Books. Bikes. Boomsticks.
"What fresh hell is this?"
Bless you, lady, for posting that.
I have my father's carbine from D-Day. My step-father flew in a B-24--the "Texas Rattler"--from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. I saw Manila in 1949 and had cousins who'd been interned in Santo Tomas. Korea in 1954/55; a good friend had never got feet-dry in the Inchon landing. My son did Desert Shield/Desert Storm.Remember? How do I forget?
So simple yet powerful reminder.Thank you all who served.
The things they Carried.... They carried P-38 can openers and heat tabs,watches and dog tags,insect repellent, gum, cigarettes, Zippo lighters, salt tablets, compress bandages, ponchos, Kool-Aid, two or three canteens of water, iodine tablets,sterno, LRRP- rations, and C-rations stuffed in socks. They carried standard fatigues, jungle boots, bush hats, flak jackets and steel pots. They carried the M-16 assault rifle. They carried trip flares and Claymore mines, M-60 machine guns, the M-70 grenade launcher, M-14's, CAR-15's, Stoners, Swedish K's, 66mm Laws, shotguns, .45 caliber pistols, silencers, the sound of bullets, rockets, and choppers, and sometimes the sound of silence.They carried C-4 plastic explosives, an assortment of hand grenades, PRC-25 radios, knives and machetes. Some carried napalm, CBU's and largebombs; some risked their lives to rescue others. Some escaped the fear, but dealt with the death and damage. Some made very hard decisions, and some just tried to survive. They carried malaria, dysentery, ringworm, jungle rot 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'! "They 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.They 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. THEY CARRIED EACH OTHER. Remember them this Memorial Day.(I believe the author is Tim O'brien).
Tam,Thank you for posting a Memorial Day reminder.I just got in from our annual sunrise ceremonies where our post presents flags "on behalf of a grateful nation" to the families of fallen soldiers, sailors and airmen.In scouring a half-dozen or so of my favorite blogs, you are the only one to have posted a Memorial Day message.Thank you.--AOA
I think that we sometimes forget, day to day, that we've got men and women wearing our nation's uniform, deployed abroad to serve us. And we forget those that did, and how much they did.It's hard, sometimes, to remember.
Well said Tam.
Tam,Thank you for the reminder. And RHT447, that was an epic post, thank you as well.Was the photo taken on Lake Lemon just north of B'ton. In. ?? Looks like our park.John
Fort Loudon Lake in Tennessee, actually.
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