Paris, Je Vous Combattrai

The protesters surrounded me, brandishing signs with anti-war slogans. I didn’t speak French, so I had no idea what they were shouting, but given my Navy dress uniform I could guess. Not wanting to cause trouble, I kept walking along the bank of the Seine and ignored them.

When the first rock hit me, I stopped and began to peel off my uniform. By the time the third rock hit, I was down to my civilian clothes underneath. My forehead and arm were bleeding but I didn’t care.

“Come on, then,” I roared, stepping back into a fighting stance. And on they came.

I was a merciless whirlwind of fists and feet, punching one in the neck, kicking another in the mouth, grabbing another to swing him around and smash him into the mob as it tried to crush me. A few I lifted over my head and tossed into the river. The floor grew slick with blood, some mine but most theirs.

They dispersed as quickly as they had appeared, carrying off their wounded. My dress whites were stained, but my pride was unblemished. I fought to win.

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