Overheard at Area 88

As a reporter you try to collect as much information as possible and compile it later. Sometimes you don't realize how important seemingly mundane things are until later. After going through the notes for the time I spent in Area 88, I realized that the simple things I heard on a daily basis from those who lived there said more about them and their situation than I could write in any article.

Rocky - I've seen bases in Viet Nam and Africa, but this is nuts!
Gramps - Everyone has a story here, but no one likes to talk
Shin - sunset... all I can see is the color of blood
Mick - When I was in Viet Nam... that was hell. "Just get me out alive", "Let me go home" - that was all I thought there, but when I finally did get home, it all seemed different. My dad and brother and my girlfirend Tracy tried to make me feel at home, but something inside kept me away from them. Something.... For someone who lived life on the edge of battle, the peaceful life just wan't for me anymore
Shin - Ryoko... my sweet angel. I'm no longer the man you knew. I'm a devil, steeped in blood and forged by hatred.
Boris - You don't make many real friends in your life... But in war you always end up losing your friends. It always hurts, thats why I don't like making new friends. When I turn out the lights, my old friends appear. One by one... seeming to say "Hey Borris, how are you?"
Saki - A nation at war with itself is a horrible thing
Mick - We'd become expert killers. The smell of blood and cordite on us is proof of that. It was a mistake to think we could live with normal people
Mrs. Yasuda - memories tend to become idealized after a while. You can find happienes in them, but they may blind you to the happieness in the here and now.
Mick - Shin, never forget: You're an expert killer too now
Shin - I have no regrets... I sold my soul to the devil long ago.
Charlie - you can never get that smell of gunpowder out of you
Saki - you should be as skilled at saving lives as taking them...
Shin - Did you keep me alive to keep doing it? Did you bring me back here to keep killing Is that all I have to live for now?
Mick - It's the old filth Shin; the filth of war is all over the both of us and it never coms off.
Shin - A piece of paper... a signiture. Such a simple way to damn yourself.
Shin - Despite the war, this is still an oasis where people live. Where the tourists can visit, and moist winds still blow. The desert of Area 88 is dry enough to wither a man's soul.
Shin - Nguyen, you can kill a man any way you like. I just don't think doing it with 20mm cannon shells is very fair.
© 2001