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.Author Unknown
My grandfather went in in D+1. He was in the 2nd Infantry Div. and served through thte rest of the war, going all the way to the Rhineland. He died on Saturday. Going through his things, my mother found a Silver Star, and award he never spoke of. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to know and be loved by such a fine man. God bless our honorable veterans.
My Father, Captain H of the US Army Air Corp and (later) the USAF, died 8 years ago last Thursday.He flew transport and close combat support (air lift and troop drops) in the Pacific theater. He often flew into landing strips that the SeeBees and or the Combat Engineers were still working on grading. He called me his "co-pilot" and cautioned me to never fly (or drive) faster than my guardian angel. He never spoke of his service except to tell me that he had a pet monkey on one base. But in the one faded, crumpled photo of an impossibly skinny 22 year old on that un-named base with that monkey on his shoulder, I see my father's eyes. He spent the rest of his life working with kids and teachers - YMCA director, teacher, librarian, education supervior, church administratorMy son is named for his grandpas, and he looks nothing like his daddy except in his coloring an his chin. But he looks enough like my dad to be his fraternal twin. My mom has their 'dress uniform' pictures side by side on the fireplace mantle. The legacy lives on.
Ahem - point of information:"The Things They Carried" was originally a short story written by Vietnam veteran Tim O'Brien; he later expanded it into a full-length novel by the same name.It was, and remains, one of the most poetically haunting and emotionally resonant explorations of the soldier's life and heart in all of English literature.Amen...
My father was in Signal Corps, as he was an engineering student before he was drafted. He went to Marseilles after D-Day, and was given the task of restoring telephone service after Allied Forces and Nazis shot the lines all to ****.He did his job, and came home to father me, two brothers, and one sister into the world. He died a couple of years ago. I honor him. His name was Bernard Francis Brandt. May his memory be eternal.
Post a Comment