Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Something Personal

The following is very personal. It involves people that I know, and friends of theirs. It affected me, and I think rightly so. I share here on the Glob as these things matter, and should be thought about. This is not intended to be political in any way. It is intended to be Human.

I have hidden or changed the names involved. I deleted a line or two. The rest is as I received it.

To clarify, the Original Message is from someone I know from The Hunt. In his message he tells briefly about someone he knows, and then relays the email he received from that person.

Finally I have included reaction from Uncle Buck.

-----Original Message-----

Subject: Marine that was killed in Iraq

When I was growing up, one of my friend's brother-n-law was like a big brother to all of us. He and his wife had a little baby when I was about 17.

He grew up and enlisted in the Marines as an 0311 grunt.

This is the email just sent me.




How is it going? We just found out that Johhny was killed Monday. Bob


I was unable to respond to the person that sent me the above.

However, Uncle Buck finally had a response, which follows:

Well I've been stewing for a week trying to come up with something worthwhile to say, but nothing that comes to my mind is really worthy of a life lost in service to our country..

Young guys and girls join the service, and they have their own reasons for doing so. These might include a vague notion of "service to country", but that's normally not the main reason. Most young folks are beyond fear of death, they don't think about death at all. Yet their service and sacrifice is greater than they know. "All give some, some give all" sounds like a cliché, but it's the real deal. Those that serve give up part of their lives, and maybe more, for us.

My son's high school graduated 400 in 2003, about a dozen enlisted. So a few serve so we can all sleep safer at night. Say what you want about the wisdom of going to Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Yugoslavia or anyplace else...but those willing to serve stand in the gap for us. John Stuart Mill had this to say at the close of the War between the States: "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

My heart and prayers go out to Bob's family and to the memory of Johnny, one of the "better men". We owe them a debt of gratitude that cannot be repaid

We're on the eve of Independence Day. Most of us will cook out and drink beer and watch fireworks. As part of your celebration, take a minute to think of and be thankful for those who can't, either because they're in some God- forsaken corner of the world or no longer among us.

Freedom is not free.

Uncle Buck

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