Tony was a stereotypical country man, all about his family, his country, and his faith. This is the story about how he lost all three.
Raised on a small farm in north-east Texas, Tony was taught to work hard from the beginning, always earning the food he would eat that night, whether hunting the meat, or picking the vegetables. His father was a hard man who drank himself to an early grave, and his mother was always a frail woman, but forced to work the oil fields when her husband passed to provide for her son. An oil spill incident she was involved in caused her to lose her sight, two years later she learned she had lung cancer, too late for time to say goodbyes, she had days to live. Tony did his best to work his way through the struggle of loosing his entire family in less than 3 years, but it wasn't easy, it took a toll on him mentally, he became a closed off man, work became his only focus. wake up, work the fields, drink whiskey, and go back to sleep. In 1999 it all changed, he met Alyx Straight, a woman from a similarly humble background. Things began changing for tony, he found himself becoming more empathetic, more caring..he found his heart again. They fell in love quickly, a year after they met, Alyx became pregnant, and Tony proposed that same day. 9 months later his son was born, but everything changed a day later, on September 11, 2001.
Tony, his wife, and his newborn son were sitting on the couch watching the television when the news came on, showing horrific scenes of planes crashing into the twin towers. Alyx looked over at Tony's face, Knowing her husband, she knew what this would mean. His face was filled with rage, a hatred she had never seen before overcame him, seemingly pouring out of his eyes. A tear ran down Alyx's face and she tilted her head, looking to the ground, at the same time, Tony looked over to her, then down at his son, hatred turned to tears, and she looked up to meet his eyes once again.. "so, when are you leaving" Alyx said. "A..Alyx, i..". He stumbled. "I know, you dont have to say anything, we understand, give em hell, and hurry back to your son and your wife" She said. They embraced and cried. The next day, Tony left for the recruiting office..
He had volunteered for the longest possible contract. 7 Very long years passed, Tony became an armory technician, repairing and servicing field weapons in Afghanistan. The occasional letters from home kept him going strong every week, stories from home got harder to read every year, as the guilt began to take over him for leaving his newborn son and wife alone. In his mind he felt what he was doing was right, serving his country, but his heart was tearing itself apart. His time was coming to an end, when a commanding officer came in and sat everyone down, to inform them that their service would be extended by an extra year, and deployment would be moving somewhere new..South Zagoria. At the time there was a bloody civil war coming to an end, and NATO bases began popping up in the area that needed weapon service badly, for being that close to the ocean, with the salt and humidity in the air caused weapons to fowl much more frequently. Tony began getting angry, He is now being forced to go fight a war he feel he should not be involved in and knows nothing about..this isnt even why he enlisted in the first place? When he arrived at his new Deployment, there was a letter waiting for him from Alyx, Their son was sick..and dying. He filed for leave immediately, but was rejected. Tony was now forced to serve in a foreign country for 6 more months while his son breaths his last breath.
The deployment came to an end, and by the end of it, Tony had reverted to the way he used to be, a Stoic, Heartless man. He knew what he would come home to find, and he was right. His wife did not meet him at the airport, and when he caught a taxi home, walked in the door, to find her the same way he was, Stoic..Heartless. Their son had died a month before his arrival, there was nothing he could do to help it. They lay in bed that night, not speaking a word to each other, they both knew how the other felt, and words weren't necessary. The very next day, at 5am, just before the sun peaked, he crawled out of bed, Kissed his wife on the cheek, told her he loved her with all of his heart, and walked out of the house straight back to the recruiting office. "Sarge, what are you doing here? you just got home yesterday didnt you?" The recruiting officer asked of Tony. "im ready to go back, there's nothing left for me here."
And so he was redeployed to a more peaceful location this time around, The civil war in South Zagoria was over, but the NATO presence still needed a Master of Armory, So he fit in well, his old war buddies were still there, and welcomed him back, knowing the situation from overhearing the letters, didnt bother asking why he returned. He purchased a home in the area because he hated the smell of the barracks. Years of peace and quiet passed, until July 11'th, 2017, He awoke to his entire unit outside his house armed to the teeth. The unit told Tony that something had happened in the northern part of the state, and that they were to move immediately to assist and support the rest of the nato troops, and that Tony just happened to be the highest ranking member of the unit and that he would be in charge. Most of the vehicles were run down junk piles and didnt have much gas, so it would be a hustle to make it to the front line. Nine days later, on their journey north, bombs began falling dangerously close to Tony and his unit. He began yelling to them to take cover, but the mobs seemed accurate, almost like they were being targeted purposely. half of his unit had fallen to the first 3 explosions, the fourth hit a building..sending debris in every direction, one connecting with Tony, Knocking him unconscious.
Tony awoke 3 days later to an eerily quiet, but bloody setting, he dressed his wounds and began wandering back to his house determined to find out what happened.
This is his story.