to ponder this upcoming Memorial Day
things they Carried....
carried napalm, CBU's and large bombs; some risked their lives to rescue
others. Some escaped the fear, but dealt with the death and damage.
made very hard decisions, and some just tried to survive. They carried
malaria, dysentery, ringworms and leaches. They carried the land itself
as it hardened on their boots. They carried stationery, pencils, and
pictures of their loved ones - real and imagined. They carried love for
people in the real world and love for one another. And sometimes they
disguised that love: "Don't mean nothin'! "
carried memories for the most part, they carried themselves with poise
and a kind of dignity. Now and then, there were times when panic set in,
and people squealed or wanted to, but couldn't; when they twitched and
made moaning sounds and covered their heads and said "Dear
God" and hugged the earth and fired their weapons blindly and
cringed and begged for the noise to stop and went wild and made stupid
promises to themselves and God and their parents, hoping not to die.
carried the traditions of the United States military, and memories and
images of those who served before them. They carried grief, terror,
longing and their reputations. They carried the soldier's greatest fear:
the embarrassment of dishonor. They crawled into tunnels, walked point,
and advanced under fire, so as not to die of embarrassment. They were
afraid of dying, but too afraid to show it. They carried the emotional
baggage of men and women who might die at any moment. They carried the
weight of the world.
CARRIED EACH OTHER
Things That They Carried is by Tim O'Brien who was with us in 1968/69 with the 196th His award winning best seller (approx 1976) was Going After Cacciatto
Remember them this Memorial Day