I am a fighting man. Some of my brothers in arms have died. Some from enemy action. Some from suicide. Some from accidents. I saw something on www.rangerup.com today that made the memories come back. I have an honor roll of sorts in my brain I revisit during Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, and when certain situations arise. Here is what Ranger Up said:
For most people in America, or Britain, or Australia or Canada or any of our allies, the casualties are a brief moment on the news, never again to be thought of or considered. Only the families of the fallen are left to bear the weight of the loss…and of course us. We know what they gave up. We suffered the same pains, but somehow we came out okay. And they were so damn young.
Now for my .02 “They were so damn young”.
An Engineman I know died during the Cole bombing. He was near my age, and I was green as hell at the time. 20 or 21 at the oldest. We were classmates and friends at “A” school. I wrote a condolence letter to his family because he introduced me to them when they came to visit him.
An Ops Department bubba from my first ship died in a car wreck around ’02. He also was near my age at the time.
The stress was too much for one of my deck ape buddies. He hung himself in a line(rope for civvies) store room.
An Air Maintenance Chief that died in an ATV rollover accident. I attended that funeral with the rest of the HT/DC shop because he had been the LCPO of our air det during deployment.
A Radioman from my current ship died in a car wreck. A bit older than me, but still young.
Those that were older still bear mention in my personal honor roll.
A maternal great uncle and former(never ex) Marine. He saw action in the WW2 island campaigns as a TOW gunner.
A paternal grandfather and Vietnam Vet. Agent Orange complications finally caught up with him years after the war. A true Marine, he fought to the end. He taught me more by example about riding well, shooting straight, and speaking the truth than any man I know.
A cousin that was in the 82nd Airborne died in a motorcycle wreck in his hometown after chasing the Republican Guard all over Kuwait and Iraq.
Several kids from my hometown, mostly Marines, who I graduated with, died on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The punchline from the above article was that there are too few left. Amen to that. The above mentioned men are why you enjoy your freedoms today. Remember them and those in their company of heroes. We saw a WW2 vet today at the USS Midway. I told Mrs. Snipe that there aren’t many of those men left. I listened to him speak about being a Beachmaster during the war. I was in awe. The things those men did are legendary to me. To them, it was just another fine Navy day. Never forget, “..those who have gone before, to defend freedom and democracy around the world”.
That is all. Fall out and carry out the plan of the day.