From the journal of Captain Val Reynolds, excerpts bringing to light the horrors caused by United States abandonment of it's own people during it's hasty Military withdrawal from the Second South American War and the subsequent journey of hardship and atrocity of those left behind known today as "The Long Walk"

August 23th 2010

Just re-upped for a third tour and now there is talk of the U.S. pulling out of this abysmal war. Letters from home seem to suggest things are far worse than we thought. Rioting, looting, protests... met harshly by government forces. It's worse here. We haven't been resupplied in over a month, we are low on everything, except manpower it seems. Colonel Davis is sending us into the Bush tomorrow, Search and Destroy deep inside Colombia. If this war is about to end, nobody is acting like it.

August 28th 2010

This mission is turning into a cluster fuck.  Enemy presence much larger than intelligence indicated. We have two wounded, and one KIA, Lem Johnson, grenade went off between his legs, wasn't enough left of him to bring back. Tried calling for extraction, but radio has been getting choppy reception.  The only thing we do hear over it doesn't make sense. They are talking of possible immediate withdrawal.

August 31 2010

Radio silent for last 3 days. By luck we encountered another squad, Rangers from the 51st. They haven't been able to get anyone on radio either. We have teamed up to try and get back to Ecuador, but with the wounded our going is slow.

September 2 2010

Oh my God, they left us behind... We had brief radio contact today. Colonel Davis came on directly, told us the U.S. was pulling out completely, the war was over. Then he told us the bad news... The border to Ecuador was cut off and we were on our own. There is no chance for us to break through into Ecuador, we are only left with 2 choices. Give ourselves up to the Colombians, or try and head north on foot.

September 8 2010

We had decided to surrender, but that's not going to happen. By luck, to our horror, we came across a Marine helicopter crew that had been shot down and captured. The things done to them, indescribable. Torture does not begin to describe the atrocity. Out of 5, only 1 was still alive when we found them. He lived long enough to tell us what had happened before he died, something I will not repeat here. Our choice is made for us, no friends to the south, Brazil and Venezuela are no go, to many between us and them. Our only chance is to head North, get to the coast, maybe steal a boat.

September 16 2010

Made contact with Panama, we weren't the only ones left behind. Those bastards.  They only evacuated the military personnel and top diplomats, all the civilian contractors were left behind, the aid workers, the clerical staff of the embassies, and all the troops too deep into the bush to get back in time. Our Panama contact says they are trying to make it to the Canal, the Canal is supposed to be safe. But between US and the Canal is an entire army of Colombians.

September 27 2010

We are just south of Buena Ventura, there is an airfield there.  If we can get a plane, we can get out of here.

September 28 2010

Don't have much time. We stormed the airfield, little more than a dirt strip and an old cargo plane that looks like it has smuggled about 50 loads too many. It is shaking so bad that I just stuck my last piece of gum to the door hoping it would help keep it together. Corporal Allen is flying the plane, but we have many wounded and it's only a matter of time before the Colombians catch up to us.

October 6 2010

It looks like we made it, I only just now woke up. We were flying low over the ocean when Colombians in a captured AV-4 caught up to us. Donnaly, one of the Rangers we had joined up with, was able to take it out with a 40mm surprise, but they shot up our bird and it was leaking fuel like a sieve. Chloe (Corporal Allen) pushed it as far she could, and apparently it was far enough. We came in low over the coast, in a straight line like a bat out of hell for the Canal. We could see it, it was beautiful. Then a Colombian groundpounder with a Stinger hit us. I remember watching, Donnaly, Hicks, Hudson, Apone, Hartmen...  they just kind of hovered there, floating, as the back half of the plane, the half they were in, separated. then in a violent blast they were just gone. The plane went into a spin, I could see the ground coming up.  Allen was screaming at the plane, as if her cursing it would motivate it to fly straight again... then everything went black and I woke up here, inside the bunker behind the Canals fortifications. Chloe got us here. We crashed close enough for the guys holding the Canal to retrieve us before the Colombians could. Corporal Allen is ok, she and I both came out with little more than some bruising, and my concussion. Sgt. Byron also made it, though he lost his left hand. He says hes just glad he can still fire his weapon. Everyone else in the squad, and the Rangers.... gone.

October 13 2010

Karma is a bitch!  Davis, that REMF son of a bitch, he's here. Apparently he stopped here on orders to pick up some "sensitive documents" and before he could get back aboard his chopper it took a direct hit from a mortar. Now he's stuck here with the rest of us. Of course he's still giving orders, but at least now I know there is a God. A few more stragglers, mostly advanced recon teams like us, have made their way here.  But the numbers are slowing down, and the Colombian presence is increasing, word is that they are being bolstered by rebel Venezuelans and even Bolivians. Things are getting tense, but lucky for us there is plenty of ammo here.  In the rush to evacuate, they left the place fully stocked. It was supposed to be handed over to local forces, to bad for them we need it more. Unfortunately the same can't be said for food, our supplies won't last a month.

October 20 2010

A Colonel by the name of Pike has been talking about simply taking over the Canal.  Meanwhile, Colombians are blocking the Canal at both sides, and have already started moving around the Canal. The Panamanians, not wafting to get caught in the crossfire, are stepping out of the way. There isn't going to be any pickup. No one in command back in the States is even taking our calls, of course neither is anyone else, not even private lines. I think those bastards cut off all comm to South Am. Pike wants to stay, but there are over three thousand of us. Food is already getting short... Colonel Davis wants to move north, before the Colombians can close the gap. As much as I hate to admit it, I have to agree with the son of a bitch. We have to get out of here before we are trapped.

October 25 2010

We are on the move, Davis swears he is contact with home. Not like we had any choice, with Colombians, Venezuelans, and Bolivians gearing up for attack, if we hadn't got out now, we never would have. Pike and those loyal to him, some 400 men and women, mostly army from his own command, stayed behind to buy us time. Dunno what they hope to accomplish, but god protect them, god protect us, three thousand of us, less than a quarter of us are military. We have taken 8 supply trucks and 10 HMMV's, loaded them with as many supplies as we could then stuffed the wounded and the female civilians on them. Davis kept one of the HMMV's for himself, calls it his "command" vehicle, he keeps those precious documents of his in steel briefcase, manacled to his wrist like something out of an old spy flick. What an asshole.

November 4 2010

We just got word, Pike and his "Raiders" tried to keep the Cartel off us as long as they could, but it seems the SAA decided the Canal was too well fortified to really bother with so they just went around. Panamanians aren't even protesting, hell they are letting the combined forces of the Cartels roll right on through their country.

November 13 2010
We managed to commandeer a couple of buses and cars, but so many of us are still on foot, so we are moving slow. We are doing everything we can to hinder pursuit. Blowing bridges, blocking roads. Good thing we have plenty of engineers brought in to build roads and clear debris, lots of experience with explosives. Against my advice Pike ordered us to lay mines in the road. Things may be desperate, but I know some Thirdy brat is gonna blow himself up with one.

November 18 2010

They are right on our ass, so far its only advance scouts making hit an run attacks, but their main force is barking at our heels. Most of us who know how to use our weapons are bringing up the rear, offering what we can to defend the column. Davis is barking orders while keeping himself safe in the middle of the civvies.

November 24 2010

Picking up new stragglers every day, Americans left behind when the military pulled out, private contractors working construction and their families, told they would be safe then abandoned like the rest of us.

November 28 2010

Chloe, Byron, and I were walking along side the supply truck when an RPG from the east came out of nowhere. The truck went up in a fireball and I was thrown to the ground. I jumped up quick and found Corporal Allen, she was ok, but Byron wasn't as lucky. A panel from the side of the truck sheared off like tissue... and Byron was in its path.  Cut right through his belly like a giant scalpel. When we found him he was desperately trying to stuff his guts back in his stomach. He kept saying, "I just wanna go home Sir... I wanna see my mom again!" And then he was gone. We don't even have time to bury our dead, we just strip what can still be used from them and leave them on the road. The trail behind us now is littered with our dead, and the Colombians are grinding their bones to catch up to us. I'm so damn tired...

December 4 2010

Apparently the Panamanians are not just standing aside after all, some of these ingrates are actually siding with the Cartels, we are now getting sniper fire and locals attacking from all sides. Good thing they can't shoot worth a damn. Our number of wounded is growing, supplies are dwindling, and the Cartel forces are getting closer every day.

December 8 2010

Picked up another straggler today... the ugliest mutt you have ever seen, but it follows Chloe around like she was it's momma. I asked her about her new "friend" and she looked at me and said "Sir, thats not a friend, thats an emergency meal on four legs.  Besides its the only thing I have ever seen uglier than you, I am thinking of calling him Val." First time I have seen her smile in months. It was short lived. Cartel forces staged a hit and run to our rear, they even had air support from a Chinese AV. Damn thing managed to take out 3 of our HMMV's before we could knock it down. I lost track of how many were killed or wounded. The road behind us is permanently stained red with our blood.

December 13 2010

They hit us hard today. We were running full out with only miles left to the Costa Rican border.  The Colombians had gotten around and descended down on us from the hills on our flanks. When the first wave hit hey took us off guard, cutting down our defenses and laying into us with artillery. We were able to regroup just in time for the second wave. An enemy AV took out one of the commandeered buses, of the 40 men and women aboard, only 6 survived, but again we beat them back. Most of our grenades and explosives have been expended, and ammo is beginning to run dangerously low. Colonel Davis promises extraction if we can just reach Costa Rica.

December 15 2010

Crossed the Costa Rican border today. For the last 2 days it has been a running battle with the Cartel forces. Losses heavy, no time to count the dead till now, but it looks like we have lost over 150 men and women, mostly military personnel fighting to push back the attacks. The Cartel forces haven't crossed the border after us, so we have a moment to breathe.  Lets hope it lasts. Davis is still pushing hard, he says we just have to reach Turrialba. His HMMV was lost in the attack, along with the others, and now he is traveling on foot. Seeing him walking makes me smile, even though he and his guard tend to surround themselves with civilians, for their protection he calls it. I call him a coward using them as a shield. I am beginning to think he isn't just worried about the Cartels, but about us killing him as well. He should be...

December 22 2010

We have arrived at The Valley De Serenidad south of Turrialba, Colonel Davis says we just have to wait till tomorrow night for extraction. Things have been easy going since we crossed the border into Costa Rica. Got word from Pike, his men are still under siege back at the Canal, but they are making progress and holding strong.

December 23 2010

As God is my witness, if he even exists, I will kill Colonel Davis. With my bare hand I will squeeze the life from his body until his eyes roll back in his head, then I will feed his corpse to wild dogs. Never in my life have I known such utter hatred... never have I witnessed such cowardly betrayal. There was an extraction alright, only he neglected to tell anyone the chopper was just coming for him. Everyone had stayed up all night partying, excited to get out of this God cursed hellhole. In the morning no one could find him. Chloe and I went off to search the perimeter, when we heard the whisper of a chopper running in silent mode as it passed over us. We ran after it, and even then I think I knew what was happening. Just over the next hill Davis and his "guard" were waiting. The chopper set down just long enough to pick them up. I ran as fast as I could, I emptied my clip at the son of a bitch, reloaded and fired again at the fleeing chopper. It was futile, I was too far away. I don't care if I have to walk through the fires of hell in a ballerina costume... I will find him, I will kill him!

December 25 2010

Fucking Christmas. Today we decided to send the civilians in the vehicles to the coast. Half of the military personnel who are left are going with them to provide escort. We loaded them up on every vehicle we had that ran and sent them on. The rest of us are going to stay here in the valley with those who are too wounded to travel any further. If they make it to the coast, and can arrange passage, they will send help to move the wounded.

December 26 2010

The air is stagnant today, the heat sticks to you like a rancid film. It traps the stink. The flies are thick in the air, the wounded need better care than we can provide.

December 27 2010

The hordes of hell descended on us this morning. Out of nowhere and without warning the Cartel forces we thought we had left behind at the border came down on us while we were sleeping. A full force assault. I don't know what happened, how they got the balls to cross into Costa Rica and why no one stopped us or warned us. We are taking heavy losses, most of us were wounded already when the attack started. Ammo is running desperately short, and there is no end in sight. Wave after wave, they keep coming.

December 29 2010

Between the morning of December 27th and the afternoon of December 29th in the year 2010, 400 men, mostly wounded, half civilians, held off a force of 1000 Colombian madmen. For the the last two days we fought with everything we had against impossible odds. Of the 430 of us who waited here in the Valley De Serenidad, only 40 of us are still breathing. Chloe and I have both survived, though we have both been wounded body and soul. I took a bullet to the thigh and another to the shoulder, Chloe had a shot glance off her leg. I am looking out over a field of corpses, the flies so thick in the air they block out the sun. So many people dead. We managed to secure some vehicles, we are heading to the coast now, trying to catch up to the main force. No one has the strength left to even shed a tear.

December 31 2010

Caught up to the main force, locals are already calling the Battle of Serenidad Valley the "Night Of the Butchered Pigs." I really hate this country. The main group tried loading up on boats, but money was short, we could only send off about 200.  There are still so many of us, and we have word the the Cartel forces are regrouping and sending in their own Naval forces, mostly consisting of speed boats with guns mounted to them, but more than the fishing vessels and other small craft we can commandeer or buy. We are going to have to head north again, into Atlantico. We have been getting reports that there are still Americans there, more left behind in the pullout.

Jananuary 10 2011

Crossed the border into Atlantico today.  Managed to make it here with minimal enemy contact. Guess the Cartel forces are too busy watching the coasts. We were met at the border by an armored column to escort us to the Bluefields where the Americans in the country have gathered since the Military abandoned them.  I doubt any Cartel forces will try and cross this border, but no one is letting their guard down, not after Costa Rica.

January 12 2011

Arrived at the Bluefields Military Base. Atlantico military personnel are allowing us full run, though they have gone somewhat grab happy on most of the American equipment left behind. Still the joy of hot food, a hot shower, and a bed with clean sheets is the finest pleasure I have ever known.

January 20 2011

Yesterday we managed to book passage for 150 on a freighter bound for Miami. We loaded it up with as many women and wounded as we could, and the few children that were left. Just heard over the radio that Cartel gunboats intercepted the ship, and sank it. No survivors. Now even if could get the money or something worth trading, no ship will take us. Things are looking grim, and our own country is still ignoring us. At least there was enough ammo to resupply ourselves. Over 4000 of us now in all, and we can't stay here forever. God, I just want to see home again. Catch a ballgame, eat a hot dog. breathe free air...

February 15 2011

Atlantico government is getting pushy about us vacating. Seems they have plans for Bluefields, and those plans don't include 4385 American squatters. They also seem to be getting tired of Cartel boats patrolling their waters. Of course they aren't suggesting any alternatives, but the situation is getting hotter.

February 22 2011

I keep catching Chloe petting her little friend.  Of course whenever she catches me looking she is quick to say "Just checking to see how much meat there is sir." The dog never lets her out of its sight.

February 29 2011

Cartel forces have been joined by Caribbean Pirates it seems. The coast of Atlantico has been nearly closed down. Even with their newly acquired weapons and equipment, Atlantico simply lacks the resources and training to do much against the hit and run tactics on her coastline.We have been given a deadline to vacate in response. We have one week to leave. We can't go back to Costa Rica, we can't travel by sea, our only option is to head north through Nicaragua, who are not friendly to us, and hope to reach Honduras, where even more abandoned U.S. military and civilians were left behind.

March 4 2011

Heading north to Nicaragua. Everyone is nervous, but at least we have enough vehicles for everyone. We also grabbed as much food and ammo as we could carry. They let us take 2 AV-4's, but that was the only aircraft were allowed to take. Pity, we could really use the air support.  Some armor wouldn't be bad either, but they are holding on to that as well. I suppose we should be glad they let us have the HMMV's, Jeeps, buses, and trucks that they did. Of course I don't think they are any more eager to start a firefight with us than they were with the Cartel forces. Not sure whats waiting in Nicaragua, but the anxiety is thick enough to hack at with a machete.

March 6 2011

Crossed into Nicaragua today. We were met at the border by an armored regiment of Nicaraguan troops who have been escorting us and giving us the sideways stare all day. One of the Lieutenants met with us, explained that they had heard we had been raping and pillaging our way across Central America.  The escort was there to protect their citizens. The situation is hairy balls, they are looking for an excuse. The further we get into Nicaragua the harder it will be to escape if things go tits up. This was not what I had in mind when I re-upped.

March 12 2011

God hates us. And we don't make it hard for him...

This kid, Lewis, can't be more than 20.  Don't know how he got put on a Marine LARP team, but here he was, stuck with the rest of us, his momma's breast milk still on his breath. We stopped at some pissant town to water and refuel, and this kid starts talking to this pretty young thing.  Stupid shit.  The next thing he knows she is being dragged off by a group of men, and the young jarhead does the dumbest thing possible, he tries to stop them. There he is, trying to diffuse the situation.  Doesn't speak Spanish, but he is waving his arms around, pointing at the girl, and making an ass of himself. A few soldiers from the Nicaraguan military escort see this and move up on him with weapons drawn. The kid panics, doesn't know what anyone is saying to him. He reaches into his pocket, probably for his Spanish/English phrase book. They think he is going for a weapon and open fire. Stupid fucking kid. The next moment everything slows down, the biggest standoff I have ever seen. Takes us 2 hours to fully diffuse the situation. Turns out the group of men were the girls father and brothers who simply didn't want their daughter to be taken by one of the gringos. What a Goddamn waste, what a stupid fucking waste this whole thing has been.

March 19 2011

Passed the halfway point through Nicaragua, everyone is breathing easier.  No major incidents since we lost Lewis, but I can see tempers brewing underneath the calm.

March 24 2011

Today was strange. People lined the roads, by the hundreds, just standing there, with there backs turned to us, completely silent. Like we were some grim parade... no... it felt more like we were a funeral procession. Is that what we are, the walking dead, too dumb to know when to lay down and let go?

March 28 2011

Shit has well and truly hit the fan, we are running and gunning, don't know if there will be another journal entry.

The road led into a long tunnel, only 2 lanes wide.  The Nicaraguan escort just sent us on through. At first everything seemed fine, then someone noticed there was no traffic coming from the other direction at all. We sent the lead car ahead to the end of the tunnel, he came back over the radio screaming that it had been blocked. The way behind us was sealed up as well, and the carbon monoxide from the engines was getting dangerously high. All of us were caught like greenshirts our first day at the Big Easy. The sons of bitches almost had us too. But they didn't count on us being too damn stupid too die. Some demo guys up front yanked the gas tank from the rearmost vehicle, wrapped it up in some crazy jury rigged goop, and blew the rocks from the front of the tunnel like it they were made of rubber. We gunned those engines and came out the other side, a psychedelic demon birth of a legion of hellspawn, guns blazing and metal screaming. Those fucking Nicaraguans on the other side of the tunnel didn't know what hit them. We just ran right over their sorry asses. Been a running gunfight ever since. Planes keep strafing us with machine gun fire.  Casualties are heavy, but they haven't dropped any real munitions on us, don't know if the Nic's are that broke or just don't want to damage their roads. Our vehicles are in bad shape, don't know how much longer we can keep 'em going on spit and hope. Don't know what happened to the AV's or the people on board.  Presumed dead.

April 1 2011

April Fools sons of bitches. We fooled em. Got wind on the pirate sat of inbound aircraft coming for us on the other side of the valley we stopped long enough to get everyone on foot with everything they could carry and tie the vehicles together, with the biggest truck in the front. 6 guys, Corporal James Mard, Sgt. Ben Woodson, Lt. Niko Hines, Sgt. George Franco, and Corporal Malik Jones, all too wounded to move on foot, drove that knotted convoy straight on. The Nic pilot hit em full force. I think they must have seen the explosion back home in the world. God bless you boys. Moving through the jungle keeping low and to the shadows. The trick won't fool em for long, as soon as they check out the wreckage they will know something is up, but hopefully we can get across the border before they pick up our trail.

April 4 2011

Well, it didn't last as long as we hoped.  They picked us up early morning on the 2nd.  Caught us with our asses in the air coming down a rocky hillside. Luckily they couldn't get armored support, but the advantage was against us. They had us pinned down from above while their aircraft cut us to pieces. Sgt. Sanchez got lucky with a LAW shot on the chopper, gave us the opening we needed to bolt, but to our shame we left wounded and dying behind. There was no choice.  The goddamn Nic's weren't taking prisoners. Been moving hard ever since.  I figure we have lost about half the number we started out from Atlantico with. Took another bullet, upper arm, no time to do anything but pry it out and hope it doesn't get infected.

April 6 2011

Its like we are on a treadmill.  We are running till our lungs burn and our legs scream, but we don't seem to be getting anywhere. We keep getting pushed along the border.  I swear we have been so close we could smell Honduran cigars. We are deep in the mountains now.  Heading northeast along the Rio Bocay, hoping to either find a safe place to cross without attracting attention, or make it to the Rio Coco and the Honduran Border. The hope is that by not trying to head directly to the border, we can avoid major confrontation.

April 12 2011

They caught up to us again today. Right as we finally found a way across the Rio Coco. Halfway across the bridge when they hit us full force. The Honduran border within reach, so close I could spit at it, and they open fire on us. Chloe and I were in the middle, goddamn stupid luck, the people behind us soaked up the most of the bullets. We made it across, but we so lost so many. Chloes dog was hit, she scooped up the mangy thing and carried it like a baby all the way across. It wasn't till after we got safe on the other side that I realized the dog was dead. Chloe was crying. The fresh bodies of our men pave the road behind us, and she has faced it all without so much as a flinch. But seeing her there, kneeling in the blood soaked earth, holding onto that little dog, the tears were pouring down her cheek. It was the first time I have ever seen her cry. This place is just so goddamn horrible.

April 20 2011

It seems more of us who were abandoned have been steadily coming to Honduras since the pullout. How could they leave so many of us behind. And how in gods name could they have cut us off from all communications with the states. An American security company, Militech International, has been actively recruiting from our ranks. Seems they have a large private force here, good pay and I can't say its not tempting just to stay here.

May 16 2011

Thankfully there hasn't been much to write about lately.  Honduras is looking better and better.  Haven't heard a shot fired in weeks.  I can see why so many are joining up with Militech or taking local jobs.  Looking back at the trail of woe we have left behind us, it's no surprise. Militech has been shipping as many as they could home on their cargo planes, but room is tight on those birds. Militech can't afford to send an empty cargo shipment. Oddly enough, a lot of us want to finish what we started, cross that goddamn border into freedomland on foot. Its crazy.  We still have to make it up through Guatemala and Mexico, but I don't care if I have to stomp every son of bitch that gets in my way into the dirt,  me and Chloe are gonna walk across that border on our own two feet. Then I am gonna find that son of a bitch Davis, and he is going to pay. In the meantime, I think I will have another Margarita. Chloe must be drunk, I can hear her singing, she sounds like a cat gargling sand....... best thing I have heard in months.

June 3 2011

On the road again, heading north. It would have taken years for Militech to get us all home, and there weren't enough jobs in Honduras for everyone.  So those of us with the stones, and those that can still walk on their own, are going home. Militech has come through for us though, they have re-armed and resupplied us, and have given us enough vehicles to carry anyone who wants to ride along. We are going home.

June 10 2011

Crossed into Guatemala today. Expecting hostility at every turn, but we are taking it easy. Guatemala has been hit hard, and it doesn't seem like they could put up much of a problem even if they were of a mind too.

June 18 2011

Been meeting minor hostility.  Sniper fire from disenfranchised rebels and paranoid peasants. Moving as quickly as we can across Guatemala, but the roads are crap. The main highways have been all bombed to hell or mined, so we are having to take the back roads.

June 23 2011

Oh God, if there is any mercy left in you, if you can find enough in you to just answer one prayer, don't let Chloe die? Crossing through a little town today, sitting on top of an APC, talking about home. One minute I am sitting there watching the sun reflected in her eyes and her bright smile, the next I am bathed in her blood. Sniper shot hit her in the shoulder, no one even saw where the shot came from. Please... if you are up there, don't let her die and I will never ask you for anything else? You owe me, you owe her, you owe all of us.

June 25 2011

Chloe still hasn't woken up, medic says she's stable but it's still touch and go.

June 29 2011

I lost it today. A small group attacked. Don't know who they were, don't care, but I killed every last one of them with a smile on my face. Don't even really remember the details.  I just remember them pulling me off the last one, and the way my hands felt wrapped around his throat. It wasn't till it was all over that someone pointed out I had been wounded myself, took some shrapnel to the side. Don't even feel it now. Don't know whats happening to me. Come back Chloe, I need you to keep me sane.

July 4 2011

Chloe woke up today... thank you god, thank you. I swear it happened just as we crossed over into Mexico. Never in my life, not in all the shit we have waded through, not in all the bullets that I thought were sure to have my name on them, not in the blackest night surrounded by the enemy, have I ever been as scared as when Chloe wouldn't wake up. Happy 4rth of July.

July 28 2011

Just got out of the hospital today, Chloe is still gonna be down for a while, but she is recovering and should be fine. Everyone is taking a breather. Not sure whats going on but the U.S. has closed the borders, no one crosses. If it's not open by the time we get there, there is going to be some violence the likes they have never seen.

August 3 2011

Most of us are fit to move, and the main group is anxious to head north again. Chloe isn't fit to walk yet, but she doesn't want us to get left behind. I bought a car today from a local.  An old station wagon. Needs some work, but I should have it ready in time to pull out with the others. Making a pallet in the back for Chloe. More of us are arriving here at the border every day, sneaking across or smuggled in. God, how many of us were left behind. There are children among them.

August 20 2011

Car is running smoothly, packed up more than enough supplies. The main group leaves in the morning. Chloe is not happy about being pampered like this, but she should be comfortable. Hopefully by the time we get to Mexico City she will be ambulatory again. I need to quit picking at my own stitches or I will be in the pallet next to her, and that would just get ugly.  Not only does she snore, but she is cranky too.

September 5 2011

Going is slow.  Frequent stops to refuel, give the wounded a rest, and the rest of us a chance to stretch.  The roads haven't gotten any better and we are still taking back roads to avoid any potential for conflict. Mexico is beautiful, we came within sight of some ruins today, high on a mountain top.

September 12 2011

Nearly stepped on a goddamn Bushmaster today while taking a leak. Why does everything here, breathing or not, want to kill me?

September 23 2011

Arrived in Mexico city.  Lots of American here working on the reconstruction. They call themselves nomads. The locals treat them like heroes.  Hell, they treat us with decency. First time since I got deployed to South America where folks smiled at me that it didn't make me nervous. The column is stopping here for a while, lots of folks talking about joining up with these "nomads". Work is steady, plenty of it to go around, and no one barking orders. We are gonna wait for the rest of the folks left behind to reach us. Some of us go down to the border, to help who we can. Traveling in small numbers is faster, we can make the entire trip there and back in 2 days.

October 7 2011

While we have been waiting in Mexico city, Chloe and I have been talking to some of these nomad fellas. They have a sense of freedom about them that is staggering. One of em, fella named Santiago, apparently hails from California.  He lost everything, family and home. Somber fella, but this life suits him.  They walk hard and answer to no man. May be something to that.

October 20 2011

Chloe is up and about without to much effort. Still needs a crutch, and she wears out quick, but shes getting stronger. Still some stragglers coming up from the south, but its become a trickle. I think pretty much all of us who are still walking are already here.

November 2 2011

Main group is moving North again. This close to home we can't hold our water any longer. Leaving in the morning., some 400 of us. There would be more, but about 200 are staying here in Mexico.  I look in their eyes and see nothing but disgust when Home is mentioned. They may be smarter than the rest of us but I am not quitting now, and Chloe wants to see her momma again.

November 9 2011

Reached the border today. They have closed it.  U.S. National guard armed to the teeth is warning everyone they have orders to fire if anyone so much as sets foot across. What the fuck kind of bullshit is this.

November 18 2011

The Mexican side of the border has become a refugee camp. America... home... it's within spitting distance, and our own people are telling us we ain't welcome. I can't put into words the anger, frustration, and hatred I am feeling right now. Never thought about throwing down on my own before, but if things don't reach a point of sanity soon, those sons of bitches are gonna be in my crosshairs. It's getting cold, and things are getting desperate again.

December 5 2011

Nomads keeping us supplied from Mexico City, but the wind is bitter, who would have thought the nights in Mexico could get so cold. Where are the reporters? Where's the media? How can the American people be letting this happen? We have women and children here for gods sake, American civilians. All of us have waded through blood coming out of this hell.  We just want to go home.

December 25 2011

Not gonna spend another Christmas on foreign soil, They are gonna have to kill me. Chloe cries in her sleep. Some journalist named O'Reilly showed up, apparently he snuck across the border somehow. He has been talking to people, building a story he says. He says the military has a complete media blackout on whats going on here. Says they are just saying the border is closed due to the immigrant problem. He did however bring presents.  Crates of American beer, Southern Comfort, and candy bars. I tell you, this bottle in my hand may be the best Christmas present I ever got. But the aftertaste is bitter whenever I look at that blockade.

December 29 2011

Some folks snuck off last night, tried to get across the border to the east. Texas Rangers caught em and opened fire. There were two kids with em. No one survived. That was the final straw. Guns and ammo are being distributed. I don't care anymore, don't care if its Central or South Americans gunning at me, or U.S. soldiers. I have killed my way across a continent, and I am gonna keep killing every son of a bitch that gets in my way until I am home.

December 31 2011

That O'Rielly fella took off today. He promised our story would be heard, Don't know how he plans on getting back, but god speed. After tomorrow it won't matter anyway, we will either be home or dead.

January 1 2012

Every last one us, men, women, children, every single one, locked and loaded and set our aim at the American soldiers keeping us from going home. We started marching forward, we were gonna kill or be killed, and none of us were gonna stop till we were on our own soil or till our hearts stopped pumping. We hit the point of no return, we had crossed the rubicon. Our guns were aimed at them, theirs were aimed at us.  The nightmare of the situation sank in just as the bullets were about to start flying.

Then 2 of the damndest things imaginable happened at once. The nomads and the Mexican Military rode up behind us, they had our back.  Never in my life have I seen anything like it, never even heard of anything like it. At the same time, across the border, regular folks... parents, brothers, and sisters of soldiers lost or left behind, concerned citizens, and the media en masse, all began showing up in droves. dDmanding the border to be open, demanding they let us come home. The National Guard commander looked like to shit himself, no way was he gonna open fire on Americans on national TV in front of hundreds of witnesses. O'Reilly came through. They opened up that border, and with tears in our eyes Chloe and I finally limped across that border. We reached that sweet American soil and just fell down weeping like babes.

February 15 2012

Some of us have stayed behind, waiting for any last stragglers to come home, but there has been no one since the 3rd. I think its time we moved on. Head to Portland, see Chloe's mom. Try and find work. Been dying so long I think I have forgotten how to live. O'Reilly kept the pressure on thick, full senate hearings, people on the butchers block on capital hill. Tried finding Colonel Davis, but he has disappeared.  Signs point to him joining up with the company. On the plus side we all have some hefty back pay coming to us. Of the estimated 5000+ men and women left behind, only about 460 of us ever made it home.

March 10 2012

Life just don't give no breaks. Chicago is quarantined. We are so fucking tired of fences. Some kind of plague hit the city, Chloe's mom is listed among the dead. I look back on everything we have been through, and it just don't hardly seem worth it. There is nothing and nowhere for us. We can't recognize America anymore.

March 13 2012

Chloe and I come upon an decision. We have been running so long, sitting still just don't seem right. We are using the money we got to buy a truck. Found one that will work, needs some adjustments, a bit of armor, but its got some extras you wouldn't believe. Gonna call her the Serinidad. We are gonna keep moving, keep searching for the America we lost. Maybe someday we may even find our way home. We have been on a long walk, and the road is still stretched out wide ahead. I saw something on an old show once, it kinda became our motto along the way. "When you can't run, crawl.. When you can't crawl, well.. you find someone to carry you! Drive on..."

Written by Deric "D" Bernier