Torn from our family and our lives, we volunteered to put the weight of the nation on our shoulders. Many of us didn’t know why we would ever fight, or what romantic notion would compel us to even try.
It was for God, for country, for family, for the love of a heart so many thousands of miles away; we fought.
Anything would have been better: working late at the office six days a week; driving during rush hour to some distant relative’s house; mowing the lawn on Saturday; shopping with a girl; attending a high school reunion; anything at all.
In between battles, over cigarette smoke and strumming guitars, we would talk about our plans for after we returned home: the embrace of our lover; living life as a college boy; sleeping in everyday; betting on black in Vegas. It would all be so sweet.
It was those images that kept us awake behind our machine guns after fighting for days. It was the thought of our lover’s taste that gave us the drive to search houses and vehicles while not knowing what hid inside. It was the hope of something better that helped us exist unbroken in our reality.
Oftentimes we were mindless; we had been conditioned and trained. We would give immediate obedience to lawful order. We would react by instinct and perform like automatons. But we were dreamers – we would have never joined if that weren’t the case.
And that is the tragedy of a military death in combat. The dreams of nations, the dreams of family and friends, the dreams of the individual soldier; they all fall one person.
It is a burden that those who have survived will never forget. We don’t seek pity and charity from anyone. We just ask that you remember; just like us the best you can.
Lest we forget and the American dream becomes a nightmare.
RIP: Sergeant Bill Cahir; Corporal William Salazar; Lance Corporal Michael Starr; Lance Corporal Norman Anderson; Corporal Joshua Snyder; fallen members Third Battalion Seventh Marine Regiment for OIF II
~ Semper Fi ~
All content ©Dario DiBattista 2010. All posts are for display purposes only and not to be considered published.