Thursday, March 1, 2007

Honoring the fallen

I know I said I'd never write about death or injury, so I'm not. I will however write today about remembering and honoring my fellow brothers. This week, we have the unfortunate duty of attending two memorial services. Neither of these was a soldier from our unit, but should be given the same respects.

The services have been made mandatory by the "higher ups" and this upsets a lot of my fellow soldiers. This morning while shaving, a couple of my soldiers were talking about doing various errands on their day off.

Then the one says, "Oh yeah, we have that stupid memorial service at ten o’clock.”

"That's Bullshit!” was the reply. Then they complained for a bit and discussed how they were going to "get out of it".

I can't begin to explain how disappointed I was in hearing my fellow brothers complaining about honoring the sacrifice of a fellow soldier. I can accept it from the activists, politicians and the various other individuals and groups that we defend, but to hear it here, from them, really pissed me off more than anything else.

But, that wasn't the last I heard of how this memorial service was so "inconvenient". On the bus and in the chow hall, I heard all sorts of ramblings of frustration. The only one I could actually offer a little understanding to was one of my soldiers on a gun truck. It was from one of my soldiers going out of the wire, taking direct fire and dodging the ever so deadly roadside bombs that took these soldiers lives.

His comment was heartfelt and real... "I don't want to believe it can happen to me!"

How can I complain about that? For him and the others like him, I feel compassion. It is the others, put out by the memorial services because of no other reason than they just don't want to go. They are the ones I wish I could just punch in the mouth!