I have always known things I should not have known. When I was 4, I knew things about wars I had never heard about. I would go up to older people I had never met before, and call them by their first names. I would sing songs of sadness and hope in German and Polish, but I knew nether language. But oddest of all, was the house. 2 miles from my childhood home, was a small, blue, abandoned cottage. I convinced my parents to go there. When we did, I walked around saying, "I used to sit here and listen to the radio. This was where I slept. This was where my mom died. But you are the best mom I've ever had." My mom responded with a smile, "But I'm the only mom you've ever had!" "No. I've had 12. But you're the best." When I was growing up, I always had a strong attraction and knowledge of WWII, To the point where my room has every single WWII Airfix model I could find hanging on my ceiling. So, at age 20, I joined the airforce. People from all over said I was the best pilot that had ever come to the base, that I had knowledge (and seemingly, the experience) that only the most seasoned pilots could attain.
The year was 2089. We had just entered WWIII. I was flying a plane, high above the clouds, feeling at home. As I flew down with my squadron, the clouds parted, and I saw a massive aircraft carrier. It fired 20 heat seeking missiles. One for each of us. There was no escape. As the missile flew closer, I had a flash of memory, and in that moment, It all became clear.
I was flying a British Spitfire above the English Channel, and I saw an aircraft carrier. A plane flew up and riddled mine with bullets. As I heard the chatter of gunfire, I prayed. "Dear God, give me another chance."
Back to reality, I looked at the terrible missile, getting closer by the second. I looked to the heavens and prayed. "Dear God, give me another chance." Then it all went dark. I saw a bright light, and a loud voice. "Well, well, well. Here we are again. You gave up your life for your country once more." Then I heard what sounded like a car horn. The voice spoke again.
The light grew brighter. I was almost blinded. But this time, I did not forget who I was. I remembered.
I was standing at a street corner, with a wallet in my hand. I looked inside it and saw an ID. I was a 16-year-old named Leo Vasquez. As I walked toward what I somehow knew to be my home, I said to myself, "I will not forget."
And I have not done that yet. I have died as a pilot over 40 times now. Each time I remember. I know all of my 40 names. I know all of my 40 cars. I know all of my 40 parents. I have not forgotten.
I will continue to die to help my country. For if I do not, who will?