Thursday, January 16, 2020


It seems it was a day of funerals for my parents in Arlington yesterday. The first was for the very good friend of theirs who passed away last year and the service was early in the morning. The second funeral was a couple of hours later for her son who made it out of Iraq but didn't survive the bitter cold of his return to the no longer loving bosom of his family. It's hard on a husband and father when love turns to hate. I wouldn't know anything about that of course.

Like me, they are forever young.

Their son was born 3 months after me. We knew each other intermittently for the first 14 years of our lives and went our ways in between. Such was the nature of growing up in an Army family that moved every 2 or 3 years. We would re-meet every second move or so but we were not friends, we were boys thrown into the occasional company of other boys of our era whose parents were very good friends based on their own backgrounds. Sadly, the Pastore family is greatly diminished.

When I wrote about the old man suggesting a tour for me as a provincial reconstruction team leader, this was the guy behind that and there were a dozen others I knew who went that route and I was glad enough that I had been seized up by the Navy to deal with the actual security nature of the business before I could be shoveled into one of those jobs working for the Army and State in Iraq or Afghanistan. That would not have gone at all well. In my world the Navy was very very different from the Army and Air Force and it would not have gone well for me to once again venture into their special worlds of make believe. I once worked directly for ARCENT for 2 months in Egypt. Never again.

My peers were accumulated over a lifetime, many of them little of my doing. We were born and raised by people who shared a common view that has faded to almost nothing now. I suspect the last of it faded away as I read A Sense of Honor shortly after it was published while I was still a student. 

I dare to say that the young men and women of the Forces today would disagree. Good for them!


Brig said...

Some fences can't be mended, and that is possibly the hardest thing to accept, with grace.

HMS Defiant said...

Yes it is. It takes time to accept and blindsided gives very little time and no comprehension but as you wrote, it takes time. One has to take the time however much it hurts. Time does heal all hurts.

capt fast said...

my backseater once told me he had no fear because he would die in a barcalounger holding an empty beer bottle and empty pack of smokes in his other hand.
did not know it happened until his brother called me about six weeks after the fact in response to my unanswered e-mails. the empties were on the side table but he was sitting in his favorite barcalounger chair. that was shocking to hear. has me looking over my shoulder.

HMS Defiant said...

Calls to mind Lex who more than once wrote that he planned to go out wrestling snakes in the cockpit and so he did.