by Michael Lansford
Impatiently, they waited to receive a letter from us just to know, even for a brief moment, that we were okay and still alive.
Before going, we had no clue what it would be like, nor did we know the impact it would have on us and them for the rest of our lives. For them, seeing the war on TV and reading about it must have been very hard. Who knows what they saw on TV, heard from others, read in the newspapers, and lastly our mail.
How did our loved ones handle all that and maintain their hope and faith that we would be home soon? I still wonder. Through it all, they stood with us. That kept us going, plus it gave us our will to live so we would get out alive.
Some didn't attain that goal. Their loved ones' loss was (and still is) great. That's very humbling to know their grief and suffering will always be with them.
This is one of the many reasons a lot of us withdrew from society after we returned. The fear of reprisal was great from those that hated us, but also, there was the fear that talking about it would hurt our loved ones even more than everything already had.
You see, we were often the last ones our comrades saw in life and we carry that image with us forever. We can't tell their loved one much about it, except that our only comfort is for them to know their loved one did not die alone. Someone was with them wherever they fell and they will always be honored.
Other Articles by Michael Lansford:
“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale
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