Today when I wake up will it be any different than any other day? I am 15. I follow the footsteps of my father. I am a Sunni. I live in a camp in the hills. Our enemies are terrified to come up here. They are terrified of us. People say I’m good at what I do. I kill Shiites.

Today when I wake up will it be any different than any other day? I am 15. I live in a nice home in the suburbs with two parents who seem to love me, although they sometimes refuse my requests for more games. I am an American. My day will begin with my screen already on. All I need to do is to get out of bed and go to my computer. The screen is already on. I am good at what I do. My father played the games. I kill people; fake people on a screen, but in my mind they are real. Each and every one of them. There are many people being killed today around the world. Maybe one day I will join those who enjoy killing for real.

I check to make sure my gun is clean. A dirty gun is a gun that may fail you when needed the most. I will have bread and meat for breakfast and then leave the camp to join my fellow fighters. Fighting is all I have ever known. My brother died in the struggle. My mother was raped and murdered as my father and I stood by helpless; guns to our head. Guns. Guns are all I know. Guns will make this right.

My screen is dirty from a week of neglect. I find my screen wipes and remove one from the container. I carefully and meticulous clean the screen; first back and forth and then up and down. My monitor is not great but still I don’t want a spec of dirt interfering with my view of opponents lying dead on the street of a pool of their own blood. I will have a bowl of sugar laden cereal with a variety of food coloring that makes it look good. I have no idea where this food comes from. I don’t care. I don’t care about a lot of things. I do care about my games. I hope that someday I can get a faster machine and multiple monitors. I would be awesome at what I do if I could only have dual, or maybe even three screens. That would great.

My gun is old. I wish it were new. I know not from where it came. I’m sure it was handed down from brave fighters before me. It is an honor to carry this weapon in the fight to regain our freedom from the tyrannical rule of the Shiites. Shiites put in power by Americans. Oh, how I hope to one day inflict my revenge on these people who came to Iraq with their lies and their bombs and killed our people. I will not rest; not ever give up until I get the revenge I so justly deserve.

The graphics on my computer are nowhere near as good as those of my friends. Oh, how I long for a screen with sharper resolution. Greater resolution would allow for a much more realistic viewing experience. The level of detail of my kills could be so much greater if only my parents would upgrade my equipment. As I sit here before my screen eliminating one terrorist after another (oh yeah, I’m a very good marksman) thoughts roll around my head as to what it must be like to do this for real. Would the blood splatter all over like it does on my screen or is there nothing more than a small, black hole that appears on my victim’s body? It sure would be cool to see what it feels like for real.

We don our scarves that serve as masks, grab our weapons and get ready. Today we are going to attack a small town on the north side of the country. I feel some fear and I am anxious, however, all I need to do is to remind myself how brave my father; his father, his father’s father and all of the fathers who came before us were. Fighting is all I have ever done. It is all that I know how to do. I’ve been training for this day all my life.

Today is the day that will be different. Today is the day I will do it for real. No more screen. The unsuspecting enemy will be waiting for me at the school. I feel some fear and I am anxious, however all I need to do is to remember that I know what to do. Games are all I have ever done. It is all I know how to do. I’ve been training for this day all my life.

I wonder how this day will end.

I wonder how this day will end.

Bob Stannard is a Banner columnist.