-Something Familiar-

“For my dedicated service from the Battle of Geonosis to defending Naboo to my near last breath, the Grand Army of the Republic had decided I deserved a promotion. We also were given brand new armor, more advanced and mobile from what we were using. Looking back… I was proud when I received my pauldron, clad in the blue of the 501st legion- my brothers that I came to know as my family, and trusted my life in every one of there hands. But looking back… I really don’t think I deserved it. The only reason I had been promoted is that I was lucky enough to survive… there were men there just like me, with me doing the same thing. And not thinking twice. Bearing the pauldron was difficult… and not one simulation had trained me for the nightmares…. I had trouble sleeping after that. Every time I look down at my stitch marks every time I closed my eyes, I saw my brothers faces. The ones who didn’t make it back with me, and there were… quite a few…. I know I’m supposed to defend the republic but… our leadership, the generals we know as Jedi… their tactics were sloppy. Why are they in charge when all it results in is the death of my brothers… I’ll never understand it.

But I wasn’t bred to understand. I was bred to fight. And so I did. My net assignment was to the leader of our Legion, General Anakin Skywalker. What we were doing was a bit… out of the ordinary for clones. We were escorting a ship to Naboo- which I thought was strange, as all it had upon it was some politician that originated from there. There were no tactical or strategic advantage in the war to do this, so to say I wasn’t pleased with it would be an understatement.

Before we had arrived, I had gathered the 20 men that were assigned on the protection detail with me. I ordered each of them to grab a battle-buddy and then told them that they were responsible from this point on out that their battle-buddy comes back home.

When we landed the Naboo shuttle on the hangar, everything was quiet. We quickly escorted the princess inside the main elevator when we heard an explosion echo from the hangar. Each of us readied our weapons, and I rushed leading them into the hangar. Somehow, a droid dropship had either remained on the planet or followed us, landed in the hangar and deployed at least 40 B1 battle droids armed to the teeth. They engaged us at close range, forcing us to spread out amongst the hangar and return fire- making the hangar look like you were going into hyperspace from all of the blaster bolts.

I grabbed the gear off of a heavy clone trooper who had gone down, and began engaging the droids in the center of the hangar under the shuttle we were transported in. It was then I saw the Jedi’s true power. I’m glad the General was on our side, as he lept into battle with his lightsaber- radiating the blue, feeling as if he was representing the 501st. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here to write this. He saved my life, destroying all of the droids and taking hold of the droid dropship with what they call the force, and brought it down into the ground destroying it. Maybe the Jedi knew what they were doing, or at least ours did.”

I wanted to touch a bit more on the mental state of the clone here. Its important to acknowledge that even though they are genetically bred warriors, they still have to deal with all of the same mental challenges that come with war. PTSD and other mental disorders can develop because of this, and unfortunately many veterans suffer because of this. I wanted to take this opportunity to raise awareness about that and offer anyone suffering from something like this or just wants someone to talk to can know my messenger is always open. Anyway, tell me what you think of the story so far? Feel free to add feedback