Tuesday, June 7, 2016

America's Best - a memorial

Mack Hall HSG

America’s Best

Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier’s debt:
He only lived but till he was a man

- Macbeth V.vii

Last week ten of our best young men and women died.

Their deaths were horrible; there is no avoiding that painful reality. But these ten did not die from drug overdoses, falling from resort hotel windows while drunk, committing crimes, blowing suicide vests among innocents, taking selfies on the edges of cliffs, in gang fights, fighting in Christmas shopping sales, or comatose in the middle of the street. They died in military training, preparing themselves for the defense of this nation. They died doing instead of talking, because in the Marines and in the Army there is no concept of hangin’ out, feeling sorry for yourself, or smoking loser-weed behind the dumpsters.

Families and friends will grieve for their military sons and daughters and comrades at their funerals and forever. They will never need to apologize for them. The families’ hearts are at half-mast but their heads are high, and the rest of us should in some way work to be just a little bit worthy of the memory of these ten and all who serve.

Those who died in service last week weren’t the common golly gee whiz supposedly super-secret commandos who write books and sue each other and make big noises; one was a Marine fighter pilot, and the other nine were soldiers in the Army, the real Army, the regular Army, the old Army, the kind of men and women who charge into a rathole to drag a nazi, a commie, or a jihadi out by the scruff of his neck and make him holler “calf rope!” without popping off about how wonderful they are.

They are good men and women, our defenders, far better than those of us who sleep in soft beds at night deserve:

Captain Jeff Kuss, USMC, 32, a Blue Angels pilot

Staff Sgt. Miguel Angel Colonvazquez, 38, Brooklyn, New York

Sp. Christine Faith Armstrong, 27, Twentynine Palms, California

Sp. Yingming Sun, 25, Monterey Park, California

Pfc. Brandon Austin Banner, 22, Milton, Florida

Pfc. Zachery Nathaniel Fuller, 23, Palmetto, Florida

Pvt. Isaac Lee Deleon, 19, San Angelo, Texas

Pvt. Eddy Raelaurin Gates, 20, Dunn, North Carolina

Pvt. Tysheena Lynette James, 21, Jersey City, New Jersey

West Point Cadet Mitchell Alexander Winey, 21, Valparaiso, Indiana.

“Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and make perpetual Light to shine upon them.”


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