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September 9, 2011

A.D. Comment of the Month, Year, Decade

I don't know how to count the loss and gain of the last decade at my house.
It won't fit on a spreadsheet. My mind flashes back to my carefree teenage son and his rowdy buddies invading the refrigerator and pantry a decade ago, concerned about girls, parties, summer's end, their nebulous futures. My son was the first of them to enlist, and three more were inspired by him to follow suit. We saw one of them off to Afghanistan last week, an infantry squad leader now. My son says he's going to a bad place.

This week, my son, returned from Afghanistan in August with his Special Forces team,
was sitting on the sofa in the middle of the night, reaching deep in himself to talk with his father of war, and of death, and of spending his entire adult life preparing for, going to, and coming from combat with a fanatical enemy. He spoke of the horror of walking through the carnage of the deadliest bombing in Iraq in 2007, and how one instant that day still defines it all for him: a father holding out the shredded remains of his daughter to him, the American who surely must have the magic medicine to resurrect her. He knows he has paid a dear personal price for America and for his comrades-in-arms, and that price has bought him a position shoulder-to-shoulder with heroes and warriors worthy of legend, glory, and honor. I could not be more proud of him as a father and as an American, nor can I be in less despair over the cost I see him bear. He now trains to redeploy to Afghanistan in a few months. War is hell, but only a few go through the gates. -- From AMERICAN DIGEST: Comment on September 10, 2001: "Make no mistake, it's not revenge he's after. It's a reckonin'."

All Honor to and prayers for your household and family, sir.

Posted by Vanderleun at September 9, 2011 2:20 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Humbling perspective.

Posted by: RedCarolina at September 9, 2011 2:35 PM

We still find such men among us, don't we?

One would think, at least looking around my uber-urban environment infested by worldly eunuchs with too much metro in their sexual, that such men as this who go through the Gates of Hell are becoming scarce. I hope not.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at September 9, 2011 3:37 PM

My God.... Now think about it: after 10 years of constant war; deployments; training and killing, that man, a son and former kid, is more seasoned than any WWII vet--it only lasted 4 years. In SF, I know he has had that many deployments by now and will have more. This is the Greatest Generation right now, but only a few know it.

God, keep him safe, keep him sharp. Amen

Posted by: Gray at September 9, 2011 10:13 PM

So, I can't do that kind of thing anymore. Too old and getting too broken. What can I do for him? What can we do for him, his father, and all those like him?

Make this a country worthy of such sacrifice. Make this a country proud of such men that they will be proud to live in.

Posted by: Gray at September 9, 2011 10:28 PM

We speak of those that wear the tab of the SF, SEALs, Force Recon or 160 SOAR without realizing how few of those desiring to wear that insignia actually get through the course.

I, like Gray, can't do it anymore, too old and bent.

Another Nam vet's son has made it through and wears the beret; his reward has been at least two deployments to the 'stan.

Posted by: Peccable at September 10, 2011 5:32 AM

Some serve, some sacrifice, a few do both.

Posted by: Casca at September 10, 2011 10:47 AM

My eldest is going back to Afghanistan in a month or so.
His brother will be joining the Corps in a year or so.

-I am proud, but I fear for their golden hearts, and that they be put not too far out of reach while they do what they must.

Posted by: Patvann at September 10, 2011 1:04 PM

Casca -

"Golden hearts only comes close.

I am in my sixties, and refused to go to 'Nam".

But if I were still young enough to do so, I would give everything I have to defeat these 7th century demons.

"Nam" was the politics of politics. Islamists are truly spawned by the devil himself.

Posted by: Anonymous at September 10, 2011 5:32 PM

Gray said:
"Make this a country worthy of such sacrifice."

-That sentence just became part of the Permanent-Memory file in my head...Thank you.

Posted by: Patvann at September 10, 2011 6:30 PM

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