There is a bond that forms between those who served. It doesn’t matter where, or when you served, which branch, or anything else. The fact that you stepped up, raised your hand and took the oath is what matters. Whether you were in the front lines taking fire, or back in the states slinging hash on some post, the fact that you answered when the nation asked for help sets those who served apart from those who didn’t. That’s not a slight on those who never served, no sir. What I’m saying is that the shared experience amongst veterans is unique, and lasting.
For some, those bonds grow into a love that time, distance, or even death cannot break. Knowing that those around you have your back, and you there’s, day after day, that you can count on them as they count on you, turns you into a family with ties as strong or stronger than those of blood and birth.
We’ve all lost friends. It’s a dangerous profession. The scars of those losses are as real as those caused by physical wounds. the scars from those will heal, but the others, not so much. It is said that time will heal all wounds, but in truth, the bleeding never stops, it only lessens for awhile, to return with some sound, or image, or scent, or any of a thousand triggers.
What does help, for me and for so many, is to tell the stories of those wounds, to remember the brothers we lost. It’s cathartic, if only for a time.
Over to This Aint Hell, Doc Bailey tells such a story. You should read it, because it’s from his heart, and because for those who haven’t been there, it’s a window into the soul of those who have. Read it, and read between the lines. God bless the Corpsman, and all who bring the better angels of our nature to those times of darkness.