We all had big eyes and the same expression of fear on our faces, and as the armed men kept pacing, the same uncertainty as to what would happen next. The thought flashed through my mind that if we all just ran, there was no way they could catch all of us. I wanted out, but I also knew their was little hope of that now. I was stuck, held captive by these men. Watching them, I noticed that two of them were dressed in green camouflage, and the other wore brown. I could tell that the one in brown was in charge judging by the way he walked around the room, making sure to stare deep into our eyes as he passed. It was almost like he was trying to measure our souls and our individual ability to handle the situation. After about twenty minutes, the man in brown spoke, yelling harshly “About face!” Each second seemed to last forever as our brains tried to put meaning to his words, and another eternity before one of us not only comprehended, but actually dared to move. As I turned around, I saw four shirts and four pairs of pants hanging there on the baton-dinged bars of my bunk. The sunlight was coming horizontally through the windows now, casting a perfect shadow of my body on the clothes, as if I were already in them. The pants were made of cotton and were a dark blue. The shirts, a lighter blue with a pocket on each side, and a patch with writing etched on it above each pocket. I tried to make out words but couldn’t in the little light, though I was sure it must be the name of the organization the armed men are with.
I was just a boy-merely seventeen, and I had no idea what I was in for. I had no idea that that I would be wearing these four sets of clothes for the next four years, and that the name of the organization on the patch would take me to four continents and five countries before I was released. Initially, I knew very little about the organization, or how it would change my life, but as I became aware of what they stood for I found myself, ever so slowly, beginning to stand along with them. Little did I know that before those four years were up, I would endure many hardships, such as the death of some of the very men standing in this room. Little did I know that I would eventually respect the men who were holding me captive on this August morning, and that they, over time, would grow to respect me.