Wednesday, December 24, 2008
We had a ceremony a few hours ago for a fallen comrade. It's the first one since I've been here. We heard the call over the radio to be out on the main thorough way in an hour. It was dark outside already, and it was cold. We all lined up along the road. Thousands of us. Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Seamen, foreign troops, civilians, and local nationals. We stood side by side for as far as I could see in each direction and waited for it to come. Twenty seven minutes passed by, and then I saw the lights from a police escort. In a perfect silent wave the troops snapped to attention and rendered a salute as the metal box covered neatly in an American flag crawled by. I thought of the Soldier's mother, wife, father, and children, and then I thought of my own. What a horrible Christmas eve to mourn the death of someone you just said goodbye to only days ago. As I walked back to the aid station I realized I won't come home quite the same as I left either. I'm different already. I don't know if it's good or bad yet, but I know I'm just not the same anymore.