“Warriors Never Die” by Raymond Roy 100 word fiction

PHOTO PROMPT © Krista Strutz

DING DONG!

2am. The headlights of a dark sedan illuminated the honeysuckle hedge by the front walkway. Looking through the side window, the porch light reflected off the Marine officers silver insignia. Oh God NO!

We laid him to rest at Arlington.

6 months before he deployed, we laid the foundation of a cabin by the water. “This will be our family’s legacy cabin Pops”! “For generations”!

It’s been a year. I eased up to the shore on my paddle board. Whoosh Whoosh, a bald eagle landed on a log right in front of me. Overwhelmed, I began to weep.

Word count -100

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wiscoff Write a complete story in 100 words or less based on the photo prompt. Click here for additional takes on the prompt.

-Goroyboy

“Biggest Kid on the Block”, guest blogger, USMC combat Veteran. 

I am humbled to to have my first guest writer on my blog. Even more so, I am honored that he is a fellow Marine, willing to share his point of view. A point of view from a vantage point of view, few can say they have experienced. To fully appreciate his perspective, approximately 7% of the US population have served in the Military. Around .08% of that is in the US Marines. One final statistic, The Marine Corps (including the Reserves) make up only 10 percent of the total Dept. of Defense force, experience 23 percent of the combat related deaths. Myself, I am a Aviation “In the rear with the Gear” Marine Veteran with much respect to my Marine Brother. 

As a nation we are in an uproar if someone takes a knee or burns a flag. Want to give back to a Vet? Here is your chance, take a few moments and listen. In return he would love to hear your thoughts as well. Semper Fi Brother. -Goroyboy 

It is hard for us to look at ourselves. As people, we don’t always get along with everyone, and it’s generally their fault. Trying to look at our situation from the outside is unnatural – we made these decisions, how could they be wrong? How could I be the source of my interpersonal issues?
The same issues apply to our country. How can we see from the perspective of others? How do we get in the shoes of a Pakistani citizen observing the war in Afghanistan? The North Korean civilian who was born there, and wants to live peacefully? How do we really understand the perspective of those directly involved but not on our side, or indirectly involved and observing? Being a nation with an understanding of others and empathy will not only reduce the world’s issues with us, it will provide our children the role model that they need. Enemies become friends, or at least associates.

This is even more difficult than looking at our people issues described in the first paragraph. In international affairs, we don’t know the other parties involved, and there are many self-proclaimed “experts” who have an agenda, and want to sway the masses. Statistics and “facts” are provided to sway us, causing uninformed or poorly informed decisions to feel well researched and thought out.

We’ve all met people that have nothing to prove to anyone. Walking away from an unnecessary confrontation is easy for them. They don’t need to show you that they’re tough or smart or kind – they’re just going to live how they do, and let others form decisions on their character based upon their actions. I believe our nation should conduct itself in the same way. We should never puff our chest out – we don’t need to. We have a booming economy, limitless food, a powerful military, and countless other programs and advantages. Why are we the guy that has everything going for him, and still has everything to prove? We are the biggest guy at the party, but still can’t back down from a fight if it’s offered. What does a fight do for the people?

The Korean Conflict ended (kind of), and we stayed there with thousands of Army troops. WWII ended, and we left troops in Italy, Spain, Germany, Japan, and many other stations. Again, get in their shoes…how would we feel if other troops were in our land? If Japan had a military base in Norfolk, VA? Or if Germany had a massive base just across the border in Canada, and did combat drills on our border? We have highly deadly warriors in South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia…I don’t know about Australia and Antarctica, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Is this necessary? Do we need the option to conduct quick strikes all around the world? Is this a job that we could leave to NATO troops? Would reducing our worldwide presence reduce us as a worldwide target? I know we think we’re protecting everyone and doing everything we do with nothing but altruistic motives…are we sure?

As a US Marine veteran of multiple deployments to theaters of combat, I can tell you first hand that armed conflict is a bad thing. There is a time for it – when diplomacy has FAILED. If you are always the first to strike, then maybe it’s time to ask yourself if you are the aggressor or the protector. I want our military to be known as a sleeping giant, not a bully. I want to see us develop fair international policies, and apply them to ourselves in the same way we apply them to others. If we are willing to kill people in other nations due to our perception of events taking place in the world, we must see that other nations will view that as acceptable to do unto us. I want our nation’s kids to grow up without fear of an attack for which we blame others, but which others view as a strike to protect themselves. My idea of patriotism differs from most of my friends and colleagues these days. Patriotism is creating the right future for our next generation, not dominating economically and militarily.

Even if you disagree, thank you for taking a few minutes to be in my shoes and hear my perspective. If yours is different, tell me, and I will listen. I will not know going into it that I’m right and you’re wrong. I will listen, and maybe change. I hope we can all do the same. 

Karaoke Guard-shack

While in the U.S. Marines, I’d been stationed in Iwakuni , Japan for about 9 months primarily working on Sidewinder Missile launchers. I had the opportunity to deploy to Korea on a team exercise with the South Korean Marines. (ROK Marines)
Unfortunately part of being an E-3 Lance Corporal meant $hit details. In this case it was pulling guard duty. I found myself in a guard shack with a few ROK Marines rotating. I spoke no Korean and they spoke no English.
Being early October there was a bit of a chill in the air. As the sun went down, the stadium type lights lit the nearby flight line elongating the shadows of the praying mantis which covered the Tarmac by the thousands.
Keeping an eye on our Vietnam era F-4 fighter jets and their smaller, F-5’s, we settled in for our duty as many of our brothers in arms headed out for a night in the town. Respectively they gave us crap as they rubbed it in, they were on liberty.
We were well equipped each with a 12 gauge shotgun with one difference. I had no shells. This was in thanks to a fellow Marine the night before who saw a ghost and started shooting across the flight line. I guess a good rifle butt stroke would have to do that night.
As the cold night wore on, I exchanged a few friendly head nods with my ally. Each of our respective NCOs, had stopped in for a report.
We got off duty around Midnight when the ROK Marine told me to follow him.

We headed to their unheated guard shack where there was a ROK sergeant and another peon non-rate like me.

The Sergeant, shouted a few orders at one of the peons who then rushed out the door.
The Sergeant offered me a seat and there we sat. He said something to the remaining non-rate who proceeded to belt out a Korean song like no other. When he finished ole Sarge took a crack at another song whole heartedly.
Not knowing allot of Korean customs, I just clapped when they finished and smiled.
The door opened and in stepped the other ROK Marine with his hands full. He had a couple of bottles Soju, (Korean type Sake) and a big dish covered with foil. Ole sarge updated Peon #2 on the festivities at hand who started singing like a canary.
Sarge cracked open the soju and passed the Bottle around.

He then removed the foil on the dish. When the steam cleared, there was a pile of roast pork … After chowing and chugging abit, my new buddies each whipped out a few tunes each. I got the sense that I was up.

Other than choir I wasn’t sure if I knew all the lyrics to a full song. Then it came to me ..finally listening to all those Beatles albums would pay off…

There in a cold guard-shack in South Korea, I was doing my best to honor Paul McCartney with a rendition of “Michelle”.. I’m sure I butchered the French lyrics but I was in good company. Belly and heart warm, I made my way back to tent city with a great memory I still cherish today.
Peace.

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