The views expressed within this journal are my own, and in no way represent the views or policies of the United States Army, Department of Defense, or any other official agency.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sacrifice. Hardship. Heroes.

Rampant sweat builds in each of your pores until it quickly overflows. Warning! Warning! Warnings are far too late. Your body has violently turned host to a sodium-filled flash flood, ravaging the course of your skin. The steam rises, racing from your flesh and escapes hurriedly through the collar and sleeves. Marinated with your own sweat, you’re an amphibian cooked in the boiling water. The mind fades as an over-tasked body is incapable of providing the basic necessities to function properly.

Zoom out your slant focus from the ground in front of you. As the tunnel vision fades, you start to take notice of the boots and uniforms gathered tightly around you. Hundreds of soldiers from the base line up along the road leading to the helicopter landing zone.

A young soldier inadvertently steps through the crowd into the pavement, and rapidly corrects himself. As I peered through him I saw it. Nearly tangible, the discomfort writhed in my stomach.

50 stars.
13 stripes.
1 wooden coffin.

The vehicle was carrying the remains of a United States service member - a soldier, a husband, a father. The streets of the base were lined up for a final farewell, a memorial, a testament to the honor for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

And the sun continued to beat upon my brow. The line between sweat and tears is now completely indistinguishable. Many cultures believe that there is no greater honor than giving your life for an ideal, a belief, a creed. Embodied with this feeling, thousands of years of principle and history swirled through my body.

As the helicopters flew in much like angels to take our brother home, we dispersed deplorably.

I let out a great sigh, and realized what this meant. Back to work… and we have much work to do.

This blog is dedicated to those who were unable to make it with us to tomorrow, but will forever be ingrained into our hearts.

May the families and friends of the fallen find some peace in the selflessness and courage of their loved ones.

Forever Heroes.


Tony (aka: Dad) said...

....is a shame that something so beautifully written can be related to something so tragically forlorn....

May God be with them and have mercy on the loved ones left behind.

Ky Woman said...

Even though I read your words with dread, I'm so happy to see you writing again...

I've been worried! Yeah, I know. Weird. Worried about someone I've never met nor probably will never meet. Still.. I do.

Good thoughts and prayers go out to all the men and women who have given their lives for this fight. May God keep them in the palm of his hands...

and you too.

membrain said...

This is the most beautifally written tribute to the fallen that I have read.

Stay as safe as you can.