I’ve actively avoided veteran functions, and you won’t find me sporting every bumper sticker and unit patch I can find on my vest.
Maybe it’s the stigma of being labeled, or being grouped with the self righteous wannabe bad asses and outright frauds. ( I have some stories there !)
Whatever my reasoning right and wrong; the island I have created has been a lonely one. Don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful family, and dear friends. Yet a gut wrenching loneliness has haunted me.
Somewhere early in this reconnecting process with the men of ACo 1-87 the author “BC” hit me with a “Love ya Brother”. I hear “brother” thrown around casually at work and such all the time and it’s so damn cliche’ I hardly pay attention to it. This time I felt something I had not felt in maybe 20 years. I’m not generally a touchy feely guy, but I cried.
One stupid Cliche’ of a word had kicked me square in the teeth. This man, this almost stranger of a man, was still connected to me in ways that can’t be inked. We were brothers by sweat, blood and duty. I had forgotten, and minimized my attachments to this time period. Now it was all back, and I was crying. Not since the loss of my own brother in Kentucky wheat field had I cried this much.
Thank You BC, TC, and BS for reminding me of what I am and where I came from. Those of us separated by years from our service by choice or chance lose that connection and brotherhood.