E Plurubus Unum, Rex Montis

Sunday, May 02, 2010


Once upon a time young boys went off to war.
We were going to do what we had always pretended; boy soldiers in the woods with wooden guns who, when they fell, would miraculously rise again to fight another battle.

Once upon a time we were invincible and nothing could touch us. We were bullet proof and deadly.

But when the time came, we found that we were all too human and our friends would fall, but there would be no rising to fight another battle. The guns were not wood, the enemy had no honor and dead is forever.

Someone asked me a question the other day, they asked me if it was all worth it, the war. I couldn't answer for a while, and I got all choked up. How do you answer someone whose only source of information is CNN? Do I think for a minute that the lives of 10 Iraqi's were worth one of any of the finest young men I have ever had the privilege of serving with? NO!

But I do believe we helped put an end to a tyrant who would see the genocide of a nation. I believe freedom is not a right to be enjoyed by Americans only. I believe we accomplished a goal that needed accomplishing. With that firmly in mind I believe I don't want to think about Iraq any more. Yet I know this is not possible.

I do not pay attention to the news. I gladly share my opinions when asked. The war will always be a part of me, it is part of who I am.

With memorial day approaching I think about my friends that fell and I make sojurns to their graves. But more, I think about the ones still here. I see them from time to time, the ghosts of my old friends; men now and not the boys we were. I bump into them at the bar and talk to them on the phone. We each fall off the grid for a while and then a sighting is made...

My [almost] 2 year old just walked up and lifted his hand towards me for a high-five, then ran off giggling. A smile tugs at the corner of my mouth.

It was a long journey. I am glad to be back. The clouds will open and the sun will shine. Life will go on. Out of my sorrow rises peace, because I know we have all made the world a little bit better. I can only hope our sacrafices mean something to the next group of young boys.

I think about my experiences daily, but mostly I think about this:

Once upon a time young boys went off to war, and in many ways we are still there.