oppressed, yet deep down I still tried to cling to Him because He was all I had left.
The more I pushed away, the worse I felt, knowing deep down I had to deal with the emotions within me.
In Afghanistan, my personality shifted. I was shaped into who I am today. The old me had long drifted away.
Reflecting on Afghanistan is bittersweet. Great memories and moments in time with the people I did meet.
My battle buddies who stood at my left and my right. The ones who stood by me and did their part to contribute to the fight.
There is so much I have to say but I don’t think most will understand. You had to have been there in Afghanistan to understand how I feel. I lost a piece of me back in Afghanistan.
A piece of me that had a promising future that all ended with a flag-draped box. A box that left me shattered and completely in shock.
Afghanistan matured me. Broke me. Strengthened me. Shaped me. I was forever changed in that country.
-Diana M. Soriano
This first appeared in The Havok Journal on September 1, 2021.
As the Voice of the Veteran Community, The Havok Journal seeks to publish a variety of perspectives on a number of sensitive subjects. Unless specifically noted otherwise, nothing we publish is an official point of view of The Havok Journal or any part of the U.S. government.