There is one emotion, one driving thought that gets you through the endless patrols, the never ending political bullshit, and the trauma: I need to do whatever I can to make sure that those to the left and right of me come home. For those doing the fighting, war isn't about taking countries, it's about taking hills. War is personal. War is hell. War is a family affair.
While I was walking out of the National Memorial Day Concert there was a feeling of both jubilation and pride at both having served and being an American, but also sadness… deep sadness. One of my friends who had never served turned to me and said, “This was kind of a sad concert”. I looked at her, shrugged, and replied, “That’s probably because the concert was about men and women dying.”