"I'm sorry I must leave, but I must do what is asked of me by my God, my Country, and my Corps.. and so, the war blog begins, again." ~B

09 August 2009

What If(s)...

My cousin is finishing his Basic Recruit Training at Parris Island, SC.

He is so close to earning the title of Marine. We are immensely proud of him, but with each step closer to a duty station, he also a step closer to deployment and all the mixed feelings that brings.

A few days ago, sitting around the living room with my Aunt and Uncle, cousins, and grandparents, conversation turned to Stephen. We passed around pictures from a recent family wedding, and he is not in them. There is a blank space where he should be. He is just gone to BCT, but it was jarring.

Haltingly, hesitantly, the topic turned to what Stephen will face in the next few years. It is almost certain he will go to one war or the other. Maybe even a new one altogether. Chad is in the Navy, but with Stephen, danger seems much closer.

The day was a reminder that when an individual joins the armed forces, entire families do as well. All across the country, pictures are being taken at family reunions and dinners and birthday parties that a man or woman in uniform won't be in. When those pictures are printed and reflected in, lurking in the background is the present makeup could become permanent.

I wrote this based on something my uncle said.

What If:
What if tomorrow, on the TV news,
two Marines are reported killed-
blown up or shot in your province.

What if the dark government sedan
pulls into your dad's drive
with the regrets of a greatful nation.

What if you return, as promised,
but in a flag covered shipping container
instead of the red truck.

What if the rifles volley
and the bagpipes play 'Amazing Grace'
while the trumpet announces God is nigh.

What if your plans are disrupted,
put on hold by a broken mind or body.
What if, What if, What if.

1 comment:

AirmanMom said...

This is a beautifully written post. I thank you for sharing these raw feelings. So many of us do understand.