COOKEVILLE, TN—Saying he has been unable to readjust to civilian life since returning home from his deployment to the border with Mexico, U.S. soldier Matthew Coltrane told reporters Tuesday he continues to have nightmares in which he is being used as a mere political prop. “In the middle of the night, I’ll wake up in a cold sweat, having dreamed I was back there in Arizona, serving as a pawn in a game to rally the president’s voter base,” said the 22-year-old private first class, adding that he can see clearly the chilling images of young soldiers caught in the middle of the White House’s midterm election strategy every time he closes his eyes. “It can happen anytime. I’ll be sitting with my family watching TV, and suddenly I’m plunged back into this horror show of ostensibly defending America’s borders from a bunch of unarmed migrants who are still thousands of miles away. I can even hear the bored sighs from my brothers-in-arms, brave men who lost weeks of their lives to this naked attempt to scare Americans into voting Republican by depicting refugees as an invading enemy force. It is a trauma that will stay with me for the rest of my life.” At press time, Coltrane was reportedly on the verge of a panic attack after receiving orders to redeploy to the border in advance of the 2020 elections.
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