Son is off to his wife, and I don't expect to see or hear from him for as long as he can stay there. Which is as it should be. And he did bring something back for me:
My whole series of The General, especially good since I couldn't replace any but the first until they're reprinted. Obviously, well-used while over there, which is what books are for.
This is the second time I've noted this day since he signed up, and before that- especially since 9/11- I've thought about it a lot. To be in those small boats, storming a beach with one of the best trained and equipped armies in the world on the high ground waiting for you... I can't really imagine. A lot of those boats probably needed a serious flushing out after, but they went in and fought their way through.
I've mentioned a great-uncle who was in 3rd Army. After he died a few months ago we found out some things, only then because he basically never talked about it to family. 8th Infantry Division, and he never mentioned the two Bronze Stars. At this point I don't know if he was in on that day or went in later, I've got to dig up some background so I can find out. One more young guy who really didn't want to be there, but there was a nasty job that needed doing, so... He was there all the way from France to the end in Germany, and came back. An awful lot didn't.
Ever hear a song by Trace Adkins, Arlington? If you haven't, look it up
I never thought that this was where I'd settle down,
I thought I'd die an old man back in my hometown.
They gave me this plot of land, me and some other men,
for a job well done.
There's a big white house sits on a hill just up the road,
the man inside, he cried the day they brought me home.
They folded up a flag, and told my mom and dad,
We're proud of your son.
And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property,
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company.
And I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I done,
I can rest in peace,
I'm one of the chosen ones,
I made it to Arlington.