This is the Memorial Day weekend here in the United States. Tim, Bene, Rachel, and others who live outside the US - this is the day when Americans remember our war dead.
As I nursed my Saturday morning cup of Vietnamese coffee, I read the requisite newspaper story about the meaning of the holiday. The front page had a story about the families of two local men who died in Iraq. Marine PFC Dustin Sekula was killed on April 1. His mother reflected “This Memorial Day definitely takes on a different meaning. I see things in a different light now. Most of the kids I see these days here in the Valley spend their day just wasting time and being foolish. I want to go up to them and say ‘Hey – don’t let Dusty’s death be in vain’ because he gave it all up (a college scholarship, family, girlfriend, etc.) to go over there.”
My son once asked me what I would have been like if I hadn’t gone to Viet Nam. The simplistic answer is that we can’t know what we might have been, but there probably are some personality traits that are attributable to having been in combat.