A Marine Is Killed And Who Dies With Him?
by James Glaser
If he is killed right away it is a blessing. Maybe a head shot or a mine explodes his whole body, but it is over. Others die, but it takes hours. On the radio pleading for a medivac, we will send up smoke, but the zone is just too hot. Compress bandages and hours of talking and lying about how he is going to make it as you can feel the blood seep out of his body and nobody knows what to do.
Years later you are waiting to walk down the aisle and you have a moment alone and he comes back to you and you can smell the blood and feel all dirty again, Why now, go away, this is my day, I am sorry you can't have one. Children are born and you smile with pride and he comes back to you and takes even this birth from you.
You are with your friends out on a hunt and the sound of a distant shot brings him back once again and the whole day is lost in grief and sorrow. They ask if you saw anything and you say no.
You hear talk of war, flags are being waved, and you know what is going to happen. He is there begging you to stop this one. You see the young men getting ready to leave for another war, they are all covered in blood in your eyes
You are not alone, there were others there that night and they have to suffer the same. Some place there is a Mother that still waits and remembers every day just like you. Birthdays come and go and she cries
There is the wife that loved him, but feels cheated because he never came home. All the plans, all the love, lost. Even for her it is never over. That song on the radio sounds so good to friends, but brings tears and pain to her.
Brothers and sisters think of you often and have to explain your death over and over again to their children and the memories of your loss are there for every holiday and they still remember your car.
Some Marines had kids that never knew their dad except through pictures and there is that Medal up stairs in the dresser. Now only a picture, but dad looks younger than me. He never did get to grow older.
Still I think it is hardest for those that had to put him in that body bag. There is always the guilt and that smell that comes back mostly when you are alone. I am going up to take a nap and there he is waiting for you, so you can die with him again.
In every war there is a unit that is never spoken of and that is Graves Registration and those men have to take your friend out of that bag and clean him up and put him back together enough so that he can go home. I don't know what happens to the men of that unit.
President Bush was a cheer leader in college. He could have been with me that night, but he wasn't. President Bush will cheer the troops on to victory, but he doesn't know how to play the game.
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