6.07.2007

The Memorial Service

We had the memorial service for both of our guys today. I hate army funerals, for a few reasons aside from the obvious. You get higher ups who show up, and not that its my place to try to discredit anyone or anything like that, but to me, it feels like they're just going through the motions, even though I'm sure its not like that to all of them.

The big one, the one that I hate, is one little phrase. Let me just say this: I don't care if I'm 21 or if I'm 100, NEVER use the phrase "Ultimate Sacrifice". Ever. I hope a huge sweaty fist strikes the speaker directly in the face in the event that those bullshit words are used.

Because it won't be a sacrifice. I sacrificed plenty coming here, but I'm not offering my life, fuck you. At any point in my life, if I die, it'll be because I zigged instead of zagged. Didn't take care of blood sugar, ate too much fat, pissed off the wrong girl, whichever. You won't ever catch me saying, "Fuck it, I'll take one for the team." I won't willingly die, that's stupid. If I put myself in a position of imminent danger, that's different. That's my job. But you're crazy if you think my intention will be to die. Hell no, my intention will be to kick, claw, and scream, to spit and scratch eyes and throw dirt and kick nuts and shoot shoot shoot and stab cut rip tear headbutt and run motherfucker run. Not making the ultimate sacrifice. Blame world leaders on my epitaph. Even if it IS cholesterol. Someone's getting rich stuffing our food full of it, so give em a swift kick to the sack for me.

That being said, I sat in my seat in silence. Two huge photographs of two incredibly awesome guys. Boots, rifles, dogtags, kevlar helmets. Flags and unit signs and this and that and etcetera and soforth. Seas of guys in ACUs. I've never seen so many cry so quietly.

The battalion commander read a speech, so did the company commander, their platoon leader, and two guys from the squad. The worst part of a military funeral is the final roll call.

The First Sergeant reads off the names of the squad members. Each man shouts, "Here, First Sergeant!" and then he gets to the name or names of the diseased. He calls rank and last name. Silence. Your throat becomes tight, painfully tight. It literally hurts.

He calls the rank, first name, and last name. You're wondering why the fuck this is necessary. Its excruciating, seriously is.

Rank, first name, middle initial, last name.

The platoon sergeant sounds off, reporting that the individual(s) have been killed in action on whatever date.

BANG!!!

Everyone jumps. BANG!!!

BANG!!!

Taps plays. This is the part where my vision blurs. Then Amazing Grace, the same bagpipe version, every time. Everyone walks up to the display and salutes. I didn't make a sound or a face. Didn't wipe my eyes. Let em run. Because this isn't coming without a price. Immense grief, yes, but that's not it. I felt something new along with it.

Hate.

Not the way you hate commercials, or hate it when the toilet paper runs out, or when you have to wait in traffic. The true definition of hate. The desire to watch things burn, to fill your enemies with lead. To pump round after round into them. To let them know a little too late that they fucked with the wrong bull. To completely and messily obliterate everything that stands against us. If you aren't with us, fine, get the fuck out of our way. If you're against us, sucks to be you.

There are still plenty of innocent people out there. My beef isn't with them. But the moment I have positive identification of someone DUMB ENOUGH to be a threat, then its going to be a motherfucking bullet-fiesta.

I only hope that our leadership lets go of the leash. That's all we need. The rest is on us, and we'll give them hell. Just let go of the leash. Let us out of our cages. Point us in the right direction, and then crack a bottle of champagne and watch the fireworks. This trigger finger itches so bad it burns. Rubber bags are waiting for those cocksuckers. Just let us fill them.

This isn't all I know or all I feel. Its just something new. And I'm giving it its own special place do deal with it accordingly. And if the opportunity presents itself, I'll be coming back to the FOB with a lot less ammo. And I'll be whistling.

Rest in peace, boys. We'll take it from here.

5 Comments:

  1. Anonymous said...
    "..no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country." General George S. Patton

    I'm sorry you are going through this. Let's kick the media out and get some shit done...
    Anonymous said...
    I wish there was something I could say to make you feel better. It seems like in a blink of an eye you went from someone who pretended to be a soldier, to being the real thing. Our hearts are with you. Stay safe.

    Aunt Sandy
    Strykeraunt said...
    I know what you mean regarding roll call. It is one of the most difficult parts of a military memorial. Heck, I let the tears roll when I read its description on blogs like yours. Even though I find it painful, I also think it is a beautiful tradition. But I also believe its okay to cry.

    Thank you for the comment about the reference to "Ultimate Sacrifice." I believe I have probably said this in the past myself but never felt comfortable with it because of the reasons you stated.
    Anonymous said...
    I just wanted to say that my thoughts and prayers are with you. I am very sorry for the loss of your friends.
    chris said...
    i'm sorry man

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